How to Google more efficiently

Most people these days use google.com as their preferred search engine, and most times a regular search will bring you the results you are looking for. But what if you want a more complex search? Or want to filter out some results? Well, here’s a few pointers on how to Google a bit more efficiently, and some other neat tricks.

A regular search

Say that I want to search for a review for the cellphone HTC Desire Z. I could always use the string “HTC Desire Z review”. Or, we could do a more efficient search.

Take the following search string as an example:

site:engadget.com ~review “htc desire z” -amazon 2010..2012

Let’s break it down:

  • site:engadget:com – Only searches the pages of the site engadget.com
  • ~review – Also searches related words, such as “check, examine, opinion”.
  • htc desire z – Searches for the exact phrase, and not each word separately.
  • -amazon – Excludes this term from the search.
  • 2010..2012 – Shows all results from within the specified timerange.

The last element above not only works with a time-range, but also with any other type of range. For instance:

  • $100..$200

..gives you results based on a range from $100 to $200.

Searching for filetypes

In certain cases you want to search for specific types of file. For instance,

filetype:pdf linux intitle:best *distribution

Again, let’s break this down:

  • filetype:pdf – Searches only results of the file type you specify. .doc, .jpg, .torrent, the options are endless. Close to, anyway.
  • linux – Just a regular search string.
  • intitle:best – Only shows results with that word in the title (in this case, ‘best’)
  • *distribution – Replaces itself with common terms in your search (in this case ‘Arch Linux distribution’, ‘Red Hat distribution’, will both be searched, among many others)

Definitions

To find the definition of a word, use:

define: exquisite

Unit converter

Converting from one unit to another made easy:

Distance

54 km to miles

Weight

2 kg to lbs

Currency

150 NOK to USD

Calculator

Also works great as a calculator:

20*(2+4)/5-1

Time

Check out what the time is in another part of the world:

time Hong Kong

Weather

Also handy for checking the weather:

weather Oslo

Just a few of the things one can do with the Google search engine!

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