Monday, September 2, 2013

Handy Google Search Tools

Google isn't the only search engine available, but over the years Google has developed a search engine designed to make our lives easier when it comes to finding the information we are looking for. Google uses a combination of the OneBox module which directly answers many queries without the user ever needing to click away to an external website, and the Knowledge Graph results that add extra layers of information to each search.

Below is a list of just a few of the Google Search tricks that may save you time in the future:

  • Clock: This Google Search shortcut allows you to see what time it is in any major city around the world without ever having to leave the comfort of the Google homepage.
    • Type: "time [location]". Example: time France
  • Sunset and Sunrise: These Google Search shortcuts allow you to find out what time the sun is due to rise and set on any given day in any given location.
    • Type: "sunrise [location]". Example: sunrise France
    • Type: "sunset [location]". Example: sunset France
  • Demographics: If you need to quickly know how many people live in a particular city, country, or even continent the first search shortcut will be useful for you. You can also look up the unemployment rate in any given location.
    • Type: "population [location]". Example: population France
    • Type: "unemployment rate [location]". Example: unemployment rate France
  • Translation: There is a whole section of Google dedicated to translating one language to another - the Google Translate tool. But you can also use a Search shortcut for single words or short phrases.
    • Type: "translate [words] [language]". Example: translate read carefully french
  •  Timer: You can use Google as a timer if you don't have a stopwatch handy. You can set the timer either for a set amount of time or for a set time in the future.
    • Type: "set timer to [time]". Example: set timer to 5 minutes
    • Type: "set timer for [time]". Example: set timer for 19:00
  • Weather:  To obtain the basic weather forecast for a location without having to leave Google for another website, this shortcut should provide all of the necessary information.
    • Type: "weather [location]". Example: weather Paris
  •  Define: For a quick dictionary look-up of a word, its pronunciation, etc. You can even click the speaker to hear an audio clip on the pronunciation.
    • Type: "define [word]". Example: define pedagogy
  •  Conversion: You can translate various units of measurement.
    • Type: "conversion [1] to [2]". Example: conversion yen to pound
For more tricks for Google Search shortcuts, visit the following articles:
Google Search tips cheat sheet
"Are you SURE you know how to use Google?"
8 Google Search Tips to Keep Handy at all Times

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