To say that Google Search is a time saver is something of an understatement. Without it many people wouldn't be able to find the products and services they need, nor would they be able to plan a night out, or indeed find out what's on television tonight. But as with all good things, it can be made better, and fortunately Google is consistently adding functions that speed things up and save you even more time. Below are six Google Search functions very few know about, but everyone should use.
1. Don't worry about spelling!
You don't need to spend too much time worrying about exact spelling when you are looking for specific information using Google Search. The kind people at Google have done all the hard work for you. Type 'ddicate' into Google and you would expect you get a lot of nonsense returned. Before that happens, Google comes up with a handy list of possible words or terms that you might be looking for - a genuine time saver for bad typists (like me!). You just choose the one you want:
2. Find an exact phrase
Let's say, like me, you sometimes have to find information that includes specific terms like acronyms, etc. For instance, some time ago I was looking for information on 'Solid State Drives', or SSD. To find the information I needed, I simply typed in "solid state drive" (in double quotes) to be taken to pages that only included that exact term:
3. Find specific types of document or image, etc.
Let's image that you are studying for an exam and you need some information on 'web hosting'. Rather than reading a long description on the Internet, you feel like seeing a slide presentation that gives you an overview of the subject. Type in “web hosting filetype:ppt” and you get this - a list of sites that contain .ppt (PowerPoint) presentations on the topic of 'web hosting'. You can do this with .pdf, .docx, and a range of other document types.
4. Find specific content within a site
Of course, everyone knows that Google Search points you in the right direction as far as the websites you need. But what if you already know the website you need, and you need to find some specific information within that website? Google has the answer. For instance, if you want to search HostSearch.com but you are only looking for information on 'dedicated servers', type in 'dedicated server site:hostsearch.com' (without the quotes) and this is what you get - a list of pages that appear within HostSearch.com that contain the term, 'dedicated server' or contain both 'dedicated' and 'server'.
5. Find pages that contain 'similar' or 'related' terms to the term you are looking for
Web host... Web hosting... Web hosting provider... Which term do you use? Luckily, rather than search for each one in separate searches, Google allows us to search for pages that have similar terms to 'host'. Place the following symbol '~' before 'host' (without the quotes) to get this - a list of sites that have pages that contain terms that are similar to 'web'+'host':
However, let's say you are not certain exactly what you are looking for. Well, Google helps you find content which is 'related' to the term you are looking for. For instance, type in “related:dedicated server” (without the quotes) to reach this - a list of pages that contain information either directly related or indirectly related to dedicated servers.
6. Finding web pages your have already looked at, but can't remember where you saw them
Every browser has a 'history' function that shows you what you have been looking at and when, but in all honesty, if you asked me where this function is on the browser I use, I really couldn't tell you. Rather than spend time finding it, I always type in 'history.google.com' (without the quotes) to be taken here - a list of pages visited and when they were visited.:
Google are often coming up with these types of tricks - stay tuned to HostSearch.com and we will fill you in on the details as we learn more. Do you have any to share? Add your comments below.