What Google lacks in catchy television commercials, it more than makes up for in service. Coming off the heels of those surprisingly memorable television ads, Microsoft’s Bing experiment has carved out a respectable slice of the search market share but hardly gained any traction against the Internet behemoth we all know as our homepage or as Google. Google’s share of the market floats at 65%, changing minimally from month to month, with Yahoo (17%) and Bing (13%) lagging so far behind their combined share doesn’t equal half of Google’s total share. The search engine holds an unassailable position atop the search engine hierarchy.
This is perhaps a result of Google offering users more than just search results – Google has become a one-stop shop, affording users the ability to check their mail, get directions, watch the latest viral video, find up to date news sourced more than a thousand times, and even translate the website for that hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland, which doesn’t seem to have an English button.
6 Slick Tricks
Nonetheless, most Internet surfers are unaware of the many tools Google provides that does not warrant an insular tab at the top the page. By entering specific codes into the search field, you can manipulate Google to do whatever it is you want it to. Here are six of my favorite unknown tricks of the trade:
1. Spell Check:
Google is perhaps the fastest way to check your spelling. By typing your word into the search field, Google will confirm a million times over the correct spelling or suggest an alternate. Likewise, you can enter the “define” operator to instruct Google to show you only dictionary entries.
Yes, your computer does have a calculator. So does your phone. But sometimes those places are just farther away than a Google search bar. Try searching an arithmetic nightmare like “538/14 * (17+284)/ 2”. Then go ahead and check it on your calculator and ask yourself which method was easier.
3. World Clock:
Trying to figure out if you can call that hotel in Reykjavik to book a room? Search “time Reykjavik” to see whether or not it’s business hours. Naturally, this is an invaluable tool in a world were you need to call London, San Diego, and New Delhi all in one working day.
4. Currency Converter:
Need to find out how many kroner you’re getting for your dollar? Type “100 dollars in kroner” to find out. You can, of course, use Google to find out that Iceland is on the kroner before you begin converting.
5. Exclusion Operator:
This one is an oldie but worth repeating. Search ‘ “masters” –woods ’ to see the untold stories of this weekend’s golf tournament. That little minus sign may be all that stands between you and a torrent of unwanted search results.
6. File Type Operator:
You can limit your search results to specific file types. Ever want to know what power points people have published on Reykjavik? Search “reykjavik filetype:ppt” to be amazed. Likewise you can search everything from avi to zip for your file-finding needs.