Google Tricks – Did you know you could…

Google is a great (arguably the best) resource for keyword searching on the internet, but many folks don’t realize what else Google is capable of.

Here is a short list of things I use Google for, beyond just searching.

Track packages – Enter a package tracking number for any carrier (I’ve tried UPS, FedEX and USPS) and Google will give you a link to track the package. It’s usually easier and quicker than using the carrier’s page.

Movie show times – Type “movie:” and your zip code or city/state and get a listing of local movie theatres, movies and show times.

Phone number to name and address – Type in a listed phone number and get a name and address of the owner of the number. This is great for finding the address of businesses.

Get a map for a city – Type in a US zip code or city, state and get a link to the map for that zip code.

Define a word – Type “define: ” in the search box followed by a word you want defined and get a definition of that word.

Do math – Google is capable of most mathematic functions. Just type the math you want to do right in the search box and hit search. The result will be at the top of the list. You could write a chapter on just this feature, but most of the functions are defined on this help page.

Convert to and from roman numerals – Enter a search like “28 in roman numerals” or “MCMLXVI in decimal” and get a quick conversion. You will need to put the roman numeral in all capial letters.

Measurement unit converter – Convert measurements of anything from cooking ingredients to rotational force just by typing a search like “2 cups in tablespoons”

Currency converter – Similar to the measurement converter, just type something like “32 US Dollars in British Pounds” and get a quick currency conversion.

So you can see that Google wants to be much more to us than just a search engine. Learn more on this Google help page or try some of the tricks through the search box below. Enjoy!


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Google’s Getting Suggestive

It’s always fun seeing what the folks at Google are up to. While there are several cool things in the lab at Google, I think Google Suggest is particularly interesting.

As you enter search terms in suggest mode (which looks surprisingly familiar,) Google makes some educated guesses and offers some additional words to narrow your search.

Google offers this description:

What is Google Suggest?

As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you’re typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google’s “Did you mean?” feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type “bass,” Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include “bass fishing” or “bass guitar.” Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like “progr,” Google Suggest might offer you refinements like “programming,” “programming languages,” “progesterone,” or “progressive.” You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.

After trying suggest on a few of my common search terms it seems like the suggestions could be useful for narrowing down searches, but I think the bigger advantage may be helping less savvy computer users understand the power of Google and get better, faster, more accurate results.

Check out Google Suggest at

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