Internet searches are Google’s bread and butter. There are a number of ways that you can limit your results, making them more precise.
Looking for a specific file types
You might be looking for a specific PDF file, or perhaps a PowerPoint, but when you search, Google returns a mishmash of websites that really aren't all that useful. The way to avoid this is the ‘filetype:’ search.
You might be looking for a PowerPoint presentation on the Sioux Indians. To find this you simply type ‘Sioux Indians filetype:ppt’. Google has a list of abbreviations for various file types. These can, with just a hint of irony, be found using Google.
If you’re searching for a book by Dickens, but can only remember a certain sentence from it, then just throwing it into Google can end with a messy result. Not so if you use the exact phrase search option. To use it, you just put your search phrase in quotation marks and away you go. This works with more than just Dickens, and is one of the most powerful ways of narrowing your search results.
Finding out more about a website
If you want to learn more about who links to a website, similar sites or perhaps websites that contain the URL of a specific website then the ‘info:’ search term is for you. Simply type info: followed by the URL of the site you want more information about and Google will return all this information.
Fill in the blanks
Have you forgotten when Columbus discovered America? Or when the Declaration of Independence was signed? No worries. Google is ready with a couple of features that should help you. Simply write the sentence you’re looking for and use the * symbol at the needed place. For example with the search: the Declaration of Independence was signed in *. This also works in phrase searching.
Smarter than your smartphone
You can use Google’s search tab for a lot more than just searching. Today it lets you do things that you might have thought you needed a smart phone for.
Finding a movie
You want to go to a movie, but you’re not sure what’s on where you live? Well, Google has you covered. Simply use the movie: search option. You can either look for a specific movie, or type in the name of your city. The first will show where a specific movie is playing while the latter will bring up all movies playing close to you.
Google can be your dictionary. To find out what a word means type ‘define:’ followed by the word you’re looking for and away you go. Google will also help you with spelling, and will often suggest corrections if you've spelt a word wrongly.
Another feature that comes in handy is Google’s calculator function. This works i n several different ways. One way of using it is to simply punch in the numbers you want added, subtracted, divided, etc. with the correct symbols between them. Pressing enter makes Google spit out the result.
Google can also help you with unit conversions. For example, typing ’15 inches to centimeters’ will make it tell you that 15 inches is the same as 38.1 centimeters