This is part 2 of a 2 part post series related to the release of my ebook ‘How to google – the Ultimate Guide to finding everything!’ This post shows you 10 Google Shortcuts you definitely haven’t seen before. It’s a modified excerpt from the book.
Since you have mastered how you search, you must now take the second step to becoming a Google master.
The second step is mastering Google’s built-in features. And it’s a crucial part of learning how to google. What do I mean by that?
Originally I wanted to name the first step “What you need to search for”. This one would then have been labeled “What you don’t really need to search for”.
Over the years Google has integrated many features that make a lot of actual Google searches redundant.
This means that today you can get a lot of the information you are looking for right in that box below the search bar, as in the Taylor Swift example from part 1.
You won’t have to click a single link.
Being able to apply Elimination, Rephrasing and Inferring is essential, but it is no use to come up with a great search phrase in 2 minutes when you could have gotten the required output with a 2 keyword shortcut that takes 5 seconds.
These built-in features are often referred to as “Google Shortcuts”, which is what I will stick to. Whenever Google gives you your result instantly in a small box below the search bar, you know you found a shortcut.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of articles on the web that show you some of them as the “Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks“ or “20 Really Cool Google Features You Probably Don’t Know About“ – and those are great. I’m grateful for all of them.
But I could never find a full list.
So I made one.
While I would love to show you all of them (I came up with over 250!), this would certainly blow the frame of this post and spoil all the goodness of the book. So instead I chose to share with you the crème de la crème – the ones I haven’t found on any other list.
Sidenote: I have my Google set to US. While a lot of these do work for Google set to other languages and locations, I like to be up to date. Google’s full potential can only be accessed when using the US version.
Sidenote 2: All browsers now let you search directly from their address bar, which saves you the hassle of calling up Google’s homepage. If you type at a decent speed, these shortcuts will thus literally get you results in under 10 seconds. Therefore, the longest part of your search becomes clicking into your browser’s address bar. You can skip this annoying part with a quick keyboard shortcut: Press Ctrl + L (or Cmd + L, if you are on a Mac like me) and your cursor jumps right into the address bar and you can start typing.
So without further ado, here we go:
1. Symptoms and side effects
You can get information on side effects of all kinds of pills and medication, as well as find symptoms of diseases in the blink of an eye.
2. How To’s
Remember reading lengthy how-to articles for easy to solve problems? I don’t. Plenty of everyday problems can be solved in seconds with this. And it’s not just software or tech-related issues, like “how to upload a video to youtube” or “how to convert pdf to word”, even “How to make a fly trap” works, try it!
3. Business founders
See who created what, instantly! For bigger companies and corporations this gives you a list with pictures, which you can click on, to reveal their info and Google search results. This is very useful for finding the founders of startups, for example.
4. The periodic table of elements – in molecular parts
For all the chemistry geeks and high schoolers: No need to memorize the whole table of elements, just google what you need. You can get a lot more than just the symbol, such as the atomic number, the discovery date, melting point, boiling point, atomic mass and even the electron configuration of elements. Bring on the chemistry homework!
5. Animal weights (and breeds!)
Almost 200 pounds, one pig? Seriously?! Apart from average values for animal stats you can also get different breeds, not only for Chihuahuas, but also for farm animals.
6. Google your Google Calendar
If you’re using Google calendar and you keep it updated, you can access all the info from Google directly. Ask it when your next meeting is, what your agenda for the day looks like, have it show your flights (if you received a confirmation from the airline in your emails), or ask for stored contact information, e.g. by typing in: “herbert emmit’s number”.
7. Word origins
Did you know that checkmate comes from Persian and really means “the king is dead?”. Now you do. The word makes a lot more sense than I thought. By putting “origin of word” in front of things (or “etymology”, if you wanna get fancy), you can see where words originally came from.
8. Compare foods
You probably know that you could get information on calories, proteins, sugar and vitamins for different foods. But did you know you can also instantly let 2 foods compete against each other? Warning: This will not make you feel better about eating that muffin.
9. Find out who played a character on a TV show or in a movie
If you’re anything like me, you won’t remember what name they showed on the screen for 2 seconds during the intro of your favorite TV show. Your’e gonna remember the name his friends call him in the show all the time. To find the face and name behind a character from a TV show or movie, asking Google “who plays” helps. And it helps fast.
10. Solve a pythagorean theorem – solve what?
Yeah yeah, we all know you can convert things with Google, and maybe you even knew you could calculate circles, but a pythagorean theorem? I bet you haven’t seen that one before. You can choose which side to solve for. Gets your math and engineering homework done in no time flat!
That’s it, 10 Google Shortcuts you definitely haven’t seen before. Remember: it’s all between you and the search bar.
There are hundreds of shortcuts around and new ones keep popping up daily, but I’m still fairly confident that the list in the book is quite comprehensive.
If you want to learn many more shortcuts, including how to find them yourself, as well as how to use advanced search operators, you can buy the book on Amazon.