Did You Know…How To Maximize Google’s Utility

by | Aug 31, 2012 | Uncategorized

Task: Internet search engines like Google have become an integral component to most people’s lives, but often you have to wade through junk you don’t want to get to the information you seek.

Solution: How can you better use this powerful tool to get the information you seek more quickly and effectively?  We’ve shared some of our favorite tips here, as well as included links to other sites if you want to learn more.


Follow our tips below and enter your specific data noted in the  (  ) on the Google search bar, such as for:  time (location)–  you type: time chicago  

google search 1

 Do Your Work More Efficiently

  • Access public data: In the search box type: (fact) (geography) e.g. population new york to find the population for New York City.   Need some quick stats or data for a report you’re putting together? Find public data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics for a country, state, or even down to the county level.

google search 2


  • Find a particular file type: Type –> filetype:(format) (topic) e.g. filetype:pdf wine industry to look for white papers or ebooks on the wine industry
  • Search within a site only Type –> site: (site name) (desired phrase) e.g. site:wsj.com financial regulation if you want to see everything the Wall Street Journal has written about financial regulation
  • Search for exact phrases: Type –>  “ ”  (quotes)to find exact phrases, e.g. “to be or not to be”
  • Filter out undesired words: Type –> –  minus in front of undesired words e.g. -tomato salsa recipe
  • Define a word: Type –> define (your word here) e.g. define sequestration
  • Find a word or phrase on a page: Type –>: Apple (for Mac) or Ctrl (for PC) + F.  A search box will come up and you can enter the word you’re looking for.  Use this when looking at any document or web page to have all instances of the word highlighted for you.
  • Calculate math problems: Type –> numbers and the function, e.g, 898*15
  • Find specific information: You can use more sophisticated operators to further refine your searches.  For example, you could search for something as specific as NYTimes articles about test scores in college, but not the SATs, written between 2008 and 2010.  Check out Hackcollege.com to learn how.

Travel More Easily

  • Find a flight: Type –> from (city) to (city) e.g from chicago to new york. The results will show schedules to and from any destination.

Google search 3


  • Track a flight: Type –> (airline) (flight number)e.g. united 212
  • Find local time: Type –> time (location) e.g. time chicago
  • Check local weather: Type –> weather (zip code or location) e.g. weather 60602
  • Convert unit measurements: Type –> (unit A unit B) e.g. 18 celsius Fahrenheit to get a conversion tool where you can enter a specific temperature you want translated (e.g., 18°C equals 64°F).  Would have been useful during the London Olympics, eh?

Quickly Access Personal Information

  • Check status of a favorite stock: Type –> (stock symbol) e.g. GOOG
  • Find latest scores of favorite team: Type –> (team name) e.g. cubs
  • Get movie times: Type –>: movie (zip or city) e.g. The Campaign Chicago
  • Review your own web search history: Type –> www.google.com/history.  Have you ever visited a website and a couple weeks later, you can’t seem to find that website again? Google’s Web History allows you to search your online history and keeps a log of places you’ve been on the web.

After reviewing your search results if you would like to refine the results more you can try using Google’s Advanced Search option.  Click on the Settings icon located on the upper right side of the results page and Select Advanced Search then fill out the form:    http://www.google.com/advanced_search

Google search 4

Google specific searches – Google has a number of specific searches, allowing you to search within blogs, news and various topics:

And more:  http://www.google.com/insidesearch/tipstricks/index.html


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John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.


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