Thursday, March 31, 2005
Google’s search box includes a powerful calculator function. Try typing in any of these expressions: 5+2*2 or 2^20 or sqrt(-4). The calculator can also handle complex phrases that include units of measure, conversions, and physical constants. Try these examples: half a cup in teaspoons, quarts in a gallon, 160 pounds * 4000 feet in Calories. Pretty amazing!
Looking for the definition of a word or phrase and can’t find your dictionary? Google can help. Use the Google “define:” operator following by the word or phrase. To see how it works, type “define:Internet” in the Google search box.
Perhaps you’re looking for a specific restaurant in a specific city. If you just type “Red Lobster” you’ll get corporate headquarters and thousands of individual listings. Adding a city name or zip code to the end of your search phrase will invoke the Google Local feature and focus your search in that neighborhood. Try “Red Lobster Williamsport, PA” or “Red Lobster 17701”. Generic searches works this way also; try “pizza Williamsport PA”.
Looking for local movie listings, show times and reviews? Simply type “movies” into the Google search box. Looking for a movie that features a certain actor? Use the Google “movie:” operator with your search term: “movie:Robert DeNiro”.
Don’t bother searching all over the house for that missing phone book (again). Simply enter the business name along with the city and state into the Google search box. Try “Penn College Williamsport PA”. For an individual listing try “Last name, first name or initial, City or State or Zip or Area code.” Try your own name. Note: you can ask Google to remove your name from its phone book if you don’t want to have this kind of information available to the public.
Looking for the latest prices quotes on your favorite stock or mutual fund? Enter the ticker symbol in the search box. Try “INTC” or “DELL” then look for the stock chart symbol on the Google search results.
Enter a complete address (street, city and state) and Google Maps will return a map of your address along with an option to request driving directions.
Getting ready to take a business trip and need to check on the weather at the destination airport or the status your flight. Enter the airport code followed by the word “airport”. Try “IPT airport” for the Williamsport-Lycoming Airport. For flight information, enter the carrier and the flight number: “United 111”.
For the current weather conditions and a four-day forecast, type “weather” followed by the city and state.
As you see, besides being a great Internet search tool Google offers a wide range of additional resources to help with your everyday information needs.
The Google search engine (www.google.com), with more than three billion Web pages indexed, is one of the best Internet search tools available. Most savvy Internet users are familiar with Google and use it every day to help find their way through an increasingly crowded and confusing array of Web pages.
Simply key in a few keywords and Google’s powerful search engine returns a list of all the Web pages that contain your keywords. The most relevant results – according to a complex, but imperfect computer program – appear at the top of the list.
Keyword searching is certainly a helpful tool, but it often returns thousands, even millions of pages. Fortunately, Google has a number of advanced search options that can narrow those results and help you search the Web more effectively.
By default, Google assumes an “and” operator between your key words, which means it will return only those pages that contain all of your key words. Google also eliminates single digits, single letters, and words insignificant to the search (e.g,. of, and, to). Typing Pennsylvania College of Technology into the search box translates into “
You can narrow your search results by using Google’s phrase search option. Place quotation marks around the search term – “Pennsylvania College of Technology” – to return only pages that contain that exact phrase. This technique reduced the search results above from eight million to 48 thousand.
Sometimes the single digit or letter that Google eliminates is a necessary part of your search term. You can force Google to include it by using the plus sign. For example, to search for Spiderman 2 type: Spiderman +2. The minus operator does just the opposite; it tells Google not to return pages containing that search term. This is very helpful when your primary search term has multiple meanings. For example, if you’re looking for information on biological viruses but want to avoid getting results for computer viruses, use this search tem: virus -computer.
Google also has a number of special search operator words to help refine your searches. Use these words at the beginning of your search terms, followed by a colon and then your search words.
The search operator allintitle tells Google to search just the titles of Web pages for your search term. The search allintitle:
The intitle operator lets you specify one word that must be in the title followed by the rest of your search term. Typing intitle:college plastics tells Google to match pages that have “college” in the title and “plastics” anywhere on the page.
The site operator restricts the search using Internet domain names. For example, the search phrase site:pct.edu plastics searches only pages at pct.edu containing “plastics.”
Try these advanced Google search options the next time you’re searching the Web. You’ll find they really help to narrow the results and get you to the information you’re looking for much faster.
Questions or comments, contact Jim Cunningham via email at email@example.com.