Some of them can help you find what you need.
Others can be used to teach your children.
The best ones, though, work a little comical magic.
I have compiled a list of some of these Google goodies. All (with the exception of two) can be accessed in the Google search box. Just type google.com into your favorite search engine to be taken to the Google search page.
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Tricks to Search Google More Effectively
Let’s start with a few Google search tricks that will help you find what you want.
- Look for an exact phrase. You can narrow your search and avoid getting sites that don’t fit your criteria by putting quotes around your search phrase, i.e. “homeschool blogs”.
- Search for a topic on a particular type of site. You can limit your search to .org, edu, and .gov sites by typing your topic followed by the word org or edu or gov, i.e. ancient egypt edu. This isn’t always perfect but it generally works well.
- Look for something you don’t remember. You can use an asterisk * to fill in for a missing word, i.e. alexander * invented.
Google Search Tricks to Make Your Life Easier
Here are some goodies that can make your life a little more convenient.
- Find restaurants, stores, and other businesses by location. Type in the type of business you are looking for followed by the zip code, i.e. Mexican restaurant 10001
- Get movie times. Find out which movies are playing in a specific city as well as showtimes by typing the word movies followed by a zip code or city name, i.e. movies El Paso
- Find out the local weather. Type the word weather followed by a zip code or city name (and sometimes also the state or country), i.e. weather New York City. This could also be used for educational purposes. You could find out the weather in various areas of the world like Bethlehem, Israel or Nagasaki, Japan.
- Check flight schedules. To see scheduled flights between two locations, type flights + from + location + to + location, i.e. flights from Phoenix to Anchorage
- Find out a flight status. Enter the airline and flight number to check a plane’s status, i.e. Delta 1109
- Track down packages. Type the tracking number for packages shipped via FedEx, USPS, and UPS in the Google search box to find the status.
Educational Google Search Tricks
These tricks are handy for homeschooling.
- Look up weights and measures conversions. Type in the conversion you are looking for using the words to or in, i.e. 36 ounces to pounds or 3 feet in cm.
- Do math problems. Google instantly becomes a calculator when you type in a problem, i.e. 2545+1980. Of course, you may not want your kids to know about this one. 😉
- Find word definitions and synonyms. Type the word define followed by the word, i.e. define salchow.
- Convert temperatures. Type the number and conversion, i.e. -25 fahrenheit to celsius.
- Look up recent earthquakes. This can be done in two ways. You can just type in the word earthquake to get a list of recent earthquakes, or you can type the word earthquake followed by a location, i.e. earthquake California.
- Check the local time. Type what time is it to get the time.
- Find the time in other areas of the world. Type the word time followed by a location, i.e. time Egypt.
- Look up the times of sunrises and sunsets. Type in the word sunrise or sunset along with a location, i.e. sunset Morocco.
- Look for a timeline. Enter a person or historical event followed by the word timeline, i.e. Jesus timeline or Middle Ages timeline.
- Find a map of a current or ancient place. Type the word map followed by the location, i.e. map ancient israel or map paris.
Fun Google Search Tricks
Here are the fun ones.
- Anagram “anagram.” If you type the word anagram, look carefully under “Did you mean:” You’ll see an anagram of anagram.
- Find the meaning of life. If you type in the answer to life the universe and everything you’ll get the precise answer.
- Look up how often a blue moon happens. Type in once in a blue moon to find out how often this strange phenomenon happens according to Google.
- Tilt Google. Type the word tilt or askew in the Google search box and see what happens.
- Play classic Pacman. Play the 30th Anniversary of Pacman Google game by clicking here.
- Type Zerg rush. See what happens when you type zerg rush in Google. Hint: Click them several times to get rid of them.
- Walk from The Shire to Mordor. This one is for Google Maps. Go to www.google.com/maps/ and choose the option to get directions. Click on the walking figure. For a beginning location, type in The Shire. For the ending location, type in Mordor. Click Get Directions. You’ll see a quote from The Lord of the Rings in a yellow box.
- See all of Google’s doodles. Go to www.google.com/doodles/ to look at all of Google’s interesting doodles.
- Do a barrel roll. Watch what happens when you type do a barrel roll in the Google search box.
Did you have fun with these? I hope so. Feel free to share them with others so that they can have a bit of fun with Google too.