Sometimes, typing a few words in a row into Google gets you more or less what you’re looking for, but if you want to search more precisely and professionally, you need some tricks, which you will become familiar with in this article.
Suppose you want to know in which year the famous Mona Lisa painting was created. If you had an encyclopedia of art, you would look at the entry related to Leonardo Da Vinci to get the answer (1503 AD). 1503 is not the only point you will learn about this painting; while searching in this encyclopedia, you will also find other information about Da Vinci’s birthdate, birthplace, and other related details.
If instead of an encyclopedia, you had a smartphone and the internet – which is far more likely these days – you would specifically and very simply search in Google: “Mona Lisa year,” and the answer to the question would appear below the search bar. Thus, in the age of the internet and Google search, we get the answers to each of our questions specifically and classified. We usually do not come across additional related information.
The more we use services like Google, the more our brain categorizes the world in the style of indexed information. Google, which was born 24 years ago, has not only changed the world’s shape but also changed our view of the world and the way we store information in our brains.
We all love searching on Google because of its simplicity. It’s enough to type a few words related to the desired topic without any specific order or syntax, and the very powerful and smart Google search engine shows what we are looking for in a fraction of a second. These results are sometimes so numerous and diverse that finding exactly what we want becomes difficult. To solve this problem, there are methods and tricks that make Google search easier and more precise and change our search model and information classification in our brains.
Using Google Operators
Google’s search operators are special characters and parameters that you can use in your search to get more accurate results and closer to what you’re looking for. These search operators include a wide range of different capabilities, from limiting the results to searching for an exact phrase or eliminating specific phrases from search results. The combined use of these operators helps you uncover precise information that gets lost in a normal search under a pile of links. In this article, we introduce you to the most practical Google search operators:
Exact Phrase Search with “…”
If you search a few words normally on Google, the search results will include each of these words in an unspecified order in the text of websites. However, if you put them in quotation marks (“…”), Google will search the websites in the same order you typed the words. For example, the search for “Google tricks” will only show results where these two words are next to each other in this exact order.
Using “-” to Filter a Specific Word
If there are specific keywords in your search results that you don’t need, you can tell Google only to show websites that do not use this word by adding a hyphen “-” at the beginning of that word. You can add “-” to as many words as you want to remove from the search results. For example, the search below will only show pages about social networks other than Facebook and Instagram.
Search a Word in a Specific Website with a Site.
One of the very useful Google search operators is the site. This operator allows you to view your search results only on a specific website. For example, in the search below, the address of the SPY24 site is written after the site: and typing the entire phrase “SPY24 Reviews” after it tells Google to search for this phrase only on the SPY24 website.
Another operator with similar functionality is source: When using: source: you only need to write the website’s name after the colon, and there is no need to write the full address of the site. In the example below, Google searches for the entire phrase “5 Best Social Media Spy Apps for Android and iPhone” only on the SPY24 website.
Use “..” between two years to limit the date of the results
To limit the date of search results, you can use the Tools option under the search bar and change Any time to a past month or year or any desired date by selecting Custom range. Alternatively, for convenience, you can use the operator “..” between two years to view search results in a more limited time frame. In the example below, Google will show you all the content that has the keyword ‘hacking’ and was published on the SPY24 website between the years 2022 to 2023.
Use @ to find a specific brand’s social network.
If you’re looking for the official accounts of specific brands like Apple or Microsoft on social networks, you can type the name of the desired social network followed by the brand name with the @ symbol in Google’s search bar. For example, if you want to find the SPY24 Twitter page on Google, just search the following phrase:
Viewing the map with the map: operator
To view the Google map without clicking on the Maps tab in Google, you can use the map: operator. After this colon, just enter the name of the desired city.
Using intitle: to search for a keyword in the title
The intitle: operator tells Google to search for the specified phrase only in the web page titles, not the entire text. In the example below, Google will only display pages where the entire phrase “Hacking Instagram” has been used in their titles.
Similarly, if you’re looking for a specific word in the URL of a website, you can use the inurl: operator.
Use of filetype to specify the file type
With the filetype operator, you can search for a particular phrase in a specific format, such as PDF or pp. You can view the complete list of file formats that Google indexes from this page. Unfortunately, the mp3 format is not among them! Instead of: filetype, you can also use the: ext operator. These two operators are also used to specify a particular format of image (PNG, JPG, GIF, etc.).
Use of related: for searching similar websites
The related: operator helps the user to find websites similar to their desired website; for example, if you’re a fan of technology news and only know The Verge among foreign technology media, you can use the related: operator to familiarize yourself with other websites that are similar to The Verge in the field of technology. This operator only works correctly for large and notable websites.
Searching in Google’s dictionary with the: define or: definition operator.
If you are looking for the meaning, pronunciation, synonym, antonym, and root of a word in Google’s English dictionary, you can use the define: or definition: operator. Of course, for convenience, you can even omit writing the colon and use the desired word along with define or definition either before or after it; because Google’s algorithms can easily determine what you mean in this case.
If you also want to search for the meaning of a word in Russian or any other language in Google Translate, just use the preposition ‘in’ and the name of the desired language after the word. For example:
Creating shortcuts for common searches
If you’re repeatedly searching for a specific operator or a combination of various operators and typing them is time-consuming and annoying, you can use custom shortcut keys to save time. For example, if you are using the: site operator to search for SPY24 content, you can define a combination of letters for it so that by typing them, Google will guide you to the main path. This feature is only possible in the Chrome browser. To create shortcuts for common searches, follow the steps below:
- Click on the three dots at the top right of Google Chrome and enter the settings section.
- Click on Search engine and enter Manage search engines.
- On the right side of Other search engines, click on the Add option.
- In the Search engine section, choose a desired name for your shortcut. Under the Keyword section, type a few letters to set the shortcut key. In the URL section, enter the entire search phrase and click the Add button when you’re done.
Now every time you type the shortcut letters into the search bar and press Enter, Google will automatically search the entered search phrase, and there is no need to type all the words.
Quick and useful Google searches
In addition to operators that narrow down search results to what we have in mind, there are some specific words that can provide useful information when searched on Google. Here, we refer to some of these practical search terms.
Viewing company stock values
If you want to know the current stock value of a company like Apple, you can use one of two methods: either type the company’s ticker symbol into the search bar (AAPL) or if you don’t know the company’s ticker symbol, use the :stocks operator followed by the company’s name. In either case, Google will display a card as the first search result that shows real-time information related to the company’s stock value. On the Wikipedia page, you can view the ticker symbols of various brands and companies; for example, Intel’s symbol is INTC, and Microsoft’s symbol is MSFT.
Knowing the exact time and date by typing the word “time”
If, for any reason, your computer or phone’s clock or calendar is malfunctioning, you can see your exact local time based on your IP address by typing the word “time” in the Google search bar. Even more useful, you can be aware of the exact time in any corner of the world; you just need to enter the name of the country or city you want after the word “time.”
Let Google search for you with Google Alerts.
Sometimes, consistently googling a phrase can be tiresome and time-consuming. This is where Google Alerts comes in handy. With Google Alerts, you can create an alert for your desired phrases so that every time a new piece is published about it, Google will email you a list of these articles.
To create a Google Alert, click here. Write your desired phrase in the bar at the top of the page, and select an email address where you want the list of items to be sent. From the “Show options” section, you can also narrow down your search range.
Reverse image search
Google supports reverse image search in most browsers. With this feature, you can upload an image to Google’s search engine and read the related information. For example, if you have a picture of a painting and you don’t know the name of its creator, you can upload it to Google’s image section and retrieve the information.
This feature is especially useful for finding images of better quality. Simply right-click on the low-quality image and select “Search Google for image.” Then, next to the uploaded image, select the options related to size (small-medium-large) to display high-quality images to you.
Stay informed about the weather by searching “weather”
There’s nothing easier than this! Simply search the word “weather” in Google to display an interactive card containing related weather information. By default, the weather is displayed based on the location of your IP address. However, you can check the weather in any other place in the world. Just type the place name before or after the word “weather”.
Using Timer and Stopwatch
These days, if someone needs a timer or a stopwatch, they go to their smartphone. However, if for any reason you don’t have access to your phone and you are at your computer and need a timer or a stopwatch, you can use these two features by typing “timer” in the Google search bar.
Converting Units and Currencies Using “in” or “to”
Whenever you want to convert two similar units to each other, you can use “in” or “to.” Google supports the conversion of a multitude of units, including currencies, temperature, speed, area, time, etc. For example, you can convert Fahrenheit to Celsius or pounds to kilograms.
In addition, by typing “Unit converter,” an information card is displayed that includes a complete list of unit conversions. If you are curious, the conversion method is explained at the bottom of the card, across from the “formula.”
Finding your IP Address
If you don’t know what your IP address is, simply search for “What’s my IP” in Google, and your IP address will be displayed.
Dragging and Dropping URLs to Open a New Tab
If you want to open the webpage you are viewing in another tab, simply click to select its URL, drag it, and drop it in the space designated for a new tab, and the page will open in this tab immediately. With this method, there is no need to copy and paste.
Performing Mathematical Calculations in Google Search
In the Google search bar, you can directly perform simple mathematical calculations. For instance, if you type 35×4, a calculator will appear below the search bar along with the calculated answer. Of course, if you search for the term “calculator,” Google’s calculator will be displayed, and you can perform all your calculations with it.
Perhaps one of the most practical calculations you need to perform instantly is a percentage. For example, you’re shopping in a store and want to calculate how much a 20% discount on $180 will be. You simply need to type the following phrase into Google to get the answer immediately:
Archive of Old Newspapers
Suppose you want to write a crime novel about a mysterious murder case that happened, say, 50 years ago. To start, you need the murder reports in newspapers, but how can you access these very old newspapers? You guessed it; Google!
If you go to news.google.com/newspapers, you’ll see a large archive of most American newspapers, categorized by the name of the publication, with the number of issues and their publication date range specified. Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology also helps you narrow down your search results by using keywords, for example, “murders 1971”. However, the results obtained are not very precise, and it displays these words by searching in the text of the newspaper.
Unfortunately, Google has abandoned this project and removed some of its useful features, including the ability to specify the publication date and advanced search; however, newspapers that were previously added to the archive are still available.
Viewing the index of a website on Google (Operator: site:)
You’ve undoubtedly wanted your search results to come exclusively from a single website at some point. Well, you can use Google’s search operators for this purpose. For such a professional search on Google, you just need to enter the command “site:” in the Google search box and then, without any spaces, enter the address of the website you’re interested in. The resulting format should look like this:
The real power of the: site: command becomes clear when you enter it with a keyword. This way, you’ll be able to search for results related to your chosen keyword on a specific website:
You can use your chosen keyword before or after this command. Also, you can merge this command with any of the other Google search operators. In fact, this command allows you to examine the indexed pages of a website, which is very valuable for SEO professionals.
Finding information about websites (Operator: info:)
Sometimes, you might need more information about a website. By adding the: info: command before the website URL of your choice, you can get more information about that site.
If you want to view an older version of a website, Google can help you. Google allows you to view the latest cached version of it on Google by adding the cache: command before the URL of the website you’re interested in.
Searching for a specific type of domain on Google
Remember the site: search operator? Well, you can use this command to search for a specific type of domain on Google. Suppose you’re looking for websites with a “.ai” domain extension. You can use this command as follows: site:.Ai
What day will it be in 1000 days?
These days, thanks to Google’s vast archive and advanced algorithms and technologies, searching on Google has become so easy and hassle-free that we ask almost all of our questions to Google instead of asking those around us. Some of these questions may be just for fun or asked out of curiosity. For example, if you are asked exactly what day and date it is in 1800 days from now, you can type “what day is it in 1800 days” to get your answer. According to Google’s calendar, the answer is August 19, 2026, and it’s a Wednesday.
Google Search Easter Eggs
Engineers working at Google apparently have a lot of free time to have added several models of hidden tricks or so-called Easter eggs and April Fool’s jokes to this platform. Here we will mention a few interesting Easter eggs that you can find in Google Search.
- In the search bar, type “askew” or “tilt” to tilt your screen a bit. But don’t worry, this is just for fun, and there’s nothing wrong with your display. By typing “unaskew” or “untilt”, the page will return to normal.
- In the search bar, type “do a barrel roll” or “z or r twice” to make your display do a 360-degree rotation. This Easter egg is a tribute to the 1997 Nintendo game Star Fox 64, in which a rabbit named Peppy tells the game’s hero, Fox McCloud, to do a full roll, a type of aerial maneuver, and the gamer does this by pressing the z or r button twice.
- In the search bar, type “Blink HTML” to make the word “blink” and “html” anywhere they appear on the screen, and start to blink.
- In the search bar, type “Bletchley Park” to make the information card on the right side of the page seemingly start decoding this park’s name. Bletchley Park was the UK’s code-breaking center that managed to decode Germany’s secret communications protocol during World War II.
- If you type “Flip a coin” into Google, a card opens up that, in addition to the coin toss option, includes several other interesting games and tools. For example, you can play Pac-Man, Tic-tac-toe, or Snake, or from the Tools section, roll a die or use a metronome.
- In the search bar, type “Conway’s Game of Life” to start a series of seemingly random bubbles moving from the right and left sides of the screen toward the center. This life simulation was created by the British mathematician John Conway in 1970. Technically, this simulation is a kind of game that has no players; for this reason, it can be called the most boring game!
- If you want to know what the loneliest number is, all you have to do is ask Google. When you type “loneliest number” into Google, the Google calculator activates and shows you the number 1. This Easter egg is a tribute to the song “One is the Loneliest Number” by the band Three Dog Night.
- Open Google’s main page, and in the search bar, type “google gravity.” Instead of pressing Enter, press the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to activate this fun easter egg.
If you’ve been asked what the answer to life, the universe, and everything is, you can ask Google again. By typing the phrase “the answer to life, the universe, and everything,” Google’s calculator is activated and shows you the number 42. This mysterious number refers to the popular novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, in which a computer named “Deep Thought” answers this very complex philosophical question with the simple answer of 42. Whether or not the number 42 contains this profound meaning, Google’s “supercomputers” have concluded that the true meaning of life is equivalent to what Douglas Adams has arrived at.
On Google’s main page, type “Find Chuck Norris” and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to search for it. You will notice that nothing will happen with this action, and Google cannot find a result for your search topic; why?
If you are a fan of internet memes, you may have heard something about Chuck Norris’s facts. These facts are actually a list of humorous and unrealistic statements about this American actor and athlete; for example:
- Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
- Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep; he waits.
- Chuck Norris counted to infinity twice.
Google has also decided to enter this game, and every time a user searches for “Find Chuck Norris” and clicks on “I’m Feeling Lucky,” it doesn’t show any search results. Because according to these facts, you cannot find Chuck Norris; instead, he finds you!
Well, I hope you’re not tired of reading this long list. If you can use these codes in your daily searches, you’ll become a professional Google searcher. Google’s search engine is more powerful than you think.
In any case, a vast amount of content is indexed on Google, and one could argue that Google is currently driving the internet. Therefore, professional Google searching is essential for any SEO expert, content producer, or digital marketing specialist. With professional Google searching, you can monitor your competitors closely.
Perhaps the best feature of using Google search operators is that they’re completely free. They provide a vast mine of information at your disposal at no cost. Rest assured that using these commands in your searches will help you save on time and costs and use this wealth of information well.
I hope you found reading this helpful article.