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Posted: April 11, 2012

Even more essential Google tips and tricks

Upgrade your web searches

Dawn Bjork Buzbee

In this second of a two-part series, let’s continue our tour of Google tricks to make the most of your search experience (read Part 1).

1. Unit Conversion

Confused by centimeters vs. inches? Not sure how many kilos are equal to a weight in pounds? You can use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others. Just enter the conversion you want into the Google search box (did you download the Google toolbar?) and it will calculate the conversion for you. Some examples to try:

100 pounds in kilos (100 lbs in kilos also works)

50 meters in feet

2. Currency Conversion

Determining currency value is also easy in Google with the built-in currency converter. Simply enter the conversion you want into the search box such as:

150 euros in us dollars

100 canadian dollars in usd

3. Local Search

Are you visiting a new area or looking for a business nearby? To search for a restaurant, store, or other local business, you can search by the category of business and location and Google will return matching results along with a map, reviews, and contact information. Test searches like these:

mexican food 80202

office supplies dallas tx

4. Easy Google Maps

Looking for a map? Sure, you could click to Google Maps but why not let Google bring the maps to you? Just type in the name or U.S. zip code of a location followed by the word “map” and Google will show you a map of the location. Clicking on the map will take you to a larger version on Google Maps. Try examples like these:

Portland map

30308 map

5. It’s ShowTime!

To find reviews and show times for movies playing near you, type “movies” or the name of a current film into the Google search box plus the U.S. zip code or city you are searching for. Here are some variations of this tip:

movies 30308

movies hugo atlanta ga

movies the descendants 30308

6. Flight Status

Waiting for someone’s flight to arrive? To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, enter the name of the airline and the flight number into the Google search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport. Some examples of this trick are:

united airlines 556

chicago airport

DIA airport

7. See What Google is Keeping Track Of

Are you responsible for managing your company website or marketing program? To see the cached (stored) page Google has stored of any web page, try this query:

cache:website url such as cache:cobizmag.com

(The results will be the same whether or not you use www. as part of the site address.) Notice the date at the top of the cached page. Popular sites such as cobizmag.com will be more frequently cached.

8. How Popular Are We?

Another Google trick helps you find out which sites are linking back to your website. As you probably know, outside links to your site increase your relevance and natural ranking within Google searches. Check out your popularity with:

link:cobizmag.com

Link relevance increases substantially with links from blog posts—even posts within the same site!

9. Easy Area Codes

Have you ever looked at a U.S. telephone number and wondered what area it is from? To see the geographical location for any U.S. area code, simply type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and launch the search.

10. Stock Quotes

To see current market data for a specific company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. Once the results display, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance. For example, enter DIS to see the current stock data for the Walt Disney Company.

But wait…there’s more! I just can’t stop at ten tips when there are even more quick and easy tricks for Google searches. Here are a few other ways to expand your search options in Google.

11. Related Search

Discover new resources by searching for web pages with similar content to a specific website. Just type “related:” followed by the website address into the Google search box. For example:

related:usatoday.com

12. Fill in the Blank

Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to “fill in the blank” by adding an asterisk (*) wildcard at the part of the sentence or question that you want completed into the Google search box such as:

Thomas Edison discovered *

In addition to providing quick access to billions of web pages, now you know how Google can help you take advantage of other special features with these easy search tips.

Dawn Bjork Buzbee is The Software Pro® and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist (MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 6 books. Discover more software tips, tricks, tactics, and techniques at www.SoftwarePro.com . Contact Dawn at Dawn@SoftwarePro.com  or (303) 699-6868.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Thanks for the feedback, Dave. Glad to hear these tips are helpful! With access to so much information, I always look for ways to streamline results and to easily find relevant data. By Dawn Bjork Buzbee on 2012 04 14
I can't imagine where we would all be without information, especially clear information like this. I really enjoyed this material and agree with your ideas. By Dave on 2012 04 14
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