7 Tips for Using Google Search Like a Pro

Google logo in front of brick wall

Ready for the understatement of the century? Google search is pretty powerful.

I know, this is the definition of understatement, but few people really understand how amazing Google’s search page really is.

Yes, Google will find you the Web page you’re looking for with ease. But did you know that instead of searching for a page that tells you the weather, Google itself can just tell the weather for you? How about finding sites related to one of your favorites, or even getting flight information?

So, hit a brick wall with your Google searches? Check out these seven tips for using Google search like a pro and break through it.

1. Open Search Results in a New Tab

This is possibly the most useful tip in the list. If you stopped here and only used this tip, your searches would still be a lot better. (But don’t stop here – there’s more good stuff you don’t want to miss.)

More often than not, when you search for something you want to check out more than one of the results. When you click on a link, though, you’re directed away from the results page, and getting back can be a pain.

Luckily, you can make Google open all your results links in a new tab each time you click one. Here’s how:

Log in to your Google account. At the bottom right corner of the page, click on Settings > Search Settings.

Google settings menu

Scroll down until you find “Where results open” and check the box next to Open each selected result in a new browser window. Click Save to complete the process.

Closeup of Where Results Open option in Google search settings

Now, as long as you’re logged into your Google account when searching, each result link you click will open in a new tab. Amazing.

2. Calculate and Convert Anything

No matter how simple or complex the equation is, Google can calculate the answer for just about anything. Just enter your equation into the search bar.

Google calculation of an equation

If you want Google to convert one unit of measure to another, just type in what you need.

For example, you can enter “km to mi” or “6.25 gallon to cups.” Google will convert just about anything into anything else. And after your conversion, you can use the on-screen tool to tweak your results. This works with currency, weight, volume… anything.

Google conversion of measurements

3. Definitions

Instead of searching for an online dictionary to define a word or trusting Wikipedia, use the Google search page to define any word you want.

All you have to do is type define: in front of the word, and Google will give you the best definition possible.

Google definition of a word

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4. Search by File Type

If you’re looking for a specific type of file in your search, you can tell Google to limit its results to that file type.

Just add filetype: after the end of a search query, followed by the file extension. You may get some results that don’t fit the file type you entered, but the top results should be spot-on.

Google results limited by file type

5. Find Related Sites

Everyone has a favorite blog or news site, but sometimes you want to keep reading news and information past what you can find on that site. Instead of searching by keyword and getting results that don’t quite work, you can search for sites related to the site you already like.

To find related sites in Google, just type related: and enter the URL of the site you like. Now you have a list of sites just like the one you already love. Genius!

Google results from search using Related delimiter

6. Search Within a Range

If you need to find results within a specific range, Google can do that for you, too.

This is useful in case you’re looking for, say, cars with more than 400 horsepower or houses for sale with more than four acres.

Just enter your search query, then type the number you want to start with, then add .. (two periods) after it, add a space, then what the number is in reference to. Surround everything but the first search term with apostrophes (‘blah’). For example:

  • Cars ‘400.. horsepower’
  • Houses for sale ’4.. acres’

Google results within a specific range

7. Flight Times, Weather, Time, and Everything Else

Want to know the details of a certain flight? Enter the airline and flight number into Google and you’ll see a wealth of information about it, including departure, arrival, and the gate it comes in at.

Google results with flight information

You can also get the weather right in your browser. Just enter weather and a city for a local weather report.

Google results giving weather for Long Beach

If you want to know the local time in any part of the world, just search time and the city or country you’re interested in.

Google results giving time in Cupertino

But wait, there’s more!

Enter sunrise or sunset followed by a city name to see the related times quickly and in the Google page itself.

See a map of an area by typing the ZIP code and the word map after it.

There are literally hundreds of these kinds of tips, but these are a great place to start your Google “Search Fu” training. Good luck, Grasshopper!

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