Found on Google: More than just a simple search

Variables of every type swirl around computer user’s habits and hardware, still one common tool seems to always be on everyone’s list: Google. This simple search engine grows in every direction, yet does no wrong or at least no intentional evil. Google has added several great features and services, but their claim to fame is still their search ability.

Let’s say that you’re feeling adventurous enough to stray from the comfortable simple search. Take advantage of these lesser known features of the Google search engine.

SPELLING: Google’s suggested word feature offers a quick and easy on-off spell checker. By mistakenly typing “catastophic” into the Google search returns: “Did you mean: catastrophic.” Simply clicking on the new spelling suggestion brings up your intended search results.

DEFINITIONS: Need to find the technical meaning for XBRL? Entering “define: xbrl” in the search returns a list of definitions found on the Web. Need the definition in another language (Hey, you never know!)? Simply click on one of the nine languages available to view your search results in that language.

CALCULATIONS: Use the Google search box for calculations and conversions. Soople.com provides an interface to send raw numbers to Google for calculation. Check out the Google results below after these formulas were entered into Soople:

TIME AND WEATHER: Use the time or weather operators to get information about a given location. Simply enter “time” or “weather” and the name of the city and voila – instant time or weather information (not to mention thousands upon thousands of search results relating to said city’s weather or time).

AIRLINE TRAVEL INFORMATION: Typing the airline name and flight number of any arriving or departing flight will link you to flightstats.com for up-to-date flight information. Entering the airport name or code followed by the operator “airport” will display airport conditions.

PACKAGE TRACKING: Enter any UPS, USPS or FedEx package tracking number and a direct link to your tracking interface will be returned.

Nice features for a simple search box, but outstanding from your mobile phone. Many of these features work by sending a TXT message to Google “466453” (FYI: 466453 spells out Google on the keypad). TXTing weather Denver to 466453 will return the current weather in Denver as a text message. More importantly TXTing your zipcode along with the keyword pizza returns all the information you need for the perfect late night snack.

More Google search features:
http://www.google.com/help/features.html 

More Google SMS/TXT features:
http://www.google.com/mobile/default/sms/index.html

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One Response

  1. [...] You can get very creative with your alerts and as you see above, they are instantly added to your Google Reader upon creation. If you need a primer on how to build specific queries in Google Search you can see our post from last year about advanced Google searches. [...]

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