The 24 Best Google Search Tricks

Quotation marks, searching just a single site, excluding information with a hyphen, and more tips

We all know how to "Google," but there's more to it than just typing some words into the search engine. Use these Google Search tricks to get more relevant results in less time.

Use Quotes to Find Something Specific

One of the best Google hacks is to add quotation marks around a phrase. It forces all the results to include those terms right next to each other, exactly how you write them. This makes it way easier to find what you want, but use it wisely because it also drastically cuts down the results.

This trick is particularly useful after you realize Google isn't showing what you want. For example, a search for the best coffee in Nashville prioritizes results for the city in Tennessee, so we have to explicitly write "Nashville Indiana" if we want to avoid all the TN results.

Here are some other examples:

Select a Category Tab for Relevant Results

Google doesn't have just a single-use search box. If you want to see images, select Images at the top of the results page so that all the results are just pictures of whatever you're searching for. Or, choose Videos, News, Shopping, Maps, etc. for those things.

Use this to your advantage to quickly narrow in on your preferred results without adding extra words to the search query. Google is sometimes smart enough to do this automatically, but it depends on your search terms.

Include Only the Important Keywords

Try not to be too wordy with your searches. Give Google simple keywords that are most relevant to what you're after. This will help prioritize high-quality results.

The best way to think about this is to pick apart what's on your mind and stick to just the basic idea behind why you're using Google.

Here's an example of a search where you're looking for a new phone:

However, because of the way it's worded, Google interprets that query as mainly iPhone-focused, so you'll see pages that talk about finding a lost iPhone.

Here are some examples to get to the heart of what you mean:

Search Specific Websites With a Colon

Google can search through an unimaginable number of websites, but it doesn't have to. If there's only one site you want to see results from, use Google to search just that one website with the site option:

I use this Google Search trick more than any other one. It's particularly useful when I'm on a website that doesn't have a search option.

Filter Results With a Hyphen

An intuitive way Google lets you control the results you see is to simply put a hyphen behind any word or phrase you don't want to be included.

If you're looking for a dishwasher, but you keep seeing results from a company you're not interested in buying one from, tell Google to exclude that website from all the results:

The hyphen works with other Google Search tricks, including single words and phrases you've put in quotes:

Find Something to Watch

Google is the best way to dig up websites that let you watch movies, but you don't even have to scroll through the results page to see all your options.

Give Google just a few words related to what you want to see, and you'll get recommendations right at the top of the page. You can see from the screenshot that it's easy to modify the search with the various buttons.

Try these searches to see just how useful this is:

Use AI to Summarize Results

Chrome users can access Google's generative AI tool for quick results. This tip is super helpful if you don't have time to sift through the results and open various websites to find what you're after. Google will pull out relevant results and summarize them at the top of the page.


You have to turn on SGE (Search Generative Experience) to take advantage of this tip—it takes just a few seconds.

Search Using an Image

You're probably used to using text to look up something on Google, but did you know it also lets you run a reverse image search? Just press the camera icon to upload a picture.

My example shows that it does an excellent job locating this shoe on Macy's website. The alternative would have been to type navy shoes and hope that I could find them among millions of results.

Define Any Word

Plenty of dictionary websites exist, but Google does quite well at defining terms, too. Just write define, followed by your word, to see what it means, how it's used in a sentence, and a list of synonyms.

Find Web Pages Published Before or After a Certain Date

One of my all-time favorite ways to find particular information is to incorporate advanced Google Search commands like this one. Writing before or after when searching will constrain all the results to only the articles that were published before/after the specified dates.

For example, here's how to find climate-related articles that were last published between January 1 and January 15, 2015:

Only one option is necessary, and you can tie it in with other tips from this page, like this:

Perform Calculations and Conversions

Having Google at your fingertips means you don't need to pull out a calculator or look for a specific unit conversion tool when you need these kinds of answers. It'll even tell you the formula it's using so you can try it yourself next time.

To do this, type the simplified version of what you want, like this:

As you can see in the screenshot, below the numbers are menus that let you change the unit if you need to.

Track a Flight

This Google search trick will save you from having to hunt down a good flight tracker website.

Just type the flight number into Google. That's it! If it doesn't work, try adding the word track or flight.

It shows both airports and indicates whether the flight is on time and other useful details.

Related: Google Flights: How to Book a Plane Ticket

Find Events Around You

If you don't have a local events app on your phone, you can use Google to find concerts, festivals, shows, and other events in mere seconds.

Here are some examples that show how simple it is to use this Google Search tip:

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can pick a day of the week if you know when you want to go. Selecting an event or the Search more events link provides other filters, directions, and information.

Check the Weather Anywhere in the World

This one's easy to remember—type weather with any location to see current and forecasted weather details.

Get the Local Time Anywhere

Similar to a weather search is a time search. You'll love this little trick if you frequently manage calls with people worldwide.

Write time next to any location or time zone to get its current local time.

Find PDFs and Other Files

Learning to use Google to find files online will make you feel like a wizard. You'll get to these files faster than you would otherwise, especially when you combine this trick with others you read about above.

Here are some examples:


PDF and DOC are just a couple of the file types you can find on Google.

Run Multiple Searches at Once

Your days of opening multiple tabs to run similar searches are over—just type OR between your different queries to run simultaneous searches.

Doing a Boolean search on Google is particularly useful if you're flexible about the results you'll see or if you're not sure how a website might have phrased whatever it is you're looking for.

Dig Up Older Web Pages

You've probably always used Google to find live pages to get the most up-to-date version of whatever you want. But if you need to see an older version of a particular web page, you can open cached pages from Google instead.

I've used this Google hack when the web page I'm interested in was recently taken down, either on purpose or by accident, but I still want to see what was on it.

See Your Public IP Address

The quickest way to see your public IP address, without visiting any websites or looking through your router, is to ask Google for it.

Start Small, Add More Only When Necessary

It's tempting to cram several of these Google search tricks into one query, but it'll most likely hurt your end goal more than help it. Instead, begin with a few simple words and expand if needed, but only after you learn how Google understands you.

Searching for quotes showed me around 4 billion results, which is plenty to find what I need, but it's not very efficient (it'd take days of scrolling to find relevant web pages). On the other hand, "quotes about friendship" "George MacDonald" shows zero results.

Here's an example of the progression I might take to find the results I'm interested in:

Find Images of a Certain Size

By default, Google will show you pictures of any size. To restrict your photo searches to images of a specific size, write imagesize and define the pixel dimensions.

Run a Wildcard Search for Flexible Results

Use this unique Google Search trick if you know only part of a phrase. When you use an asterisk, you're telling Google to replace the * you type into the search box it with any other term(s). In other words, it's an instruction to fill in the blank.

Imagine you're trying to find lyrics to a song, but you only know a few of the words. Type what you know, add the asterisk, and then write the rest. Wrap it all in quotes to have Google fill in the missing pieces.

Here's what that example search looks like, plus a few other ways to perform a Google wildcard search:

Find Similar Websites

Use this trick to get a list of websites that are similar to another one. For example, entering what you see below locates other search engines like DuckDuckGo, such as Startpage.

Monitor Stock Prices

Google provides a market summary tool you can trigger by typing price next to pretty much any stock or cryptocurrency name. You'll get real-time quotes, historical charts, and other information. You can also keep tabs on the price with the Follow button, which adds it to your Google Finance watchlist.

Read the original article on Lifewire.