Seven tricks to get the most out of Google searches

Google transformed the world in September 1998. Or perhaps we should say that this credit went to Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who created the algorithm of an internet search engine that would change our lives forever. It is no longer necessary to visit newspaper archives or libraries: everything is on Google. This silent revolution has become so integrated into society that few now remember how things were before the arrival of the great seeker.

Yes, everyone knows how to use Google. Although Google does not share your data, it is estimated that it processes approximately 63,000 queries per second, which translates to 5.6 billion searches per day. But, do we really know how to get the full potential of this search engine? A recent Twitter thread in English, very viral, has shown that we know less than we think. And the issue is not trivial, since the information available on their servers grows at an exponential rate and, depending on the concept to be searched for, the chances of success may be different. It is no longer about finding certain information or not, but about how much time is invested in the process. We are going to list, below, the best tricks to squeeze the search engine.

It is not necessary to enter Google to carry out a search

This search engine is already part of our lives and for this reason, the developers of the operating systems have understood that it was best to integrate it into their platforms. What does this translate to? In that, really and in the vast majority of situations, it is not necessary to access the browser and type “Google com” to perform a search. By writing the concept to search for in the URL bar of any browser (assuming that the default search engine is Google), the system will return the results on the screen. This is also extensible to mobile phones: on both Android and iOS, all you have to do is slide your finger down on any screen to invoke the text input box, and type what you want to search for there.

Quotation marks to save time

For the great search engine, it is not the same “Juan López” without quotation marks as with them; In the first case, the engine will locate all the possible combinations of “Juan”, on the one hand, and “López”, on the other, displaying the possible answers in order of importance. In general, and this is one of the great assets of this search engine, the results are usually satisfactory; but if you don’t want to waste time and you are clear about what combination of words you want to search for, using quotes will save a lot of time and give much more accurate results.

The asterisk will help complete partial searches

The Californian company’s algorithm is devastatingly effective, but it fails to understand the precision of what you want to search for. Thus, if certain clues are given, the result will be much higher. One of these cases can be seen in situations such as the one described below: What if we do not remember one of the concepts to look for? To give a very graphic example, if you wanted to locate information about the mythical movie starring Jack Nicholson, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, but you couldn’t remember exactly which bird the nest was from, all you had to do was type “someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. the nest of the *”. In this case, the asterisk indicates to the algorithm that that word is unknown and it will complete the search saving a lot of time.

Google as a calculator

Not everyone knows it, but in the same way that you can Google concepts, you can also be asked to solve simple mathematical operations. For example, if you wanted to divide 112 by 52, instead of using the calculator, just type “112/52″ in the search engine, and the same applies to any mathematical operation. The only thing that the search engine requires is that you tell it that you want to perform a mathematical operation and for this, it will act as a calculator when it finds a symbol; that is, you will not be able to type “three times two”, but rather “3×2″ to carry out the calculation. In the same way, both currency and metric conversions can be made: thus, to find out how many dollars are 120 euros, just type “120 euros dollars” to get the result.

Use hyphens to exclude searches

One of the main keys to Google’s success has always been knowing how to weigh the weight of search results. This is easily verifiable when a news item is predominant, such as an important scientific finding, and the system will immediately relate the concept sought to the weight (measured in number of visits and searches) of a given news item. This is great, but it’s also a problem: if you go against the grain, and want to search for an item far from the news, the matter is more like searching for a needle in a haystack. Can you imagine how complicated it would be to obtain information about coronaviruses, in general, in times of a pandemic? The great news is that Google allows exceptions to be set, and it does so using scripts. Thus, to indicate that searches are not carried out in certain concepts, it will suffice to add a hyphen accompanied by the text to avoid: if we return to the example of the coronavirus, to prevent the system from overwhelming the user with news about the covid, they should type “coronavirus -covid”; It’s not a perfect system, but it will save you a lot of time.

Use Google as a timer or stopwatch

Those who use the Pomodoro technique in their work or simply want to take a five-minute break to clear their heads, can use the search engine as a timer and using natural language. If you want the system to notify the user after five minutes, simply type “5 minute timer” and Google will display the countdown on the screen, after which you will hear a beep. The same applies to the stopwatch: to measure the elapsed time, all you have to do is type in Google “stopwatch” and after which, click on “start”.

How to search within certain web pages

Another great silver bullet that Google offers to those who want to be thorough in their searches lies in the possibility of restricting them to certain web pages. This is possible using the “site” command accompanied by the url on which you want to restrict the search. In this way, if you want to know the news published about Fernando Alonso in this newspaper, it will only be necessary to type “Fernando Alonso”; the search engine will stick to this domain in its search process.

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Seven tricks to get the most out of Google searches