Google Tips

Updated 2020-09-13

Word order matters, the use of small words that occur in common phrases matters.

Try each of the following:


a who

the who

Also try these:

blue sky

sky blue

black and white

white and black

Capitalization doesn’t matter

The following are all the same:

Briar Cliff


briar ClIfF

Special characters don’t matter

Except for a few:







To find an exact quote, use quotation marks

Without the quotation marks, Google will look for the words in any order on the page.

"Ask not what your country can do for you"

To find the full text of a document, try adding "full text" to your search

"Alice in Wonderland" "full text"

Excluding pages from the results

Consider looking for data on dolphins. You would probably start with this:


However, you will get many hits for the Miami Dolphins football team. To exclude these pages, use the minus sign:

dolphins –football

Note that you still get some football hits! So change your search keywords to this:

dolphins –football -miami

Also note that Google is not case-sensitive.

To find text on a long page

Use <Ctrl>+f. Try it by going to this page (it's long!) and finding Rory McIlroy.

To do an OR search

Google does an AND search by default (looks for pages with ALL of your words). An "or" search requests one search term or the other, but not necessarily both. Use the word "OR" in CAPITAL LETTERS.

"President Kennedy" OR JFK

"Falklands" OR "Malvinas"

To get a definition


Local Information

To find businesses in an area

Enter the business type followed by the town name or ZIP code:

pizza 51104

pizza Marcus, Iowa

Look up weather forecasts

weather 51104

weather New York

Look up movie information

movies 51104

Tell time:

time in London


Pro scores and schedules

Enter the name of the team

Minnesota Vikings



Google is a calculator. Type in any expression using +, -, * (multiplication), / (division), and ^ (exponentiation). It uses parentheses, too:


Unit conversion

60 miles per hour to furlongs per fortnight

Convert currency

100 Euros to USD

If the page is gone…but there's a cached link, click on it!

What to do if the page that Google lists is not available: Google keeps copies of the files that it indexes. To look at Google's copy, you must first click on the down-arrow on the second line, then click on the cached item on the popup menu.

Set a timer

Type "set timer for " and then the amount of time.

Set a timer for 10 minutes

Make sure your audio is on. Google will beep at you when the time has elapsed.

Other codes

You can enter

·         UPC (bar) codes

·         UPS, FedEx, and USPS tracking numbers

·         Patent numbers

·         Vehicle identification numbers

Search newspapers

Go to and enter keywords. Or: President Kennedy

Search books

Go to

More options


Restricting searches

To restrict search to a single web site

To limit search results to pages that come from the Microsoft web site, add the site operator to your search. For example, to find information on setting the margins in a Word document, but only results on the Microsoft web site: Word margins

You cannot put a space after the colon.

Order doesn't matter. The following is also valid:

Word margins

Searching by domain type

To limit your search to just government sites:

Word margins site:gov

Searching by file type

To limit search results to a particular type of file, use the filetype (file extension) operator. For example, to find only PDF files with information on Word margins:

Word margins filetype:pdf

Searching for word in the page title only

Adding "intitle:" infront of your search term will only produce results with that term in the title of the webpage:

intitle: baseball

Filter by Date

First, click on Tools. Then, click on Any time. Select the desired date option.

Search by Image

Go to Google and click on Images to search for an image.



·         You can drag and drop an image from the web or your computer into the search box.

·         You can click the camera icon, then click on "Upload an image." Find the image you want to search for.

·         You can right-click an image on the web and copy the web address. Click on the camera icon, and "Paste image URL."

·         To search by image even faster, download the Chrome extension or the Firefox extension. With the extension installed, simply right-click an image on the web to search Google with that image.

More options

You can filter by size.

You can filter by the dominant color.


You can filter by the type of picture.


Foreign Language Translation

If you find yourself on a foreign language site, Google will translate text from one language to another. Right-click on the web page to display the popup menu. Then click on Translate to English. Google will translate from the original language to the language you request.


Talking to Google

If you have a microphone attached to your computer, click on the microphone icon and speak your search terms.

How many links are there to the page?

Use this site:

Who owns the page? When was it created? When does it expire? Who is the contact?

Check owner at:

Verifying results

·         Anatomy of a Fake Quotation by Megan McArdle of The Atlantic

·         QuoteInvestigator by Garson O'Toole 

Strategies to determine trustworthiness and expertise: 

·         Here's a good guideline when dealing with information on the web: When in doubt, doubt!

·         What is the URL? (Is it from a place you’ve heard of before?)

·         What type of page is it? (Is it someone’s personal page? e.g., Geocities, Did the Holocaust happen?

·         What type of domain is it? (.edu is more believable than many others)

·         Where is it? (Is it hosted in another country? e.g., ru, cn, iz, etc.)?

·         Check the "About" section. (Is the web page affiliated with a place you’ve heard of?)

·         Is there a date and author? Look up the author in Google (usually need to use double quotes).

·         Why was the page put on the web? (to inform? to convince? whose point of view?)

Addresses, Phone Numbers, and Maps.

Enter the address

Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, IA

While you're there, take a walk around Sioux City! Click on the gold person and you will be taken to "street view". Drop him on any street that has a blue line drawn on it.


Reverse Phone Lookup


Area Code Lookup


Zip Code Lookup (with map)


Geography: Maps has great maps, including driving directions.

Geography: coordinates lookup (convert address to latitude and longitude)

Find longitude and latitude of an address: 

Geography: reverse lookup (convert latitude and longitude to an address)

Google Earth

Google has free satellite photos of the entire planet:


Google has free email.

Blogs (web logs)

Google has free web logs. Start your own!

Book search

Search the full text of books


Google search features:

Fun things to type in:

Do a barrel roll

Atari breakout

Google gravity (and click on I'm feeling lucky)