Catch up with the times and learn to efficiently use Google to find things quickly! You don’t have to cram a series of single words and hope to get lucky. You can narrow your search results by quite a bit using the search operators below. The best part is, you can combine the search operators to create a very specific search.

Area Data

Usage: population, unemployment rate, etc.

Example: population california will return the population numbers for California.

Note: Area data includes cities, states, and countries.


Usage: numbers and symbols /*-+()

Example: 6*8 will return the answer 48. This can also be used as a clickable calculator tool.


Usage: X unit to(in) unit

Example: 54 feet to inches will return the answer 648 inches. You can abbreviate the unit of measurement and you can use the word “to” or “in” in between the two units in question. This can also be used as a clickable unit conversion tool.

Example 2: usd to eur will return the currency conversion rate from US dollars to the Euro. There will be no specific currency queries since they change frequently.

Definition Lookup

Usage: define:

Example: define:debug will return the definition of the word debug.

Note: define word syntax can also be used. A pronunciation box will also appear for searched words.

Either Word

Usage: OR (uppercase)

Example: mac OR windows will search for information on mac or windows.

Exact Phrase or Words

Usage: quotation marks ""

Example: "football field" will search football field instead of football, field, and football field.

Exclude Words

Usage: minus sign -

Example: fast food -burgers will search fast food entries that don’t mention burgers.

File Type

Usage: filetype:

Example: filetype:psd tablet will search for .psd files that relate to tablets.

Flight Search

Usage: flights from X to X

Example: flights from houston to new york will return flights from Houston, Texas to New York, New York.

Flight Tracking

Usage: airline flight number

Note: airline flight number will return the status of a flight. There will be no specific flight queries since they change frequently.

IP Address

Usage: what is my ip or my ip

Example: what is my ip will return your public IPv4 address.

Movie Times

Usage: movies zip code or movie times zip code

Example: movies 52601 will return movie times for Burlington, IA.

Example 2: movies will return movie times for your area.

Search Within A Website

Usage: site:

Example: windows 8.1 will search for windows 8.1 information.

Example 2: security will search for security information only on .edu domains.

Similar Words

Usage: tilde ~

Example: ~tech will search for items related to the word tech.

Stock Summary

Usage: stock symbol or company name stock

Example: microsoft stock will return Microsoft’s stock summary.

Example 2: MSFT will also return Microsoft’s stock summary.

Sunrise and Sunset Times

Usage: sunrise or sunset

Example: sunrise cologne will return the sunrise time for Cologne, Germany.

Example 2: sunset will return the sunset time for your current area.


Usage: time

Example: time tokyo will return the current time for Tokyo, Japan.

Example 2: time will return the current time for your area.

Time Range

Usage: double periods ..

Example: iPhones 2011..2013 will search for information regarding iPhones from the year 2011 to the year 2013.

Tracking Numbers

Usage: paste the tracking number directly into the search box.

Note: Just paste in your USPS, Fedex, or UPS tracking number into the Google search box.


Usage: weather

Example: weather atlanta will return a weather forecast for Atlanta, Georgia.

Example 2: weather will return a weather forecast for your current area.


Usage: asterisk *

Example: I like * will search for potential things that people like or song titles.

Do you have any other awesome ways you efficiently use Google to find stuff? Let me know below.

Update: here’s a somewhat related post to looking for stuff for investigations.

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