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16 Smart Google Search Tricks That Will Make Life Easier

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16 Smart Google Search Tricks That Will Make Life Easier

Google Search is among the most widely used tools in the world. It’s used so often that the act of using Google Search has become its own verb. You can “Google” practically anything and the website is a popular provider. Here are some tips to search smarter so you can find what you’re really looking for.

Google Search tips and tricks

    1. Use the tabs

    When you search you have the option of narrowing your search based on the type of thing you searched for. The tabs typically show Web, Images, News, Videos, Maps, Shopping, and More. If you’re looking for a new pair of pants you should try clicking the Shopping tab. If it’s a video you’re searching for, try the Video tab. Under More, you can find some more specialized things like Flights and Apps.

     

    Google Search tips and tricks

      2. Use quotes

      Sometimes you need to search for a specific quote. In general, Google uses the words you enter into a search to scan entire documents. If you search Lifehack tips and tricks it will look for anything that has those words, but not necessarily in that order. If you use quotes, you find webpages that have those exact words in that order. This is particularly handy for things like song lyrics, as you can see in the screenshot above.

       

      Google Search tips and tricks

        3. Use hyphens

        Google does recognize some symbols to perform certain actions. For instance, if you use hyphens in a search, it tells Google to exclude that word from the search. In the screenshot above you can see that I searched for salsa recipes without tomatoes and Google gave me a bunch of recipe results that have no tomatoes. It’s simple and effective if you’re looking for something specific.

         

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        Google Search tips and tricks

          4. Use your search history

          If you’ve searched for something before and want to find it again, you can always use your own search history. This requires having a Google account–which you automatically have if you use Android’s Google Play Store, Gmail, Google+, or any other Google service. Once you have that, you can go to http://google.com/history to see all of your prior searches. This is great for finding those searches you made before without doing it all over again.

           

          Google Search tips and tricks

            5. Use a colon to search specific sites

            Sometimes you might want to search for something on a single website. Maybe you want information on favorite sports player on ESPN, or a specific article on a favorite website. There is a way to do that. By using the syntax shown in the screenshot above you can search only the website you specify when searching for a term. This is great for finding things that are in certain places without having to search everywhere for the content.

             

            Google Search Tips and Tricks

              6. Define a word

              Google Search can be your personal dictionary if you want. At any point you can always ask Google to define a word for you and generally it’ll tell you the meaning. This is great for checking spelling or for checking to make sure you’re using a word correctly. It’s also great for games like Scrabble, Boggle, or other word games where someone is using a word that may or may not exist.

               

              Google Search tips and tricks
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                7. Search a price range for an item

                If you use two periods (..) between two prices, you can search for items in that range. As you can see in the screenshot, I searched for a TV that was between $399 and $799. It won’t show TVs that cost less than $399 or more than $799. This is great for finding things in your price range when shopping for items.

                 

                Google Search tips

                  8. Use an asterisk if you don’t know the word

                  Sometimes you just can’t think of a word in a phrase you want to search for. If that’s the case, use an asterisk (*) instead of the word and Google Search will try to figure it out for you. This is fine for general applications but it’s absolutely amazing when you’re trying to search for song lyrics.

                   

                  Google Search tricks

                    9. Set a timer

                    Where is the egg timer when you need it, right? Google Search has got your back. If you search to set a timer then you can ask the search engine to set a timer for you. This is great when you have the laptop in the kitchen and you either can’t find your timer or it’s broken. I personally use this for my laundry all the time because my washer and dryer typically take about 90 minutes. I’ll toss a load in and set the timer while I do some blogging and Google will let me know when the laundry is done.

                     

                    Google Search tricks

                      10. Ask Google what the weather is

                      Another quick thing that Google is capable of doing is finding the weather for you. All you need to do is ask Google what the weather is and Google Search will use your current location to display your weather. This is handy if you need to check the weather quickly and without the hassle of loading another website.

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                      Google Search tricks

                        11. Ask Google to do math

                        Having trouble with a math problem? Don’t have time to write it down and figure it out? Google Search has you covered. All you need to do is put the math problem into the search along with the equal sign and a calculator will pop up with the answer to your problem. This is great for things like figuring out tips, doing quick problems for school, and other light uses.

                         

                        Google Search tips

                          12. Convert currencies

                          This one is pretty self explanatory and pretty easy to do. You can reference the screenshot above on how to do it and you can use Google to convert pretty much any currency out there. This is great for travelers who need an idea of how much money they’ll have at their international destination or even for quick references to see how much something is in another currency. It’s also great for people who shop internationally and need to know if they have enough to purchase something.

                           

                          Google Search tips

                            13. Search for two things at once

                            Using the word OR between two search terms you can search for both at once. This is helpful if you want to search for multiple terms at once, or if you’re not entirely sure what you need to search for. If you’re searching for multiple kinds of chocolate then why not search for both of them at once?

                             

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                            Google Search tricks

                              14. Find sports scores easily

                              If you search for your favorite team and then add the word “score” to the end, Google will put a nice card up showing you the score of the game your team is currently involved in. This is great for finding up to the minute scores on your favorite teams. If the game is over, then the search will show you the last game played by that team. It sure beats waiting to see the score on the news later!

                               

                              Google Search tips

                                15. Keep it simple

                                Google Search has had a lot of improvements over the years to fill in the context for you. If you try to search for things too specifically, then you’re not putting those improvements to good use. As the old saying goes, “less is more.” Try using simple verbiage in your searches because Google will usually know what you’re talking about.

                                 

                                Google Search tips

                                  16. Don’t worry about spelling

                                  Not all of us are masters of our various languages. Sometimes we spell a word wrong. Thankfully, Google Search can correct bad spelling for you and still help you find the terms you need. In the event that your misspelling was intentional, Google will give you the option to search for the misspelled phrase too.

                                  Google Search has been getting only better over the years. It can help you find the perfect recipe, gift, answer to your homework, and literally anything else that you can think of. Sometimes you just have to know how to type it in to get the answers you want!

                                  Featured photo credit: World Cup 2014 #21/Google Doodle Archive via google.com

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                                  More by this author

                                  Joseph Hindy

                                  A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                                  Last Updated on November 25, 2021

                                  How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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                                  How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

                                  There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

                                  Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

                                    What Does Private Browsing Do?

                                    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

                                    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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                                    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

                                    The Terminal Archive

                                    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

                                    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

                                    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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                                    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

                                    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

                                    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

                                    Clearing Your Tracks

                                    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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                                    dscacheutil -flushcache

                                    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

                                    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

                                    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

                                    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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                                    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

                                    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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