Everyone knows that you can throw a word or phrase at Google and it will return web pages that match. But Google is more than a search engine... it's a verb. Here are some very cool specialized Google searches that will save you time and make you wonder what Google doesn't know...
Special Searches With Google!
In addition to being a general purpose search engine, Google has some additional search features that are both intuitive and useful. It's no longer necessary to hop all over the Web to get answers... Did you know that you can use Google to search the yellow pages or residential phonebook for phone numbers? Get a stock quote or check the status of a UPS of Fedex package? Use it as a calculator, dictionary or spell checker? Find movie listings, driving directions, or get flight status?
Let's take a deeper look at all those features and some other gems that are part of the Google search engine.
Search for a business just by entering the name and location in the search box. Let's find my favorite pizza place. In the example below, you can see that I entered the wrong town, but it still found what I was looking for nearby.
Search the residential whitepages listings by adding the phonebook: prefix.
Note that there are links to the street-level maps for those people, as well as a link to get more detailed results for this search.
To look up stock market and mutual fund quotes, enter the ticker symbol into the search box. You'll see the current price, volume and other stats.
For a deeper look, click on the chart, or visit other financial information providers by clicking on the links provided.
Need to find your way around? Throw away those outdated fold-out maps and head to Google. Enter your address in the search box and Google will return a small map of the area.
Click on the map or the "Get Directions" button to get a detailed interactive street map and turn-by-turn driving direction TO or FROM this location.
Where's that widget I ordered last week? Just enter your package tracking number (UPS, FedEx or USPS) number and Google will recognize it a such, and return a link to the package tracking information.
It's much easier than going to multiple tracking sites, and tracking down the right page to search for your dilatory delivery. You can even enter a UPC bar code number to "scan" a product.
Enter "define dialtory" into the search box... if Google thinks you spelled it wrong (and I did), it will give you a link to what it thinks is the correct word.
Click on the link and the next page will show a definition, with a link to more definitions and information.
Need to add, subtract or multiply some numbers? Just enter your equation in the box, and you'll be surprised how many fancy mathematical gadgets it can grok.
You can also convert units from one system to another, just in case you need to know the length of a football field in light years. You can even do useful things, like metric equivalents or monetary conversions. Check out the other things the Google Calculator can do.
Is your flight leaving on time? Ask Google for a link to the flight information, instead of trying to find the airline's website and then searching for the correct page on that site to look for the flight info.
I suggest you click the FBOweb link if it's available, to see the real-time flight path and current location of the flight in progress, overlaid on a map or on Google Earth. You can also enter the name of an airport like this: JFK airport to view conditions at the airport.
You can also enter an airplane's FAA registration number (typically printed on its tail) and get a link to the FAA's aircraft description, owner and airworthiness report. (Sorry, NCC1701 was not found.) Or enter a Vehicle Registration Number (VIN) and you'll get a link to a site which decodes the number to show the year, make, model, engine type, etc.
Some other nifty things Google can help you find are area codes, patent numbers, and FCC equipment IDs. Just enter the number and Google will recognize what kind of number it is. Are you looking for a product in a certain price range? Enter HDTV $500..$700 for example.
And it turns out a lot of other things just work in an intuitive way with Google search. Enter supernova pictures, pizza chicago, population of japan, weather in palm springs fl or the name of a movie -- and see what happens!
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 16 May 2007
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Specialized Searches (Posted: 16 May 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved