19 Secret Google Search Tricks

Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on June 25th, 2009

Here are some Google Search secrets to help you better find what you’re looking for: (wait, since I’m telling you, they’re no longer secret).

rabbit-hat1. Use quotation marks to search for the exact phraseco-op board rejection

2. Use the pipe (|) (it’s above the backslash \) for an either/or search (or use the word “or”): fsbo|by owner.

3. Use two periods (..) to find information within a number range, including years: worst housing markets 1980..2006.

4. Use a minus sign (-) to exclude search results: worst housing markets 1980..2006 -best. (since the search without the minus sign usually includes best and worst, use the minus sign if you only want the bad news)

5. Find similar keywords with the tilde (~): ~cheap homes. You get auctions, foreclosures, investors, etc. The tilde is an under-appreciated stroke (which makes it good for passwords)

6. Use the wildcard star (*) if you don’t know the missing word: a man’s home is his *.

7. Get a definitions by typing “define:” before the word: define:foreclosure.

8. Math calculations (hey Realtors, it’s good for figuring a commission): 548,000 x6%.

9. To search a term in a particular blog or website use “site:” before the URL. Useful if a website or blog doesn’t have a search box: site:blog.sellsiusrealestate.com zillow.

10. Type in the area code or zip code to find out the city name: 646.

11. The hyphen (-) pulls results for terms that have spelling variations. Example: left-handed pulls left-handed, left handed and lefthanded. (Yes, the minus sign and hyphen are one and the same.)

12. Time & Weather. Time Hong Kong gives you the time in Hong Kong. Weather Hong Kong (or weather zip code) gives you the weather.

13. Track FedEx, USPS & UPS packages: Skip the website log in. Go to Google and type in the tracking number. Bingo.

14. Flight information: Delta flight 2456.

15. Comparisons: type in quotes: “better than “, “worse than ”, or ” ___ sucks” (for bad reviews). “better than ipod”.

16. Reverse lookup. Type in a phone number and Google gives you the address and/or identity of the owner. Very Big Brotherish.

17. Convert currency and weights and measures. 100 US dollars in British Pounds. Square feet in an acre. Ounces in 5 pounds. Even time: days in 50 years.

18. Search for pdfs: after the search term type filetype:pdf (“real estate commission” filetype:pdf) Helpful to find reports, surveys, court cases.

19. Highlight search terms in a search result: Click “cache” in a search result and Google will highlight your search terms in that result. Very handy.


Add your secret Google search tip.

One more and we have 20!



2 Comments on “19 Secret Google Search Tricks”

Robert Worthington

Very nicely posted. I had to idea of all the meaning to the characters. Thank you kindly.

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This is helpful information no matter what industry you are in…

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