Google search tricks

Google is very simple to use, but are you making the most of it

GettyGoogle searches on iPad
Google searches on iPad

Most people know how to use Google. You visit the homepage enter in some search terms and boom: you get results.
However, there are a number of little tricks you can use to make sure you find what you are looking for as quickly as possible.
There are even some not search-related tools that are incredibly useful, such as a timer, and some silly ones that mess around with the way the page appears.
Here's our run down of the best.

Search for an exact phrase

You can search for an exact phrase, like this
You can search for an exact phrase, like this

If you are looking for a precise phrase or quote, put the words into quotation marks, for example "pug riding a unicorn". You're welcome.

Find websites that are similar to one you like

If you have a favourite website and are looking for something similar, just type “related:” along with the website you know.
So if you like the, you’d search “” and it will show you other news websites. So, er, the Telegraph is pretty close by the looks of it.

Find the meaning of words you don’t understand

Are you afraid of long words? Here's the word for it

Instead of looking for an online dictionary and then entering in a word you don’t know, you can simply enter the word straight into Google’s search bar, along with the command “define:”
So if aren't sure what hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia means, you’d put in “define: hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia” and you’ll find out it means fear of long words. Seriously.

Convert metric to imperial and vice versa

Convert imperial to metric and vice versa
Convert imperial to metric and vice versa

If you want to make a quick conversion between miles and kilometres, just enter the search term “10 miles in km” and it will come up with the answer. You can do the same for kilos and pounds, inches and cm. The same works for currency conversions.

Search when you are missing words or letters

If you are trying to remember an actor but you can’t remember his or her first name, this is the perfect tool for you. Just use the asterisk as a wild card - that means you can swap any word or letter and results containing all alternatives will be delivered. So if you search for “actor * Johnson” it will search for actors with the second name Johnson. But we only really care about Dakota at the moment.

Find out the time in another country

You can easily find the time in another country
You can easily find the time in another country

Have a loved one in another time zone or need to make a business call to somewhere far away? Find out what time it is by entering the command “time:” followed by the country or city. It's always time for a beer somewhere in the world.

Search within a website

Search within a website

If you know you remember an article about, say, pugs on a specific website but can’t quite remember the title, just enter “pugs” or any other variation involving keywords you are looking for and the website you want to search.

Set a timer

It’s pretty self-explanatory but if you need a countdown, just enter in “set a timer for 10 seconds” (or 10 minutes or 10 hours) and Google will let you know when the time’s up with an alarm. Good for people who waste a lot of time down internet rabbit holes.

Pointless but fun

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you