Posted 13th April 2015 | By ExtraMile

You might have already read Ean's blog on 10 tips to get more out of Google - in this blog, I'll be looking at a few more things Google is capable of, and I'll also look into a few ways Google can be a boredom cure!

1. Google to search specific sites
I found this particularly useful when I was at uni and struggled to find decent sources for referencing in my assignments – once I'd found a reputable website, I wanted to get as much out of it as I could! Just Google "site:", type in the site you want to search, and then type in your normal search term – e.g. "site:Wikipedia.com management". (Just as a side note, I didn't use Wikipedia as references at uni!)

2. Google to find out the latest news
You can always use "search tools" on any search to filter results by date, such as the past year, or as recent as the past hour, but for more specific searches and even more specific results, there's another trick!

Have you just heard a rumour that Keanu Reeves has died and want to see if it is true? Normal searches would result in the previous hoax reports of his death, but with this nifty trick, you can filter results by the time they were uploaded – to the second! Search, as you would, on Google. Once the results are up, add "&tbs=qdr:" to the end of the URL. You then need to select the time period you'd like to search within – e.g. if you'd like to see results within the last 5 hours, add "h5" to the end of your URL, if you'd like results within the last 4 minutes, add "n4" to the end of the URL, and for very recent news, search by seconds with adding "s3" to the end of the URL (for results uploaded in the last 3 seconds).

3. Google for country specific results
Again, this was a trick that was very useful while I was studying at uni – if I wanted to search for articles published within a certain country, I would search as usual on Google. I would then click on "search tools", and then filter the results by the country they were published in.

4. Google for specific terms/phrases
This one is widely known, but still worth a mention! If you're searching for a specific phase, use quotations to make sure that the phase is included in the article – e.g. "timber frame". This can be extremely useful if you know exactly what it is you're after. However, this does have a slight limitation, as it restricts the search slightly based on the arrangement of the words. For example the "timber frame" search wouldn’t show a result that states "the frame is made of timber". In order to combat this, you can use "AROUND(2)" after the search term – e.g. search "timber frame AROUND(2)". This makes sure that both words are near to each other, but are not necessarily in the specific order that was searched for. The number in the brackets specifies how close the words are to each other, for example AROUND(5) would look for those two words within 5 words of each other.

If there is a specific phrase you can nearly remember, there's also a hack for that – put an asterisk " * " in the search box, replacing the word you cant think of. I often use this if I hear a song and cant quite catch all of the words. For example, searching "hey what's the matter with your * lyrics" – of course Google knows that song as Come and Get Your Love by Redbone.

5. Google to exclude search terms
If, like me, you get frustrated when you're searching for one thing, and you get bombarded with lots of articles that don't quite capture what you're after, this trick could be useful for you too! To exclude a certain term from your search, put a "–" before the word. For example searching for curry recipes without paprika in, simply search "rogan josh recipe –paprika".

6. Google to search certain filetypes
If you're searching for a specific file type instead of a website, this can be useful. I found this useful when revising just before an exam at uni – I could restrict my search to just presentations, and so I could get a summary of the subject, instead of looking at websites which had a bit too much detail for a quick last minute revision session! In order to do this, enter your normal search term, and type "filetype:ppt" after the terms. If you want a different format, just replace the "ppt" with the relevant format.

7. Google to find sunrise/sunset times, local times, and height above sea level
Going on holiday? www.earthtools.org has used Google maps to help you plan it out – by showing the local times of locations all over the world, as well as showing you the sunrise/sunset times- now you will know if your plane will land in time for you to see the sunrise! This website also shows you the elevation/height above sea level, but I'm yet to think of the applicability of this!

8. Google to simulate a flood
For the worriers out there, now there is something else to worry about! flood.firetree.net have used Google maps as a basis for their website, which allows you to set a "sea level rise" measurement, to see how different the world would look!

9. Google to beat traffic
There are a number of Google apps out there to help you get real-time traffic information and therefore help you to get from A to B without being delayed by traffic. Try "UK Traffic" – this app is updated with the latest traffic information across the UK as and when it is published by the Highways Agency, Traffic Scotland and Traffic Wales.

10. Google for fun
It sounds sad, but just keeping up to date with Google can be fun. For example, on April 1 this year, Google gave viewers the ability to play Pac-Man on Google Maps in certain locations. I found out about this after the date, but I'm sure it would have been fun if I'd been up to date!

Google also a lot of fun features (note that I have tested these on Chrome, but they may not work in other browsers):
Try doing a normal Google search for the following:
"do a barrel roll"
"askew"
"Google Gravity" – and then click "I'm feeling lucky" in the suggestions drop down tab
"zerg rush" – the aim of the game it to hit the "O"s three times in order to kill them

Also, try searching Google images for
"Atari Breakout"

We used to have a challenge when I was at school – the aim was to search for something that only resulted in one Google search result. It's quite tricky, and resulted in a few bizarre searches!

Written by Emma Bourne, Business Co-ordinatior at ExtraMile Communications.

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

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