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Think you know how to Google? Here are 36 search tips you probably don’t know about

Google is kind of a big deal, to say the least. The tech giant has blossomed over the course of the past decade, quickly becoming part of the global lexicon, and establishing itself as an official verb in the dictionary. Although the company wears many hats, its most valuable asset has always been its phenomenal search engine.

Related: Our guide to using Google Drive

Unfortunately, Google isn’t one to automatically recognize punctuation and grammar within search queries. However, the symbols and punctuation listed below are exceptions to the rules, ones that allow you to better refine your search results when used in conjunction with your desired search terms. Just don’t add any spaces between the symbol and your search phrases. Otherwise, Google will ignore your commands.

Punctuation symbols that help refine your search

Function

Execution

To search for an exact phrase, with the same words in the same order Place quotation marks (“) around the phrase you’d like to search for Ex: “to be, or not to be”
To exclude results that include a particular word or site when searching words with multiple meanings Place a dash (-) before the word or site you want to omit  Ex: phoenix -arizona
To search for Google+ pages or blood types Place an addition sign (+) in front of the Google+ user or after the blood type  Ex: +Chrome and AB+
To search for social tags Place the at symbol (@) before the social tag you’d like to search  Ex: @digitaltrends
To search for prices Place a dollar sign ($) before the value  Ex: canon $400
To search for a phrase with missing words Place an asterisk (*) within the search as a placeholder for any unknown terms  Ex: if you give a * a *
To search for a range of numbers, usually pertaining to prices and measurements Place two periods between the designated numbers you want to search between  Ex: $75..$200
To search popular hashtags for trending topics Place a hashtag in front of the desired topicEx: #throwbackthursday

Search operators that help refine your hunt

Punctuation and symbols really only get you so far with Google. Search operators, which are additionally available within the Google Advanced Search page, allow you to greatly narrow your search results based on a variety of individual factors when you pair them with your desired search terms.

Related: Google Drive tips and tricks

Also, omit the spaces as you would with symbols.

Function

Execution

To search for results from certain sites and domains Place “site:” in front of the site or domain from which you want to pull results  Ex: apple watch site:digitaltrends.com
To search for pages that link to a certain page Place “link:” in front of the site or domain you want to find pages linking to  Ex: link:digitaltrends.com
To search for sites that are similar to a designated site or domain Place “related:” in front of the site or domain you want to find similar results of  Ex: related:digitaltrends.com
To search for pages that just have one of several words Place “OR” between the two words you are searching for  Ex: world series 2013 OR 2014
To search for designated information about a specific site or domain, including cached pages, and those linking to the site Place “info:” in front of the site or domain you want information about  Ex: info:digitaltrends.com
To search what a page looked like the last time Google crawled the site Place “cache:” in front of the page housing the cache you’d like to view  Ex: cache:digitaltrends.com
To search for a specific file type Place “filetype:” in front of the specific file type you’re looking for  Ex: matthew mcconaughey filetype:gif

Other helpful tips and tricks

There are a handful of other useful Google search functions that don’t fall under either of the above categories. Google built the engine with several useful tools that allow you to look up information without have to navigate to other sites. For instance, you can instantly check the weather for a city, or look up the definition of “miasma,” among a bevy of other actions. You can even utilize the microphone on your desktop or mobile device to search Google using your own voice, or find the Bacon Number of your favorite celebrity (we’re betting it’s two).

Function

Execution

To search Google using voice commands Click the microphone icon in the search bar and begin talking
To search Google for a specific image Click the camera icon in the search bar and paste the image URL
To set a timer Enter “set timer for” followed by the desired amount of time
To check the weather for a specific area Enter “weather” followed by a zipcode or city
To search for the sunrise and sunset times for a specific area Enter “sunrise” or “sunset” followed by a zipcode or city
To look up the definition for a given word Enter “define” followed by your desired term
To look up the origins for a given word Enter “etymology” followed by your desired word
To look up the time for a specific region Enter “time” followed by the particular region
To look up your IP address Enter “ip address” in the search bar
To check the status of a flight Enter the flight number in the search bar
To look up stock quotes Enter the desired stock symbol in the search bar
To look up the date for a specific holiday Enter the name of the holiday in the search bar
To track a package Enter the tracking number in the search bar
To use the calculator Enter the equation in the search bar
To define a word Enter “define” followed by your desired word
To convert currency or measurements Enter the first amount and unit, type “to”, and then enter the second unit
To look up film showings Enter “movies” followed by your zipcode or city
To look up sports scores Enter the sports team in the search bar
To look up nutritional facts about an item, or compare nutritional facts Enter the name of the product, or enter “compare” followed by the items you want to compare
To look up a celebrity’s Bacon Number Enter “bacon number” followed by the name of the celebrity
To roll a six-sided die Enter [roll a dice] in the search bar