02. Verbose mode, special characters and utility keywords

Google has a slew of special characters you can use to dramatically improve your search results. But before we get to them, let's take a quick look at Verbatim mode.

Verbatim Mode

By default, Google will attempt to spell-correct all your phrases. In case you're searching for a purposefully mispelled word (or phrase), simply switch to verbatim mode.

Lack tose and tolerant
Lack tose and tolerant on Yahoo! Answers.

Great! Now let's review the symbols and punctuations available to us.

Special characters

The + before a name can link you to Google+ accounts
Also used to search blood types
Social tags
Find prices
computer monitor $230
Hashtag for trending topic
Excludes sites with that info for your results
2016 presidential elections -foxnews
Search with all synonyms of word
How to ~build a website
Match entire phrase, in that order
Useful for multi-word key phrases
"To be or not to be"
Can be useful for searching for a specific person
"ellen pao"
Useful for searching for solutions to specific textbook questions
"Write a funciton that returns the list of all primes less than n"
Placeholder for an unknown or wildcard term
an * a day keeps the * away
Results that contain numbers in a range
computer monitor $200..$230

Most of these keywords can be very useful to us, so try to practice them as often as possible so you can memorize them!

How to build a website google search query
Using the tilde (~) helps you find similar words.

Search operators

We can also specify websites within our query with search operators. Make sure to leave no space after the search operator colon and your query. Also, use quotation marks as necesary.

Search specific domains
css vertical align site:stackoverflow.com
linux tutorials site:snipcademy.com
Find pages that contain a specific link in them
OR |
Find page that may use one of multiple words
NBA championship 2013 OR 2014
Tahiti | Hawaii
Get information pertaining to a webaddress
Specify a specific filetype.
Very useful when looking for PDF versions of books!
java for beginners filetype:pdf
Search sites that are related
Obtain a cached version of a webpage. This is an older version of the webpage, saved from the last time Google bots crawled through the site.
Using the filetype: keyword limits by file type
Filtering results by the filetype keyword. Now you can easily search for PDf files.
Filter results usign the site keyword on Google
Filtering results with the site keyword, limiting your results to a specific site.

Adding SOLVED to your query

Another helpful tip is to include "SOLVED" so you find forum discussion topics that have already been solved. Thanks to /u/stevesaus for this one.

Utility keywords

Google also provides a number of utility keywords that you can place to obtain quick facts on just about anything.

set a timer for
Set a timer
Set a timer for 2 minutes
Check sunrise/sunset times
sunrise los angeles
sunset san francisco
Check the weather
weather san diego
Define a word
define phophatidylinositol
Do some maths
1 + 1
Plot a graph
graph sin x
calculate tip
Calculate tip
calculate tip
conversion: to
Convert between two units
$4.32/gal to KRW/liter
flight number
Check the flight status of an airplane
ip address
Look up your ip address
ip address
roll a six-sided die
Roll a die
roll a die
flip a coin
Flip a coin
flip a coin
nutrition comparisons
Compare two food items
chicken breast vs tuna
Get showtimes nearby
Check a word root
etymology program
stock symbols
Check company stocks
track packages
Check shipping statuses
Enter UPS, USPS, FedEx tracking number.
holidays for this year
Look up a holiday for the year
Mother's day
books by
Find books by a certain author
Books by Michael Crichton
songs by
Find songs by a certain artist
Songs by John Mayer
Checking the sunrise in LA with Google
Checking the sunrise time in LA with a quick Google keyword search.
Check for songs by John Mayer with Google keyword search
Look up songs by John Mayer with Google keyword search.

Hopefully you'll find at least some of these useful for the next time you have a Google search. Now let's look at some fun Google easter eggs!

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