What Are Your Favourite Search Tricks?

What Are Your Favourite Search Tricks?

Searching the web can yield some useless results if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you have a few tricks up your sleeve you can find just about anything in seconds. What are your favourite tricks when searching online?


Photo by Alessandro Reginato

Whether it’s Google or your favourite niche search engine, you’ve probably got a few search tricks up your sleeve. We’d like to hear what techniques you employ to ensure good results in your web searches. Post yours in the comments.


  • The same tools I’ve been using since the old Altavista days: ‘+’ to require a particular word, ‘-‘ to exclude and “quotes” for an exact phrase.

    • These are my tips too, except I sometimes also use “site:.au” to restrict to australian sites and “filetype:pdf” (for example) to limit to filetypes.

  • My 3 favorites

    Define: lifehacker
    Google then returns various definitions of a word… this is fantastic for acroyms.

    3 feet into meters
    Google has an inbuilt calculator, its fantastic for math 1+1, cooking half a cup into ml,

    weather sydney, nsw
    Google will return the weather for a city in the search

  • I agree with the above, especially with the “site:..” keyword for google. I use that frequently when a website has a particularly average built-in search engine. Eg “htc legend” site:www.gizmodo.com.au

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