Search has been helping you settle bets since 1998 (turns out there is some caffeine in decaf coffee), but now that we’re 20 years in, we’ve built dozens of other useful features and tools to help you get through your day. Let’s jump into some of these secret (and not-so-secret) tricks to up your Search game.
Search as your everyday sidekickHere are some of the ways you can plan your day and stay in the know with Search.
1. Fill your schedule with nearby events: With your phone, simply search for [events near me] or for a specific event type like [food festivals] and you’ll see listings for local activities from around the web. With a recent update, you can also browse events based on your interests.
2. Movie showtimes and tickets: When you’re in the mood for a movie, Search brings together showtimes, theater locations, and ratings all in one place. It makes it easy to decide which movie and location work best for you (and then to buy your tickets in advance).
3. Recipe Search: If you’re looking for a recipe in a pinch, just search on mobile for whatever you’re craving (say, chicken parmesan) and you’ll see a carousel of recipe suggestions.
4. Live sports scores: Search makes it easy to stay up on the latest scores, whether you’re a fervent fantasy sports aficionado or a casual fan. Type in the name of your favorite team or league (like the NFL), and get real-time scores and recaps from recent games.
5. Styling and shopping help from Google Images: When you're exploring style ideas or browsing for your next buy with Google Images, pictures of products that are available to purchase are marked with a "products" badge in the Google app and mobile web. Images marked “product” include price, reviews and availability, making it easier and faster to research and shop.
Helping you navigate important decisionsWhen you’re looking for information related to your career, education or health, we provide quick access to tools and reliable resources to help you make informed decisions.
6. Find your next job: Now available in more than 90 countries around the world, you can search for jobs right on Google. Try searching for [jobs near me] or [retail jobs] to explore jobs from across the web. You can also save jobs set up alerts, map your potential commute and click through to apply.
7. Discover the right college for you: Right on Search, you can find more information about four-year U.S. colleges, including information about admissions, cost and student life. You can dig into data around graduation rates and typical annual income 10 years after enrollment.
8. Help with health questions: When searching for common health conditions, like influenza or a sprained ankle, you’ll find relevant medical facts in a knowledge panel. We’ll show you typical symptoms, treatments and other details—like how common the condition is, whether it’s critical or contagious, ages of people affected and more—all from reliable sources and vetted by doctors. If you search for clinical depression on your mobile device, we’ll also provide easy access to a clinically validated private screening test, the results of which can be helpful in conversations with your own care provider.
Time-saving toolsWhen you need a quick answer to help you with daily tasks, we provide tools right in Search to help you on your way:
9. Figure out who owes what: You can use Google to calculate your tip when you’re in a restaurant. Simply search for [tip calculator], enter the cost of your meal, and the percentage you want to tip. You can even ask Google to help you split the bill evenly with your friends.
10. Convert cash: If you’re heading out on a trip, here’s a tool that makes a ton of cents: you can get real-time currency conversions right on Google. Search for something like [$500 in Euros] and you’ll get a box with the current exchange rate and an interactive graph to let you explore the change over time.
11. Track packages: You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package.
12. Quick access to appointments, flights and more: If you don’t want to toggle through your tabs, Search can help you find information about your upcoming plans. If you’re logged into your Google account, searching for “my trips” or “my appointments” will show you (and only you!) relevant results about upcoming flights, hotel reservations and your schedule from Gmail and Google Calendar.
13. Get the numbers about your noms: You can search for nutritional information and find out the number of calories in your everyday foods. For example, you can ask “how much fat is there in chocolate cake?” or “how much sugar is there in tomato sauce?” and Google will break down the nutritional stats for you.
14. Definitions and synonyms: You can use Google as a dictionary and thesaurus. Try searching for [what does loquacious mean] and you might find yourself talking nonstop about this feature.
For the savvy searchersWhen you’re asking a complicated question or hoping to dig deep on a topic, Search can be your co-researcher.
15. Ask complex multi-part questions: You can ask Google “compositional queries” that require us to solve the first piece of the question before addressing the second part. For example, if you search [when were the members of NSYNC born], you will (feel old and) see the birthdates of Justin, JC, Chris, Lance and Joey.
16. Search with an image: On your computer, upload your own photo to Google Images to find the same or similar photos on the web. Click on the camera icon in Google Images and Google will also tell you the origin and other details about the photo. Now you can know where that meme really came from.
17. Check how to say massive numbers correctly: Type in any long number and add “=english” to the end of your search and you’ll find the correct way to spell out the number in words. Try it for 6006131520 (hint: it’s not “Google is 20”).
18. Search within a time period: You can narrow your search to a specific date range and see only content published during that time. This can be useful if you’re looking for insight into how a news topic may have been covered at a certain point in time or looking for resources for a history paper, perhaps.
19. Search within a site: If you’re looking for an article or page from a specific publisher, Search will let you focus your results on that single website. Just add “site:” ahead of the web URL to limit your results to that publisher, and you can then sort by recency or add additional keywords to narrow down your search.
20. Advanced Search: If all of these tricks still don’t get you what you need, you can use Advanced Search to apply a number of filters, like specifying terms you want to exclude or only find pages that are in certain languages, regions, sites or file formats.
But right now, I’m not feeling that advanced—so will go back to searching for cake recipes for Google’s birthday.