Using Google Search Terms
This is the second in a series of reports to analyze the web applications and special free products Google has developed especially for you. If you are just using Google’s search engine to surf the World Wide Web, then it is as though you are eating a hamburger in an Italian Bistro. Google offers many selections on its menu. It is time to expand your palette.
Today, we’ll be dining on a current favorite – SEARCH TERMS.
One can only imagine what kind of thoughts travel through the heads of Google software developers. It is probably best that we do not even know. But, thanks to their playing trashcan basketball and playing chair spinning competitions and other non-productive fun-loving games, we have SEARCH TERMS.
Search terms (approximately 17 helpful ones) are very simple and easy to use. It is possible to operate a calculator, search flight arrival times, check movie times and more without moving your fingers from the home keys.
While you have the Google Web Search Screen visible on your computer monitor, be sure that your cursor is located inside the search box. Now, type MOVIES followed by your zip code and click on SEARCH. A listing of current movies playing in your area will be displayed. Clicking on the movie you are interested in will display available movie times and theatres. You can also choose to click on movie trailers or reviews.
Google is a calculator, too. Did you know that you can add two numbers (or dozens) in the search box? By typing 2+2 and clicking on SEARCH you will receive the proper result of 4. Complex formulas are just as easy. SQRT may be used for square root and parenthesis may be added as needed.
Typing the word FLIGHT followed by a flight number will display the current arrival status. Also, the currency search terms are useful. Enter 500 USD IN GBP. Clicking on SEARCH will display the conversion of 500 U.S. dollars to British Pounds. You can reverse the search 500 GBP IN USD or choose other types of currency.
Converting lengths and distances is another useful search term. You can type 72 INCHES IN YARDS and click on SEARCH. The result 2 yards will be quickly displayed. This works both ways and with any measurement, including cups to quarts, quarts to gallons and everything in between.
One search term that I find useful is DEFINE. Type DEFINE followed by any word. A definition for the word will be presented.
While watching your favorite quiz show, type in the question such as ISLAND IN PACIFIC IS * (The asterisk acts as the question WHAT?). MIDWAY AIRPORT IS LOCATED * (The asterisk acts as the question WHERE?).
We will cover other Search Terms in future articles, but for right now, give these a try. You can download a free PDF “Joe’s Downloads” sheet compliments of the Jacksonville Observer. Forward a copy to your friends.
As always, Google did not stop with these features. If you have free text messaging, most of the search terms can be typed directly on your cell phone and texted to Google.
First, try the Movies Search Term. In the message section of your text message, type MOVIES followed by your zip code or city. Now, text it to Google by using GOOGL or 46645. Press the send button. Within five seconds the results will be pouring in to the phone. Amazing, you say? No, it’s just Google.
Remember, text charges may apply based on your phone contract. However, Google does not charge for this service. After you have shown all of your friends, family and co-workers, get back to work.
There are 17 Search Terms on the cheat sheet for you to try. So, next time you’re meeting your girl at the airport [Jetblue 165] and taking her to a movie [Movie 32216] while calculating if you will have enough money for two tickets and popcorn [8+8+9], be sure to check to see if her favorite restaurant is nearby [seafood 32216]. Then, invest your savings in Google [GOOG].
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For over thirty years, Joseph Miller has been a computer consultant advising business owners in ways to improve their companies. A local South Jacksonvillle Rotarian, he recently completed a book on the founder of the national organization, Paul P. Harris. In 2002, he developed and founded the Rotary Gingerbread House Extravaganza, which has distributed over $500,000 to charity and has entertained thousands of spectators in three cities (Jacksonville, Daytona Beach and Tulsa).