Google can do a lot more than just searching for words in websites. Here are some tricks I like to get more out of Google:
- Local Search
Some sites do not have search functionality, and a lot of sites have an inferior search: it finds too much, too little or too slow. Often it is more effective to search the site using google, by using the site: directive. For example: to search wikipedia for information on 'root beer', use:
You can not only use this with domain names, but also with subdomains (as in the example above) and even with top level domains:
area 51 site:gov
- Specifying the URL
To let google return only URLs which contain a specific term, use the url: directive. For example, to search the blogs at frihost, use:
hello site:frihost.com inurl:/blog/
- Site info
If you want quick info about a site, use the info: directive. It provides you with the relevant info google has about the site: Similar sites, pages that link to this site and a link to the latest google cache of the site (if there is one):
- Google as a thesaurus
If you want to know the meaning of a word, you can often get a list of short definitions from google, by using the define: directive:
- Finding open directories
I'm not going to tell you why browsing through open directory's is usefull and/or fun, but finding opendirs using google isn't very hard:
intitle:"index of" "parent directory" "last modified" funny .jpg
- Specialized Google search engines
Not everybody knows Google also has some specialized search engines for searching in a specific area.
It seems Google's musicsearch is online since about 2005, but (AFAIK) Google does not link to it anywhere. To use it, use this URL (with the search term of your choice):
Use a plus (+) instead of space. It searches for artists, albums and songtitles matching your search term.
The movie search has it's own page at google: http://www.google.com/movies. It searches for movies related to your search, and gives links to reviews including a rating.
- Google Scholar
Google Scholar searches peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Be sure to check the advanced search options.
- Photo share
Search for photo's shared by Picasa users (Picasa is Google's free image manager) at http://picasaweb.google.com/.
- Some more...
These are more well-known:
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS: The book lovers wet dream: http://books.google.com/
Find colleges and universities: http://www.google.com/options/universities.html
U.S. Government related: http://www.google.com/ig/usgov
- Other stuff
Which music is hot at the moment? Check it at http://www.google.com/trends/music.
Google Answers: It is closed, so no new questions can be asked, but the archive can be viewed and searched. People could ask questions, and pay for the most helpful answers, which led to relatively high quality answers (at least, that was the intend): http://answers.google.com/answers/
- Specifying the URL
In 2005 Google launched Google X, but took it down the next day. It consisted of an alternative Google interface which had more eyecandy, based on the looks of OS X. It inspired several non-official alternative Google interfaces, and this is one of them.
A lot of search options combined in one form. A nice page for advanced googlers.
An interface to Google's calculator. Unit conversion, trigonometry functions, interest rates, etc.
If you want to look up a Unix man-page, you can use google to quickly have it displayed in your browser. No need to start a shell, and manpages are easier to read from your browser. Just type man fopen and click the I'm feeling lucky-button.
You can look up perldoc items the same way: perldoc open, and click the lucky-button. Nice when you are working on a remote Perl script on a computer without Perl installed.
For the Java API reference, use javadoc LinkedList. Ruby: rdoc Net::Http. Haskell: haskell foldr. Etc..
Google is also great for quickly finding some webbased (anonymous) proxy's. The results often contain some dead links and slow servers, but hey, it's free and easy. Try one of these searches:
"Remove all scripts (recommended for anonymity)"
"include mini URL-form on every page"
You can also use google to reverse md5 hashes, for example when you don't remember your password and it is stored in one of your databases md5-encrypted. If you don't have access to rainbow tables, you can try:
You will find that your password was "password". Tsk tsk, that's not very safe. If google doesn't return any results, try it without inurl::
Looking at the results for a while, you can see that this time your password was "passw0rd". Better, but still not very safe. Be more creative!
0 blog comments below