Monthly Archives: May 2012

10 Google Search Secrets You Should Already Know

As I was scanning the Google Search Blog today I came across something called A Google a Day. The user is given a question and using his or her own grasp of Google Search, the user races against the clock to find the answer and type it in as quickly as possible. Today’s example is below.
A Google a Day, Molière and Tartuffe
Having grown up in a house where my older brother and I raced to do everything, this was a welcome challenge. My brother and I would often demand our parents give us an obscure fact to find and then we would literally run to our respective computers to try and find the answer first. I was excited about A Google a Day, and yes, I OWNED today’s question.

A Google a Day, Molière and Tartuffe
It’s a strangely satisfying game and I’d recommend this if you feel like taking your Google Search skills for a spin. A Google a Day even explains the best way you should have found the answer. The questions range from easy to pretty tough and definitely point to the rising importance of search as a skill. With so much knowledge easily accessible it’s crucial to be able to navigate it quickly and effectively. The plane of digital literacy has been established and you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side.

Ok enough of the preaching. On to the old and simple ways that the Google Search bar can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Strange that more people don’t know about these Google search secrets…

10 Google Search Secrets You Should Already Know!

site:

If you know what you’re looking for on a particular website but just can’t seem to find it, site searches are great. I generally use them to track down email addresses. Sometimes they’re hidden in counter-intuitive places so having a trick like site: up your sleeve can help you root them out.

ex: site:www.thedailymuse.com interview

For the above query, the search results are all articles from The Daily Muse–a fantastic resource of young businesswomen!–with just the articles pertaining to interviews. Nice!

define:

This one’s pretty easy. Want to know the definition of a word? Just type define: with the word. Clever Google will understand and return a definition complete with a pronunciation guide. For example, define:brouhaha

define:brouhaha google search

word * word

This one is new to me, but it’s a good one! Sometimes you’re not exactly sure what the right keyword is, but you know at least some of them. Google Tips & Tricks uses “creative * writing” as an example which returns results for keyword phrases including “creative nonfiction writing,” “creative poetry writing,” “creative & practical writing,” etc.

-word

This is a great search tool if there’s a very popular search term very close to the one you’d like to use that will likely skew the results away from what you’re looking for. Try this little comparison on your own, you’ll see that the first search is dominated by results for Hermione Granger, a more popular search than those looking for the Hermione from Greek mythology or any other Hermiones out there, and the second excludes those articles about the fictional literary character:

ex. hermione

ex. hermione -granger

“search phrase”

Hopefully this one goes without saying. By placing quotation marks around your search phrase (or phrases) you can find exact matches for them. While a search with no quotation marks will yield results that have your terms in any order, a search with the phrase in quotation marks will return sites that rank well for those words in that particular order.

weather

You can either type in “weather” followed by a city or just weather followed by a zip code. Easy.

weather google search tips and tricks

Movies

Another easy one. Rather than remember the name of the movie theater and track down the website, whip out your cell phone at the office, or–holding my breath–crack open a newspaper, just type “movies” and your zip code.

Flight status

Just type in the airline and flight number to get information about the flight’s status.

flight status google search tips and tricks

+, -, *, /, % of

Don’t have a calculator? Embarrassed and need to figure out a basic function in a hurry? Just pop in your equation and Google will tell you the answer! On behalf of all Literature majors, thank you Google!

math google search tips and tricks

km to miles

I’ve definitely used this one a lot when I’m cooking (yes, Mom, I know what I do doesn’t really count as cooking) and it works with all units of measurement.

unit conversions google search tips and tricks

These have been around for ages, but they’re worth the refresher!
Post by Cricky Cicchetti

Search by Image: A whole new kind of web search!

Mr. Toad Esq.Hold on to your Cheetos, Internet Obsessives! You may not know this, but right now you can search the Internet with a photo. That’s right, instead of typing in a search query, you can just drag and drop a photo over the search bar and Google will just tell you what it is! Take this little toad for instance. He’s adorable but where on earth is he from? Never fear, using one of the four methods of Google Search by Image you can easily track him down. Check out the screenshot below of our Google Search by Image of this little gent. Note the Google Knowledge Graph at work on the right, figuring out from our image that we’re probably trying to track down the book this fellow is from!

google search by image screenshot

Given the ever-increasing importance of images in marketing (I’m looking at you, Pinterest!) I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a sign of improved awareness of image sourcing practices. It would make sense to keep an eye on Google’s Search by Image if you’re a company that creates a lot of original art or markets via original images.

Google Search by Image can help you identify a painting, a famous monument or geographic feature, or the origin of an image. It can also find additional photos for you with similar content and color balance. Or the name of that guy who sings the part of the song you like to listen to in the shower… or whatever.

google search by image harry styles

Keep it real and don’t let your newly discovered powers of search go to your head!

Post by Cricky Cicchetti

What is Google’s Knowledge Graph?

What the heck is Google’s Knowledge Graph and what does it mean for digital marketers? The quick and dirty of it is that Google search is getting smarter. A lot smarter.

Google Knowledge Graph digital marketers

Search queries drive modern interaction with the Internet and up until now it’s been pretty clunky. There hasn’t been another option so it’s never really bothered anyone. We use single words to narrow down all the websites on the Internet until we have just the right few pages that we’re looking for. That’s not a natural way to search. It’s not only prone to abuse, but it’s all based on the text of a website rather than the meaning of its content. Google’s new take on search is based on the relationships between keywords and how they affect each other rather than how they cut down search results by the presence of keywords on a page. Make sense? Lance Uloff gave a great example in his article (Google Search Just Got 1,000 Times Smarter) published on Mashable earlier today:

Google is switching from simple keyword recognition to the identification of entities, nodes and relationships. In this world, “New York” is not simply the combination of two keywords that can be recognized. It’s understood by Google as a state in the U.S. surrounded by other states, the Atlantic Ocean and with a whole bunch of other, relevant attributes.

Want to see it in action? Type a famous person’s name into Google. Google search now understands that when I type in Nikola Tesla I’m curious about a person and that I’m probably looking for some basic facts rather than a bunch of websites with that keyword phrase. You can also do this with geographic features, movies, countries, and brands! Check out the screenshot from my test:

Google Knowledge Graph in action

How will this impact those who are trying to optimize their websites for favorable Google site indexing? It’s a little too soon to tell, but in the meantime just do what Google suggests and just keep creating relevant and interesting content!

Post by Cricky Cicchetti