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How to do Advanced Search on Google

Updated on September 9, 2009

Making Your Search Results More or LESS Specific

Have you been using the Google Search Page for years? I have and like many of us it is the home page on my computer.

It's quite a humble, even a little retro looking page and I use it all the time to self-educate myself for which I'm eternally grateful.

However, to say I use it extensively is not to say my knowledge of it is extensive. Actually, I've realized only recently how rudimentary my use of Google's search page is considering what that deceptively simple search box can actually do!

The more I read about this search box, the more surprises I got!

So What Else Does Google's Search Box Do?

Can it fetch a cup of coffee? Well...Let's start with the relatively boring stuff and work up to the more and more outrageous features.

I'm searching for this keyword OR that (OR that)

By putting OR in between keywords in the search box you make the search less specific.

For example typing
dog OR cat OR pet
will return pages containing either dog cat or pet.

I'm searching for an exact phrase

If you are looking for an exact phrase use quotation marks.

For example typing
"it's raining cats and dogs"
will return pages containing the phrase "it's raining cats and dogs".

I'm searching for this keyword but not these other words

For example typing
will return pages containing the word dog but not psychic or cat.

I'm searching for the keyword and synonyms of the keyword

This symbol ~ means include synonyms of the keyword.

For example typing
will return pages containing the word car, truck and auto

I want to search a keyword on a particular site

Putting site: in front of the site you are searching will search that site only.

For example typing

will return only pages about Google on

I'm searching for a dictionary definition of the keyword

Putting define: in front of your keyword basically turns the search box into a dictionary.

For example typing
will return pages defining the keyword humanitarian

I'm searching for a Laptop between $500 and 900! Can you help me Google?

Put two dots .. between the range of numbers for this one.

For example typing
Laptop $500..900
will return pages with Laptops from $500 to $900.Note that there is no $ sign between the range. Be sure to leave it out.

Aaaargh. Look at how much the household budget has blown out! I need a calculator not a search box, Google!?

Calculations using numbers

Start adding + or subtracting - or multiplying * or dividing/ any numbers you like. You can even get a percentage % of if you like.

For example typing
1+2 or 2-1 or 1*2 or 2/1 or 50% of 1
will return answers just like a calculator.

Go deeper into the Google calculator and you'll find more hidden features like...

I need to know how many teaspoons in half a cup for my recipe

For example typing

half a cup in teaspoons

will return the answer you want and the picture of a calculator beside it. I'm not sure the presentation of a calculator image is very appetizing when you're preparing for cooking. It doesn't bear thinking that there are people who use a computer while they're cooking.


This article is not recommending or implying readers should use their computers while cooking and by reading this You agree to indemnify, save, and hold, its affiliated companies, and its suppliers, licensors, and partners harmless from any claims, losses, damages, liabilities, including attorneys' fees, arising out of's information that converting half a cup into teaspoons may lead to spilling teaspoons of sugar over your computer keyboard and may disable any ability to use the Google search box in future!

I need to find a pic of spilled sugar

Putting pic or picture into a query will return images

For example typing

pic of spilled sugar or spilled sugar pictures

will return an image gallery. I actually tried this example and it worked!

I need to know the details of my getaway flight

For example typing

united 134

will tell you those details.

I need to convert my internet millions to another currency

For example typing

5,000,000 usd in gbp or 7,000,000 aud in usd .

Will convert any currency to another (of course even smaller amounts for non-internet millionaires!).Just be sure not to include $ or other signs for it to work. You will also need to know the abbreviation for your currency.

I need to know the time in a city on the other side of the world

For example typing

time London

will return the current time in London

I need to know the weather forecast for the next four days!

Put weather followed by your location

For example typing

Weather Sydney

will return something along these lines (depending on your location)

14°C | °FCurrent: Partly Cloudy
Wind: NW at 13 km/h
Humidity: 51%

Weather Sydney will also return a four day forecast for you as well!

I need to check the patent for a bathtub overflow control device.

For example typing

patent 5123123

will search the patent 5123123. Try it! Go on. See what you get!

I need a cup of coffee

Is Google working on this one? Perhaps in the future, you'll be able to find the nearest coffee shop to your computer. I think I better leave it there!

But if you'd like to see even more features of the humble search box goto the link below:


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    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 3 years ago from UK

      Well I've learned quite a few time saving tips reading this. I especially like the one about finding the time in different countries - I can now quickly decide whether or not to call my cousin abroad- she'll be glad not to have her beauty sleep disturbed. Voting up etc. Many thanks for sharing.

    • profile image
      Author 4 years ago

      thanks Archa

    • Archa Ghodge profile image

      Archa 4 years ago from India

      Very nicely and easily explained the search operators of Google.

    • profile image
      Author 8 years ago

      @crayonbrains, yes, it's really true, Google Search box can be used in so many ways.

    • crayonbrains profile image

      crayonbrains 8 years ago from The World Is Mine !

      Whoa! google as a calculator? that was really helpful and informative...thumbs up to your hub!

    • profile image
      Author 8 years ago

      Thanks for the comment oes tsetnoc

    • profile image

      oes tsetnoc 8 years ago

      thats really new thing for me.. i am using internet from last 10 years and have no idea about this advance search

    • profile image
      Author 8 years ago

      It surprised me too. Thanks for the comment Misthaven.

    • MistHaven profile image

      MistHaven 8 years ago from New Jersey

      I never knew Google could do all these things like convert measurements or help people look for different products within a specific price range. This was a really informative article for me.