But the expert researcher in me likes to refine and control my searches for optimal results. There are many Google tricks that aid in this, and HuffingtonPost recently posted a few:
1. To get a quick definition, type "define:" followed by the word you want and Google will take you straight to the definition
2. For exact phrases, put your search phrase inside quotation marks.
3. To find alternative results, put the worm-like tilde (~) in front of the search term for which you would like related results.
4. To exclude certain words, after you enter your desired search terms, add a minus sign (-) followed by the words you want excluded.
5. For ranges, type in your term. Then separate the lowest and highest prices you're willing to pay with two periods (..). This trick also works for dates, if you're, say, looking for a news article published during a certain time.
6. To only search one site, type "site:" followed by the URL of the website you'd like to search. Then add your search terms.
7. If you aren't sure of search terms, enter your search terms using asterisks as stand-ins for the unknowns. Google will fill in the blanks with possibilities.
8. To search for a certain file type, enter your search terms followed by "filetype:PPT."
9. For a timer, type "set timer for" into the search bar and a Google timer will appear as the first result. Enter the time you want in hours, minutes or seconds and start the timer. Google will start beeping at you when your time runs out.
10. You can type in an equation and Google will give you the answer on its calculator.
11. To convert currency, type in the name of the currency you currently own, add "to" and then type in the name of the currency you need to get.
12. To find gifs, go to Google Images. Click "Search tools" and then "Type." Then check off "Animated."
13. For a title search, type "intitle:" then the term you want. This will ensure the specified term is in the title of all the webpages in your results.
Check out the full HuffingtonPost article for nice illustrations.
Attribution: By Google Inc (Google product logos) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons