How did we survive without Google?

20 April 2015

Do you remember life before Google? Rushing to the dictionary to look up a word, pulling out your paper maps for directions or learning a new language just in order to decipher a foreign word.

Gone are the days of quizzing the office on ‘How do you spell this?’ or ‘What does this word mean?’. Google has the answer!

Generally searching on Google is pretty easy you just type what you are interested in finding, into the search box. Here are some useful hidden features of Google to enhance your search:

  1. Use “quotation” marks to search for words in an exact order.
    Vital for searching specific quotes or phrases.
  1. Google will fill the blanks when an asterisk (*) is used.
    Don’t remember the name of a song you heard? (Or phrase, news headline etc.) Fill in the blanks of any search with an asterisk (*) and Google will try to complete the search for you.
  1. Looking for a similar website
    Search for similar websites to the one you are currently viewing, by inserting ‘related:’ followed by the website address you are using.
  1. Use the minus sign (-) to exclude words.
    For example, you are looking for a cake recipe that doesn’t list “wheat” as an ingredient. Search ‘Cake recipe – wheat’.
  1. Search websites for keywords
    Search within a website by typing ‘Site;’ followed by the URL of the site and your search times.
  1. Compare foods by using ‘Vs’
    Can’t decide what food to have for lunch? Type in your choices E.g. ‘Rice vs. pasta’ to view a comparison of the nutritional facts about each option.
  1. Have Google do your maths
    Simply search your equation i.e. ‘50% of 2345’
  1. Do two Google searches at one time by adding ‘Or’ between the search terms
  2. Set a timer
    Type’ set timer for’ into the Google search engine, along with the amount of time.
  1. Learn the meaning of words
    You can search for the origin behind words by adding ‘etymology’ to your search or entering ‘Define;’ will provide you with a dictionary definition, etymology and a graph of its use over time. Looking for a slang word or acronym – try ‘Define: bae’ or ‘Define: SMH’
  1. Search images using images
    Ever come across an image that looks familiar? If you save the image (or click and drag the image) and then search it on Google image you will be able to see similar images on the web.

Here are some fun additions in Google we also discovered :

  • Searching for the word ’tilt’ will actually tilt your search results at a slight angle.
  • Searching ‘Atari Breakdown’ into Google images will initiate a classic brick breaker game which you can play using the directional keys on your keyboard.
  • Typing ‘do a barrel roll’ into the search engine will command Google to spin your search results on and off the screen.
  • Type ‘Zerg rush’ into the search engine and watch the O’s from the Google logo attack your search results. Clicking onto the O’s really fast will allow you to stop them and make them disappear – can you beat the O’s before they take over your page?

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at

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