The world according to pglewis

Social Media, the World Wide Web, SEO and some random ramblings…

The World of Google Web Search Features – Part 1

Posted on | November 29, 2009 | 1 Comment

I’m a fan of Google.. Not always, and I wont wear a T-shirt saying it, but a lot more than I am a fan of Apple at the moment..  I’m sure a lot of you feel the same, but if not then speak up..

It's search, but not as we know it.

It's search, but not as we know it.

Whilst a lot of Online folk like to use Google to try and bring traffic to their sites (natural or paid), to buy online inventory to sell their company’s stuff or maybe to just surf porn, Google’s Search features have grown considerably larger than the last time I looked, so I thought I’d do a quick post on the latest and greatest ways you can use Google to search..  Let’s face it, the faster we find something, the more time we have to do other stuff such as reading this post or maybe ensuring the ways in which people do search get our sites traffic (am I right!!)..

Anyway, we’ve figured out that the world of Google Web Search Features is bigger than you think and sometimes it’s good to review all the tools that Google have released and to see how they can help you in your plight for world wide web domination – so let’s take a look at the special ways you can use Google search…

Google Book Search

An interesting search that brings up any relevant books to the search terms that Google have digitised.  Ongoing and something that Google are very keen on.

Google Book Search Example

Google Book Search Example

Cached Links

Google takes a snapshot of each page examined as it crawls the web and caches these as a back-up in case the original page is unavailable. Do a search for a site and you will see (if it is spidered) a “Cached” link.  Click this and you will see the web page as it looked when we indexed it. The cached content is the content Google uses to judge whether this page is a relevant match for your query.  How often Google cache your site (and your pages) helps indicate how your site ranks.  Try tracking a few pages on a daily basis and see what you see.

Calculator

Calulate this.. (pie * 99 / 2.34 - Google + Bing)

Calulate this.. (pie * 99 / 2.34 - Google + Bing)

In the normal search bar of Google just type in any maths problems involving basic arithmetic, more complicated maths, units of measure and conversions, and physical constants and the boffins at Google will show you the answer.  A lot quicker than finding your on or offline calculator (e.g. 5+2*2 or sqrt(-4))

Currency Conversions

Yup, in the same way you can do Maths through Google if you just type in, for example, 3.5 USD in GBP Google shows you the conversion value from the latest exchange rates

Definitions

Everyone loves a definition and that’s why Wikipedia does so well (and for lots of other reasons too).  But, to see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type in the Google search bar the word “define,” then a space, and then the word(s) you want defined.  Swear words are a must.

File Types

Google now searches over 13 different file formats so make sure you SEO up all of those PDF’s you put online including

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (ps)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku)
  • Lotus WordPro (lwp)
  • MacWrite (mw)
  • Microsoft Excel (xls)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt)
  • Microsoft Word (doc)
  • Microsoft Works (wks, wps, wdb)
  • Microsoft Write (wri)
  • Rich Text Format (rtf)
  • Shockwave Flash (swf)
  • Text (ans, txt)

So, if you know what you are after why not just search the correct format of document instead of the WWW simply put the file extension into the search stream and away you go.

Site Search

A very interesting option for using Google search here.  The word “site” followed by a colon enables you to restrict your search to a specific site. To do this, use the site:sampledomain.com syntax in the Google search box. For example, to find admission information on Stanford’s site, enter: admission site:www.stanford.edu

Who Links to You

Some words, when followed by a colon (:), have special meanings to Google. In this example the word link is the operator. The query link:siteURL shows you pages that point to that URL. For example, link:www.google.com will show you pages that point to Google’s home page. You cannot combine a link: search with a regular keyword search it has to be a website.

So, as part 1 of a post (as this could go on for a good while yet) I have covered the first 8 Google searches that you may or may not be doing. Take a look at how these searches are changing the way people search out information and try to blend them into the functionality of your sites…  If you can help people do more things in 1 place then you’ll help create a loyal base of users on your site, which is a great first step for conquering the world wide web..


Comments

One Response to “The World of Google Web Search Features – Part 1”

  1. Nick
    November 30th, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    your post highlights how Google want to be the end destination for more and more users as they roll out wolfram alpha functionality like the currency conversion stuff.

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