While Bing and Yahoo may have their fans, Google is still my go-to search engine of choice. Since I’m on Google for a good chunk of the day, I thought it was worth learning how to use it. Here’s a list of useful tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

1) Conversions
I cook so having a handy measurement converter at my fingertips is super useful. For instance, if I wanted to know how many cups are in 1.2 liters, I just enter this:

1.2 liters to cups

You can use this for any type of measurement such as miles to kilometers or bytes to gigabytes.


2) Make Google do the Math
Enter any math equation and Google will return the result. It’s like a free form text-based calculator. If I wanted to know the cosign of 4 divided by 55, I enter:

cos 4 / 55

Or jump straight to a calculator right in google by typing:



3) Dictionary
Find the definition of any word by using the define: operator. To find the definition of hubris enter:



4) Translate Languages
Translate english to spanish, french to russian, or any other common language you can think of. Just type the phrase you want to translate and then the “in [name of the language to translate to].” If I wanted to find my car in spanish, I’d enter:

where is my car in spanish


5) Timer
Need to remember to do something at a certain time? Google can run a timer that will count down for you. You can even have it play a sound when it completes. Just enter the amount of time to count down for and the operator “timer”. If I wanted to run a timer for a minute, I’d enter:

1 minute timer


6) Important Dates
Not sure when Labor Day falls in 2014? Google will give you the exact date for any major holiday.

labor day 2014


7) Find all Links to a Site
Want to know all of the sites on the Internet that link back to your site? Just use the “link:” operator. If I wanted to get all the links to crankleft.com, I’d enter:


It’s especially useful if you are running a blog or a website and want to get an idea of who is linking to you and how well you are doing in terms of link backs on the web.


8) Time zones
Want to call a distant friend but aren’t sure what time it is for them? You can find the time zone of any city or zip code by entering:

time zone oklahoma city

time zone

9) Search by Site
Want to limit your search to only finding results on a particular website? Just use the “site:” operator to tell Google what site to search in. For instance, if I only wanted to find references to Harry Knowles on aintitcool.com, I’d enter:

site:aintitcool.com harry knowles