My Top 10 Favorite Google Search Features

You must be very familiar with Google Search. In fact, for your online search for whatever information you need, you rely on Google Search. But there’s more to Google Search than just search. In this post, let me share with you my top 10 favorite Google Search features.

Google Search works by crawling web pages that contain the terms in your search keywords. It then presents the results in a list according to the pages’ specific page ranks, which is calculated by Google’s own algorithm, to give you the most relevant, useful, and reliable search results. However, there are times that you just can’t find what you’re looking for. Here are some tips that might help.

1. Search for Specific File Types. Why do we search for specific file types? Well, we have different needs, and sometimes, we need a specific information that can be provided by a document of a particular file type. For example, you need related literature for your research. The best way to find researches related to your paper would be searching for PDFs or portable document format as most researches are uploaded in that format. If you are looking for sample worksheets that you can use in class, the best way is search for word documents. If you are looking presentations, they are usually in powerpoint format. And id if you are looking for simulations, they are usually in Flash format. So, how do we search in order to come up with a specific format? Use the “filetype” operator. Just add the following to your search keywords:

  • filetype:pdf
  • filetype:doc or filetype:docx
  • filetype:xls or xlsx
  • filetype:ppt or filetype:pptx
  • filetype:swf (for flash)

2. Make calculations. Even Complex ones. No scientific calculator? No problem. You can use Google Search to make calculations. If you have been using spreadsheets, it’s going to be breeze. Use the symbols +, -, *, and / for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, respectively. You can also find the square root by adding “sqrt” before a number. You can find the cube root, fourth root, and so on by typing the word before a number, such as “fourth root of 1654.” You can also calculate equations that have trigonometric functions in them. Try it!

google search


3. Convert units and currencies. Converting metric units from a smaller to a larger unit or vice versa sounds easy. However, when you convert units involving metric and British systems, it could be hard. Well, I’ve memorized some of them. Like, I know that an inch has 2.54 cm, and that there are 746 watts in a horsepower, but would be too much of hassle to remember all of the conversion factors. You simply type “700 pascals in psi” and you will right away get the answer.

4. Image Search by Color. When I was asked to look for designs we could use as pattern for our faculty basketball team’s jersey, I just searched for sample jerseys on Google Search and used the “Search Tools” to specify the color. And voila, there’s one we all agreed to use. For art teachers for example, you forgot the title of that painting from Pablo Picasso’s Rose Period paintings. You can simply search for Pablo Picasso on Google Image Search and choose the color orange as his paintings during this period are predominantly orange.

5. Voice Search. Nothing could be more fun than asking the question with your own voice. With voice search, it feels like you are asking an expert face to face. Google Voice search uses the top result and reads it to you. It is even more fun if you’re using your mobile gadgets like your Android phone, or wearables such as your smartwatch.

Read about my other favorite Google Search features in the slides below:

Have fun with Google Search! Remember, information is power!


Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan

Ariel Lalisan is a physics teacher at Alabel National Science High School. He is an advocate of constructivism approach in education. He employs active learning and independent learning in his lessons, and, of course, a lot of technology integration. His goal is to produce students who can solve problems on their own using the concepts they learn in the classroom. Ariel Lalisan is a Google Certified Innovator (Google Teachers Academy Southeast Asia 2014) and a community leader at Google Educator Group Sarangani. He is a co-founder of SoCCSKSarGen and he won the Globe Media Excellence Blogger of the Year Award in 2015.

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