GooglesearchSo many people use Google as their primary search, both geeks and non-geeks alike. It’s simple, and it gets the job done. However, many people don’t take advantage of the advanced search options that Google has included.

SmallBusinessHub put a list together a list of 12 tips to help you search Google like an expert. Google has an extensive list with all of the options listed, and below are the ones that I tend to use most often, which might help you as well.

1.  Word definitions – you can easily look up a definition to a word using Google as your dictionary by typing “define: example.” Google will display a list of different definitions from around the web.

2.  Movies – if you’re wanting to find what movies are playing near you, and the show-times, all you have to do is type in “movies.” If your location has been saved it will pull up the movies for your zip code, otherwise you can include your zip code. (I.E. Movies 20052).

3. Excluding Words – This is one that I haven’t really used, but I should.  It narrows down your search and gives you more relevant results.  For example, if you were searching for cars but you didn’t want any results that had to do with Cars the Movie, you’d type in “cars -movie” and it would exclude any results with the word movie.

4. Phone Searches – Google includes two different ways that you can get help with phone searches.  If someone were to call you and you missed the call, but didn’t know who it was, you could take the phone number and look it up.  All you’d have to do is type “phonebook: 541–555–1111” You can also do an area code look up and Google will tell you where the area code belongs. I typed in “847” and Google displayed a result that told me it was the area code for “Northern Chicago Suburbs, Illinois, and gave me the option to show the map of the area.

5. Currency Converter – There are times when I find something priced on the Internet in a currency that I’m not familiar with. The currency converter that Google offers solves my problem quickly.  All you have to do is enter in the currency that you know, and what you’d like it to be converted to. For example: Enter in “3.5 USD in GBP” and you’d get the conversion.

—Using Gmail Effectively—

Many of you probably use Gmail as your primary email account. Matt Cutts who works for Google has put together a few tips to increase your Gmail productivity. You can read more about these tips in detail over at his blog, but here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll find there.

Tip 1: How to keep most mailing lists out of your inbox.

Tip 2: How to use Firefox and Greasemonkey to prioritize your emails and give you easy access to the most important ones.

Tip 3: Create labels for “external” mail.

I’m sure there are plenty of other helpful tips for both searching Google, and using Gmail effectively. If you have other suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

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