Top 10 Clever Google Search Tricks

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Google is a more powerful tool than most people realize. You can get much more refined searches with Google’s built-in tools, advanced operators, and third-party extensions. You can also use it for some pretty cool stuff if you know the right tricks. Here are 10 of our favorite lesser known tricks and features.

10. Use Google to Search Certain Sites

If you really like a web site but its search tool isn’t very good, fret not—Google almost always does a better job, and you can use it to search that site with a simple operator. For example, if you want to find an old Lifehacker article, just type site:lifehacker.com before your search terms (e.g. site:lifehacker.com hackintosh). The same goes for your favorite forums, blogs, and even web services. In fact, it’s actually really good for finding free audiobooks, searching for free stuff without the spam, and more.

9. Find Product Names, Recipes, and More with Reverse Image Search

Google’s reverse image search is great if you’re looking for the source of a photo, wallpaper, or more images like that. However, reverse image search is also great for searching out information—like finding out who makes the chair in this picture, or how do I make the meal in this photo. Just punch in an image like you normally would, but look at Google’s regular results instead of the image results—you’ll probably find a lot.

8. Get “Wildcard” Suggestions Through Autocomplete

A lot of advanced search engines let you put a * in the middle of your terms to denote “anything.” Google does too, but it doesn’t always work the way you want. However, you can still get wildcard suggestions, of a sort, by typing in a full phrase in Google and then deleting the word you want to replace. For example, you can search for how to jailbreak an iphoneand remove one word to see all the suggestions for how to ____ an iphone.

7. Find Free Downloads of Any Type

Ever needed an old Android app but couldn’t find the APK for what you were looking for? Or wanted an MP3 but couldn’t find the right version? Google has a few search tools that, when used together, can unlock a plethora of downloads: inurl, intitle, and filetype. For example, to find free Android APKs, you’d search for -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:”index of” apk to see site indexes of stored APK files. You can use this to find Android apps, music files, free ebooks, comic books, and more. Check out the linked posts for more information.

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