Google seems to be the search engine of choice for most of us but I’m discovering that there are a lot of other things that Google can do, besides just search. Here are a few that I’ve figured out, what others do you know of?
Thing 1: Math Calculations. You can type most math operations directly into the search bar and get an answer. Try it with these abbreviations for needed math syntax:
Thing 2: Cached Pages. As it crawls the web, Google takes snapshots of web sites and saves them. These snapshots are called “cached” versions of web sites. When you search for something in Google, you’ll see that the “cached” version of the site is available in your search results. If you select the cached version, that snapshot will display, along with an advisory at the top, explaining that this is Google’s cache of the site and telling you the date on which the snapshot was taken. There are two advantages to this – one is that the “searched upon” word is highlighted throughout the site snapshot and the other is that the web page will be available to you, even if the provider’s service is temporarily unavailable.
Thing 3: Weather. Type in the word “weather” followed by the name of the city you’re interesting in and voila!
Thing 4: Web site Information. If you’re interested in more information about a particular site, just type in “info:www.yoursite.com” with the full url of the site you’re researching inserted (no spaces between anything) and up will come a short blurb about the site, along with a link to the cached version of the site, links to other similar sites, sites that link to that site, and sites that are linked-to from that site. Another way to do this is to use the site easywhois. Plug a given url and you will get the domain ownership information for the site in question, which can help students feret out the site’s veracity and/or bias.
Thing 5: Updated Airline Information. Just type the airline and flight number into the search bar and up comes the most recent information about that flight.
Thing 6: Conversions. Want to quickly convert yards to meters or degrees centigrade to degrees kelvin? Just type “68 degrees centigrade in kelvin” into the search bar, and you’ll get the conversion.
Thing 7: Other Versions of Google. Google Scholar (just scholarly links), Google Calendar (keep your calendar online), Google Image (Image search engine), Google Video (you guessed it), Google Docs (online document sharing), and Google Maps (maps and directions – I like it better than MapQuest).
Let me know your favorite antics with Google and we’ll add them to the list.