7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist
Home » Education

7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist

Written by 16 January 2012

Google search is a powerful tool...sometimes more powerful than you realize!  Are you taking advantage of some of the lesser-known Google search techniques?  Here are a few of my favorites...

7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist


It's surprising how many people don't know about Google SafeSearch!  SafeSearch filters allow you to modify your browser settings so that inappropriate content does not display in search results. More on SafeSearch here.

Word Definitions

To quickly pull up the definition of a word, use "define:" followed by the word.

Example: define:webinar

Numeric Ranges

Useful if you're looking for information that relates to a range of numbers (such as a price range or years).

Example: television 1950...1960

Phone numbers

Curious who keeps calling your cellphone and not leaving a message?  If their number is listed, you can find it via Google by using "phonebook:" followed by the number.

Example: phonebook:555-555-5555

Excluding words or phrases

If  you're looking for something a little more obscure, narrow down your search results by asking Google to omit certain results by using the "-" symbol.

Example: Florida vacation -Disney

Specify results by document type

Looking for a PDF? Word doc? Powerpoint? Many people don't realize that you can filter results by document type in the search bar.  Just use "filetype:" followed by the file extension after your keywords.

Example: "World War I" filetype:ppt

Recipe View

Have you noticed the recipe view in Google Search?  Type in a recipe title, and on the left-hand side, you'll see various options that allow you to specify whether or not certain ingredients are included, the amount of cook time resource, and calorie count.  This tip is my personal favorite, so make sure to check it out!

Example: Pumpkin Bread

How many of these tips were new to you?  Let me know in the comments area of this post!


7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist

PS - If you're interested in learning more about Google, be sure to check out our Google Toolkit, as well as our free upcoming online sessions on Google Tips and Tools!

Share this post with your friends and colleagues:
7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist


  • Anastasia Koltai said:

    Wow, very useful article.
    I didn’t know about phone numbers and safe search.
    Thank you from Hungary!

  • Diane said:

    Does anyone know if you’re a Google Apps School if there is a way to set the SafeSearch for the whole domain?

  • Diane said:

    Also, I set my SafeSearch to Strict and then did a search for ladies and came across some questionable ones, so I tried to report it, but I didn’t get the option to report it. Does it do it different in Google Apps for Education?

    Kimberly Reply:

    Hi Diane,

    I don’t know the answer to your question…Google is always working to improve their techniques, though. To learn more about Google Apps for Education, check out their website:


  • Dennis said:

    Great information. Thanks for sharing this one. It's very useful for me because I am a great fan of Google . I am excited to see more resources from you! Have an amazing day!

  • My Weekly Diigo Links (weekly) « Kyle B. Pace said:

    [...] 7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist – SimpleK12 [...]

  • Oh, the Places you’ll Google! | Heather's Weblog said:

    [...] As promised, here are  7 Google Search Techniques that can help you be a more precise searcher reblogged from Simple K12! [...]

  • Dr. Sarah’s favorite resources of the week (Jan.16 – 22, 2012) « Literacy, Languages and Leadership said:

    [...] 7 Google Search Techniques You Don’t Know Exist – Teacher Learning Community [...]

  • Linda said:

    Excellent information!!! The recipe view was the only one I haven’t used ever because I did’t knew it!!