You’re probably more than a little familiar with Google’s main web search engine, but did you know that you can use that same search box to answer many every day questions? Here is a list of my ten favorite “quick searchers” I use to answer common questions in seconds. Be sure to check the tenth post for an extra cool trick that will impress your friends:
- Weather Update: This search: [weather 55406] (replace with your zip code) displays the current weather and the next four days.
- Temperature Conversion: Need to convert that temperature to a different unit? Try this search [21F to C] (again, without brackets) for an immediate answer.
- Stock Quote Checker: Searching for a stock symbol brings back a quote like a link to the stock profile on Yahoo Finance (my favorite stock research site).
- Definitions: Not sure what a word means? Try this search: [define:technology] Google will give you a series of definitions from reference sites across the web.
- Calculations: Forget what two plus two equals? As long as you don’t forget that Google has a calculator, you’ll be fine: [2+2=]
- Conversions: There’s no need to panic in the kitchen if Google is nearby. Convert those pints to ounces in a snap: [3 pints to ounces]
- Currency Conversions: Heading across the pond? Not sure how far your dollars will go in Europe these days? [1000 usd to euros]
- Movie Reviews: Is Black Hawk Down the best movie ever made? One of my colleagues believes it is. Find out what other viewers thought using the movie command: [movie: black hawk down]
- Package Tracking: Did you order a ton of holiday gifts online? Are you nervous about whether they’re going to show up on time? If your retailer gave you a tracking number, just type it into Google so you can get on with your day before the USPS, UPS, or Fedex’s site’s would finish loading.
- Really cool bonus search: SMS. Did you know that you can do all of the above queries from your cell phone using SMS? Just text your query to  (that’s googl). Google will reply with the answer in less than a minute in most cases. One exception: Google SMS doesn’t do movie reviews, but it will give you current movie times and locations using the following query: [moviename 55406] or [moviename Minneapolis, MN] (replace 55406 or your city/state with your location.)
How does this effect the sites that specialize in providing the information Google answered above? That’s a topic for another post.
What’s your favorite Google quick search?
What ones do you use that weren’t mentioned above? Share your favorites in the comments below.