Try these internet search hacks to find exactly what you’re looking for:

  • Easily convert units of measurement or currencies from within your search bar, by typing something like “10 dollars in pounds” or “ounces in a gallon.”
  • When looking up a word’s definition, type “define” followed by the word to see the definition formatted as you would in a dictionary. You can also look up synonyms to diversify your writing by typing “synonym”or “thesaurus” followed by the word you are using.
  • Enter your search terms with quotation marks. If you recall a quote from something you read but cannot remember the author or publisher, search for keywords in quotation marks, and your search results will only include web pages with those exact words in the order you typed them. 
  • If you want to exclude certain results during a search, enter your search terms followed by a minus sign and the word(s) you do not want to see in your results. For example, if you search for “used books -amazon,” Amazon will be excluded from your search results.  
  • Some search engines allow you to track packages and flights. To track a package, type the mail carrier and tracking number in the search bar. To track a flight, search for your airline and flight number.
  • Try using search engines other than Google, like Bing or DuckDuckGo. Each search engine uses a different algorithm that will yield different results, but many search engines have similar features to Google, such as Maps, Images, and News search functions. 
    • Bing offers unique features, such as solving mathematical equations and internet speed testing. It is more visually pleasing than Google with powerful image, song lyric, and video search options, and you can earn Microsoft Rewards points with every search. 
    • DuckDuckGo does not track your searches, and you can search other common sites directly from the DuckDuckGo search bar. If you type an exclamation point and the appropriate shortcut for a website (example: “!imdb”, “!pinterest”, or “!a” for Amazon without the quotation marks) followed by your search terms, then it will redirect you to the results on that site.
    • Google Scholar searches specifically for articles, essays, abstracts, and books  from experts and professionals. Of course, it is still important to check sources for credibility, but Google Scholar generates narrower results than a general Google search with predominantly scholarly resources.

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