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Google beyond search

Google is more than just a search machine. There are a number of nifty tricks it can do. Here are some.

twitter-logo Nidhi Singal        Last Updated: November 19, 2010  | 11:54 IST

Be it keeping track of local time anywhere in the world, converting currency and units or searching for a solution to any personal or professional query, Google comes across as the one-stop solution. But does Google return the desired results each time? Here, are some simple tricks to help you search the web in a better way-using Google of course.

1) BOOK SEARCH: Book lovers can quickly learn more about the book or the author-simply by typing in the name of the book or the author-selecting the 'Book' tab placed on the left navigation bar on the top. Example: If you key in 'Dan Brown', the search will show all books by the author along with the images of the book jackets.

2) TIMELINE: To get a timeline view of any event-a structure result that graphically divides information over a period of time-put in the 'search co-ordinates' and hit the 'search' tab. Now hit the 'timeline' tab under the 'All results' on the left of the web page. The search can be further advanced by selecting a year followed by months.

3) PEOPLE PROFILE: Search for a long lost friend or any other person by keying in the name of that person along with some defining words, the person's qualifications or work domain perhaps. Google will turn up a list of people that might help.

4) LOCAL SEARCH: Get access to the nearest store, restaurant or local businesses. Do a Google search "specific category, pin code" and get the results. For example: Pizza 110001 gave us a list of various eating establishments serving pizza in Connaught Place, New Delhi.

5) MOVIE SHOWTIME: Similar to the local search, keying in the movie name and pin code will turn up latest reviews of the movie and the list of theatres in the vicinity of the pincode area running that particular movie.

6) PACKAGE TRACKING: No need to log on to delivery company's websites to track the status of the package you dispatched. Just type in the tracking number in the Search bar to find out where that delivery stands. This is valid for UPS, Fedex and USPS package.

7) SUNSET/ SUNRISE: You don't have to scan the daily newspapers to find out the times of sunsets and sunrises. In any case, papers just offer the sunrise and sunset time for a few cities. Check the precise time for any city across the world by typing 'sunrise' or 'sunset' followed by the city name. Example: "Sunset Florida."

8) RELATED SEARCH: If you are looking for web pages displaying content similar to a given website, just type in "related: website" in the search box. Example: "Related: www.nytimes.com" will return content similar to NYT's.

9) FILL IN THE BLANK: You can question Google by adding an asterisk (*) to the part of the query. Google will automatically fill in the blank and get the most relevant results. Example: "Zero invented by *" will give you Aryabhatta or Hindus.

This story is from the November 2010 edition of Gadgets and Gizmos. Subscribe to the magazine for the Print Copy or iPad.

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