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Fun Google Gimmicks and Tools

More Than A Search Engine: New (And Some Weird) Ways To Use Google


Here are a few things you can do with Google's search engine that have little to do with organic searches. Google offers these features, along with many free powerful tools - all designed with one purpose in mind: to keep you coming back to their search engine.

Google Calculator

Just as you would enter words for a search query, type in the equation you want answered. Instead of a search engine result, Google calculator gives you an instant mathematical answer. The calculator can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and even solve equations using exponents in the correct order of operations.

Google Definitions

Google can also be used as a dictionary, if you want a word definition, search "Define:word" (replacing "word" with the word you actually want a definition for.) Your results will show you the definition, part of speech, pronunciation, and synonyms.

Google Flight Updates

Google also lets you view information on flights. Enter the flight number and the airline into search and it will tell you the departure and arrival times. No need to log into a website to find out if Aunt Trudy is arriving on time.

Unit Conversion Tool

Google can also convert measurements, time, and currency. You can find out how many pints are in a gallon by searching "pints in a gallon" or how many seconds there are in a hour by searching "seconds in a hour" or how many euros there are to ten American dollars by searching "10 USD in Euro."

Tell Time With Google

This next tip is helpful if you do business around the county or around the world. You can Google "what time is it in" a certain place and it will tell you the local time in that area. You can find the times in big cities such as New York or Los Angeles and small towns with only a couple thousand people.

Get Information About Any Website

Type into Google's search box: "site:domainname.com" and Google will list all the pages indexed for any website. (This also works on Yahoo!, Bing, and AOL.)

Search "links:domainname.com" and see all the links Google finds to and from a website.

Search "backlinks:domainname.com" and see who has linked to a website.

My Favorite: Get Back At Getty - Do A Reverse Image Lookup

If you have ever gotten a settlement demand letter from Getty, here is a trick you can use to help identify other uses of the image they have accused you of stealing. Sometimes, you will find that Getty is not in fact the rightful owner.

Google's reverse image look up tool is extremely helpful if you have an image and want to know where it came from.

In the image search box (click on "images" in the options in the top of your Google task bar when you are in their search engine) look on the right in the search box. You will see a small camera icon. Click on the camera icon and it will take you to an upload form. Upload any picture from your computer and Google will search the internet for matches. If it finds one, it will tell you where the images is posted. This is a great tool to try and track down image owners to ask for permission to use their work.

Google For Fun And Entertainment

Google also has some features that you can be used for fun. You can find movie times by searching movie times then your zip code. Google will give you a list of all the theaters in your area with times for all the movies that are playing.

The next two features seem pretty useless on the surface, but have sent scores of visitors to Google to see what happens:

  • If you search "Do A Barrel Roll" the page will flip around.
  • If you search the word "tilt" the page will be skewed.

The little things people discover on Google by accident are not accidents. They are carefully calculated marketing strategies designed to get more people to visit their search engine.

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