I know! I know! Reading blogs totally suck, but I guess I could make it work. In this edition, we’re talking about Google.
Well, I shouldn’t have generalised it. Reading my blog sucks. Of course, what was I thinking? How could knowing something extra about computers ever help anybody?
Honestly, it did help me a lot; I mean look at me now. I can code simple programs with a relative ease; computer engineering beginners have been shocked at the command I have over something they ought to be good at. My fascination with computers, and the way they worked, is one of the primary causes why I am more into electronics than mechanical while my fellow mechatronics mates have all taken the other path.
I make it a point to force down trivial knowledge into people’s minds, in vain; it never catches. It never occured to me that no one really wanted to know more than the bare minimum that would fetch them a good score on their tests. I could not get people to realise the magnitude of knowing real life appications of lecture hall crap. It is this can-do-but-I-won’t-because-why-bother attitude that has distanced me from people over time. The pressure in my head kept building up though. I needed a vent to get things out. So, I talked to a friend about it and he suggested me this – Google scripts; I taught him a part of it and I realised it would be great if everyone knew. It was brilliant until he asked me to pay him half the profits I earn from the blog. Profits? The work I put into blogging is philanthropic. Anyways, it does not interfere with the purpose of my blog and yes, it helps a lot. So here we go.
Before we go any further I’d like to say a few words, more…
This exact post among others existed on one of my blogs in blogger which is a part of Google’s enterprise, you know, with some change in words here and there. After their new policies kicked in, this March of 2012, I have been facing problems with every service they ‘provide’. The worst one of all is that of blogger, where they’ve Indianised my blog address, which is totally unacceptable. So, I’ve decided to abandon every Google service, I use, one-by-one. Problem: their Search service cannot be done without – not really, but it is in progress.
Following the logo are a few tricks to reduce your time on Google as much as possible.
I came across unrealistically long named pages on Facebook that say things like “What if Google didn’t exist?” “Man we would all be screwed.”. Now have never ‘been a fan’ of ‘Liking’ pages indiscriminately, but I haven’t understood why Google can’t be done without. In fact, for me, “Google is the appendix our digital lives.“, and I’m not talking about the appendix at the end of a book.
Type any search term on Google and you get results quickly, but are those the results you actually need? Not always! It is true that Google came up with an awesome algorithm that decides the relevance of the results of search terms. However, in this world, not all of us mean the same exact same thing when we say something, right?
You might have to pass through millions tons lots of pages before you get what was desired; atleast things, that I search, take a lot of time to provide me proper results. This is what all of this blog post is about – getting the right results on Google and saving a lot of time to do non-Google related stuff.
When you open a Google page all you get is a huge logo that says Google and a search bar(a preferred term would be text box) with some command-buttons. True, when in festive moods, they replace the Google logo with doodles, but the basic structure remains the same.
Just two command buttons, no way to click ’em at the same time, no time to click ’em in succession; so what is the trick here? The trick is in how you use the Text box. Google scripts can be entered in the text box to narrow down to the results you need. I think that is enough introduction. This feature of Google is of no use just by knowing it. You need to try it out for yourself.
This actually reminds me what Steve Ballmer once said; paraphrased, it was something like, “You should be close to a programmer to use any Google service effectively.” Very true. I guess the truth hurts when someone rightly points it out to you.
Use Google scripts for search:
1. Search for the exact phrase in the body of a web page:
Say you remember an exact phrase or sentence from a previously visited site or you want the result to contain two separate words together. This is as simple as adding quotation marks to the start and end of the phrase.
This finds all pages that contain words “hello” and “world” and displays only if they are in fact consecutive.
Maybe you know more than one term for a specific search item. This is done by adding the word OR between the terms.
hello OR hi
This, as guessed, will give you either one of the terms and preference depends on relevance.
This script gives greater preference to exclusive OR than the other logic operations.
Remember, just like logic, the number of ORs in a script is only limited by the number of terms you need to search. It can also be used in conjunction with quotation marks to obtain phrases.
Do this using a minus sign before the undesired words(yes, I know its called a hyphen, but minus suits the purpose of the script.)
photo editor -trial -buy
This, as all of us want, presents a list of photo editors that are not trials or to be bought before use.
You could use this in conjunction with quotation marks to obtain pages with exact phrases absent.
4. Search for specific words in the title bar:
This can be done by typing using the intitle command. The syntax is:
This will find all the relevant pages with titles containing words “Search” and “term”. The order of the words are given preferences.
e.g. intitle:”index of” gives you results that point to titles with “Index of/” in their titles, mainly those FTP based sites.
Here, if you’re just trying to find a singular word in the title you need not use quotes.
5. Search for specific item in the url:
This is accomplished using inurl command. Syntax:
This will take you only to pages containing the exact term “login.php” in their links.
e.g. inurl:login.php facebook gives you the first result as the facebook login page.
6. Search in a specific web-site or a domain:
This can be done using the site command. Syntax:
site:facebook.com denver dias
This gets you all possible “Denver Dias”s listed on facebook. But I’m on the top. Hehehe!
7. Searching specific types of files:
Use the filetype command to do this. Syntax is as below:
This gives you direct links to files Excel files with “budget” in their filenames.
The greatest thing about this feature is it gives you direct download links to files instead of taking you to web pages.
8. Searching for words specifically in the body of web pages:
Use the inbody command. Syntax is as follows:
This will find you a few results with ‘fml’ in the body.
9. Searching words in links:
Use inlinks for this purpose. Syntax:
This will fetch you web pages with links that contain ’25 thousand’ in the link text.
10. The all keyword:
The all keyword will make sure that all the words in the search bar are found at the type of place mentioned after all.
e.g allinlinks: returns results with all search terms in link texts.
This feature is extensible as allinurl, allintitle, and pretty much everything that contains the letters in in them.
11. The number ranger:
If your search includes finding things that cost in a certain price range, then the way to do it is as follows:
Enter the lower limt followed by two periods followed by the higher limit.
Here, the search will return results which contain numbers between 300 and 1300.
- You can combine these scripts to get more specific results to your query.
- If you need to have just one word to be searched in the title of a site then there is no need to use quotation marks.
- When you need to search either of two phrases you can use quotes to denote the phrases while separating them with the OR command.
All that was just the useful stuff. Now comes the fun stuff. The Google home page has two command buttons, first one being “Google search” and the next being “I’m Feeling Lucky”.
The “I’m feeling lucky” button takes you directly to the first result that the search would yield. Great feature, certainly makes up for the average 36 second losses due to their Pac-Man doodle.
I’m feeling lucky…
Some of them are tried by me, there are many I still don’t know about. You can find out. Try these; I won’t tell you what happens. See it for yourself.
Google Hacker: Type “google hacker” and click on “I’m Feeling Lucky”. You can also get this by typing “google l33t”.
Google Pirate: Type “google pirate”.
Linux Penguin Google: Type “google linux”.
BSD: Another Linux distro. Type “google bsd”.
Ubuntu: Type “google ubuntu”.
Microsoft: Type “google windows”.
Elmer Fudd: The looney tunes character. Type “ewmew fudd”.
Bork: “google bork”.
Pig Latin: “google piglatin”.
Easter Egg: “google easter”.
Scholar: “google scholar”.
Moms: “google moms”.
Logo: “google holiday”.
Circular: “google circa”.
Gravity: “google gravity”.
Black: “google black”.
Loco: “google loco”.
- Me: “denver dias”.
Haven’t tried them out yet?
It is great. You can actually fool your comparatively less computer literate friends with these tricks. After you’ve amazed them, exclaim, “I’m a hacker.”
So that is it for now. I’ll be back to get you some exciting stuff later. Please comment your thoughts, and suggest ways for me to improve.