10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Google


Google is amazing (please thank me for this amazing revelation). There are some things you probably didn’t know Google can do. Take your time and read the information below. You’ll likely learn a few tips and tricks that will make you appreciate Google even more.

10. Find a beautiful wallpaper for your desktop resolution with Google images

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to Advanced Image Search
  2. Next to “Exact size” click on “Use my desktop resolution”. Then, next to “Content types” select “Photo content.”
  3. Enter some words. If you want to find cows, enter beautiful cows 🙂 Let’s see the results:

Notice that many of the images in the results are from wallpaper sites. Google Images makes it very convenient to go through these types of sites and browse them like a gallery instead of going to each gallery site separately.

9. Create unlimited disposable email addresses with Gmail

Take the following example:

That’s right, you can add one or more dots ANYWHERE between your username and send messages to that ‘new’ email. All of those messages will arrive to your old (without dots) email. Hard to explain without a picture. But somehow Google did find a way to do it…

Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else’s mail is being routed to your account, don’t worry: both of these addresses are yours.

Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:

All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You’ll still go to your account.

Yep, this is an explanation from Google itself. Now that you understand this, let’s keep going.

8. Search videos durations using Google Video

I’ve noticed there’s not a single video site that allows you to search videos by duration. Let’s say I want to learn Spanish and I want comprehensive videos for that (longer than 20 minutes.) To search, I go to Google Advanced Video Search page and select “Long” next to “Duration”. Here’s what happens:

Now all that’s left is to get some free time and watch those…

7. Want to find an iPad alternative using Google Search?

Sure, you can write ‘iPad alternative’ in Google but that won’t give you the best results. Instead, try this:

Using “better than product” where product=any product will give you not only alternatives but better alternatives to a particular product. Very cool.

6. Detect any unknown language with Google Language Detector

I have a big problem:

What’s the solution? Google language detector.

Another good way to detect and also translate is to use Google Translate and the “Detect Language” option:

5. See what the Dutch haven been searching for recently using Google Insights

Google is the most popular search engine in almost any country in the world. Google Insights (like the name suggests) gives you ‘insights’ of what people have been searching for around the world. For example, Netherlands:

Hyves is a Dutch portal and social network. Weer seems to be a weather portal.

4. When did Google become more popular than Microsoft? Google Trends has the answer

Google Trends helps you discover the trends on various topics and see what people have been searching for over time. In this case, you can see when people started searching for Google more than Microsoft in early 2005.

3. Hate opening PDF files? Google Docs is the solution

So you’ve been searching on Google for a particular topic and found a PDF file:

Instead of opening the file in Adobe Reader (which is a painful process), you can click on “Quick View” and open the file in Google Docs! It takes seconds to open and it’s way more flexible. If you choose later, you can always save the file as PDF by choosing the export option in Google Docs.

2. Scan and Read your RSS feeds like email messages in Google Reader

You probably know how easy it is to open and read email messages in Gmail thanks to the list view. Well, you can do the same in Google Reader:

The default view in Google Reader is ‘expanded’ which makes the items pretty difficult to scan and read. If you change the view from expanded to ‘list’, then it becomes WAY easier to SCAN items and pick what you like.

1. Google can tell you the answer to life and the universe

I wish it was so simple 🙂

by Darren

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  1. I just learned you can drag and drop photos from your computer and search for them in google! How awesome!

  2. “Disposable” e-mail addresses? Usually this means addresses that you can throw away and shut down and you won’t get anything in the future. That doesn’t apply here.

    This article is mostly yawn city. 42. 42, really? I’m not 19 years old anymore, Douglas Adams isn’t exactly my speed. I was expecting really insightful stuff (and a couple of them are, but not as a whole)


  3. The e-mail thing is wrong. As it says: these are all functionally the same address. Therefore, they are NOT disposable! You can’t eliminate one or junk it or whatever without affecting all of them.

  4. Are the email addresses really DISPOSABLE? From what I understand from the article is that you can’t block emails from a derived email, so if it gets spammed it still goes to your original email address…

  5. #1 is referred to the game “imposibble quiz” on newgrounds.com… wherein question #42 states that “it is the answer to life, the universe and everything”. and the answer is 42

  6. Is it just me or the title is a bit misleading? “Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with GOOGLE”? And most of these are not even tricks for Google, but other Google products. Hmmm…

  7. SMH awesome post. I knew few tips before but the dot in the email thing and the better than tip are pretty awesome

  8. I found this rather useful particulrly the wallpaper search and video duration. OK some of the things were obvious but its best to remember not everyone is well versed in web skills.

  9. Wedding gowns on

    The “You Are Here” marker show my exact location on the map (I’m not i a city, kinda the boonies). I’d expect that using my phone b/c of GPS & tower triangulation. I’m a little surprised that they can track a nonstatic IP to my address.

  10. I’ve made my living with Google over the past ten years. I learned how to do SEO Google-style, and it’s worked out great for me. It’s not simple, but it pays pretty decent dividends.

    A couple other great things you can do with Google:

    Find the nearest Taco Bell (or any other local business) using Google Maps (also included as part of Google’s Universal Search results if the right search words are used.

    Insert news feeds and other dynamic information into your blog or web site using Google’s JSON newsfeed API.

  11. SEO Cincinnati on

    #10. 42 is the answer, but can Google find the question?!?

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a book written by Douglas Adams.
    I believe he also wrote some of the Dr. Who scripts. Can anyone confirm?

  12. Google is the most innovative company in the world, it has changed the way people use internet. They always come up with new ideas to make our work easy and smooth.

  13. You have image search and video search on here but not the elmer fudd and pig Latin translation tools or “once in a blue moon” probability? Tsk.

  14. Tip #7, searching for products that are "better than X," is not really a search for products that are "better" — it's just a string search where Google will search for websites containing the exact words "better than X."

    As you can see, in your example, none of those products are listed because Google thinks they're better — they're listed because "better than iPad" is in the actual text of the webpage.

  15. Cortex Cerebri on

    Found some new interesting/useful things related to Google.

    Well written.

  16. Your search for "better than " is no more than a strict search. This does not mean that it's going to search for things that are better than x – it's going to search for "better than x" – displayed exactly like that – in an article.

    Putting quotes around a google search simply specifies that you want your results to contain exactly that phrase, including any misspellings, errors, omissions or anything else you may have included.

    Very useful for when you want to look up something that fits your criteria, but in no way does it actually search for things that are better than a product – the results are still going to be based on opinion, conjecture, or empirical data, depending on the source – certainly not fact.

    You can, however, make some VERY powerful searches utilizing strict searches combined with standard words as well as the minus sign, which restricts your search to documents and articles that do not contain the indicated word or phrase.

    Still a very useful tool – perhaps you should change the copy to reflect this?

  17. Hah.. Google will infiltrate your consciousness if you let it. It wants in, to find out everything about you, your fiends, your family, their friends, etc.. so it can package what it knows and market it back to you.

  18. Microsoft and (especially) Apple aren't surrendering as the evil empires just yet. Google, so far at least, is settling for empire without evil. And you forgot Android on your list, open source and leaving everyone else in their dust! 🙂

  19. I appreciate the tip about PDF files. It takes FOREVER to open a PDF file in Adobe, so it's good to know you can get a quick view to see if the file is worth opening.

      • eric jackson on

        Definitely ditch the adobe reader and go with foxit. I did when it first came out and never looked back. Adobe reader not only slows the pdf read but your entire system

  20. seriously

    number 10 is image search….who doesn't know how to search for an image

    most people who use google surely know how to use all of these things.

    • Um, I have used google for 5 years, and other than the image search and google maps, I didn’t know any of this. And I know quite a few people who don’t even know about images or maps let alone the rest. granted, most of those are older people, or dumb people, or people with lives outside the net… but…