Permalink, 31 March 2009
In a previous article we showed that Google is rather refraining the development of search technology instead of advancing it. But there is more. Google seems also to hide some undocumented search options. When you go to ‘advanced search’ you can use options like ‘site:’ , ‘filetype:’, ‘allintitle:’ when you want to specify that you only want results from a specified domain, in a specified file type or only those who have your search term in the title. There is another undocumented option: ‘define:’
Its quite simple just type
or another word you want the definition of and Google will return 10 to 20 definitions from trusted sites like Wikipedia, princeton.edu, Stanford.edu etc. You can even get those definitions in other languages like French, Italian, German or Russsian.
It’s a quick way to find a definition when you do not have the time to read the article in the Wikipedia.
Beware, when you leave the realm of encyclopaedic knowledge you might nog get the answer you are looking for. Google shapes its and our world according to its own world view. When I asked to define ‘contextual search’ I got the following answer:
Text links appear in an arlicle based on the context of the content. Advertiser pays when the link is clicked.
That one wasn’t very useful. But what would you exspect.
Another usefull trick is when you search for products in a given price range. Let’s say you search for a laser printer beween 100 and 200 euro. Just type:
laserprinter 100…200 euro
You first type the name of the product and then the range. Notice I typed 3 dots between the numbers, not two of four, just three to make it work. Also do not type dots in the numbers looking for an apartment then use 250000 without dots! Like this
Appartement London 250000…300000