Most useful search tricks for Google and Bing

In: Tips & Tricks

29 Jun 2009

When searching, both Google & Bing(the latest search engine from Microsoft) allows some keywords or expressions to filter the results or control the way how search is done. These can be very useful for finding the best results. Following are some of the easiest and most useful search modifiers.

Naturally, this will also become a direct comparison of both search engines feature wise. So you may consider this as a “Bing Vs Google” comparison.

The following options are supported by both Bing and Google. But in some, for example currency conversion and unit conversion, Google is more advanced.

The following only applies to Google now. Bing may support these in the future.

Limiting search

site:domain <search term>

This will search only in the specified domain. The ‘search term’ is optional. If omitted, this will bring all the indexed pages in that domain.

Eg: site:microsoft.com live writer will show results only from microsoft.com

image 

inurl:part of url <search term>

This will show results from the pages which has a similar url.

 image

Bing does not support this.

intitle

image

This will show results from the pages which has similar title

Bing does not support this.

Calculator

You can use google & bing as a calculator. Just type in the expression and search.

For eg: 13 * 12 + (1/2000) image

Other supported operators

% of             percentage of      
^ or **         raise to a power
sqrt              square root of

Currency Conversion

You can use google and bing for currency conversion. The syntax can be any of the following.

<amount> <from_currency_code> to or in<to_currency_code>

Eg: 100 USD to INR, 100 USD in INR etc

<amount> <from_currency_name> to or in<to_currency_name>

Eg: 100 Us dollars to indian rupees

You can also mix currency code & currency name.

For eg: 100 INR in Us dollars

image

But what if you don’t know the currency code or currency name? Google supports another very useful syntax.

<amount> <country_name1> money in <country_name2> money

Eg: 100 british money in indian money

image

Note: Bing does not support this.

Unit conversion

If you want to convert one unit into another you can use Bing or Google.

Eg: 100 Kg in mg or mile in km etc

image

Number system conversions

google supports number system conversions but Bing doesn’t.
Prefix the following to number to convert from one number system to another.

No prefix means decimal (Eg: 100 in hex)
0b = binary ( Eg: 0b100 in decimal)
0x = hex (Eg: 0×100 in binary)
0o = octal (Eg: 0b100 in hex)

0x100 in binary

Weather

You can find out the weather forecast from both Google and Bing using the following query.

weather city_name

Eg: weather trivandrum

image

Searching for a specific file type

You can search for a specific file type by adding the following to the search term.

filetype:<extension>

eg: iphone manual filetype:pdf – It will only show links to matching pdfs.

image

 

Following are some Google only tricks. These do not work in Bing. Probably Microsoft will add these search options to Bing as well.

Find definitions

You can get the definitions for a word or phrase by the following.

define:<word> (If the ‘:’ is omitted it will show only one definition and then list the normal results. If clicked on that result you can see all the definitions).

define:blog

Find local time

You can find the time of a city or country by the following query.

time <city name or country>

Eg: time new delhi, time india, time russia.

If a country has more than one time zone, it will list all.

time us

Movie information

If you want quick information about a movie, use the following

movie: movie_name

Eg: movie: the ring

movie:the ring

Specify a range of numbers (The .. operator)

This is useful if you want to search pages created in a specific period or a product with a specific price range.

Eg: mobile phones $500..$700

range search

Information about a site

If you need a quick information about a site, you can try

info:<domain_name>

Eg: info:apple.com, info:cnet.com

info:apple.com

Cached copy of a site

cache:<domain>

Eg: cache:cnet.com

image

Related Sites

If you want to bring out related sites – similar content or category you can try this.

related:domain

Eg: related:cnet.com

image

Bing Vs Google

It was not my intention to do a comparison when I started writing this post. But after finding a lot of Google only options I am forced to write the following.

Though Bing is a good alternative to Google, it is not a complete replacement. If you want more power over your search, still Google is the best. If you check the above search options, you might have already noted that, Google supports a lot of options that Bing does not support. But, Bing may evolve and will add more features under its hood – but until then, Google is the best choice for me.  For image and video search I might be tempted to use Bing.

Related posts:

  1. Bing – is it a google killer?
  2. MSN Search improved a lot!
  3. Google Earth!
  • chris

    nice article. it does seem like bing does pretty much the same thing as google when using the define or time keywords although time doesn’t seem to work w/ all non-us locations. you have these listed as google only features. thanks

  • admin

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comment. Regarding the time and define options, I don’t think Bing works the same way as Google. Just try “time us” or “time india” in both Google and Bing. Google shows all the time zones if a country has more than one. But Bing does not treat “time” as a special query. What it does is a normal search. Same is the case with “define”

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    my initial test result shows that Bing is as good as Google when displaying relevant search results. Google might be having a tough competitor with Microsofts own search engine.

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    Microsoft Bing would be the closet competitor of Google. but i still use Google because it shows more relevant results on the serp.

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    i have been evaluating the search results of Microsoft Bing compared to Google and they are comparable. Bing gives almost the same relevant search results just like Google.

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    Thanks for the neat tips!

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    i have been using the BING search engine for a couple of weeks. it seems to be as good as Google but for some reason i would still want to stick with Google search engine

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    i am using both Bing and Google and i think both search engines give relevant search results. i would still prefer Google though, because it gives a little bit more relevant search results than Bing.

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    BING search engine is just as good as Google. In my own personal experience, Google does give more releveant search result than Bing but the difference is very small. **

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    i am a user of Microsofts BING search engine and it is as good as google search. for searching blogs, i think google gives more relevant search results compared bing.

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    my default search engine is Yahoo but now i am using BING because it is much better than Yahoo. i heard that Bing search engine would power Yahoo search also.

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    i think that Bing is not as good as Google. Google would still index new websites faster than Bing. Microsoft would still need a lot of catching to do with GoogleBot.

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    I use both Bing and Google search engine and i dont see much difference in their search results. I use google for searching hard to find academic topics and Bing for general search.

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    I use Bing and Google whenever i want to find something on the internet. I think that both search engines are very good. :

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    It is interesting to compare the performance of Bing and Google search but i haven’t seen any difference at all in their performance. ;

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    it is only a matter of time before Bing Microsoft acquires Yahoo search engine;”-

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    i still frequently use Google despite the appearance and popularity of the Bing search engine.;:

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    i always do video search of the latest movies on torrent sites.`*

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    Bing is a good search engine but Google edges a little bit better-”*

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    i would have to say that Google is slightly better than Bing search engine~;-

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    Bing supports intitle operator. May be earlier it didn’t.

    Try this string.

    intitle:”download zip”

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About me & this blog

Hello! my name is Hafees. Living in Kerala, India. I've been working as a web developer for more than 5 years. At present, I am working in Flip Media, the leading independent interactive media agency in the Middle East as Group Head of programming team.

Being passionate about technology, programming and photography, through this blog, I will be writing about technologies, softwares, computers, gadgets, photography and anything that fascinates me.

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