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Google Search turns 20: 10 useful things you can find via the infinite search engine

Google Search turns 20: 10 useful things you can find via the infinite search engine

"Google it"

Text: Janice Sim


When all else fails, you can count on Google to save the day

In the course of our lives so far, there have been many problems whether huge or minuscule. But only one reliable solution we turn to for an answer — Google Search. From cooking disasters, weird moles to real-time issues that are happening in the world, Google has proven to be universal, omnipresent and oddly, all-knowing.

We say odd because there are answers pertaining to things like "Do vampires really exist", "What does 'thicc' mean" and "How to tame my pet dragon". Of course jokes aside, it has also been an important, private source of information in times of need like: "How to know if you're having a heart attack" or "What should I do if I'm getting abused at home".  Some might even call it a lifesaver.

This year marks Google Search's 20th anniversary. To commemorate the infinite pool of information and the millionth time we have said: "Let me Google it", here's a nifty list of life hacks the ingenious search engine has bestowed us with.

1. Check Internet speed

On days when the attachment you're trying to download is taking up your entire morning, search [speed test] and click on 'Run Speed Test' to watch a real-time check on your ping, download and upload speeds. This will be completed with test results at the end.

2. Make sure said news isn't fake

Don't believe everything you hear or read. Combat fake news by using the "Fact Check" tag on Google News when you search for the latest news stories. The tag identifies news that had been established to be truthful by news publishers and fact-checking organizations. 

Google fact check

3. Review your agenda for the day

Forgot where your dinner reservation has been slated for? If you're logged into a Google account, search [my reservations], and Google will pull out your personal results. This works for flight bookings as well. 

4. Live sports scores

Sports fanatics can simply type in [EPL] and help you keep track of the scores easily and in real time. It can also pull out every other information you need to know, and to check if there's a game in progress. 

5. Avenue for jobs

Now available in more than 100 countries around the world, you can search for jobs right on Google. You can search for [jobs near me] or [retail jobs] to get relevant positions that match your skills. These jobs will come directly from more than 1,500 employers and career sites across the web, and you can save jobs, map your potential commute and click through to apply.

6. How to kill your time

Stuck in a queue, or in a long commute home? Search your favourite games and you might just be able to play it. If you're not sure where to start, try searching Pacman, Tic Tac Toe, Atari Breakout and Snake.

Google Search

7. Get nutritional information

Harmless questions like "how much fat is there in chocolate cake?" or "how much sugar is there in tomato sauce?" are essential and our diet knows it. Google's savvy breakdown of nutritional stats will be able to determine if you're having that next bite. 

8. Be a conversion whiz

We can't count the number of times we have googled the conversion rates before we made our purchase on an international site. You can also convert anything from measurements to temperatures to weight etc. 

9. It all starts with an image...

Now you can know where that meme really came from.  Use the image url from an online site or upload your own photo to Google Images to find the same or similar photos on the web. Click on the camera icon in Google Image search and it will also tell you the origin and other details about the photo. 

10. Make plans 

So you need a Friday night plan stat. Simply search for [events near me] or for a specific event type like [arts and crafts shows] and you'll see listings for local activities from around the web. With a recent update, you can also browse events based on your interests. 

Here's why you need a Google Assistant in your life. 

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