Google: type a few keywords, hit enter.
Sure. That will work. But you probably don’t want the 7.8 million results. You want seven. Good results. Quality results. Quickly.
There are several enhancements to Google search – what it calls OneBox, designed to make searches simpler and more effective. Google has enhanced the artificial intelligence and natural language processing, and then thrown in some deductive reasoning – guessing you want the most common searches most of the time.
Which means you can get to the results – and the adverts – faster.
OneBox and Knowledge Graph is now intelligent enough to deduce many of your searches without your needing a lot of keywords.
To explore the full discography or filmography of an artist, enter artistname movies or artistname albums. This returns a visual display of all their output, complete with covers or poster, release names and dates. Click on any album or movie to drill down to a dedicated results page in Knowledge Graph.
Guess what artistname latest album will get you?
This works just as well with authors, sports teams, players, fashion designers, cars. For authors, search for authorname books; For sports teams, the keyword roster will bring up the teamsheet; sports team roster.
To find a movie showing, search for moviename postalcode and you will get local show times at cinemas nearest you. This works in the UK, US, Canada, and most of Europe.
This also works with sports teams – the OneBox results will bring upcoming fixtures, recent results and a team profile box.
Google as a Calculator
Google’s search box has a whole calculator built in. Anything you can do on your trusty handheld Casio, so can Google. Anything you can enter as a string with the operators +-*/ and ending with = will calculate a result. You can even use complex equations. The geniuses at Google are geniuses, after all.
You can also use Google to draw graphs, from simple line graphs to full 3D charts.
Google as a Converter
Convert any measure to any other using a natural language query – how many millilitres are there in a cup? How many grams in an ounce? Google not only shows immediate results but provides some dropdown menus to get further conversions.
This also applies works to currency conversions. 25 usd to gbp (or anything similar) returns the conversion at today’s exchange rate, along with a graph of recent currency rates movement.
Travel – Planes
Google’s OneBox works for general flight searches and flight information for named flights. Search on airline flight number to find out where this flight is at the moment, where it’s coming from and when and where it’s landing. This doesn’t work for all airlines, but most international flights are covered.
Search for flights from departure to destination you’ll find a list of available flights with current prices.
Travel – Trains and Automobiles
Searching for starting point to destination and you should get a driving directions map, travel time and distance. Click on the map route and you get the full size map with detailed directions. This may not fully work internationally yet, but even a query such as London to Paris will return results based on best travel time crossing the water.
Once you arrive at your destination, Google will also try to be your best tourist guide. Search for things to do in place to get a visual guide to the most popular local attractions, with each linked to a search page of specific results. RC