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Getting more out of Google
Finding definitions
Google has an inbuilt encyclopedia (searches only English info, and only from websites considered reliable). Sometimes useful when you can't remember what an acronym stands for, etc.
    define: opec

Finding a missing word
Is the Dutch prime minister Jan Pieter or Jan Peter Balkenende? Use an asterisk to replace one or more words, and you can find out.
    Jan * Balkenende

Finding synonyms
Use a tilde ~ to get Google to search for synonyms of the word as well. ~tsunami searches for tsunami and tidal wave.
    ~tsunami

Finding particular types of document
You can ask Google to look for filetypes, by using filetype:pdf for PDFs, filetype.doc for Word docs and filetype.xls for Excel docs.
    pensions filetype:pdf

  
Finding more sources
Websites' own search engines don't always dig up everything if they're poorly archived. Use the command site: in Google, and compare the difference, it will often find more pages.
    adopt site:www.cat.org.uk
(and compare to searching for "adopt" in the site's own search engine)

Quickly finding numbers/statistics
Give the search term(s) and then an estimate of the upper and lower numbers divided by three periods.
    Average price house 200000...300000
    Washing machine price 300...400
Two or four periods won't work, it has to be three; and the numbers mustn't be punctuated. It's not perfect (it'll also pick up things with names that include those numbers), but can be useful.

Finding the phone number of a press spokesperson
Using the city code where the office is located, the name of the company, and press (or equivalent in the local language) will often produce a result.
    020 siemens press