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3 hidden Google features to keep you informed

Google Products screen shot
Google Products screen shot
Screen shot by Sandy Stachowiak

Google is well-known for their search engine, Chrome browser, Google+ social network, and Gmail. But, did you know that Google offers a whole slew of other features that are not widely advertised? Here are just a few of those features and what you can do with them to stay informed.

Google Offers

Google provides offers for shopping, activities, beauty, automotive, travel, services, and more. These offers can be tailored specifically to you based on your location and interaction history. Examples of these offers include local establishment discounts and free items.

Once you choose an offer that you would like to use, it is saved in a section labeled “Your offers”. From there, you can view details for the establishment, expiration date, locations to redeem, and any applicable terms. You also have the option to redeem the offer using Google Maps and then simply show your smartphone screen with the offer displayed at the time of purchase. This is available for both Android and iOS users.

For the simplest way to navigate to Google Offers, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apps icon on the top right of the Google home page.
  2. Click the link to “More” at the bottom of the pop-up.
  3. Click the “Offers” icon.

Google+ Ripples

If you post to Google+ often and would like to know the “ripple effect” of those posts, then Google+ Ripples is a good tool. The results from this helpful feature will show you those who have shared the post publicly, the associated comments, and how it was shared over time along with statistics.

To view Google+ Ripples, follow these steps:

  1. When logged into Google+, click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the post.
  2. Select “View Ripples”.

Note: the View Ripples option will only appear if the post has been shared and results will only display if it was shared publicly.

Specialized Search

Another hidden feature that Google offers is the Specialized Search. Images on Google are widely searched items. But, what if you are looking for a blog, patent, education paper, trend, product, or finance information? The Specialized Search may be just what you need. Rather than a generalized Google search, using one of these specialized searches will have a narrower filter to start.

For the simplest way to navigate to Google’s Specialized Search options, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apps icon on the top right of the Google home page.
  2. Click the link to “More” at the bottom of the pop-up.
  3. Click the link to “Even more from Google” at the bottom of the refreshed pop-up.
  4. Scroll down the page to the section for Specialized Search.

Google has many features that are just not obvious to users, but with a little searching you may just find a jewel.

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