Did you know the plain ol’ Google search box you use every day is good for a whole lot more than you’re likely asking of it? Forget going to ten different sites to get your  travel  info quickly. Just Google it!

Internet Cafe Traveler
© Delgoff.

Here are twelve essential Google travel shortcuts you might have missed:

#1: Get Local Weather

Type: “weather [city name or zip/postal code]”

Example: “weather 02818″ or “weather london”


#2: Check Flight Status

Google automagically pulls flight data from FlightStats.com. All you have to do is enter the flight


Type: [flight name and/or number]

Example: “aa123″ or “united 959″

Flight Status

#3: Currency Converter

Type: “[amount] [first currency] to [second currency]”

Example: “1000 usd to euro”

Currency US Dollars to Euros

… or:

“500 yen to pesos”

Currency (Yen to Pesos)

#4: Find the Local Time Anywhere

Type: “time [city/state/province/country]”

Example: “time tokyo”


#5: Identify People, Foreign Objects, and More

A great tip from Lifehacker:

Google Image search results show you instead of tell you about a word. Don’t know what jicama looks like? Not sure if the person named “Priti” who you’re emailing with is a woman or a man? Spanish rusty and you forgot what “corazon” is? Pop your term into Google Image Search (or type image jicama into the regular search box) to see what your term’s about.

A while back, someone told me of a fruit I’d never heard of called “rambutan”. Plugging the phrase into Google image search revealed that it’s a bright red, quirky looking fruit that’s not likely indigenous to the U.S.:

Identify Peope, Foreign Objects, and More

#6: View Airport Conditions

Type: “[airport name/code] airport”

Example: “logan airport”

Airport Status and Conditions

#7: Convert Temperatures

Type: “[temperature] [C/F] to [F/C]”

Example: “40 C to F”


#8: Convert Distances

Type: “[value] [first distance unit] to [second distance unit]”

Example: “400 kilometers to miles”


#9: Convert Driving Speeds

Type: “[value] [first distance unit] to [second distance unit]”

Example: “70 kph to mph”


#10: Find a Phone Number

Find a Person:

Type: “[person’s name], [city or zip/postal code]”

Example: “john smith, london”

Personal Phone Number

Find a Business:

Type: “[business name or type], [city or zip/postal code]”

Example: “apple store, manhattan”

Business Phone Number

#11: Find Local Food and Restaurants

Type: “[food type], [city or zip code/postal code]”

Example: “pizza, london e1″


#12: Track Your Packages

Wondering where that extra pack of socks Mom was supposed to forward you is?

Type: [any USPS, UPS, or FedEx tracking number]

Example: 706479610009807

Track Packages

Voilà! No longer must you login to each shipping carrier’s official website.


What’s the difference between clicks, visits, visitors, pageviews, and unique pageviews?

The visitor data in your Analytics account can be easy to misinterpret due to the many similar terms used in different reports. Below you’ll find a more detailed explanation of the terms that most often lead to questions.

* Clicks vs. Visits
* Visits vs. Visitors
* Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

Clicks vs. Visits

There is an important distinction between clicks (such as in your AdWords Campaigns reports) and visits (in your Search Engines and Visitors reports report). The clicks column in your reports indicates how many times your advertisements were clicked by visitors, while visits indicates the number of unique sessions initiated by your visitors. There are several reasons why these two numbers may not match:

* A visitor may click your ad multiple times. When one person clicks on one advertisement multiple times in the same session, AdWords will record multiple clicks while Analytics recognizes the separate pageviews as one visit. This is a common behavior among visitors engaging in comparison shopping.

* A user may click on an ad, and then later, during a different session, return directly to the site through a bookmark. The referral information from the original visit will be retained in this case, so the one click will result in multiple visits.

* A visitor may click on your advertisement, but prevent the page from fully loading by navigating to another page or by pressing their browser’s Stop button. In this case, the Analytics tracking code is unable to execute and send tracking data to the Google servers. However, AdWords will still register a click.

* To ensure more accurate billing, Google AdWords automatically filters invalid clicks from your reports. However, Analytics reports these clicks as visits to your website in order to show the complete set of traffic data.

Visits vs. Visitors

Analytics measures both visits and visitors in your account. Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors.

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a visitor hits reload after reaching the page, this will be counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview will be recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.