5 ways to… have a little fun with Google

At school we thought we’d try to encourage students to follow some instructions online – instant feedback and a little independent learning –  and a have some fun with Google at the same time! Google may be trying to track, package and sell on your every online move, but it still retains a quirky, funny side. We’ve come up with a few neat tricks that your favourite search engine can play and are passing them on for one and all to try out. Do you know any others?

At full tilt

Have you ever tried getting that last drop of tasty homemade soup out of your bowl by lifting up one side just a little? Or maybe you can’t see something that is partly hidden and you just move your head to one side a little. Yes, you tilt your bowl up or tilt your head to one side. ‘Tilt’ is both a noun and a verb, and has many uses and shades of meaning. Most, though, involve the idea of a slope or slant. Still not sure what it means? Trying typing ‘tilt’ into google!

Do a barrel roll

If ‘tilt’ means to move something up or down or to one side just a little, then ‘to do a barrel roll’ means the full 180-degree turn. Something turns upside down in one move. Try typing ‘do a barrel roll’ into Google. You’ll get the idea.

Beat box

Are you big users of Google Translate? A handy tool for various things… including making music! Try it out. Copy and paste the following text into Google Translate: ‘pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk kkkkkkkkkk’. And ask Google to translate it from English to German. Click the ‘listen’ icon, and Google will start beat boxing. I bet you never knew that German could sound so rhythmical. Have a play around with the order of the text because the beat box rhythm changes depending on how you combine the terms.


So, we’ve had a couple of Google tricks for the linguists amongst us, and something for the musical types. Now for something subtle that might appeal to the IT geeks at school. Type the word ‘recursion’ into the Google search bar. Just like a smart programmer, Google in return asks you rather recursively: “Did you mean recursion?”

In a similar vein, if you type ‘anagram’ into the Google search bar, Google again rather subtlely asks if you in fact mean ‘nag a ram’.

Google magic – the disappearing OOs

And finally… this isn’t strictly a Google Google trick, but you might just be able to impress some friends. Tell them that your teacher has passed on some of their magic powers. Go to the darkarts google page and click anywhere on the white space. Put two fingers on the two OOs in the Google logo and rub them for a few seconds. As if by magic, the two OOs will vanish! Is this as near as you can get to magic? And to bring them back, again quietly click anywhere on the white part of the screen, blow on your fingers and rub the blank space where the two OOs in Google should be. And, hey presto! The OOs will reappear.