Google Improves Searches In a Number of Ways

Report in The Washington Post

Google added five features last week that boost its numerical smarts, providing specific results in response to particular numeric searches.

Enter an airline flight number — for example, “united 80,” — and the popular search engine will provide links to reports on that flight’s status at and, including maps showing its progress.

Type an area code into the search box, and you’ll be pointed to a map of the general region that area code covers. A U.S. Postal Service package tracking number yields a link to a delivery-status page at the Postal Service’s Web site. A vehicle identification number will call up a page describing the car’s year, make and model type.

Or you can type in a universal product code number — minus the dashes, but including any tiny numbers appearing to the far left or right under the bar code — and Google will look up the product’s full name, then generate a list of Web sites selling the item or providing other information about it. This can spare shoppers from trying to guess which search keywords would bring up the same information.