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Google Basics

How to get the most out of Google searches, drive and much more!

Google rules!

Google

It's the quickest and easiest way to get good search results. What you may not know is that you can get a lot more out of Google than a quick search. This guide describes how to get the best out of Google searches and much more.

For instance, did you know that:

  • You can set Google up to alert you for new results in a search?
  • Save Word documents to Google and access them anywhere you can access Google?
  • Make your own Google Maps?
  • Take your favorites and bookmarks with you?

About Google

A US company formed in 1998 that runs the Google internet search engine. Google resulted from a research project in 1996 by two postgraduate students from Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Such is its dominance over other search engines that ‘to Google’ has become a generic verb meaning to search for something or someone on the internet. The story goes that Page and Brin thought they were naming their company after GOOGOL, the vast number represented by a 1 followed by 100 zeroes, but got the spelling wrong. Similarly, the company's headquarters in California is called the Googleplex.

Slogan

The Google company's unofficial slogan is ‘Don't be evil’; however, its detractors have expressed concerns regarding its policies on copyright, censorship, and the privacy of personal information.

From CREDO Google: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Use Search Tips in Library Databases

Here's another tip: Many of these tricks can be used with other search engines and even library databases!

Top Google Search Tips

Google is so easy to use you don’t have to be an expert to get great search results, but here are some top tips that will help get rid of the stuff you don’t want:

1.Quotes

Use quotes around any set of words sought as a phrase (these words in this order). This is especially useful when searching for proper names so you don’t get results where the two words are on the page but unrelated.

Compare Gerald Ford to "Gerald Ford".

2.Exclude

- can be used to exclude terms.

Compare Matisse to Matisse –network.

3. Synonyms & OR

Use synonyms--try to think of several different ways that your search term or concept could be stated. Combine the terms with or. Or must be in caps or it is ignored.

Compare multicultural to multicultural OR cultural diversity.

4. Google Site Search

Did you know that with Google Advanced search you can restrict your search to just one specific site? This kind of search comes in handy when you are pretty sure the information exists on a site, but you can’t find it. To use it, enter your search tem(s) and site:sitedomain.

Compare "mla style" to "mla style" site:libguides.com.edu.

5. Google Advanced Search

Site search is just one of the features of Google Advanced. With Advanced you can limit results by language, region, domain, and much more. The options available can really make a difference.

Use Google Search Tools

Search Tools will appear on your results page after you've searched. You can narrow down your search to videos, books, places and much more. It's a great time saver.

1. Under the search box, use options like Images or News to filter your results. Find even more options under More.

  Google

2. For even more options, cllick on Search tools. Available options will vary based on your search and the filters you've already used, so you won't see the same options every time.

3. If you don't like your results after you've applied a filter, you can go back to standard unfiltered Google results, click Web at the top of the search results page. To remove any filters you've added through Search tools, click Clear.

Google Guides

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