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Google Tips

To be an expert Google (re)searcher!

4 Question Research Survey

Watch a Brief Video Explaining Website Evaluation
Licensed by CommonCraft, 2013.

Great TED Talk by Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles"

Before starting your research with Google, consider using:

If you do use Google, learn about Google's search features:

Mrs. McNally's favorite tips:

  1. Avoid stop words: use keywords as opposed to sentences
  2. Boolean basics: using words like AND, OR, NOT (in all uppercase) may help refine your search. Example: crime AND poverty
  3. Use Quotes: by putting quotes around the words in your search, Google will look for words in the exact order you type them in
  4. Domain: consider limiting your search to a specific domain like .gov or .edu. Use the "site:" command. Example: Scottsboro Boys trial
  5. Don't assume singular/plural is included. Example: cake OR cakes
  6. Filetype: Looking for powerpoints? PDFs? Search just for a particular file type using the "filetype:" command. Example: Civil Rights filetype:ppt
  7. Host: limit a search to an extension like .gov
  8. Link: search for pages that link to a URL by using the "link:" command. Example:
  9. Related: to find web pages that have similar content, use the "related:" command. Example:
  10. Similar: to find web sites that are similar to a URL. Example:
  11. Site: search within a particular web site using the "site:" command. Example: recession
  12. Source: Looking for photos? Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, add "source:life" to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive. Example: civil rights source:life  

Use the 4 step Get REAL process to validate information about a web site:

  1. R = Read the URL
  2. E = Examine the content
  3. A = Ask about the author/owner of the site. If you don't know who the author/owner is, use
  4. L = Look at the links

Answer the following questions for a website you visit:

  • Is the information on the site helpful? (yes / no)
  • Does the site have more resources and links? Do the links work? (yes / no)
  • Is the site up to date? Can I tell when it was last updated? (yes / no)
  • Is the information correct? (yes / no)
  • Are the facts different from information I have found elsewhere? (yes/no)

Additional information/links to improve your proficiency with Google and/or searching:


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