Google Tips (Advanced Searching)

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Google Tips (Advanced Searching)

Google Tips: To be an expert Google (re)searcher!

Research Survey (4 questions to assess your research savviness) 

Understand what the "filter bubble" is:

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. Example: 
  2. Use Quotes: by putting quotes around the words in your search, Google will look for words in the exact order you type them in
  3. Boolean basics: Use + - may help refine your search. Example "Pay it forward -movie." Using words like AND, OR, NOT (in all uppercase) may also help refine your search. Example: crime AND poverty. 
  4. Tilde (~): Using a tilde (~) with a search term will bring you results with related search terms. Example: Lou Gehrig's disease ~ALS.
  5. Domain: consider limiting your search to a specific domain like .gov or .edu. Use the "site:" command. Example: Scottsboro Boys trial
  6. Don't assume singular/plural is included. Example: cake OR cakes
  7. Filetype: Looking for powerpoints? PDFs? Search just for a particular file type using the "filetype:" command. Example: Civil Rights filetype:ppt
  8. Host: limit a search to an extension like .gov
  9. Link: search for pages that link to a URL by using the "link:" command. Example:
  10. Related: to find web pages that have similar content, use the "related:" command. Example:
  11. Similar: to find web sites that are similar to a URL. Example:
  12. Site: search within a particular web site using the "site:" command. Example: recession
  13. Source: Looking for photos? For example, 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
Watch a brief video explaining Website Evaluation by CommonCraft.
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, Google the author or use Whois Lookup to find out about the website creator/publisher.
  4. L = Look at the links

You should be able to 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)
Need help figuring out who a website belongs to (authorship/publisher)? Check out these sites:
  • WhoIs - look up a domain's name
  • Wayback Machine (also known as the Internet Archive) is a digital library of websites and/or anything else

TED Talk: Eli Pariser's "Beware online filter bubbles"


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