Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are you a Google Power User?

Google is awesome. And let's face it, it's often the first place we look for information. The brainiacs at Google make it so easy to find information. 
  • Using "Okay Google" we can search by voice and ask questions to our heart's content; 
  • and if we type in a question, Google supplies links to websites where we might find the answers! 
  • And yet, Google offers us EVEN more! Yes...More!
Google's basic search is pretty good - at least as good as the words you're searching. But Google's advanced search tools are even more incredible! 

The biggest tip for using Google more effectively is searching using keywords - simple, unique word or phrases - that, when combined, will yield better results. 

For example, if I want to find information about the laws and restrictions regarding guns in our state, I could ask a question: what gun laws does washington state have? 

Or I could take one step closer to being a Google Power user and break my question down into the most important words and search: gun laws "washington state"

Using phrase searching - that is, wrapping two or more words in quotation marks - tells Google to keep these words together, to give me links to websites where those words appear as a concept, immediately next to each other. You, the user, get more control over what information Google presents you with. 

There are many tips, tricks, and tools that Google offers us - but one tool that you could use, and should use, when using Google to find information for school work and assignments, is the site: tool.

Using the domain limiting tool allows you to quickly limit your search results to a certain domain - specifically, you can limit to educational websites or government websites. Both of these domains (.edu & .gov) have a lot more restrictions regarding just who can publish information on them, and they tend to exist for different reasons - that is, unlike .com's, they are generally not trying to sell you anything and are not opinion based. So you can quickly find more credibly information by getting rid of other websites that don't have the quality information you need.

Here's a short video about how to use this site: domain limiting tool in your research:

And let's not forget....

Google Books: www.books.google.com 
  • See a preview of a book and read excerpts online 
  • You can't usually access the whole book, but sometimes a chapter is all you need.
Google Images: www.images.google.com  
  • Need an image without copyright restrictions? Try an advanced Image search. 
  • Perform an image search, then click on "Search Tools" to limit by "Usage rights"
Google Scholar: www.scholar.google.com 
  • If you want to see the kinds of articles Google offers us, try this search. 
  • Not all articles are freely accessible, but those that are also come with citations! 
Finally, click on these links and zoom in to see two infographics that can help you learn how to be a better "Googler"...Go ahead, you know you want to! Become a better searcher and impress your friends! Thanks Google!

No comments:

Post a Comment