Skip to toolbar Login using your HCT credentials to add comments, share articles, and more!
Lesson Plans & Ideas
Google Search: 8 Tips to Keep in Mind
Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 12.28.32 PM

Google Search: 8 Tips to Keep in Mind

October 11, 2014

Google has been recently named the most powerful virtual assistant, beating Siri and Cortana. This confirms what we all know: if you’re lost or you need help, nothing can help you better than google! I personally cannot recall a day I didn’t use google at least once to look up something. Do you?

Your google experience can be made a lot more efficient if you keep these tips in mind:

#1 Advanced search

Did you know that google allows you to be really picky about your results? All you need to do is visit their advanced search results page, and a whole lot of options are made available to please your needs.


#2 Search operators 

If you wanted to narrow your results from google’s main page, you can use search operators. These are keywords or special symbols that are interrupted by google to refine your search. For example, if you want to search a specific website for something, you can add the site to your query to limit results to that website. For example to search for content about writing on the newsletter, you would use:

EXAMPLE: writing (click here to see results)

You’ll see that results include posts with words like “writers” or “write.” If you want your results to be limited to pages that only include your exact search terms, place your search terms within “” quotation marks. This will ask google to search for these exact terms, no derivatives at all.

EXAMPLE: “writing” (click here to see refined results)

To learn more about these operators, visit google’s search operators.


#3 Filter results

You can further filter your results by using google’s “search tools”.

Filter google search results


#4 Google fun

This might not be considered a “useful” tip, but it’s fun to know. Ever thought about using google mirrored? Or have you searched for the word “tilt” or “do a barrel roll“?

I know, a total waste of time, but isn’t fun? 😀


#5 Google can be whatever you want!

If you search for “calculator,” google will offer you a calculator to do your basic math calculations.

Google's calculator

Same thing for timer, currency convertor, unit convertor, and others.


#6 Change your search settings

You can modify google’s settings on your device to disable/enable instant search results, change the number of results displayed on each page, or change languages. Click on “settings” on the bottom right corner, and then choose “settings.

Change google's settings


#7 Google Scholar

This is one of google’s most powerful research tools. It allows you to search for academic publications (journals articles, research papers, books, etc.). Not only does it list these academic results, but it also shows you how popular an item is by sharing how many cited it.

You can view other resources that cited this resource


You can click on that and see all relevant sources that cited this exact article you’re interested in. If you search on campus, it’ll also show you what is made available for us through HCT’s database subscriptions.

You can also refine your search, by using customizations offered on the side.

Cheat note: I also use it to find articles that I already have, but am too lazy to add them to my reference list. I just click on “cite” right under an article, and my APA citation is there!

You can save a lot of time using the "cite" feature


#8 Teach your students 

You can teach your students search skills using materials (lesson plans and activities) created by the search master, google!

Teach your students how to search


Give it a look: Search Education. Their lesson plans are simple and useful.

October 11, 2014
Lesson Plans & Ideas, Technology

Sebah Al-Ali

An ESL lecturer whose experience in programming and web development has made her passionate about integrating technology in her classes. She’s mainly interested in how technology can be efficiently utilized to facilitate active learning, develop interactive curriculum, and train teachers.

Sebah Al-Ali also wrote