Google Search: 8 Tips to Keep in MindSebah Al-Ali
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 site:blogs.hct.ac.ae/foundations (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” site:blogs.hct.ac.ae/foundations (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”.
#4 Google fun
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.
#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.
#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 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!
#8 Teach your students
You can teach your students search skills using materials (lesson plans and activities) created by the search master, google!