Google and Beyond: Internet Research Skills Optimization


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Strategies of online research, optimizing your search engine query techniques, evaluating websites, and other internet research strategies

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Google and Beyond: Internet Research Skills Optimization

  1. 1. Google and BeyondRethinking your hunting methodsAmanda DeasonInternet
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES• Internet and search basics• Search engine types• Other online sources• Refining an internet search• Evaluating and Citing sites
  3. 3. RESEARCH MATTERSResearch allows us to move from ignorance to knowledge.There is a wealth of information right at our fingertips.We only need to know how to access it.
  4. 4. THE INTERNETRecently a population of college students were asked toexplain how the internet works.Not one person could answer the question correctly.The word ‘magic’ came up often…
  5. 5. Just how does theInternet work?
  6. 6. STANDARD SEARCH ENGINESA great place to get your feet wet
  7. 7. SEARCH ENGINESWeb sites used for retrieval of data, files, ordocuments from a databaseA search engine search is NOT a live or completeWeb search!
  9. 9. To go beyond Google you firstneed to understand Google
  10. 10. • Be Specificsmall dog breeds vs. dog• Use Professional termscommercial architecture vs. buildings• Do NOT use punctuation or ask questions• Capitalization is not nessessaryHouston TX = houston tx
  11. 11. Turbocharge Google!• Boolean Search Strings• Phrase Searching• Refinement• Combine methods for BOOST!
  12. 12. BOOLEAN OPERATORSTerms used with keywords to provide further instruction to thesearch engineBoolean terms MUST be capitalizedBoolean Operators save time and reduce inappropriateresults that must be scanned for relevancy
  13. 13. BOOLEAN OPERATORSNarrows the results to only those that contain both termsexample, construction jobs
  14. 14. BOOLEAN OPERATORSBroadens the search results to include those that contain any of theterms separated by the OR operatorexample, information technology
  15. 15. BOOLEAN OPERATORSNarrows the search results by excluding the term followingNOT from search resultsexample, colorado NOT denver
  16. 16. NESTING WITH THE MODIFERYou can (nest words together) and enclose item like (thisOR that) to help (refine OR restrict) your search OR magazineipad OR tabletviolin OR strings
  17. 17. PHRASE SEARCHING WITHYou can “group keywords together” to instruct the searchengine to return results that are and “exact match”global warmingcriminal justicedown comforter
  18. 18. GENERATING A SEARCH STRINGCombine keywords, operators, and symbols in a searchstring to further instruct the search engine to find andexclude specific informationbanana breadbanana AND bread“banana bread”banana OR bread
  19. 19. IN THE WILD WITH THEThe , called the “Wild Card” is used to increase thesearch results by replaces missing or unknown words inyour search query.(Electricity invented by )(A penny is a penny )
  20. 20. SEARCH TOOLSThese search techniques will save you time and effortYour searches will bring in more relevant results.manipulate the string = manipulate the results
  22. 22. REFINEMENTSRefinements do just what they sound like they do; theyrefine your results!This lecture will coverYou will have to experiment with the others!
  23. 23. Restricts your results to the specified file type.doc ►Microsoft Wordpdf ► Adobe PDFppt ► Microsoft PowerPointxls ► Microsft Excel
  24. 24. Restricts your results to those from a specified ►LSUS sitegov ►Government ►LinkedIn United Kingdom ►Microsoft site
  25. 25. Restricts your results to those with specified words inthe ►(eg) directory.mozilla.orgcache ►(eg)|cv ►url resume OR cv, for
  26. 26. Combine methods=Boost!Let’s say I’d like a news article on Information Technology, from agovernment site, in the form of PDF, Word document, or Excel.Create a search string that would help you narrow down the results.Play around with different combinationsSee what you come up with!
  27. 27. Look at the key words:Let’s say I’d like a news article on Information Technology, from agovernment site, in the form of PDF, Word document, or Excel.Here is an example of a search string you could use:“Information Technology” AND site:gov AND inurl:news (filetype:pdfOR filetype:doc OR filetype:xls)
  28. 28. BEYOND GOOGLEMeta Search, Libraries, Directories, Oh My!
  29. 29. METASEARCH ENGINESen.Wikipedia.comwww.searchenginepeople.comMeta-Search Enginessearch standardSearch enginesThis allows you to searchfaster and smarter!
  30. 30. METASEARCH ENGINESSome Meta Search engines:
  31. 31. OTHER RESOURCESCheck out other resources beyond search engines like:
  32. 32. PLAN YOUR ROUTEDon’t get lost in the woods
  34. 34. EVALUATING SOURCESBag it and don’t forget to Tag it!
  35. 35. EVALUATING SITESYou have the results, now what?What do you know about the items you’ve found online?How do you determine if the results of your Web hunt are trash ortreasure?
  36. 36. EVALUATING SITESImportant because:• anyone can publish to the Web• the Web is not regulated by a governing body• the material on the Web does NOT have to be edited oreven true
  37. 37. URLUniform Resource Locator (Web page address)Example:Learn more here
  39. 39. C.A.R.S AN EVALUATION CHECKLISTWhen evaluating a site for ask yourself:• Who is the author of the site?• What is the author’s credentials? experience? training?education?• Does the author provide contact information?• What does the site’s appearance look like? professional?organized? neat?: anonymous author, misspellings, faulty links, messyappearance
  40. 40. C.A.R.S AN EVALUATION CHECKLISTWhen evaluating a site for ask yourself:• When was the material compiled or created? recently?• Is the material presented a comprehensive presentation of thefacts?• Why, what purpose, what the site or information created?: out of date information, expired links,inaccurate information, overly generalized information
  41. 41. C.A.R.S AN EVALUATION CHECKLISTWhen evaluating a site for ask yourself:• Is the material presented in an objective and non-biased manner?• Does the information make sense to you based on what youalready know to be true?• Does the information contradict itself or other parts of the Web site?: manipulative and/or emotional language, one-sidedinformation, Web site and information show a conflict of interest
  42. 42. C.A.R.S AN EVALUATION CHECKLISTWhen evaluating a site for ask yourself:• Has the author documented or provided sources?• Can you find other sources (at least two) that support the datapresented on the site in question?: lack of documentation, information contradictsother known reliable sources
  43. 43. EVALUATING SITESCiting SourcesGive credit where credit is due!There are even sites that will do it for you:http://www.easybib.comhttp://www.citationmaker.comAnd sites that will check for plagiarism & grammar errors:
  44. 44. HUNTING KITAssembling your hunting tool kit• Keyword search use specific, relevant, professional terms• Boolean operators refine search by including or excluding terms• Phrase search specify term groupings and order• URL checking domain types help identify source type• C.A.R.S. evaluate your sources• Cite sources plagiarism is not flattery it is unethical and wrong• Be safe! You never know where those Web pages have been!
  45. 45. FAVESHand-picked hunting essentials
  46. 46. I LOVE LOVE LOVE ! ! ! !Powered by Google, it displays results a bit differently throughclustering and tags. Very efficient searching!Take the lightning fast tour/tutorial here:
  47. 47. www.dogpile.comSearches Google, Yahoo, and Yandex.You will find that some meta-search engines display duplicates,dogpile analyzes the results, determines relevancy, and eliminatesduplicates.
  48. 48. Do not underestimate the value of a social network!On LinkedIn you’ll find groups of professionals and novices whoshare similar interests all collaborating and learning from eachother in LinkedIn Groups. For example I am a part of these groups:Join me!
  49. 49. Pinterest is so much more than just recipes and sewing tutorials.More and more companies are realizing the value of a visual searchand storage tool.Learn, share, create, collaborate, and yes even get a goodchocolate cookie recipe at
  50. 50. Please note I only briefly touched on a few topics I feel areessential to internet research. I didn’t even discuss these:
  51. 51. AMANDA DEASONInternet Researcherinfo@cybershakedown.comI encourage you to contact me regarding any internet researchquestions and/or comments.Happy Hunting!
  52. 52. RESOURCESInformation in this lecture is a combination of my own prior knowledge and informationfound from these online resources:GRCC – Holman Library WordleTed Rogers School of Management Google tutorialsClass Zone Web Research Guide seo.certification.or.inLaura Cohen, The Finer Points of Web Search Life OnlineWorld Science Festival