Google Search: Features and Capabilities
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  • Why Google? Once upon a time, the most valuable secret formula in American business was Coca-Cola’s. Today, it’s Google’s master algorithm. In the search business, however, there’s no rival to play the role of Pepsi. Yahoo is the closest but still a distant No. 2, and Google earns more profits in a single quarter than Yahoo does in a year. (Randall Stross, NY Times, June 24, 2007) Biggest web search engine database (25 or more billion pages) Results often include what you want Features, shortcuts, special databases & services

Google Search: Features and Capabilities Google Search: Features and Capabilities Presentation Transcript

    • Google Search: Features and Capabilities
    Caucasus Research Resource Centers Gohar Khachatryan [email_address] June 28, 2007
  • Part I: Query Input OUTLINE
    • Entering a Query
    • Going Directly to the First Result
    • Selecting Search Terms
    • Interpreting Your Query
    • Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters
    • Advanced Search Form
    • Advanced Search Features
    • Other Search Forms: Alerts
    • Anatomy of a Web Address
  • Part I: Query Input Entering a Query
    • Visit Google’s home page:
    • http://www.google.com/ (the full web address for Google)
    • www.google.com (a common abbreviation for Google’s web address)
    • google.com (for lazy typists)
    • google (works on some browsers for the laziest of typists)
  • Part I: Query Input Going Directly to the First Result
    • Click on the I’m Feeling Lucky button on Google’s home page to go directly to the first result for your query.
  • Part I: Query Input Selecting Search Terms
    • 1. Use Likely Words
    • Use words likely to appear on the pages you want.
    • USE [  Australia Target store  ]
    • NOT [  Does Australia have Target  ]
    • USE [  lasik eye surgery  ]
    • NOT [  documentation on lasik eye surgery  ]
    • USE [  Nelson Mandela born  ]
    • NOT [  Nelson Mandela birthday  ] nor [  Nelson Mandela age  ]
  • Part I: Query Input Selecting Search Terms
    • 2. Be Specific
    • Be specific: Use more query terms to narrow your results.
    • USE [  Java Indonesia  ], [  java coffee  ], or [  java programming language  ]
    • NOT [  java  ]
    • USE [  Tom Watson MP  ], [  Tom Watson golf  ], or [  Tom Watson IBM  ]
    • NOT [  Tom Watson  ]
    • 3. Brevity
    • Be brief.
    • USE [  quit smoking program  ]
    • NOT [  program on quitting tobacco cigarette smoking addiction  ]
    Part I: Query Input Selecting Search Terms
  • Part I: Query Input Selecting Search Terms
    • 4. Spelling
    • You don’t have to correct your spelling.
    • When you enter: [ Anna Kornikova tennis ] Google responds: Did you mean: Anna  Kournikova  tennis
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query 1. All Search Terms Count Google returns only pages that match all your search terms. Note: If you want pages containing any (instead of all) of your search terms, use the OR operator .
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.) 2. Search Terms Match Exactly Google returns pages that match your search terms exactly. If you search for … Google won't find … Cheap inexpensive TV televisione If you search for … Google finds … NYC New York City GNP Gross National Product Note: You can find synonyms in searches with Google. Just put a tilde in front of every term you'd like to include. Google suggests, for instance, searching for ~food ~facts for information on recipes and nutrition.
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.) 3. Similar Words Match Google returns pages that match variants of your search terms. The query [  child bicycle helmet  ] finds pages that contain words similar to your search terms, e.g., “child,” “children,” or “children's,” “bicycle,” “bicycles,” “bicycle's,” “bicycling,” or “bicyclists,” and “helmet” or “helmets.” Note: If you only want to search for pages that contain some term(s) exactly, precede each such term with a plus sign (+) or enclose more than one term in quotes (" ") .
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.) 4. Stop Words Google ignores some common words called “stop words,” e.g., the , on , where , how , de , la , as well as certain single digits and single letters. 5. Word Limit Google limits queries to 32 words. The limit applies to search terms and operators but not stop words .
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.) 6. Terms Nearby Google favors results that have your search terms near each other. Google considers the proximity of your search terms within a page. 7. Terms in Order Google gives higher priority to pages that have the terms in the same order as in your query. Consequently, you should enter search terms in the order in which you would expect to find them on the pages you're seeking.
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.)
    • 8. Google is NOT case sensitive
    • All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case.
    • For example, searches for george washington , George Washington , and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.
    • Note : The words “ OR ” and “ AND ” have special meanings if entered in uppercase letters.
  • Part I: Query Input Interpreting Your Query (cont.)
    • 9. Characters Ignored
    • Google ignores some punctuation and special characters, including ! ? , . ; [ ] @ / # < > .
    • [  Dr. Ruth  ] returns the same results as [  Dr Ruth  ]
    • Characters that are not ignored
    • Apostrophe ( ' ) : peoples , people's , and peoples' are searched as different words
    • Hyphen ( - ) : same-sex retrieves same-sex, same sex and samesex
    • Always supply the - to search any word that might be used hyphenated
    • Accent marks in Roman-alphabet foreign languages : éléphant does not match elephant (and vice versa)
  • Part I: Query Input Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters
    • By using special characters and operators, such as + , – , OR , and quotation marks , you can fine-tune your search query and increase the accuracy of its results.
    • Quoted Phrases
    • The + Operator
    • The – Operator
    • The OR and | Operators
  • Part I: Query Input Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters (cont.)
    • Quoted Phrases
    • To search for a phrase, a proper name, or a set of words in a specific order, put them in double quotes.
    • Google will search for common words ( stop words ) included in quotes, which it would otherwise ignore.
    • USE [  “to be or not to be“  ]
    • NOT [  to be or not to be  ]
  • Part I: Query Input Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters (cont.)
    • The + Operator / The – Operator
    • Force Google to include a term by preceding the term with a “+” sign.
    • Precede each term you do not want to appear in any result with a “–” sign.
    • Do not not put a space between the +/- and the word.
  • Part I: Query Input Crafting Your Query by using Special Characters (cont.)
    • The OR and | Operators
    • Specify synonyms or alternative forms with an uppercase OR or | (vertical bar).
    • Note : If you write OR with a lowercase “o” or a lowercase “r” Google interprets the word as a search term instead of an operator.
    • Note : Unlike OR, a | (vertical bar) need not be surrounded by spaces.
  • Part I: Query Input Advanced Search Form
    • Language: specify in which language you'd like your results.
    • File format: specify the file format you'd like in your results
    • Date: restrict your results to the past three, six, or twelve month periods.
    • Occurrences: specify where your search terms occur on the page - anywhere on the page, in the title, or in the url.
    • Domains: search only a specific website, or exclude that site from your search.
  • Part I: Query Input Advanced Search Features (cont.)
    • Require search terms to occur in specific parts of web pages
    • intitle: Words must occur in the official <title> field in the head part of the page
    • site: Limit to a site or domain (first part of the URL, before the first / )
    • inurl: Require terms to occur anywhere in URL
  • Part I: Query Input Advanced Search Features (cont.)
    • Limit to type of document or file extension: filetype:
    • Google has many types of files besides HTML pages (doc, xls, wpd, ppt and more)
    • View as HTML link in results with these file types lets you see the document without the application and avoids any virus or worm they could contain
    • Ex., filetype:ppt site:edu china one-child policy
  • Part I: Query Input Other Search Forms: Alerts
    • To set up Google Alerts, go to www.google.com/alerts
  • Part I: Query Input Anatomy of a Web Address
    • http://www.googleguide.com/searchEngines/google/searchLeader.html
    • Here’s what it all means:
    • http---transfer protocol (type of information being transferred)
    • www.googleguide.com---website name, host name
    • Googleguide---second-level domain name
    • Com---top-level domain name
    • searchEngines----directory name (major category)
    • Google---sub-directory name (sub-category)
    • searchLeader---file name (a file within the directory)
    • Html---file format
    • Note: Truncate back the URL. Manipulating a URL can assist you in finding the source of information or a page that might have been relocated.
  • Part II: Understanding Results OUTLINE
    • Results Page
    • Links Included with Your Results
    • Spelling Corrections and Suggestions
    • Dictionary Definitions
    • Cached Pages/Similar Pages
    • Translation
    • Evaluating What You Find
  • Part II: Understanding Results Results Page
  • Part II: Understanding Results Links Included with Your Results
    • Google may include links to the following types of information above or along side your results.
    • A Spelling Correction (suggestion)
    • Dictionary Definitions
    • Cached Pages / Similar Pages
    • A Translation
  • Part II: Understanding Results Links Included with Your Results
    • A Spelling Correction (suggestion)
  • Part II: Understanding Results Links Included with Your Results
    • Dictionary Definitions
    • Google looks for dictionary definitions for your search terms
    • Google Glossary
    • define or what is or what are , “define blog” – 1 definition
    • the define operator , “define: blog” - all the definitions
  • Part II: Understanding Results Links Included with Your Results (cont.)
    • Cached Pages/ Similar Pages
    Clicking on Cached link takes you to the Google cached version of that web page, instead of the current version of the page. Clicking on Similar Pages link or using the related: search operator finds similar pages related:www.googleguide.com
  • Part II: Understanding Results Links Included with Your Results ( cont.)
    • Translation
    You can translate pages written in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish into another language from that set.
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases OUTLINE
    • Google Images
    • Google News
    • Google Videos
    • More in Google Labs - Google Sets/ Google Suggest
    • Google Scholar
    • Google Book Search
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • Google Images is one of the largest images database - 1.3+ billion
    • To use Image Search, select the &quot;images&quot; tab or visit http:// images.google.com . Enter a query in the image search box, then click on the &quot;Search&quot; button.
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • Google News
    • 4,500 news feeds, 30 days of news
    • http:// news.google.com
    • Alerts: You can sign up to receive weekly, daily or as-it-happens email alerts on any topic that interests you
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • Google Videos allows to search videos submitted by people, from broadcasts and TV
    • http:// video.google.com
    • Just type in your search term or do a more advanced search and Google will search the archive for relevant results
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • More in Google Labs - Google Suggest http:// labs.google.com /suggest
    • As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time.
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • More in Google Labs - Google Sets
    • http://labs.google.com/sets
    • Automatically create sets of items from a few examples.
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • Google Scholar is a large, interdisciplinary database - from citations in web pages and from some journal publishers http://scholar.google.com
    • The goal is to &quot;search specifically for scholarly literature&quot; in many formats.
    • About Google Scholar
    • scholar.google.com/scholar/about.html
  • Part III: The Best of Google's family of databases
    • Google Book Search
    • Search the full text of books to find ones that interest you and learn where to buy or borrow them http://books.google.com
    • About Google Book Search books.google.com/googlebooks/about.html
  • Instead of Conclusion: Tips To Search the Internet More Effectively
    • Read the Help
    • Prepare to search
    • Use both the advanced and the simple modes of search tools
    • Use unique terms when possible to retrieve more specific results
    • Use more than one search tools
    • Keep wading to a minimum
    • Use Find or Ctrl-F to help navigate search results
  • Sources
    • www.googleguide.com /
    • www.google.com /support/
    • www.sou.edu/library/searchtools/searchtips.html
    • www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Handouts.html
    • www.philb.com/whichengine.htm