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Super Google Your Library

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Designed for community college students at Jefferson College.

Designed for community college students at Jefferson College.

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  • 1. Advanced search strategies for your favorite search engine! SUPER A Web resource @ your Library Created by the Librarians of Jefferson College April 2008
  • 2. How                       Works
    • It's a popularity contest.
    • Yes, really!  When Google finds results to your query, it sorts them based upon popularity-- sites that get the most traffic (that have the most people visiting them) get pushed to the top of the list.
    • Other things to keep in mind about Google:
      • It is not case sensitive (doesn't understand the difference between "rocky" and "Rocky")
      • It will not search common words like a, an, the, how, or with
      • It does not read punctuation marks like ? , ! , ' , ; , or &
  • 3. Searcher Beware!
    • Sponsored Links
    • Be careful!  Don't click here! If you see links listed under the text Sponsored Links , they have been specifically placed there because the website's owners paid Google for placement. In other words, this is an ad. Don't waste your time with links like these.
    Websites will say anything to get your attention! Websites owners are actually able to enter their own invisible text that will affect how their website shows up in a Google search. Green text down here is your search result's Web address . Just because you found it on the Web doesn't make it true!
  • 4. Using AND Actually, you don't have to. Google™ automatically puts AND between keywords in the basic search box.  So, if you enter:                 Dude, that's a llama "Dude, that's a llama" Trust us: the search results for each are very different! Without quotes       With quotes Google will pull up every page that has "dude," "that's," and "llama"  on it.  (But not "a," since that is a common word.) If you want to search for a phrase, put quotation marks around the keywords: 
  • 5. Using OR
    • To search for sites that contain any of a number of keywords, put OR between the words. With Google™ you must put OR in UPPER CASE letters.
    •                
    dog OR cat OR gerbil is very different from dog or cat or gerbil "OR" in caps lowercase "or" See for yourself! How does it work like that? Every time you connect two search terms with "OR," Google widens its search-- in this case, finding you pages with either the words "dog," "cat," or "gerbil" on them. 
  • 6. Using NOT
    • To eliminate a keyword from your search results, put a minus sign in front of the keyword.  (Strangely, using "NOT" doesn't work.)  For example:
    •                
    What if you want to find examples of hybrids that don't necessarily include tires and engines?  Try this search. bass –fish This will turn aside results involving fly fishing in favor of results related to guitars or music. hybrid -car
  • 7. Word Definitions Typing in " define: " plus the word of your choice makes Google check for definitions. Google pulls definitions of words from off of the Internet.  Sometimes, it offers the links to those places in green. Google will actually find definitions for you-- not just links to dictionary websites.
  • 8. Top-Level Domain Search
    • (Search...what now?)
    • URLs, or Web addresses for websites, have parts:
    The top-level domain portion of a URL is the part that ends in .com, .edu, .gov, and so forth. You can search for websites ending in a certain top-level domain by adding .com, .org, .edu, or the like to your search. For example, searching ".org American Literature" finds only websites on American Literature that end in ".org"
  • 9. Fill in the Blanks
    • Like Mad Libs for a search, except not as funny.
    Adding an asterisk (or "*") to a phrase and then searching tells Google to fill in that blank-- that is, consider the search as if it were also a phrase, instead of just looking for each word individually.
  • 10. Finding Filetypes
    • Webpages come in more than one flavor.     This means you can can also find PDF files, Word documents, even PowerPoint presentations through Google.
    • filetype:pdf census For example, this search will find you PDF files on the U.S. Census.
    Search  file name endings, not names of programs! Incorrect : "filetype:microsoft word global warming" Correct : "filetype:doc global warming:
  • 11. Image Sources
    • Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org) All other images were created by the authors using Mozilla Firefox, MS Paint, and Picasa.