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Google basics and beyond

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  • 1. Steven Jablonski Skokie Public Library The Basics and Beyond
  • 2. Today’s Agenda
    • Why Use Google?
    • The Basics of Google Search
    • Google Tools for Everyone
    • Special Google Searches and Databases
    • Google Account Goodies
    • Google Downloads
    • Alternatives to Google
  • 3. Why Use Google?
    • Google covers more of the Internet than any other search engine
    • Google’s unique PageRank system leads to better search results
      • www.google.com/howgoogleworks
    • Google constantly improves its searching and adds new features
  • 4. The Basics of Google Search
    • Be specific
    • Use multiple terms when appropriate
    • Put phrases in quotation marks
    • Word order matters—put your most important terms first
    • Change your query if you don’t like your results
  • 5. Google Search Quirks
    • Google ignores all capitalization
    • Google ignores most punctuation and special symbols
    • Google automatically searches for plurals and common variants of words
    • Google may adjust its results based on your prior searches
  • 6. Google’s Advanced Search Page
    • Google’s Advanced Search page makes it easy to build complex searches
      • Include or exclude search terms
      • Limit search by language, document type, or safety level
      • Search only a single site or recently updated sites
  • 7. Google’s Preferences Page
    • Google’s Preferences page (“Settings” at top of Google page) allows you to customize your search experience
      • Choose to open your results in a new window
      • Choose how many results you want to see
      • Turn Google’s query suggestions on or off
      • Turn Google’s SafeSearch on or off
  • 8. Spell Checker and Query Suggestions
    • Spell Checker automatically suggests different spellings for questionable search terms
      • Doesn’t work for words very commonly misspelled
    • Query Suggestions automatically guesses what you’re trying to type
      • Suggestions based on your own and other people’s previous searches
      • Can be turned on or off
  • 9. Google Tools
    • In addition to searching, Google provides several useful tools
      • Calculator
      • Unit converter
      • Translator ( www.google.com/language_tools )
    • These tools are easier to use on the Soople website ( www.soople.com ) rather than on Google itself
  • 10. Special Searches
    • Google provides special search results for certain queries
      • Ticker Symbols
      • Local Business Names
      • Names of Major Sports Teams
  • 11. More Special Searches
    • Adding words to certain queries prompts special search results
      • For definitions, add “define:” to a word you want defined
      • For weather conditions, add “weather:” to a ZIP code or name of a city
      • To see where a current movie is playing, add “movie:” to the name of a movie
  • 12. More Special Searches
    • See Google’s Features page for a full list of special searches: ( www.google.com/help/features.html )
  • 13. Special Databases
    • Google News ( news.google.com )
      • Search 30 days of articles from news sources
    • Google Books ( books.google.com )
      • Search the full text of thousands of books
    • Google Product Search ( www.google.com /products )
      • Search for products for sale online
  • 14. Google Maps
    • Google Maps ( maps.google.com ) has several useful features
      • Map, satellite, and street level views
      • Customizable driving, walking, and public transit directions
      • Nearby businesses with reviews
      • Searchable by landmark as well as address
  • 15. Google vs. Bing Maps
    • Bing Maps ( www.bing.com ) is very similar to Google Maps with a few superior features
      • Better highway traffic info
      • Better “Bird’s Eye” photos
  • 16. Google Image Search
    • Google Image Search ( images.google.com ) has several useful features
      • Search by image size (small, medium, large)
      • Search by color (black and white, grayscale, full color)
  • 17. Google vs. Bing Images
    • Bing Images ( www.bing.com ) is very similar to Google Image Search with a few superior features
      • Better display of results
      • More options to refine searches
  • 18. Google Video
    • Google Video ( video.google.com ) has several useful features
      • Search on Youtube, Google Video, and other sources
      • Search by various criteria (rating, date, popularity, etc.)
  • 19. Google vs. Bing Video
    • Bing Video ( www.bing.com ) is very similar to Google Video with a few superior features
      • Videos start running automatically when you move your mouse over them
      • Search only TV shows, News, Sports or other categories
  • 20. Google Account Goodies
    • Sign up for a free Google Account ( www.google.com /accounts ) and get even more from Google
      • Gmail (superior e-mail program)
      • iGoogle (create your own Google home page)
      • Google Web History (keep track of all your Google searches)
      • Docs & Spreadsheets (create, store, share files online)
  • 21. How Can I Remember All This?
    • To see all Google has to offer, click on the About Google page ( www.google.com/about.html )
    • Soople ( www.soople.com ) provides a single easy interface to Google’s many search features
  • 22. Google Downloads
    • Google provides useful free software to download to your computer
      • Google Toolbar (add Google features to your web browser)
      • Picasa (edit, organize, and share your online photos)
      • Google Desktop (search your own computer)
      • See Google’s Options page ( www.google.com /options ) for all available downloads
  • 23. Alternatives to Google
    • Yippy ( search.yippy.com ) clusters results into useful categories
    • Unlike Google and other search engines, Ixquick ( www.ixquick.com ) doesn’t record your searches
  • 24. Any Questions?

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