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Google Searching Basics

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Google Searching Basics

  1. 1. Page 1 of 2 GGooooggllee SSeeaarrcchhiinngg -- BBaassiiccss BASIC SEARCHING There are many different ways that Google can assist us with our searching. We can go from the simplest of searches by just typing in a term or to a more advanced search using an operator. Having this type of flexibility is one of the factors that makes Google so popular to use. BASIC SEARCH Using Google to search is simple, just type whatever comes to mind in the Google Search text box. Start by typing the name of a thing, place, or concept that you're looking for. Next click ENTER or the Google Search button and Google will search the web for pages that are relevant to your query.  With Google every word matters, generally all the words you put into the query will be used.  Search is always case insensitive. Searching for new york times is the same as searching for New York Times.  With some exceptions, punctuation is ignored (that is, you can't search for @#$%^&*()=+[] and other special characters) KEEPING IT SIMPLE Start by typing the name of a thing, place, or concept that you're looking for, and add relevant words if you do not see what you are looking for after running a simple search. First try: puppy More precise: puppy training Even more precise: dalmatian puppy training class THINK HOW THE WEBPAGE IS WRITTEN A search engine is not a human; it is a program that matches the words you give to pages on the web. Use the words that are most likely to appear on the page. For example, instead of saying my head hurts , say headache, because that's the term a medical page will use. LESS IS MORE The goal of each word in a query is to focus it further. Since all words are used in a search, each additional word limits the results. If you limit your search too much, you will miss a lot of useful information. For example, weather cancun is a simple way to find the weather and it is likely to give better results than the longer weather report for cancun mexico . CHOOSE DESCRIPTIVE WORDS The more unique the word is, the more likely you are to get relevant results. Words that are not very descriptive, like 'document,' 'website,' 'company,' or 'info,' are usually not needed. Keep in mind, however, that even if the word has the correct meaning but it is not the one most people use, it may not match the pages you need. For example, celebrity ringtones is more descriptive and specific than celebrity sounds. STEMMING Other forms of a word are included as a default in your search because Google uses stemming when returning search results to you. As an example, the keyword floor will also yield results for flooring.
  2. 2. Page 2 of 2 THE USE OF QUOTES Use quotation marks to search for an exact word or set of words. This way Google knows to search for the entire phrase. Here is the number of results for backpack travel without quotes is over 57 million. The number of results for backpack travel using quotes is only about 1 million. By using quotes we narrow the results from 57,800,000 to 1,040,000. SEARCH WITHIN A PARTICULAR WEBSITE Google allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website. For example the query california site:nytimes.com will return pages about California but only from the New York Times website. LEAVE OUT WORDS Try to stay away from words such as and, a, and the. Google will not search for prepositions and common words due to their widespread popularity and use, which often slows down the search without improving the results. SEARCHING FOR RELATED WEBSITES Google can act as a recommendation engine if you like a particular website. Type related:Wikipedia.org as an example. This will return other results that are similar to the website you searched for, in this case Wikipedia.

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