Saturday, September 17, 2011

Google Search

Searching in Google is easy, right? For basic information Google provides immediate answers. However, for more elaborate search queries, anyone can get lost in the overwhelming number of hits and websites.

For example, let us imagine that a student is interested in searching for reliable information on the prevention of diabetes. The student can easily type "diabetes prevention" in the search engine, but get back over 7 million hits. 

Here are some basic facts you should know about searching with Google to help reduce that 7 million mark to a manageable number:
  • Typing "new york times" and "New York Times" is the same thing. The Google search engine is case insensitive.
  • By using "quotation marks" around a word, you are asking Google to search for the exact words in that exact order. 
    • Example: "Alexander Bell" will only get you results with Alexander Bell, but will ignore search results that had Alexander G. Bell. Use the quotation marks wisely.
  • Using site: can help you get results from a specific website.
    • Example: Typing iraq will give you results about Iraq from from the New York Times website only.
  • You can also use site: to look up topics in a type of site, such as .gov, .org, .edu, etc.
    • Example: Typing iraq will give you results about Iraq from .gov sites only.
  • Adding a minus sign before a word means you do not want the results to have this word.
    • Example: Typing diabetes -recipes -diet will give you results about diabetes that do not talk about recipes and dietary issues.
If you'd like to use other similar features as the ones listed above, visit Google's Basic Search Help for more information.