Try out some of our favorite Google search tips. Begin by going to Google’s home page. Next, click on the “More” hyperlink on the top of the page and a drop-down menu will appear. Select the last option, “even more”.
This will open a new page will open. Scroll to the bottom and click the last icon on the left side called “Web Search Features”.
Many of these are fun to use and will save you time once you are familiar with them.
Here are a few shortcuts to be aware of when searching Google:
For example, if you are hungry for Chinese food you can type Chinese food V4X 2M8 into a Google search box and you will get a list of Chinese food places close to MEI. You can also type the city if you don’t know the postal code.
By including the “filetype:” operator, you can choose the type of site you would like to search. For example, if you wanted to search educational sites you would add filetype:edu to your search terms and this would give you results from educational institutions. You can search for government publications (filetype:gov), powerpoints (filetype:ppt) etc.
Use “site:” to get results from a specific site. For example, if you want to find an article from the Vancouver Sun about black bears, you would type black bears site:vancouversun.com into a Google search box for a list of all the newspaper’s articles on black bears. Also, if you want to search a whole group of sites, you could type black bears site:.gov (or .edu, .org, etc.). This will give you all the government publications about black bears.
If you find a site you particularly like, you can type “related:” to see a list of similar sites. For example, type related:vancouversun.com to see a list of other newspapers.
Another favorite is “fill in the blank”. To use this, you can type a question into a Google search box using the asterisk (*) for the unknown term and Google will fill in the blank for you! For example: * invented the paper clip.
Google will return results based on the order of your search terms but if you find that you need to look up an exact phrase, you can use quotation marks around the phrase. Be careful when using quotation marks because you may miss some relevant results. For example, if you type “John Macdonald” into a search box, you will miss the results with John A. Macdonald.
For more basic search tips click HERE.
Searching Google using Boolean operators (AND – OR – NOT) is another effective way of narrowing or adding specifics to your search.
Google defaults to the AND operator between your search terms. This means that each term you enter narrows your search results by telling Google that you only want results that include ALL your search terms.
Using the OR operator will give you more results because you are telling Google that you want results with ANY of the search terms. Make sure to capitalize the OR operator. Another way to get more results is to place a tilde (~) directly before a word, to include synonyms of that word.
The NOT operator will exclude results you do not wish to include. In Google, the NOT is represented by a minus sign (-) directly before the term you wish to exclude. For example: digital cameras –cannon.
Google Docs is free to use and an easy way to collaborate online. Begin by going to Google’s home page. Next, click on the “More” hyperlink on the top of the page and a drop-down menu will appear. Select the option, “Documents”.
This will open a new page, requiring you to sign in to your Google account. If you do not have a Google account yet, follow the links to start one. It takes 1-2 minutes.
There are 5 types of Google Docs that you can create. They are like a simplified version of various Microsoft Office software. You are also able to upload files previously created files into Google Docs. Take a closer peek at the 5 types of Google Docs available; click on each image for a direct link to the Google page online.
Have any questions? ASK YOUR LIBRARIAN!