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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Using Google Search Engines Effectively

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Google is the most popular search engine, many people do not know how to use it correctly. We all use it for all sort of searches but we don’t know some of it’s core functions, Google can do lot more then just to type and search function.  Below, tips on how to search on Google.

Quick Tips

If you already have a web address that you want to look at, for example you should type this into the address bar of the browser and NOT into the search box.

Check your spelling!  25% of searches fail or find useless websites, because search words are misspelled. 
Refine your search! When you search Google do you get several thousand websites returned? Use the tips below to help you choose more accurate keywords and double quotes to narrow your search.

To search Google, just type in words which describe the information you are looking for and hit the enter key (or click the Google Search button. NEVER click ‘I’m feeling lucky’).  It should return a list of relevant web pages.  Google finds web pages that contain all the words in your query.  If many of the websites aren’t relevant, you can narrow your search to find better pages.  ‘Refining’ or narrowing your search can be as simple as clicking ‘pages from the UK’ or adding more words to the search terms you already typed.  Your new query will return a shorter list of pages Google than for your original "too-broad" query.

Choosing Keywords 

For best results choose your keywords wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Try the obvious first. If you're looking for information on Picasso, type "Picasso" not "painters". 
  • Use words likely to appear on a site with the information you want. "Luxury hotel paris" gets better results than "really nice places to spend the night in Paris". 
  • Make keywords as specific as possible "antique lead soldiers" gets better hits than "old metal toys". 

Search Content From A Specific Website

You can search for websites via Google, everyone knows that. However, you can also use Google for searching specific content on a particular website. For instance, you could search for Famke Janssen tricks on only by typing this in the search bar, “Famke Janssen” This also works if you want news from a specific source; just replace site in aforementioned example with source. 

Search By Category 

Google Web Directory (located at is a good place to start if you're not sure which search keywords to use. For example, searching for Saturn within the Science>Astronomy category of the Google Web Directory returns only pages about the planet Saturn, while searching for Saturn within the Automotive category returns only pages about Saturn cars. Searching in a category allows you to quickly narrow in on only the most relevant pages to you.

Automatic "and" Queries

Google only returns pages that include all your search terms. You don’t need to type "and" between words. The order in which the words are typed will affect the results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. For example, to plan a vacation to Paris, simply type:

Automatic Exclusion of Common Words/" + " Searches

Avoid common words such as “how”, “of”, and “where” because these stop words will normally be excluded from a search. Google ignores common words like "where" and "how", as well as some single numbers and letters, because they slow down the search without improving the results. Google will indicate if a word has been excluded by showing details on the results page below the search box. 

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting "+" in 
front of it (include a space before the "+" sign). You can also put quotation marks around two or 
more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g. "where are you") are included in the search. 
For example, to search for The Woman in Black 2, use:

" - " Searches

If what you're searching for has more than one meaning ("bass" can refer to fishing, beer or music) you can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to avoid (be sure to include a space before the minus sign.) For example, to find web pages about bass that do not contain the word "music", type:

Phrase Searches 

If you would like to search for an exact phrase, you can enclose the phrase in quotation marks. Words in double quotes ("like this") appear together in all results exactly as you have typed them, for example “morgan cars”. You can use these in addition to other modifiers. Phrase searches are especially useful when searching for famous sayings or proper names.

"NOT" Searches

If you would like to do a search but exclude a particular term, type that term with an upper-case NOT
immediately before it. Your search results will exclude any profile containing that term. For example:
director NOT executive NOT vp NOT “Vice President”

"OR" Searches

Finds pages that contain any of your search terms. You can use "OR" to find pages that include either word A or word B. Use an uppercase OR between words. For example, to search for a vacation in either London or Paris, just type:


Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, typing "george washington", "George Washington", and "gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN" will all return the same results.

Word Variations (Stemming) 

Google does not use "stemming" or "wildcards" - it searches for exactly the words you type into the search box. Searching for "fish" or "fish*" will not find "fishing" or "fished". If in doubt, type both forms, e.g. "airline" and "airlines".

These rules apply for many Internet search engines, but check out the searching tips on 
your favourite search engine to make sure that you are getting the best out of it.


Look at the difference between search techniques, about 'beauty therapy' using keyword ;
beauty therapy
beauty +therapy
beauty -therapy
beauty or therapy
“beauty therapy”

Now, you try some of these searches and write down how many ‘hits’ match your search terms

human resource management
human +resource +management
human and resource -management
human or resource or management
“human resource management”

Reminder when using search engines:

  1. No single search engine searches the entire Web. For the best results, try your search in more than one search engine.
  2. Many scholarly journal articles cannot be found by search engines. To find and access scholarly journal articles reliably, use the library’s databases.
  3. Websites often lack the quality controls that are used in publishing other types of resources (e.g., scholarly journals), so you should always evaluate internet resources for quality and appropriateness for your research. To learn more, refer to the Library’s guide or video tutorial on evaluating internet resources.
  4. The order in which Google search results are displayed does not guarantee credibility of the source. They are ranked using over 200 factors and algorithms to provide you with what Google thinks are the most relevant (not the most credible) results.
  5. If logged into a +Google account, your search results will be dependent on personalized information such as your location and past search history. Google’s algorithms selectively guess what information you are looking for, resulting in what is known as the “filter bubble”. You may not be shown results that disagree with what Google perceives as your viewpoints or ideologies.
  6. Some of your search results may include advertisements (denoted by a small “Ad” in a yellow box). These are from companies which pay Google to advertise their products or services and are not an indication that the site is a credible source. 

Happy Searching!!!

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