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Tips on Using Google (old, I know)

David Chapa [PersonRank 0]

Saturday, November 1, 2008
15 years ago2,326 views

As you all know, or should know anyways, Google is one (if not the biggest) search engine in the world. With billions of indexes in their databases, you are bound to come across exactly what you need. In this essay, I will give you some tips so that your searching in Google becomes more effective, and in turn, help you get that “A” in class. All these tips can be found on Google's website; I am merely interpreting them for you here.

The first tip is to simply use Google. As obvious as it may seem, this a very useful tip. As previously mentioned, Google indexes billions of websites and if you are looking for something, chances are you'll find it there. Personally, everything I ever searched for on line, I find in Google. Sure you can use Live Search or Yahoo!, but honestly, Google is the way to go. So whenever you seem lost in class, google the problem. There are many communities indexed under Google that will hold your answer.
In order to find exactly what you need, the searcher (you) can try different search variants, and use different characters in the search box. For example, a technique I find very useful is using quotations marks. The use of quotations tells Google to search for the exact phrase you called for (best used if searching for specific problems or titles). Be sure that the words in quotations are actual phrases, otherwise, Google will have a hard time interpreting what you mean, and your desired query may not be found. Also, it is important to note that common words such as “the,” “where,” “and,” etc. are ignored by Google unless they are within quotation marks.

Another interesting technique that you can use for this class is using uppercase OR. This is helpful when looking for two terms at the same time. For instance, if you need to search between Ubuntu and another build of Linux, you would type in the search box “ubuntu OR 'insert build name here'.” This would provide the most popular hits for either term. Notice that OR is uppercase; if not uppercase, Google will take it as just another key word to search. In other words, instead of getting either or, you will end up with a search result that includes both Ubuntu and Red Hat for example.

Another cool technique you can try is searching for words that mean the same thing. This is a trick not many people know. If you search for a word that has two or more meanings (bass, for example), you can exclude a meaning by adding a minus (“-”) next to the query. For example, the search box would look like this “bass – fish.” This would mean that your search would bring all results with “bass” excluding anything related to the fish.
For more specific searches, you can even search within a website. All you need to do is type “site:www.whateversite.com” followed by the term you wish to search for. The website technique is particularly useful if you already know in which website the information is held. This search will give you the most popular hits from that website. Just like the website, you can also look for specific file types, such as *.doc's, or *.pdf's. In this case you would type “filetype:doc” followed by a keyword. Example, you can search for specific PDF's from the TAMIU website: “filetype:pdf site:www.tamiu.edu student handbook.” The query will point you towards the exact link for the TAMIU Student Handbook.

There are many other things Google helps you do. You can even do measurement conversions on the search box, as well as mathematical problems. Google also offers a phone book, and many other cool things such as weather. There are many more tips to the Google search engine, but these I found the most useful for this class. For more cool tips you can look at: http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=searchguides.html&ctx=basics

I hope that with this guide you will be able to find anything you search for. The resources are there, use them.

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