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Google: Basic Search Strategies: Home


Google Notes

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Sign up for a google account  
Install Google Toolbar:
What does Google search? 
How does Google rank pages?
Google  measures the popularity of the page, and takes into account how many other pages link to that page and the popularity of those linking pages.  "Web pages are known by the friends they keep."
What are sponsored links?
These are ads paid for by businesses; they are not search results from Google's databases.  Companies pay Google each time someone clicks on their ads. More Google logo

1.  Google searches are NOT case sensitive.
2.  Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms.
3.  Google ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters.
4.  Google uses stemming technology (recent change). Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms.
5. Google navigation bar: Click the link for the Google service you want to use. You can search the web, browse for images, news, maps and videos, and navigate to Gmail and other Google products.
6. Integrated results Google now searches across all types of content and ranks the results that are most relevant to your search. Your results may be from multiple content types, including images, news, books, maps and videos. To date, does not include Google Scholar.  However, links to JSTOR now appear in results list. 
7.  Cached This link shows the contents of the web page when last indexed.  If for some reason the site link doesn't connect you to the current page, you might still find the information you need in the cached version.
8. Google recognizes hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes as phrase connectors.
9.How do search engines work?
" To search on the millions of Web pages, a search engine uses software robots, called spiders, to build lists of the words found on Web sites. When a spider is building its lists, the process is called Web crawling...  The usual starting points are lists of heavily used servers and popular pages. The spider will begin with a popular site, indexing the words on its pages and following every link found within the site. In this way, the spidering system quickly begins to travel, spreading out across the most widely used portions of the Web."


Why Google

Google logo 
Why Google?  Google is the biggest search engine database in the world
PageRank™ is the search technology used by Google. It works on a unique combination of factors, including:
  • Popularity - based on the number of links to a page and the importance of the pages that link
  • Importance - traffic, quality of links
  • Word proximity and occurrence in results
  • Google has many useful ways to limit searches
  • Google offers special "fuzzy" searches that are useful to search synonyms, find definitions, find similar/related pages, and more
  • The shortcuts & special Google databases can enhance certain types of research.
  • Google Books and Google Scholar have great potential for university-level research.


    Search Google

    Google logo


    Google Search Tips

    Google logoBasic Search Tips

    population China         (words are automatically ANDED together)
    “climate change”        (use quotes  for phrases)
     ~car prices                  (use ~ for synonyms)
    nutrition –recipes         (use to remove terms; include a space before -)
    mother-in-law               (hyphens, equal signs, & apostrophes search as phrases)
    Louis +IV                      (use + to include the exact form of the word)
    Pakistan OR Kashmir   (use OR to include either word)
    define: fort                   (use
    define: for definitions)   
    weather:  Lima             (use weather:
    to find weather conditions)
    time: Venice                 (use time: to find local times around the world)
    stocks: goog                 (use stocks: to find stock quotes)      
    movies:  08544              (use movies: + zip code or name of movie & zip)  
    phonebook:                  (use as a phone directory--no cell numbers)
    bphonebook:                (use as a business directory)
    202- 829-2310                (type in a phone # & get name/address of caller) 
    Joyce * Oates               (use the astertisk * to replace a word or an initial)  
    gas prices 08540           (get current gas prices in your neighborhood)

    Get facts fast:
    “Brooklyn Bridge” is * ft long                    

    Travel/Flight tips:

    ewr airport                   (find current conditions at an airport)
    “airline seats”              (link to for plane seats)
    Continental 23              (get info on your flight—from

    Google Currency converter
    500 rand in US dollars   
    Currency Kenya
    5 USD in euros

    Google Measurement Conversions
    5 degrees C in f                 (5 degrees celsius=fahrenheit)
    40 m in k                             (40 miles =kilometers)
    8 liters to quarts               (8 liters =? quarts)
    32 feet to meters  

    Google Calculator
    For quick arithmetric calculations, use the Google search box.
    Use +, -, * and ^
    -    (subtraction)               88 – 39
    *   (multiplication)            88 * 39
    /    (division)                      88 / 39
    % of  (percentage of       40% 275

    More calculator tips from the GoogleGuide:

    Google Search Tips/PUL

    Navigating the Google site

    Navigating Google from the front page            

    Images -search the web for images        

    Video - search the Internet for videos or browse by category      

    News - search the web for news stories (also has an alert service)

    Google Shopping  formerly called Froogle            

    Maps - several types of map: standard, satellite, street view, traffic, and hybrid            

    G-Mail - Google's email service            

    More and even More.... brings you to a page listing further Google services and tools including:      

    Google Scholar
    Google Book Search

    Google Patents search over 7 million patents
    Google Blog Search blogs on your favorite topics
    iGoogle - allows you to customize a Google portal should you wish to make it your home
    Google Financial beta product that offers information about North American stocks, mutual funds and public and private companies along with charts, news, and fundamental financial data 
    Google gov: Search for site in the US gov
    Google univ: Search within university sites         



    Subject Guide

    Nancy Pressman-Levy

    Stokes Library, Wallace Hall