Jason Carroll

7 Google Search Tips Worth Learning

In case you haven’t noticed from many of our recent posts, Texthelp has gone Google with our new Read&Write for Google Chrome™ extension. Continuing with the theme of providing useful tips for Google users, this week’s post lists seven search tips to make finding information quicker than ever. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post on new features coming to Read&Write for Google Chrome soon. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

 


In case you haven’t noticed from many of our recent posts, Texthelp has gone Google with our new Read&Write for Google Chrome™ extension. Continuing with the theme of providing useful tips for Google users, this week’s post lists seven search tips to make finding information quicker than ever. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming post on new features coming to Read&Write for Google Chrome soon. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

 

1. Calculate Anything – Instead of pulling out the calculator app on your phone or other device, try typing your equation directly into Google’s search bar next time. It’s great for simple math, but can do many advanced calculations as well.

 

2. Definitions – Finding accurate definitions is important for a number of academic tasks. Instead of going to specialty dictionary websites covered with ads, try typing “define:” followed by the word you need defined.

 

3. Exact word or phrases – Searching for a quote (or maybe checking for plagiarism)? Be sure to put the phrase or sentence in quotes to view results that only include exactly what you typed.

4. Scholarly Journals – Teaching students to use credible sources is no easy task. One great resource when conducting research is Google Scholar. Google Scholar makes it easy to search scholarly work on a variety of topics from one location. For tips specific to search via Google Scholar click here.

5. By File Type – According to Google, search by file type allows you to “Search for specific types of files, such as PDFs, PPTs, or XLS, by adding filetype: and the 3-letter file abbreviation.”

6. Advanced Image Search – Most people are familiar with Google Images (images.google.com) to search for pictures. What may not be as familiar are the advanced search features. To use, go to images.google.com and search for an image (Earth for example). Above the image results will be a menu that includes a link for “Search tools.” Clicking this link will provide a sub-menu that allows you to refine your search by size, color and more.

7. By Reading Level – While I’ve had mixed results depending on the topic, searching by reading level is an easy strategy to use with students. To use, simply do a Google search as normal. At the top of the list of results choose “Search tools.” A sub-menu will appear. From this menu click “All results” and change to “Reading level” (see image below). From there you can sort by basic, intermediate or advanced results.

Bonus – Search recent results only – I realize the title of this post suggests I am sharing 7 tips, but a colleague recommended I include this last one…

Have you ever searched for something only to find the posts are no longer accurate? For example, maybe you searched how to insert an image into a software program, but the first 10 results were all from old versions that no longer work.  Or maybe you are searching for information about a company and only want recent information. This happens to me all the time.  To help, do a custom search that only shows results from the past year, or maybe even month.  Begin by doing a normal Google search, then click “Search tools” (just like the previous tip on searching by reading level).  This time, instead of sorting by Reading level, click “Any time” and change it to the past hour, day, week, month, year, or custom range.  This will provide only recent results and remove anything that was published prior to the date/time range you specified.

The above are my favorite tips.  What are some of yours?

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