A Google Primer

See also A Google Scholar Primer; A little Google history from the Internet Archive
A recent Google search revealed that the word
google was first used in the 1927 Little Rascals silent film Dog Heaven (according to Wikipedia, anyway), and the word meant having a drink of water. However, my Shorter OED identifies google as a cricket term first used in 1904.  (See A little Google history from the Internet Archive to discover what the founders of Google meant by the term.)

On June 15 of this year, the verb to Google was included in the Oxford English Dictionary, and Googling is now such a part of our daily lives that many of us use the search engine several times a day.  At any time of the day I can walk through my library and see students typing words into the basic Google search box, the one that has the I’m Feeling Lucky button below it. 

But there is a more efficient way to use Google, in my humble opinion. I use the Google Toolbar for quick searches and the Advanced Search for more complex searches. (See the end of this post for several advanced search forms.) But because the Advanced Search doesn’t include all the Google search features, I am pulling them all together in this, my Google primer. 

Below are the Advanced Search features listed in bold, followed by how to perform the same search in the Basic search (that search box on the home page). (Do keep in mind the limitations of machine-made search engines, and search literature databases when appropriate.)

All of the words [Advanced]
Basic:  use + to indicate words that must be included in your search    example

Exact phrase
[Advanced]
Basic:  use “quotation marks” to search exact phrases
    example

Without the words
[Advanced]
Simple: use   to exclude words or phrases
    example

Language
[Advanced: choose language from a drop-down menu]    example
Basic: not an option
 

File Format
[Advanced: choose desired format from a drop-down menu]
Basic: use filetype:  (e.g. filetype:pdf)
     example

Date
[Advanced: choose from three options in the drop-down menu]    example
Basic: use daterange:  (but this is for Julian only)
 

Numeric
Range
[Advanced]
Basic: not an option
 

Occurrences
[Advanced: choose where in the Web page you want your terms to occur; five options in the drop-down menu]
Basic:  use the following tags, with no spaces after the colon

allintitle:
  [restricts results to words in title]    example
allintext:  [searches text of pages, not links or title]
intitle:  [searches at least one of the words in the titles]
inurl:  [includes a word in the URL]   example
allinlinks: [searches only within links, not text or title]
    example

Domain [Advanced: include or exclude specific domains]
Basic: use site:[URL]
 
    example

Usage Rights [Advanced: choose from five options in the drop-down menu]    example
Basic: not an option 

SafeSearch [Advanced: choose from two options]
Basic: use safesearch:   [exclude adult content]

Similar [Advanced: find pages similar to a URL you specify]
Basic: use related:[URL]     example

Links [Advanced: find pages that link to a URL you specify]   example
Basic: use link:[URL]
 
     example

Here are some pretty neat search features that are not included on the Advanced Search page. 

define:  [locate definitions for a word or phrase]   example
movie:  [find movie reviews]    example    example
stocks:  [insert symbol, name]   example
info:[URL]  [goes directly to “about” pages]    example
maps:    example 
weather: [find weather for a particular city]    example

Find telephone numbers [U.S. only]
phone:  [insert personal name and city or state]    example
bphonebook: [business name]   example
rphonebook: [residential name]  example

Try these Google Advanced Search pages:
Advanced Image Search    Advanced Book Search    Advanced News Search   Advanced Video Search
Google Maps [one search page] More Google Products

Want to print this page? Do a Print Preview first; depending on your browser, pages 3-4 will likely be the pages you will want to print. Read Google’s Cheat Sheet to learn some finer points of searching syntax. A warning: some of these things don’t work and I know because I tested them.

3 Responses

  1. Ha it’s good to see this all in one place!

  2. Z jednokrotnej kartki wichura, iż niczym gdzie tędy szambo betonowe , że lecz nic nie zakomunikował, natomiast z pomocniczej ogonie seksistowskich szkiców… I rzekomo kolesie są tacy racjonalni oraz roztropni

  3. I am really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you
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    A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not working
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