July 19, 2012

7 New Things I Learned in Google's Online Power Searching Class


Full disclosure: Yes, I'm a librarian, and No, I did not get 100% on first my try (on either assessment).

I don't mind confessing. :)  As with class, conference, workshop, webinar, whatever -- I ALWAYS learn something new. And with Google, things are always changing anyway, right? There's always room for improvement.

So these are the new things I learned from the two-week FREE online Power Searching with Google class I just completed today:

1. You can use images instead of words to do a search, by dragging and dropping an image into Google's Image Search:



2. When you do an OR search (obviously I haven't used this or I would have known this), the word OR must be capitalized.

3. If you want to eliminate shopping sites from your search results, two good words to use with the minus sign are price and/or buy.

4. If you want to achieve search results that are unfettered by the algorithms Google has imposed on your Google account based on your previous searches, you can do one of the following:
  • Sign out of your Google account.
  • If you're in Chrome (recommended by Google, of course), Type Control(pc) or Command(MAC)/Shift/N and you will go "incognito".
  • (my favorite) After conducting a regular Google search, go to the left menu and under More Search Options, choose "Verbatim". Here are more details about it. Although not directly stated, Verbatim will erase those personalization algorithms.
    5. You can view KML (Google Earth) files in Google Maps.

    6. You can search Google Scholar to find legal documents, including patents. (I'm thinking, perfect for U. S. and world history primary documents!)

    7. And the last notable tip is something I knew about and emphasized with our students but was gratified to hear coming from Google Research Guru Daniel Russell:

    "Ranking is not the same as credibility."



    Hear that, students? :)
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    These are the things I loved about this class:

    •The format - the short tutorials and the doable time frame in which to complete assignments
    •Being in the company of and learning from students from all over the world via the Powersearch Forums (available only to registrants) and the two Hangouts: Power Searching with Search Experts and Hangout with Search Experts
    •Learning about three blogs to stay updated: Official Google Blog, Inside Search -- The Official Google Search Blog, and SearchReSearch.

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      Do I have any suggestions for Google? Just one: More of these, please. Two thumbs way up!

      (◕‿◕)
      @mauilibrarian2