Using Google

Published on 29 Oct 2009
This article originally appeared in Care Appointments magazine in their Webwatch section.

Google, possibly the web search engine of choice for most people, is wonderfully efficient at unearthing useful information. But have you ever wondered if there might be something relevant away down there on page 100 of your results? For more effective and efficient searching it's worth looking at some of Google's more advanced features.

Advanced search (click the link to the right of the search box) helps you determine whether your results should contain all the words you searched for, exclude certain words or find an exact phrase. The box labelled Search within a site or domain is really useful for uncovering material buried deep within a particular website. Try it using www.bbc.co.uk or even you own organisation's website.

At the top of the simple search page there is a row of links to different types of search: images, videos, maps, news, shopping and, enticingly, more. Under more take a look at Google Scholar which, as the name suggests, indexes peer-reviewed papers, theses, books from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organisations. Again, advanced search option will help you focus your search.

One of Google's most interesting new features is to be found on the search results page. Just above your results, click the plus sign beside show options and a panel will appear on the left offering a number of filters (criteria for refining or narrowing your search). Click related searches you will see that Google suggests a range of other searches. For example, if you search for dementia it will suggest types of dementia, stages of dementia etc. If you are exploring an unfamiliar subject this can be an effective way of helping you focus your search. Next time you use Google try looking beyond the simple search box.

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