Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Get the most out of your Google searches


Everyone knows how to do a simple search on Google but how many know how to utilise the advanced search options to obtain more relevant search results? In this guide we will explore some of the hidden gems that Google has on offer so you can improve your search results for find exactly what you are looking for.
You can use special characters and words to get more specific search results. Except for the examples below, most punctuation is ignored. For example, a search for dogs! is seen by Google as dogs.
Symbol
What you can use it for
+
Search for Google+ pages or blood types: +Chrome and AB+
@
Find social tags: @SOASBLETech
#
Find popular hashtags for trending topics: #elearning
-
To remove words use a dash before a word or site, it excludes results that include that word or site. This is useful for words with multiple meanings, like Apple the mobile brand and Apple the fruit: Apple types  -mobile and phone -site:wikipedia.org
Connect words by inserting the dash is in between multiple words, Google will know the words are strongly connected: twelve-year-old dog
_
Connect two words like by inserting an underscore between two words: moodle_VLE
"
When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include pages with the same words in the same order as what's inside the quotes.
Please note: employ this search method require the exact word or phrase, otherwise search may exclude many helpful results: "SOAS BLE Blog"
*
Add an asterisk within a search as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms.
Tip: Use with quotation marks to find variations of that exact phrase or to remember words in the middle of a phrase: "a * saved is a * earned"
..
Separate numbers by two periods without spaces (..) to see results that contain numbers in a given range of things like dates, prices, and measurements: Smart TV £300..£500
~
To include a word in your search, but also want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms then ~ in front of the word: “virtual learning” ~Moodle

Use search operators to narrow down results

If you cannot remember every operator use the Advanced Search page to create filter your searches.
Ensure you do not leave any blank spaces in a search, example for site:bbc.co.uk will work, but      site: bbc.co.uk will not.
Operator
What you can use it for
site:
Obtain results from certain sites or domains. For example, you can find all mentions of "olympics" on the BBC website, or any .gov websites:
olympics site: bbc.co.uk and olympics site:.gov
link:
Find pages that link to a certain page. For example, you can find all the pages that link to google.com:
link:google.com
related:
Find sites that are similar to a URL you already know. If you search for related sites to the bbc.co.uk, you'll find other news publication sites you may be interested in:
related:bbc.co.uk
OR
If you want to search for pages that may have just one of several words, include OR (capitalised) between the words. Excluding OR will mean your results would typically show only pages that match both terms:
world cup location 2014 OR 2018
info:
Get information about a URL, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site:
info:soas.ac.uk
cache:
See what a page looks like the last time Google accessed the site:
cache:soas.ac.uk
filetype:
Search for only results of the file type you have requested (pdf, doc, ppt, jpg, etc)
filetype:pdf student survey

Google is also useful for carrying out simple tasks such as:
Word definitions – define:polarisation
Calculator – do a quick math problem using +, -, *, / for basic functions
Unit converter – simply type what you are looking for, eg £100 in dollars

Search with Google Images

Google images removes the need for you to type in keywords and terms into the Google search box. Instead, a user submits their search by an image as their query. Results may include similar images, web results, pages with the image, and different resolutions of the image.
There are four methods for image searching:
  1. Drag and drop
  2. Upload an image
  3. Search using image URL
  4. Right-click an image 


1. Drag and drop an image from the web or from your computer into the search box (Drop image here). Please note that some browsers do not support this feature.

The search in this example provided the following search result:

2. Upload an image - Click the camera icon in the Google search box. 

Select Upload an image tab and choose an image from your computer to upload

3. Search using image URL – Same as above click the camera icon in the Google search box however this time copy the URL of the image URL into the box labelled Paste image URL and then click Search by image button.

4. Right-click an image – Either in Chrome or Firefox, right-click an image and select Search Google with this image. Please note that Firefox will need Google's Search by Image add-on.

Why not try using some of the image Search tools which will allow you to specify what dimensions image, a particular colour that should be prominent in the image, the type of image, when the image was created, set the copyright of the images you want displayed in your search results, whilst selecting more tools you can choose to display the dimensions of the images in your search results. 

The Usage rights is a handy option when searching for images. Always check to see if there are any copyright for any images you intend to use. Remember current Fair Use image copyright laws state that you are financially liable for posting copyrighted images, even if:
• You did it by accident
• You immediately take down the picture after receiving a DMCA takedown notice
• The picture is resized
• If the picture is licensed to your Web developer
• You link back to the photo source and cite the photographer’s name
• Your site is not commercial and you make no money from your blogs
• You have a disclaimer on the site
• The image is embedded instead of saved on your server
• You found it on the Internet

Once you are viewing your search results you can narrow your results further by clicking on the settings icon and selecting the Advanced search option.

Here you will be able to select set a lot more filters to find exactly what you are looking for:

Twitter: @SOASBLETech
SOAS BLE Blog: http://soasble.blogspot.co.uk

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