Tips for using Google

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					Essex Electronic Library Training
Tips for using Google

Use rather than this will give you the ability to restrict your search to UK websites.

Google can also be used to search for images or news items

Feeling lucky?

Search UK pages only

Google will search for web pages containing ALL words that you enter – the more words you use, the fewer, more relevant results you will get. It does not matter whether you enter terms in upper or lower case – Google will ignore this. If you are searching for phrases, remember to place them in inverted commas, e.g. “gastrointestinal endoscopy”. Google does not search “stop words”, or extremely common words such as “and”, “the”, “to”, “a” etc. If you want to search for a stop word, precede it with a “+”, e.g. +and. If the stop word is part of a phrase, it will be included as long as the phrase is within inverted commas, e.g. “Journal of Urology”. Using “I’m Feeling Lucky” rather than “Google Search” will automatically take you to the first page in the results list. This isn’t recommended unless you really are lucky! You can also search for images, news and discussion lists by selecting the options above the search box.
Written by Richard Bailey, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sponsored links Cached option Similar pages URL

Be wary of sponsored links – they may be useful, but they may also just be selling something, and will rarely match your search criteria exactly. Look at the URL (uniform resource locator, or web address) of a site to see what kind of site it is. For example, a “.com” will be a commercial site, a “” will be a UK government site. To visit the homepage of a site, which usually gives more information about its author/s, copy the first part of the URL, up to the first slash, and paste it into the address bar of your browser.
The first part of the URL is the homepage To visit a homepage, paste it into the address

Clicking on “Cached” will take you to Google’s stored copy of the page. This is useful if the “live” page is unavailable, because it has moved or is experiencing technical problems for example. It is also useful because it highlights your search terms within the page. Remember that it is a stored copy however, and so is not guaranteed to be the latest version. Clicking on “Similar pages” will conduct another search based on the keywords and links within the page in question. This is not as accurate as entering the keywords yourself, but will locate other pages of a similar nature that may have been missed in your original search.

Written by Richard Bailey, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Only/Don’t return results option

The “with all of the words” box is the same as the basic Google search. The “with the exact phrase” box is the same as entering a phrase in inverted commas in the basic Google search. The “with at least one of the words” box will retrieve pages that contain one or more of the words that you enter. It is useful for searching words with similar meanings or synonyms, e.g. cancer neoplasms. The “without the words” box will exclude words that you do not wish to occur in retrieved pages. The Language pull-down menu allows you to restrict you results to pages written in the specified language. The File Format allows you to retrieve only results in a given format. For example, if you were only looking for presentations, you could restrict to Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt). If you want to exclude certain formats from your results, you can change the “Only” return results option to “Don’t” return results using the pull-down menu. The Date pull-down menu allows you to search for pages that have been updated in the past three, six or 12 months. The Occurrences pull-down menu enables you to choose where in the page you want your terms to appear, e.g. in the page’s title. Be wary of using this unless you are trying to locate a specific page that you have seen before. The Domain box is a very useful feature that allows you to search for a particular kind of website, or even within a specific website. To search for a

Written by Richard Bailey, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

class of website, enter the last part of the URL. For example, to search for only NHS sites, enter “” or to search for only government sites, enter “”. You can also search an individual site by entering more of the UR L. For example, you could search the Department of Health website by entering “”. You can also exclude certain sites by changing the “Only” return results option to “Don’t” return results using the pull-down menu. Basic search shortcuts and some other Google features Many of the options available in Google advanced search can be duplicated using “shortcuts” in the basic search, just as you might use inverted commas to duplicate the effect of the “exact phrase” box in the advanced search. To search for “at least one of the words”, you can combine words with “OR”, e.g. cancer OR neoplasms. The OR must be in upper case, otherwise Google will treat it as a stop word. To search “without the words”, you can exclude words by preceding them with a “–“, e.g. –children. To search by Domain, you can enter the appropriate URL, preceding it with “site:”. For example, would search for pages on the Department of Health website. Search for dictionary definitions by entering a word or phrase, preceded by “define:”, for example define:oncology. Other general tips If you want to try and find words quickly in a large web page, hold down the CTRL key and press F on your keyboard. A Find box will appear that you can use to search through the page and save time scanning manually. This is exactly the same as the Find option in other Microsoft products such as Word and Excel. If you want to visit a “.com” site, enter the centre part of the URL into Explorer’s address box, hold down the CTRL key, and press enter/carriage return on your keyboard. For example, to visit, just enter “bupa” in the address box, and press CTRL+Enter.

Written by Richard Bailey, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust