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Tips for effective search with Google

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Tips for effective search with Google Powered By Docstoc
					          Tips for effective search with Google
          by Axel Boldt, October 13, 2006
          All the following queries can be typed into google.com, followed by Enter.
          Sometimes the results page will have blue “sponsored links” at the top or right; ignore
          these, they’re ads.

What to type into              What it does                           Remarks
google.com
Dutch flood                    Returns those documents that           Common words such as “a” and “the”
                               match all of the given terms, either   are ignored.Upper case and lower case
                               in the document itself or in a link    are treated the same. The order of the
                               to the document.                       terms matters somewhat: the documents
                               The documents that are the target      in which the terms occur in the same
                               of the most links from important       order receive priority.
                               sites are listed first.
Dutch flood OR floods          Gives more hits, as Google does        OR needs to be all uppercase.
                               not automatically include plurals.     Note that OR only applies to the two
                               Even better: Dutch OR                  immediately surrounding terms; all
                               Netherlands flood OR floods.           returned documents will contain
                                                                      “Dutch”
“killing me softly”            Returns all documents that contain     Useful to locate song lyrics, or to hunt
                               the exact given phrase                 for plagiarism/copyright violations
“killing * softly”             The star stands for one or more        The star represents a sequence of whole
                               arbitrary words, so documents          words within a quoted phrase and
                               matching “killing you softly” and      cannot be used as part of a word:
                               “killing an asteroid softly” will      “flood*” will not give you flood, floods
                               also be returned.                      and flooding.
prozac site:.edu               Will only return documents             Useful when general searches return too
George Bush site:.de           residing on sites whose address        much commercial material, as for many
Schedule site:metrostate.edu   matches.                               medications, or when the search should
                               .edu: educational                      be limited to a particular country or site.
                               .gov: U.S. government                  Restricting to site:.gov for image search
                               .de: Germany                           on images.google.com is particularly
                               .com: Commercial                       useful, as the U.S. government releases
                                                                      all its pictures into the public domain.
Click on “Advanced Search”     Will return only documents             Applies to all subsequent searches as
then choose a Language         written in that language               well, until you change it back
Labor –childbirth              The minus excludes all documents       Often useful when a term has two
viagra –site:.com              that contain the given term.           different meanings in two different
“killing * softly” –“killing   Include a space before the minus,      fields, or to exclude results from
me softly”                     but none afterwards.                   commercial web sites.
A -B C OR D OR E               Returns all documents that contain
                               A but not B and contain at least
                               one of C, D or E
“find in a library: ” Newton   Will return a link to the WorldCat     This service is also provided by one of
Principia                      entry for the given book, allowing     our library’s databases.
                               you to locate the closest library
                               that holds the book.
What to type into                  What it does                                Remarks
google.com
inurl:creation/behe.html           Returns only documents that          Useful when encountering a “broken
                                   contain the given string             link”: the document typically has moved
                                   “creation/behe.html” in their URL    to a new location, but part of its
                                   (“Uniform Resource Locator”, the     filename will often still be the same.
                                   web address shown in the address     If a broken link results from the server
                                   field of the browser)                being down, you can still access the
                                                                        document by clicking on Google’s
                                                                        “Cached” link.
                                                                        Another useful service to locate “lost”
                                                                        documents: www.archive.org a
                                                                        complete archive of the internet going
                                                                        back 10 years.
filetype:doc                       Will only return files of the given  Searching for PowerPoint slides
filetype:pdf                       types: Microsoft Word, PDF, or       sometimes gives nice overviews from
filetype:ppt                       PowerPoint slides, respectively      talks on the subject. Most scientists
                                                                        publish their papers in PDF format on
                                                                        their home pages.
link:www.metrostate.edu            Those documents that contain a       Useful to find out who links to your
                                   link to www.metrostate.edu           personal webpage.
define: hyperthermia               Returns one-line definitions for the As we know, truth is determined by
                                   given term found on the web.         majority rule.
patent 5123123                     Returns a link to the given patent
                                   in the USPTO database
3.4*sqrt(2)-sin(pi/2)+ln(2e)       Computes the given expressions,
20 % of 600                        performs the given conversions, or
20 dollars in euros                returns the given constants.
0x5F in decimal
6 feet in meters
mass of earth in pounds
speed of light


          Additional services from Google
          (the operators explained above work on these sites as well)
               Scholarly articles published on the web: scholar.google.com
               Image search: images.google.com
               Full text book search: books.google.com
               Video search: video.google.com
               Current news sources: news.google.com
               Email updates about new material on the web concerning a given topic:
                 google.com/alerts
               Maps and satellite images from every spot on Earth: maps.google.com, or a much
                 more comfortable free software download: earth.google.com
               Translating web sites (crude): google.com/translate_t

          Questions, comments, requests for an electronic version of these notes: Axel.Boldt@metrostate.edu
          This document is in the public domain.