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Search Tips On Google

It seems that many people do not know how to use Google effectively. So, if you're interested, here are some tips which I use with my students:


  • Break down your search using simple words, no articles, no prepositions (of, with, to, on, for, in). Pretend you're a caveman! :) I mean, if you're looking for cheap recipes, type that in. Cheap Recipes, frugal recipes, budget recipe ideas will all pull up some good sites.

  • Good words for most of us here: budget, thrifty, frugal, cheap, free

  • If you're looking for specifics make sure you include that in your search, but don't include unnecessary words. For instance, I'm a teacher, and I often look online for ideas. If I was looking for a free, printable worksheet about the American Revolution, I would type "American revolution worksheet printable free" into Google, and then all of the sites that didn't include all of those words would be precluded from the answers.

  • To know what kind of site you're looking at you need to look at the last three initials on the web address. Each one signifies something different, and usually:

    .gov = US government websites
    .org = non-profit agency
    .edu = educational institution
    .com, .net, and .biz= commercial websites
    .stateinitials.us = state website or school district (.ma.us)
    .uk = United Kingdom site
    .au = Australian site,

I hope this helps. I know a lot of us out there are internet whizzes but a lot of us aren't, and I know it's hard sometimes to get the info you need. Google is really easy, and is often the fastest way to go.

By vaylmer from MA

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February 4, 20110 found this helpful

What an outstanding thing you have wrote here for all of us that are not as computer savy as our children would like us to be. Thanks for spelling this all out for us but especially for me I know I appreciate it.

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

Really excellent pointers, Vaylmer. I am one of the computer-savvy folks, but you worded your advice so well, there's only one thing I can add. I noticed when you mentioned your example, you prioritized your search terms in the order of importance. That's an excellent strategy. If you had put "free" at the beginning, you'd probably have gotten tens of thousands of irrelevant "hits."

The only difference I'd mention is my own: since Google doesn't work well with my screen-reader, I use a site I adored in my "sighted days." Dogpile.com pulls together more than a dozen search engines and presents them in one consolidated set of results. Besides, the Dogpile mascot, Arfie, is funny to watch, lol! (Yeah, I still remember!)

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February 9, 20110 found this helpful

Oh great! I'm glad it was helpful. :) Thanks, JustPlainJo - excellent advice, too! I haven't tried Dogpile yet, but I will now!

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February 9, 20140 found this helpful

One thing that I would add too. Say you are looking for something like a craft pattern. When you click enter and google brings up all the sites, click on images. You will have all the photos taken to lead you to the site. It's an amazing way to see what you are specifically looking for. Great tip! Thanks for sharing it!

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February 4, 20110 found this helpful

As a researcher, I take it for granted that almost everyone knows how and where to find answers to their questions. http://www.google.com is a great source of information. And these days, with the development of search criteria, it can be as easy as typing in "How do I remove yellow stains from my cotton blouse." Or "How to remove stains from leather furniture." or "Free ideas for party planning." If the first set of words doesn't provide the responses you want, re-arrange the words or be more specific (ink stains, suede, for instance).


Good luck!


By Rose Anne from Calgary, Canada

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