Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Google Smarter

The databases listed above in the Finding Articles tab are great resources, but there are times when searching the open web makes sense. For those times, here are a few ways to craft smarter, more focused searches on Google.
  • Search Operators: Search operators are directions that tell Google specifically what to look for, so your search results will be more relevant. You can tailor your search by asking Google to do things like search a specific site or look for pages that mention any date in a range.
  • Search Tools and Filters: Once you've searched using your keywords and search operators, search tools let you narrow down your results. There are search tools in the image search as well, so you can set the size, color, or image type to help limit your search.
  • Advanced Search: The advanced search can really help narrow down your results. This search spells out how to use search operators and filter your results to get the most relevant hits.
If Google isn't your preferred search engine, don't worry - instead, check the help and support pages for your favorite search engine (Yahoo and Duck Duck Go both have support pages explaining their search operators). Many of the search operators will be the same and the advanced search will look similar. While using search operators and advanced search options will help focus your searches, in the end, determining whether the results Google returns are valuable is up to you - so make sure you do a CRAAP Test and think about the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of sources as they relate to your topic.