Category Archives: Google

Web Search, part 2 – Take the Time to Get Good at it!

In Part 1, we looked at how to THINK before you start searching. Remember that the goal is to find what you seek in ONE search.

Here are some other ways you can “make Google Dance” as you search the web. MOST of these tips will also work for DuckDuckGo.com, and possibly the other search engines as well.

Note that much of this material is drawn from an article from macsales.com

Site-Specific searching.

If you’d like to search a specific website [macon, com, for example], then add “site:domain_mane” to the end of your search.

For example:

Mount de Sales site:macon.com

should find every mention of the school at the macon.com website.

Getting rid of some results

Let’s say you are researching “fording a river”, but you keep getting results for Ford vehicles. You can use the minus sign to remove articles about the cars, which would make it easier to find what you seek;

ford river -car -truck

Make CERTAIN a search term is in the results

Sometime the search engine gives you results that DON’T contain your search terms, or the results contain SOME of them. You can force the results to contain the terms by using the plus sign.

+ham +sandwich +tees +hamster

Specify an EXACT search term

Use force your results to contain the phrase as is – this is very useful when searching for someone’s name.

“Mickey Mouse”

Leave out results from certain domains.

Let’s say you were looking for info on Apple products, but wanted results that are NOT from apple.com. That is easy by using the minus sign [again].

iPhone -apple.com

The minus sign works with “top level domains” – as in .edu, .com, etc. So you could block out any .com sites in that Apple search.

iPhone -.com

Search just the Title of the page

You can use “intitle:” to search JUST the title of a page.

intitle:Macon

You can use multiple intitles to make sure multiple words are int he title:

intitle:Macon intitle:GA intitle:Music

Search just the text in a result

Have the engine search JUST the text on a site with the intext: option

intext:cavaliers intext:”Mount de Sales” intext:school

Search a sub-area of a site

Suppose you wanted to search JUST the support area of Microsoft site for some info. Use the “inurl:” option to do just that:

surface reinstall site:microsoft.com inurl:support

Wildcards

Use the asterisk to represent ANYTHING. That is useful if you aren’t quite sure of what you are looking for, or if you’d like to know what info is available about something general.

how to * on an iPad

Search a specific date range

If you are looking for info relating to a particular computer, or car, for a specific year, the “after:” and “before:” options will save you some time.

So if you are loking for info about teh Ford Mustand, but only the models from teh late 1960’s, you would search this:

Ford mustang after:1964-01-01 before:1969-12-12

NOTE: you do NOT have to use the entire yerar-month-day format. You could search

Ford mustang after:1964 before:1970

Use the Tools Menu

Tools button Google Search

That is another way to search by date and time.

Boolean Operators

No, these aren’t words that will get you into trouble. They refer to ways to require ALL of your search terms or ANY of them in your search results, by using the words “AND” and “OR”. They can be used with ANY of the above options.

So if I want to search for a Ryobi one+ air compressor, but limited to Homedepot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware:

ryobi one+ air compressor site:homedepot.com OR site:lowes.com OR site:acehardware.com

Notice that the results only give homedepot.com – because neither Lowe’s nor Ace Hardware carry Ryobi.

Use AND if you want to make sure ALL of your terms are included in the results. Again, this can be used with any of the tips above.

Mount de Sales AND Catholic -Macon should give us the Mount de Sales Catholic schools that are not in Macon.

AROUND

This is one that few people know about. You can have the engine look for words that are close to each other, but not necessarily next to each other.

lefty AROUND scissors

Google Advanced Search
Advanced Search – Google

If you are having trouble finding, and have learned to THINK about your search, then dive into advanced search. At the top-right corner, click Settings, then Advanced Search. There are a lot of options here, but most are easy to figure out.

FINAL ADVICE:

  1. DO NOT GIVE UP. There are a gazillion ways to find what you seek on the Web.
  2. THINK about what you are looking for. Be as specific as possible.
  3. Contact Tech, or visit the ARC, to get more advice [but ONLY after you have tried these tips and are just absolutely out of ideas.]

Web Search – Take the Time to Get Good at it!

The goal of your web search should be to find the info you seek in one search. Yes, ONE. Is that possible? YES!

Step one: THINK

A) Figure out EXACTLY what you are looking for. Don’t be general [“I want to know about rivers nearby”], be as specific as you can [“I want to know the average depth of the rivers near Macon, Georgia.]

B) Phrase that in the form of a question, THEN underline the important words. The underlined words become your search terms

For example “I want to know the average depth of the rivers near Macon, Georgia” would become “average depth rivers near Macon Georgia” . THAT is what you type in.

Step two: SEARCH and LOOK AT THE RESULTS

A) Check the results. DO NOT just stick with the first page – often the results you seek are on page two or three of the results.

B) LOOK AT THE RESULT – do not just click on the first link. The results will have the web address listed – take a look at the first bit of the address. Is it actually a legit source you can trust? ALSO look at the text after the address – that will give clues on how useful the info ill be.

You can probably trust SOME of these sources, but not all!
  • www.federalpay.org will probably not be much help!
  • The National Weather service indeed keeps up with river levels, so that might be a good link.
  • go-georgia.com – looking at the description, that is going to give me a list of river tours companies. Also not much help.
  • Wikipedia? Sometimes helpful, sometimes not. Sometime accurate, sometimes not. In this case it would probably be faster to look elsewhere.
  • epd.georgia.gov – the “.gov” tells you it is an official site with the state of Georgia. The description tells us that the link is to a PDF file will all sorts of stream and river data for Georgia. That might be useful.

Step Three: I can’t find what I am looking for!

Here are some additional things to try:

  • Make certain you have followed the tips above. DO NOT use complete sentences, unless you really like wasting time.
  • Think of synonyms for your search terms. For example “stream” instead of “river”.
  • Think of related terms – for example, I could look for “river statistics “instead of just “depth”, since the depth figures are likely to be included with all sorts of river stats.
  • Guess what words might be on the page that would contain the info you seek. For example, a page with information on the depth of rivers near Macon might also have statistics, boating, watersports, middle Georgia [instead of JUST Macon], etc.
  • Use a different search engine – Google does NOT cover the entire web.

Step Four: REALLY learn how to search.

That is going to be the next article in this series. Watch for it – or go ahead and add your email to the list [it’s the Subscribe or “Email me!” box on either side up top.]

Using Google Keep for Research on the Web

Full credit for the source at the bottom of this article.

When you are using the Web for research, it is often easier and faster to use a desktop machine, with your Gsuite account and the Keep extension installed in your browser. Note that the process detailed below does NOT work on a device [tablet or phone].


When it comes to fast, informal online research, the Google Keep Chrome extension could be the ticket. Just save a link—along with a label and note—then export your Keep notes to Google Docs.

Three Google tools—Chrome, Google Keep and Google Docs—streamline the web research process. The Google Keep Chrome extension, specifically, lets you save, annotate and categorize web links, then export a selected set of saved Google Keep notes to a Google Doc.

The Keep extension eliminates the need to select a site’s URL, copy it, paste it into a document, add a note, then return to browse additional search results.

To streamline the whole process, make sure you have Chrome installed and are signed in with your Google account. The steps below cover how to install the Keep extension (a one-time process) as well as the routine research sequence.

SEE: How to quickly add to Google Keep from Chrome (TechRepublic)

Web research: Search, review, annotate, label and save

As you search and browse the web, anytime you want to save a web link, select the Keep extension. This automatically captures the URL for the page, creates a Keep note with the link, and places the cursor in the Keep Note field. Add any relevant text in the note (e.g., why this link is relevant, important items about the page or any commentary on the contents). Optionally, you may add a title to your note.

Screenshot that shows the Keep extension selected on an HP printer detail page, with the link in the top portion of the note, text added by the author in the note "About $650, but not currently in stock" and a title also typed in, "HP Color LaserJet Pro". Two labels added: All-in-one and Printers.
Select the Keep extension to create a note with the link to the web page. Optionally, you may add text, labels, and a note title.

You can use labels to categorize Keep notes. Select the label icon, then either type text to create a new label or select a previously added label from the list that displays. You may apply more than one label to a Keep note (e.g., for printer research, I might apply not only a “printers” label, but also an “all-in-one” label for devices with a scanner).

SEE: How to use Google Meet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

On every web page you want to save, repeat the process:
Select the Keep icon and add text and labels.

Go to keep.google.com to review your saved links and notes.
Select from the list of labels (displayed on the left) to filter your Keep notes and only display those with the selected label.

Screenshot that shows Printers label selected at keep.google.com, with two of three notes selected.
At keep.google.com on the web, select a label to show only notes with that label.

You can export a set of Keep notes into a single Google Doc.

There are several ways to filter and select notes.
–> Select a label (along the left) to display all notes with that label.
-> Press Ctrl+A to select all displayed notes.
-> Or, move the cursor over a note, then click near the circle with a check mark in it (in the upper-left section of each note) to select or deselect it.

Once you have selected the set of Keep notes to export, select the More menu (the three-vertical dot menu in the upper right) and choose Copy To Google Docs .

Choose Open Doc (in the lower left) to display the Google Doc created from your selected Keep notes.

At this point, your Google Doc contains the links, notes and titles from your selected Google Keep notes. Now you can edit your Google Doc as needed.

Screenshot with the Copy to Google Docs menu item displayed and an arrow pointing to the option.
After you have chosen notes to export, select the More menu (three vertical dots in the upper right), then Copy To Google Docs.
Screenshot that shows the "Copied to Google Docs" message (lower left of the screen) with an arrow pointing to the Open Doc link.
Select Open Doc to access the Google Doc created from your selected Keep notes.
Screenshot shows four URLs to printer-related pages, with text notes added by the author to three of the web pages, and one note title added.
The resulting Google Doc includes complete URL details and links from the saved Keep notes, along with any text and titles you added.

ORIGINAL SOURCE FOR THIS ARTICLE:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-use-google-keep-for-web-research/