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Google - getting the most out of it  

How students can make the most of Google searches and applications
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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How does Google work?

Page Ranking
Google  ranks pages according to how many other pages link to that page, the popularity of those linking pages, the quality of the linking sites, and the number of times keywords appear on a page. 

Why is everyting about Toledo?                                                                                                                                                                    The inclusion of local search results in your results listings become default behavior in 2009.  So if you search for "coffee shops" while in Toledo, you will get Toledo-specific information.  If you need another location, add that to your query or manually change your location preference (an option on menu to the right side of search results).

What are sponsored links?
These are ads paid for by businesses; they are not search results.  Companies pay Google each time someone clicks on their ads.



This guide was based on one originally developed in 2010 by Margie Clark at Camosan College. Thank you!


Why Google

Whether you agree with the opinion that Google is "the best" search engine available, the fact is that  Google is widely used.  This guide is meant to introduce you to some of Google's special features and services that can help you in your academic research and in your life. 


Google tips

Some basic search tips:

  • Use quotation marks when searching for a phrase e.g. "genetic engineering".
  • Use the I'm feeling lucky button to find the most popular website on a topic e.g. if you search Carlson Library and use the feeling lucky button you will be taken directly to our library homepage.

Search website titles:

  • You can make a search more precise by limiting your search words to the title of the page e.g. allintitle:climate change

Search specific sites or domains:

  • You can limit your search by adding site:edu to locate your search terms at .edu sites only.

Search for specific document types:

  • You can search for specific document types by adding the command filetype: to the end of your search. This allows you to search for pdfs, PowerPoint presentations, Excel files and others e.g. filetype:pdf, filetype:ppt, filetype:xls

Find synonyms:

  • Putting a tilde in from of a word will run a search for it and its synonyms
  • ~sun will retrieve results including solar

Find a definition:

  • Type in a word and click on the [definition] link that appears on the upper right near the search results total
  • Or use the command define: nanotechnology to locate a definition

Exclude terms (-):

  • Use - before a term to exclude it from search results
  • twins -Minnesota

Advanced search option:

  • you can combine many of the above commands if you start your search in the Advanced Search screen instead of using the basic search option

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Bridget Faricy, RN, BSN, MLIS
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Mulford Library - Mail Stop 1061
(419) 383- 4214
Mulford reference hours:
W 10-1, Th 10-1, F 10-3
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