Friday, September 2, 2016

Useful Google Search Tricks

Like most students, you probably spend quite some time online doing research. What you might not know are some easy ways to help you research with more efficiency. They are quick to use whenever you need them, and do not require any prior knowledge of coding.
So let's get started.

Tip #1: Searching through a site directly from Google.
Sometimes you already know the website that you want to get your information from when you are doing research. Instead of going to that website and looking for that information, you can search through that website's archives directly by typing "site:" along with said website in front of your Google search.

An example when this could be useful is when you are searching for news articles. Because newspaper websites are filled with many articles about the same subject area and are sorted chronologically, it is difficult to track down the article you want through the archives. Instead, try doing this:

As a result, I can see all the articles written about Brexit only by the BBC.

Tip #2: Using the site function to look for geographically specific information.
If instead of typing a site, you type in a domain, you can narrow down your searches by region.
For example, if I only want to research the opinions on Brexit of the people of Hong Kong, I can do this:
This results in my search only showing websites based in Hong Kong as I used the domain ".hk". This trick is very useful when doing research about a historical event. History is always taught from the view of the winners, but that presents a biased view. To really understand a historical event, you should research the same event from multiple view points. As an example, you could use this trick to research about the Cold War from the Soviet point of view by using the domain ".ru"

Tip #3: Using an asterisk to specify unknown or variable words. 
Searching a phrase in quotes with an asterisk (*) as a replacement for a word will search all variations of that phrase.
This can come in helpful when you're trying to determine a song from its lyrics or trying to find the person that said a famous quote, but you don't quite completely remember it.
In this example, I don't remember all the lyrics but I can still find out what song it is.

Tip #4: Reverse Image Search
Google Images has an option to do a reverse image search, where you upload or drag a photo to the search bar, and the results are everything Google knows about that image or similar images.
This can be useful when you need to find information about an image to properly cite it to avoid plagiarism.
In this example, the image was tracked back to the website where it was found (Wikipedia) and the results also gave the context surrounding the photo (The Wikipedia Library Project).

Tip #5: Search for a Specific File-type
Sometimes for a school project, you need to get inspiration from other examples of a project similar to yours.
For example, if you need to make a presentation about Brexit, but you don't know where to begin, you can do the following search, which results in you looking at hundreds of other PowerPoint presentations on the same topic.
Now that you have learned these easy tricks, use them while you research to save time and maximize efficiency! If you are interested in learning more information on Google Search Tricks or any other tech-related matter, stay tuned for future posts by the Genius team.

1 comment:

  1. Good topic and descriptions, I like the fact that you have pictures to show examples.