This is a continuation of Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 1).

Below is my summary of classes 4 to 6 of Power Search class by Google Search Education.

Find facts faster

Class 4 focuses on other tools that makes searching faster and easier.

Search by Image

Google Image search by image feature processes the image and looks for the best possible match for other pictures. It is great for  finding the description of image, what it is and where it came from.

A great tip from Daniel Russel: If you found something you don\’t know, just take a picture of it in white background, then use search by image to search the web. It\’s like taking Google search in the real world.

Search Features

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Basically these are search string shortcuts that you can use in order to find what you really need really fast.

movies + [location]

capital of + [location]

weather in + [location]

weather + [zip code]

flight code

time + [location]

common disease/medical condition/medical term

There are more and the complete list is located here: Google Search features

Conversion and Calculator

I have used this for a very long time already. You can use this to convert about any US units to metric units. Just use the search format:

[number units in units]

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population of [place]

You can do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using Google. There are also easter eggs like this one:

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If you trigger this specific Google search features, Google will show up a new area for converter or calculator as seen above.

Left hand panel and Date range limiting

You can use date range limiting to limit the recency of Google search results. In news, this is very important so you only get the freshest ones.

For books and other reference materials, you can use this to search for very old archives. Want to find which books are published during 1980\’s? Just go to Google Books and filter them.

Translation and search

Most people would be familiar with Google Search but beyond that, most people don\’t know that you can use Google to search for translated foreign websites.

That is the end of class 4. Class 5 focuses on checking facts when doing your search.

Checking Your Facts

Credibility

Some pointers:

  • Highest ranked webpage does not mean the source is credible.
  • Different terms make different implications, so choose the query terms appropriately.
  • Do a variety of search, not just one. Always do one more search.
  • Look at the URL – sometimes it signals where the perspective of the page.

Using time range filter you can check whether this quote is really from Martin Luther King.

\”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.\”
—attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look at the search results over time you can get a hint how it got published after 1999 but not before it. Of course something is fishy here.

Variant Data

One challenge about doing web searches is the vast amount of data available out there that a simple fact could have one or more subtlety involved in it.

You have to ask question like: does this fact vary based on some contextual information?

You need to find the source. Where it came from? How was it measured?

Use the precise information you have to verify source; Use a generic description to confirm fact.

Don\’t add your answer into your query  to avoid confirmation bias (believing a pre-conceived notion).

Using Books to verify a quote

Quotes are typically hard to find where they came from but books offer authoritative information for this type of information.

WHOIS

If you need to more information about the domain name of a page, there are WHOIS database that can give you information on who owns it.

How do you know if an entity is a business? Use the entity name and the term [contact]. It should give you information how to locate it and how to get in touch with it. That\’s why if you are a business you should always have a \”contact us\” page

Misconceptions

  1. You cannot buy a better ranking
  2. A Google service logo on a site does not mean Google has vetted it
  3. Google ads on a page does not mean Google has vetted it
  4. Rank is not equal to authoritative

That\’s the end of class 5 and now for the last class.

Putting it all Together

Combining methods

Doing good search is an iterative process. Starting from simple search to a complex search with filters

Think broadly

Using other tools in combination, streetview, maps, translation, etc.

All the tools are available online and the best training to practice all these are the activity that comes with the online classes. The reason I summarized this class is for me to look for the lessons quickly when I forget something. Of course, the best learning materials are still found in Power Searching with Google website.

There are two extra two hang out videos with the search experts. You can get valuable lessons from these, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhhiXxiAVtM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwlpViuIYgU

Just in case you are interested on how the certificate looks like, see below.

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Hint: the font used is Helvetica.

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