Google holds more than 60 per cent of the search engine market and there is a reason for that. It's the most sophisticated search engine, offering numerous features and services. It lets you search for images and videos. It provides tools to create blogs, to organize your pictures, to help you translate text and find your way around maps. It can transform itself in a calcultor, a dictionnary, a phone directory. It lets you search the content of books (Google books), scholarly materials (Google Scholar), and historical news (Google News/Archives). Despite all that, most people use Google only to do simple keyword searches and never unleash its full searching power. Here are some tips to help you use the advanced features of Google, and also to help you find more reliable materials for your research papers.
Basic Searching Tips:
* Use quotes around your keywords to search for an exact phrase: "to be or not to be"
*Use the minus sign (-) to exclude search results with a particular word or phrase: Java - coffee
* If you are looking for a definition, build your search like this: define: laser
Google Advanced Mode:
When you look at the list of results for a search, you will notice a small "gear" icon on the top right corner. Click on it and select ADVANCED SEARCH. You will be able to limit your search by date, by site domain, by file type, etc. For example, if you only want government information on a specific topic, you can limit your search to pages with the doman .gov. If you are looking for research materials, you want to limit your search to pages with the domain .edu.
Use Google Scholar to find academic papers, abstracts, and other scholarly sources.
Use Google Book Search to search the full text of a book. This is particularly useful when you are looking for some more esoteric information. Google will not always provide the full text of the book but it will let you know which library in your area has it.
Google News doesn't only provide current news. It has an archives which let you look at historical articles from various news sources.
And Much More...
Google also lets you search for images, maps, videos, and provide numerous services such as Picasa (to manage your photos), Blogger (to create blogs), Google groups, Google mail, as well as a translation service. To check all the services and products offered by Google, click here. To find information about Google's latest project, "Project Glass" (augmented reality glasses), click here.