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Really Using Google



If you are reading this you probably think you know how to search the internet using Google. You don’t. You think you do because you have used it your whole life or because you use it every day or because you have always found what you are looking for. But you don’t really know how to use Google because you have never taken the time to learn to use it correctly. You think because you plug in the right words you are searching. You’re not. Really searching requires coupling thinking with knowing how to use a search engine. If you don’t put these two things together you aren’t searching.

Daniel M. Russell knows how to search. Dr. Russell (Ph’d in computer science) works for Google studying how people use the product for searching. He also writes a blog entitled SearchReSearch in which he teaches search techniques and poses questions for his readers to solve; hard questions like posting a picture of a hillside and asking “What kind of trees are these and why did I hear a bell when I took this photo?” He then explains how to use Google to get the answer. Read a few of these posts and you will wonder if you and Dr. Russell are even using the same search tool.  

Dr. Russell recently gave a talk in San Antonio to investigative reporters and editors and he posted the slides from his presentation as a “tip sheet”.  The outline of the presentation consists of “8 key skills that expert searchers have” and then he explores those skills with examples of searches. The material is available on his blog here: http://searchresearch1.blogspot.com/2013/06/tipsheet-for-ire-2013-ire13.html .  If you are interested in really learning to use Google and how really find things on the internet then this is a great place to start.

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