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Powersearching: Class 2 – Interpreting results

July 17, 2012

I only just finished class 2 in the Power searching course with Google and I feel more and more far from being an advanced searcher, I don’t even want to use the word expert 😦 I feel a little bit like in the cartoon.

Well, for the benefit of my search skills, eventually I have a MA degree ;-), let’s say I realized that it’s the odds and ends, the small things that can make a big difference, the difference between an advanced searcher and an expert ‘Power Searcher’.

And I want to become a Power Searcher

Ok, what was this second class about?

Daniel Russel introduced several mechanism that we all be aware of when using Google, but may not pay real attention to and/or made no use of it.

  • panel on the right site which provides a preview of the page
  • related searches on the bottom of the page
  • real-time suggestion during typing the query – search-as-you type
  • autocomplete and it even corrects typos
  • incremental results – see queries that other users did before – quite helpful  and it shows the ‘wisdom of the crowd’

I recognized the panel on the right sight but somehow my searches mainly brought up ads, however if you search e.g. for a bacteria or a plant than the panel provides all kinds of information, like scientific name, classification, rank, etc.

“Topics for which information panels appear include, but are not limited to, animals, famous people, landmarks, countries, movies, books, works of art, sports teams, and chemical elements.”

Well, I failed the first activity getting from the search query Mona Lisa to Golden Gate Bridge in less than seven clicks – the game is called ‘The six degrees of separation‘. I tried to start the activity from the end, i.e. the Golden Gate Bridge and find out there is a restaurant called Mona Lisa – but I could not do it with the clicks and I am not sure if this was the final result.

Did you know that using the word define and a search word opens Google’s dictionary. That helps you to check unknown words and even the language can be changed. Pretty cool 😎

  • Use [define] in the search box to identify the meaning of words.
  • Click on Search Tools in the left panel, then Dictionary to define words that do not appear in traditional dictionaries.

We all know the saying that an image is worth a thousand words. Therefore include all kind of media into the interpretation of your search results.

  • Use image search when it appears in search results, and use related image search to refine results.
  • Refine results by using different media types like videos and news; these filters appear in the left side of the search results page.

Bye the way, did you know what a yarnbomb is? No, … see the image below or google yourself 😉 I found it quite appropriate now that the Olympic Games 2012 start soon in London.

Image source: 25 Amazing Yarn Bombs

Looking at the Search Engine Result page (SERP) you see that each search block consists of …

One tip, Daniel Russel also gave that we should include all different kind of content within our search not only the default web search

  • In the left panel of the search results page, you can filter results by different categories.
  • These categories include blogs, discussions, recipes, patents, books, 3D models, scholarly sources, and legal documents.

And in case you do not know where to find all that different categories, e.g. patents you simply type [google patents] into the search field and jump straight to it.

Ok, enough information for today. Will be continued …

  1. dave permalink

    I also am taking this course [got lots of time now retired]…for that test, I typed mona lisa [golden gate bridge]..then clicked on mona lisa (movie title) which page shows picture of bridge from marion point…interesting thing is another pic shows jonnie galeki (sp?) from The Big Bang show…

  2. dave permalink

    UPDATE: the movie title is Playing Mona Lisa & the pic view is from Marin Headlands..apparently, movie was filmed in & around SF & the national park area

  3. mary permalink

    hahaha, google’s course shows that google has never researched its cunsumers, but fortunately for google, the product works even if we don’t already know the answer to the question,

  4. mary permalink

    oops, sorry, i mispelled consumers

  5. Kirsty permalink

    Hi Journalist @stvnews can I use your picture in a #yarnbomb news report?

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