Unlocking the web – getting more out of Google – IFLA Public Talk

Dyane and I attended a free public talk today called “Unlocking the web – getting more out of Google” held at the National Library in Singapore. The speaker was Kimberly Johnson who is a User Experience Researcher at Google, where she studies how people search for information online, what they struggle with, and how they can improve.

The four takeaways from the session were:
1. Ctrl-F – or find in this page. A little known tool that can help you exactly what you want on a long page of results – think race results and scrolling to find your friend’s name.
2. Search for the answer, not the question. Imagine what the answer looks like and this helps to narrow or refocus the search query.
3. Never remember another URL – search for it in Google (in the address bar or in the search box)
4. Use operators like define, site, or the minus sign

Google Search Operators or search Google for Google search operators.

Other useful things to remember are there: the bar that has the Google tools runs along the top of the results display. These are very useful for narrowing and refining your results.

Kimberley talked about using image search to find a diagram of something – a diagram of bicycle with its parts named.
Is there moss on all sides of Stonehenge? Use Google maps and Street view to view Stonehenge and yes, moss is present on all sides of Stonehenge.

Search tools – there is a colour search – so for the customer who wanted the purple book about Winston Churchill – use this and image search to find covers that are purple …

Other things to investigate – good for all staff to know these exist and explore if they wish to.
A Google a day (search for this) – it’s a Google search a day that explains how the tools would be used to answer the tricky question. A good way into getting familiar with the tools.
Search for “Dan Russell blog” or “new things on Google search” to find more information about Google search and the tools that are used with it.

And one last search – Google search education power searching – there is an online course that Google have published.

Enjoy – Cath.

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IFLA World Library and Information Congress
79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly
17-23 August 2013, Singapore

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