Welcome to Google Guide, an online tutorial making searching even easier.
In this tutorial, you can learn
- How to select terms and search (more) effectively
- How Google interprets your query
- What’s included with your results
- How to search using Google’s special tools and shortcuts
- What to do when you can’t find the answer you want
- When Google added services, features, and options (Google’s Feature History)
- How Google works
and, of course, there’s much more.
Google is so easy to use, why take this online tutorial? If you’re like many people, you use only a small number of Google’s services and features. The more you know about how Google works, its features and capabilities, the better it can serve your needs.
If you have time, read all of Google Guide and work through the examples and exercises. Otherwise, look at the Table of Contents or use the search box at the top of each page to find the chapters or sections that are likely to be most helpful to you.
Just as the best way to learn how to sail is to sail, the best way to learn how to search with Google is to search with Google. Consequently this Google tutorial contains many examples and exercises designed to give you practice with the material presented and to inspire you to find amusing or useful information.
Try the examples, work the exercises, and click on the links (usually underlined) to see Google in action and to learn more about a topic.
Since the web and Google’s algorithms and features constantly evolve, your results may be different from those shown in this tutorial.
In this tutorial, clicking the left mouse button on an example or a link to a page not in Google Guide, will display the results in a new window. Clicking on a link that points to another section in this tutorial, will display the contents of the associated page in the same window. You can make the contents of the linked page appear in a new window by:
- Pointing to any link (press the TAB key to jump to the next link on the page).
- Holding down the SHIFT key while you click on the link (if you use Internet Explorer).
- Pressing the right button of your mouse, and then selecting “Open a New Window” (or the middle button if you use Mozilla or Netscape).
- After viewing the results, close the window and you will return to the tutorial. On Microsoft Windows, you can kill the top window by pressing the ALT and F4 keys simultaneously. You can switch the active window by pressing the ALT and TAB keys simultaneously.
Although this tutorial is for people new to Google, it contains information of interest to those who have experience with Google or another search engine. Unless you’re familiar with all of Google’s features, you’ll learn something by taking this tutorial.
This online Google tutorial will occupy you from 0.5 to 8 hours, depending on how many chapters you elect to skip, and how many of the examples and problems you work through. Most people spend about half an hour at a time, and two hours total.
Along the left side of each page is a navigation menu. Click on any name in the navigation menu to read that part or chapter.
Each page of Google Guide has a search box at the top. You can search Google Guide by typing your query in the box and clicking.
Some pages also have Google search boxes in the middle of the page text. You can use these to practice searching with Google. When you’re using these Google search boxes, if you want to restrict your search to just pages on Google Guide’s web site, follow your Google query with
Why did I (Nancy) first name this tutorial Google ~Guide? Putting a tilde in front of a search term (with no space in between) effectively turns that term into any of its synonyms. The tilde is known as synonym operator. So, if you search for “Google ~Guide,” Google will find Google Guide as well as other Google tutorials.
Jerry Peek, author of Unix Power Tools, gave me (Nancy) the idea of writing a book about using Google. I found the idea appealing because I was a fan of Google, was interested in learning how to use it better, there were no other books about Google when I started writing, and with such a job, I could work flexible hours. I created Google Guide and gave seminars on searching with Google to get feedback from users.
Later, Jerry joined me as a co-author of Google Guide.
To get ideas of what to include in Google Guide, Nancy Blachman gives free seminars on searching with Google. Nancy has been using Google since the spring of 1999, when Google was less than one year old. She has written over a half dozen tutorial and reference books, including How to Do Everything with Google, Mathematica: A Practical Approach, Mathematica Graphics Guidebook, Mathematica Quick Reference, Maple V Quick Reference, and Putting Your Heart Online. Nancy is president and founder of Variable Symbols, a company that specializes in software training and consulting. Nancy obtained a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Birmingham, U.K., an M.S. in Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, where she taught for eight years.
Jerry Peek is author/co-author of seven books; he’s been a technical writer, instructor, and course developer for more than twenty years. Jerry has a B.S. in Electronic Engineering Technology from California Polytechnic State University and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of London, Birkbeck College. He currently writes the Power Tools column in Linux Magazine.
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