Google Guide Making Searching Even Easier Sun, 16 Dec 2012 23:19:03 +0000 en Where and When Nancy Blachman will be Speaking Thu, 04 Jan 2007 21:21:53 +0000 admin Appendix Below are the dates and locations where Nancy Blachman will be speaking followed by descriptions of her talks.

My Favorite Google Features
Date: Monday July 14, 2008
Time: 7:30 pm
Group: Princeton PC Users Group
Location: Mercer County Library, Lawrenceville, NJ
Program Co-ordinator: Arnold Rosner <arnold_strand at yahoo dot com>

Power Googling: Getting What you Want from Google
Date: Wednesday July 16, 2008
Time: 8:45 - 9:30 am
Group: Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee
Location: Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
1A Quakerbridge Plaza Drive
Mercerville, NJ 08619
Program Co-ordinator: Arnold Rosner <arnold_strand at yahoo dot com>

Google Shortcuts: Find What You Want (More) Quickly

Google is so easy to use, why attend this presentation? If you’re like many people, you use only a small number of Google’s services and features. Learn how to go beyond Google’s deceptively plain interface and take advantage of many shortcuts and underutilized capabilities. For example, get driving directions by entering a US street address into Google’s search box. Need a US Phone number or address? Just enter a company or person’s name and a city, state, or zip code in the standard web search box. Enter a query even if Google’s home page isn’t in your browser from Google’s Toolbar. Personalize your Google home page with weather forecasts, news headlines, traffic reports or other helpful information. If you aren’t sure whether a word is hyphenated, search for it with a hyphen, e.g., [ long-term ]; you’ll get more results. Find synonyms by preceding the term with a ~, which is known as the tilde or synonym operator, e.g., [ google ~guide ] finds guides, tip, help, and tutorials on using Google. Search by example with Google Sets. For a quick summary of some of Google’s features, visit the Google Guide cheat sheet. The more you know about how Google works and its capabilities, the better it can serve your needs.

What Google Can Do For Your Website

How can you get more visitors to your website? Learn how from Nancy Blachman, author and developer of Google Guide, an online tutorial and reference, which over half of its visitors find directly from Google searches.

Nancy Blachman will share her experiences in designing, developing, and promoting Google Guide,, which is now the top result for queries including [ Google tutorial ], [ Google guide ], [ using Google ], [ Google stock symbol ], and [ Google favorite features ]. In this presentation, Nancy will cover creating content for your website, linking to search results, getting your site listed in Google, improving your site’s page rank, publicizing and advertising your website and generating revenue from AdSense.

Power Googling: Getting What you Want from Google

Google is easy to use, but the more you know about how it works, its features, its capabilities, and how it displays results, the better it can serve your needs. Learn how to go beyond Google’s deceptively plain interface and take advantage of underutilized capabilities and shortcuts.

In this presentation, Nancy Blachman will show

  • how to select terms and search (more effectively)
  • how Google interprets your query
  • what’s included with your results
  • how Google works
  • how to use “advanced” search features, even undocumented ones.

My Favorite Features

Google is so easy to use, why attend Nancy Blachman’s presentations? If you’re like many people, you use only a small number of Google’s services and features. Learn how to go beyond Google’s deceptively plain interface and take advantage of many shortcuts and underutilized capabilities. For example, get driving directions by entering a US street address into Google’s search box. If you aren’t sure whether a word is hyphenated, search for it with a hyphen, e.g., [ long-term ]; you’ll get more results. Find synonyms by preceding the term with a ~, which is known as the tilde or synonym operator, e.g., [ google ~guide ] finds guides, tips, help, and tutorials on using Google. For a quick summary of some of Google’s features, visit the Google Guide cheat sheet. The more you know about how Google works and its capabilities, the better it can serve your needs.

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For the Press Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:32:17 +0000 admin Appendix You can find the history of Google Guide and information about Nancy Blachman, the author, on

Need a photo or graphic for a news story, link, or ad? I’m pleased to offer several images. If you prefer a different format or size, please use our contact form.

  Nancy Blachman with Google Guide Nancy Blachman with Google Guide
  Nancy Blachman Nancy Blachman, Developer and author of Google Guide
  Nancy Blachman Nancy Blachman, Developer and author of Google Guide
  Google Guide logo Old Google Guide logo
  How to Do Everything with Google book cover How to Do Everything with Google, Co-Authored by Nancy Blachman

New Google Guide logo:
Google Guide: Making Searching Even Easier

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Translation Advice Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:31:21 +0000 admin Appendixtranslation The following advice is from Erik Hoy who translated Google Guide into Danish,

  • Before translating anything, read Google Guide as if you were a novice.
  • Check all the examples on your local version of Google. Some features work only on the US version and other features work differently from the US version. For example, queries with accents match more results on (the Danish version of Google) than on the English version (
  • Localize your examples. The examples in Google Guide are intended for US and English speakers. Change the examples to appeal to your audience.
  • Consider separating “need to know” from “nice to know.” When I made the Danish Google Guide, I first described what users need to do and then why. In the Danish version, what’s nice-to-know, appears in sections entitled “Understand, ” e.g., “Understand News-Search,” “Understand Image-Search,” “Understand Google.”
  • Though Google Guide focuses exclusively on Google, there are great features in other search engines, e.g., Yahoo for searching news (at least in Scandinavia) and Teoma for clustering. In your translation, mention superior features available in other search engines. Hopefully Google will soon offer comparable or even better capabilities.
  • Select examples that will not go out of date.
  • Since the web and Google’s algorithms and features constantly evolve and Google doesn’t publicize all their enhancements, keep abreast of new features and capabilities by reading Blogs and websites written by search engine experts, such as Tara Calishain’s Research Buzz, Gary Price’s Resource Shelf, and Search Engine Watch.

Web Mastering

  • If you don’t have screen-capture software, consider using Irfan View. It’s free and easy to use.
  • Consider including navigation menus on both the left and the right sides of each page. I use left menus for keeping the overview and navigating and the right menus for “fun stuff”, including helpful links, explanations, and dictionary definitions.
  • Make a list of the different examples of links to search results that you use in the guide, similar to the links included in Linking to Search Results. It’s easier to copy a link than to create a link. There are a lot of examples and you may forget how to create them.

After You’ve Translated Google Guide

  • Encourage your colleagues and friends to review your guide to find typos and mistakes and make suggestions for improving its readability and accuracy. Create an acknowledgments page with the names of the people who were helpful to you.
  • Get novices to check whether your guide is understandable to new Google users. If they don’t follow what you say, others probably won’t either.
  • Publicize your guide. Issue a press release, mention it on your websites, tell libraries and other Google oriented sites about it.

If you tell us about your translation, we may be able to add a link from the home page to your translation.

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Acknowledgments Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:29:53 +0000 admin Appendixwordpress First, I offer thanks to Jerry Peek of for suggesting that I write a book about how to search with Google.

I revised this tutorial incorporating the valuable comments and suggestions from many people to whom I am grateful. They include: Rod Adams, Amit Agarwal, Abass Ahmady, Marian Bach, Joe Barker, Penny Barsimantov, Adam Baxter, Joel Biatch, Justin Carroll, Henry Cejtin, Marc de Groot, Jutta Dejener, Philip De Neef, Marie desJardins, Larry Engholm, Tim Farley, Stephen Ferguson, Philip Fire, Gordon Barg, Ahuva Gelblum, Wouter Gerritsma, Johann George, John Glenn, Anita Goldstein, Leora Gregory, Andrew Gumperz, Tim Helck, Tom Hill, Hank Hufnagel, Nancy Jamison, Richard Karpinski, Debra Kaufman, Shauna Kelly, Steve Klein, Stefani Lefebre, Doris Li, Jan Lindner, Dan Lyons, Liz Mabey, Chris Manning, Jane Manning, Sandy McNiven, Katie Miller, Robert Miller, Gwyn Firth Murray, Dave Nagle, Martha Newman, Steve Omohundro, Eric S. Pecoraro, Jerry Peek, Lisa Pons, Kurt Bernhard Pruenner, Abijah Reed, Hamish Reid, Sara Richards, Marlene Rozofsky Rogers, Bob Rosenberg, Kevin Rowe, Janet Sanford, Taly Sharon, Malcolm Slaney, Alex Sokolowski, Romke Soldaat, Stephan Spencer, Paul Spinrad, Brad Templeton, Matt Vance, Linda Walters, Rita Wespi, Dan Whittaker, and Hanna Yap.

I especially thank Tasha Bergson-Michelson of To The Point Research, Earl Crabb, Pauline Facciano, Thomas Galloway, Joy Li, Milton Peek, Naomi Pitcairn, Mark Seiden, and Google Answers researchers (most of whom I know by their handles) Angy-ga, Byrd-ga, Crabcakes-ga, Omnivorous-ga, Serenata-ga, Voila-ga, and Robert Skelton for providing a wealth of advice for making this tutorial more accurate and readable.

Stephan Spencer, president of NetConcepts, suggested moving Google Guide to this WordPress system. Stephan was generous with time and suggestions as we made the move. Our WordPress system depends on plugins developed by volunteer programmers. The plugins include Permalink Redirect, Post Updated, Search Meter, Ultimate Tag Warrior, wbExam, WP-EMail, and WP-Notable.

I thank Fritz Schneider and Eric Fredricksen, with whom I wrote How to Do Everything with Google, for providing me ideas of what to include in this tutorial. I’m also grateful to Matt Vance, author of for suggesting that I develop a Google Advanced Operator cheat sheet, to Hamish Reid for making Google Guide easier to navigate, and my father, Nelson Blachman, for asking questions that encouraged me to explore and learn more about how Google works and for reviewing numerous drafts. I thank Jerry Peek for joining me on this project.

I thank David desJardins, my husband, for suggesting topics to include, answering my questions, and reviewing early versions of this tutorial. Last, but not least, I thank Louis and Sarah for their big hugs and kisses when I wasn’t working on this Google tutorial.

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Creative Commons License Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:28:46 +0000 admin Appendixcreative commons license Google Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons License. For more information about using and copying Google Guide, please see the Google Guide Creative Commons License page.

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Submitting Feedback Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:26:37 +0000 admin Appendix We sincerely hope that Google Guide helps you become (more) proficient in using Google. We have tried to anticipate your questions and problems. Please let us know if we have missed something or if you have corrections or suggestions for improving Google Guide by using our online contact form. We welcome all comments, including answers to the following questions.

  • What was useful in Google Guide?
  • What was confusing in Google Guide?
  • What would you like to see added to Google Guide?
  • How much time have you spent on Google Guide?

We would appreciate hearing from you. Feedback, both positive and negative, motivates us to improve Google Guide.

Link to Google Guide

If Google Guide is helpful to you, please tell other Google users about it, and if you have a website, please add a link to Google Guide’s home page, Feel free to use the following code, which displays the Google Guide logos, which link to Google Guide’s home page.

Google Guide: Making Searching Even Easier (120 x 90 pixels)

Google Guide: Making Searching Even Easier (615 x 57 pixels)

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Google Guide in the Press Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:25:09 +0000 admin Appendix WebTalkGuys Radio Show, March 20, 2004
Google 101: How to search more effectively on the popular Website
A conversation with Nancy Blachman, co-author of “How to Do Everything with Google.”
By Dana Greenlee, co-host WebTalk Radio 3/20/04

WebTalk Radio, March 20, 2004, 11 am PST
Interview with Nancy Blachman on her favorite Google features
(in Archives area, search for: Nancy Blachman)
Interview by Rob Greenlee

Science News Online, the Weekly Newsmagazine of Science, March 6, 2004
Mining the Tagged Web
By Ivars Peterson

COMPUTERWORLD, Denmark, February 27, 2004
Library Releases Danish Google-guide
By Rikke Sternberg

Palo Alto Weekly, February 25, 2004
Getting good at Google
By Elizabeth White

Brush up your Google
By Tom Mighell

be Spacific, February 3, 2004
Google How To Guide and Online Tutorial

Internet News, February 2, 2004
New Google Guide
By Gwen

New York Times, February 1, 2004
The Coming Search Wars
By John Markoff

The Pandia Post Newsletter No. 20, February 1, 2004
Searching Google more efficiently

Guardian Unlimited, January 8, 2004
Delivering the goods
By Jack Schofield

Guardian Unlimited, December 18, 2003
Web watch: Google guide
By Jack Schofield

For press releases, visit

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Testimonials Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:23:47 +0000 admin Appendix

GoogleGuide … is the most comprehensive, well-organized, and useful search tutorial I’ve been able to find.

  Justin Keller, Marketing + Consumer Acquisition Manager,, July 18, 2007  

This site, which I found by accident, is wonderful. Thank you for creating it. I will be referring my students to your site as a resource to supplement our classroom work on Google features.

  Pramod, Ottawa, April 14, 2007  

This is a GREAT tutorial. Boy, I have been missing a lot by not knowing all the ways to use Google! Thanks a lot!!

  Dorothy Bullock, April 14, 2007  

There are a lot of cool Google tips and hacks floating around, some of which I’ve mentioned in my weekly e-column. (For example, you can use Google as a dictionary by typing “define:ersatz,” or whatever.)

But here’s a nice, tidy list of all of them in one place, some of which are new to me. Bookmark this baby!

  David Pogue, New York Times technical specialist blog, June 2005

Nancy Blachman’s Google Guide is by far the best guide to using Google, for beginners & more intermediate users, that I’ve seen so far. I see great potential here for plopping patrons down with this self-guided tutorial, instead of the 20 minute “This is Google, this is how you search” lecture.

  LibrarianInBlack: resources and discussions for the “tech-librarians-by-default” among us…, Feb 4, 2004

The absolutely best tutorial on how to use all of Google’s potential. Easy to use, simple to navigate, this is a little jewel for both the novice and advanced search user. The definitive up-to-date guide on how to best leverage the Google search engine and all of its features in a simple and easy to access format. Recommended.

  Robin Good, Master New Media: What Communication Experts Need to Know, Feb. 21, 2004

It might be unofficial, but it’s the best online guide on how to use Google I have ever seen. Pay it a visit.

  Robert Skelton, Google Answers Researcher and developer of SearchEngineZ and Google Fan

[Google Guide] is easy and intuitive to navigate, enables users of varying skill levels to skip or choose parts of the tutorial at will, and seems very comprehensive, especially with your “new features” page that you keep updated. Do you think Google would put a link to your tutorial on their page?

  Regina R. Monaco, Ph.D.

Terrific guide to using Google by Nancy Blachman. I especially recommend the sections “interpreting queries” and “evaluating results“.

  Sébastien Paquet, Seb’s Open Research: Pointers and thoughts on the evolution of knowledge sharing and scholarly communication

The fact that Nancy has been teaching Internet novices is apparent. She takes nothing for granted, and even includes tips on how to navigate a Web page. More savvy users may skip those sections, however, and focus on the practical examples and exercises.

She is very thorough, and includes introductions to advanced Boolean searching, as well as many of the additional features available at Google, including everything from Froogle shopping search to the Google toolbar.

The site also includes other useful features, like the list of new Google services or features. This page includes direct links to the relevant introduction found at the site.

Now, why does she include a tilde (~) in the name of the site?

Nancy points out that 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 the synonym operator. So, if you search for “Google ~Guide,” Google will find Google Guide as well as other Google tutorials.”

It is tips like this one that make the Google ~Guide so useful. Yes, you may search Google right away, without reading any introduction or FAQs, but that is like looking at only one of the channels available on your TV or driving your car in the first gear only.

  Pandia: Search Engine News

While the Google search instruction page is helpful, it’s a rather bare bones approach, and your guide fills in the gaps. … By having this tutorial available, you’ve saved folks lots of time trying to explain the search process. I’m glad your guide is available now and will recommend it to anyone new to the internet. I wish it had been available 5 years ago when I was a newbie.

  voila-ga, Google Answers Researcher

I adore Google. Period. I use it each time I need to search some stuff on the Net and it turns up the most wondrous results so I was truly happy to know that there is something better than Google … Google Guide! Yep, it teaches you all the tips and tricks … so you’ll be able to search even better! Thank God for Google Guide!

Today I came across a really great guide for using Google. explains how google works including what tricks to use to find what you want from the simple (use words you expect to see in the page) to the complex (search for pages on using the operator). Even though I’ve been using google for years, and use complex operators all the time, even I learned a few tricks from this guide.

If you, or someone you know, has trouble getting good search results, show them this guide. It should really help make their lives better.

  The Infofiend Logs - Fiendish, Feb. 4, 2004

GoogleGuide looks like a potentially useful web-based tutorial for teaching students to search with Google… Note that it’s available under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0 license, which means maybe we should rework it as a Google tutorial module … :-) … [T]he nice thing is that a teacher can feel welcome to modify this tutorial for use with their classes. We need more open content tutorials such as this.

  Kairosnews: A Weblog for Discussing Thetoric, Technology & Pedagogy, Feb. 5, 2004

Great site! You’ve maintained the elegant simplicity of Google’s own site, along with a thorough attention to detail and content.

  sublime1-ga, Google Answers Researcher

As an experienced user of Google, Google News, Froogle, etc., I was pleased (and surprised) at how much I was able to learn from your excellent Google Guide.

  Robert Spinrad, retired, formerly Senior Scientist, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Vice President, Technology Strategy, Xerox

Thanks for the tutorial–I was using Google as a flashlight in the big cave of the Internet, and Google Guide turned on the house lights!

  Robert Miller, website designer and filmmaker

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Why is Google Popular? Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:18:39 +0000 admin Appendix This page describes:

1. What Makes Google Great?

Here are reasons why Google has many users
and why those users frequently search using Google.

Google Searches Billions of URLs
  • Google crawls and indexes many web pages, thus
    increasing the likelihood of
    its returning what you’re seeking.

Google Returns Relevant Results
  • It tends to be good at selecting links that closely
    match your search query.
  • What you want is usually near the top.

Google Identifies Ads and Sponsored Links
  • It doesn’t sell placement of search results.
  • Sponsored links and ads are clearly marked and kept
    separate from search results.
  • Ads relate to content and aren’t distracting.

Google is Fast
  • Most results are found in less than a second.
  • You can also
    access Google’s cached
    of a web page, often faster than the page
Google is Simple to Use
  • Clear uncluttered simple web pages.

Google Shows What You

  • Search results include an excerpt (or
    snippet”) of the text that matches your query
    with your search terms in boldface.

Google Packs Results with
Information and with Links Related to your Query


Shows a Page Even
When it’s Gone or its Link is Inaccessible

  • Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines and
    caches (stores) these as a backup.
    If the original isn’t available, you can
    access Google’s cached version.
  • Your search terms will be highlighted in color on the
    cached page, making it easy to find the sections of
    the page relevant to your query.

Google Continually Improves its Search Results
  • Its capabilities are enhanced and expanded
    to match the dynamic growth and changing nature of the web.

2. Google’s Mission and Philosophy

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information
and make it universally accessible and useful. While pursuing
this vision, Google has adopted the following philosophy:

  • Focus on the user, and all else will follow.
  • It’s best to do one thing really well.
  • Fast is better than slow.
  • Democracy on the web works.
  • The world is a wonderful R&D Lab.
  • You can make money without doing evil.
  • There’s always more information out there.
  • The need for information crosses all borders.
  • Great just isn’t good enough.

For more about Google’s philosophy, visit

3. What Can You Find with Google?

Google strives to make it easy to quickly find what you’re
seeking. The following list shows some of the many types of
searches Google can easily do.
Click on the type of information to learn how to search for it
and click on the examples to see the results of such a search.

Type of Information Examples
Specific person, place, or
thing (named entities)
Information on a subject (web
sites by topic)
salary negotiation tips,
lasik eye surgery,
hybrid cars,
Something you’ve seen before
or know exists
the original
research paper on Google’s technology
tax forms, Dixie Chicks song lyrics
Answer to a question

is the local weather forecast for the next three days?

How can I reserve a camping site at Yosemite?

How can I book a cheap flight from Boston to London?

What is the
approximate value of my car?

old is Nelson Mandela?

How can I get a divorce in the US?

What to write or
cover letter when applying for a job
Specific site
(navigational query)
(you know the name of the site)
Someone’s phone number or
A person named John Doe in New York City, NY
Map or directions map of Hearst Castle San Simeon CA
Financial information current
price and stock chart for Krispy Kreme
definition of schadenfreude
Data number of Internet hosts
Translation of a page or text
Palais de Luxembourg
Similar or related
sites similar to Consumer Reports
Visual information
tennis photos of Anna Kournikova

Dilbert cartoons

Paris metro map
Personal recommendations,
opinions, advice

Mykonos travel recommendations
, reviews of

compact digital cameras

color printers

Recent news what’s happened in the last 24
Where you can buy
carry-on luggage
A set of
items given a few examples
target=”_blank”>given the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts,
and Coit Tower, suggest other sites to visit in San Francisco

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Useful Links Mon, 25 Dec 2006 16:17:46 +0000 admin Appendix If the following topics are of interest to you, check out the following links:

Please let me know of other sites that may of interest to Google Guide readers by using our contact form.

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