Google Tricks: How to be a better searcher

how to google

Most of us use Google regularly, and it’s fair to say, most of our students do to. My district is moving to Google Apps for Education which means my students may begin to use Google even more than they used to! What I’ve found in my own use of Google or other search engines is that I don’t always get the results I’m looking for. The infographic posted above gives a number of different ways of making Google searches more effective. The range of skills taught goes from searching inside specific sites to searching for exact phrases. I plan on teaching my students how to better use Google so they can save themselves time and get better content. The more exact the search, the fewer the results. However, you do have to be careful of how exact you try and search. For example, if you were to type in the search parameters as it is written in the infographic, it would come back with 0 results.

Is this a strategy you would find beneficial in your own research? Are there better strategies that you use to wade through the millions of results that comes with most searches?

Image from:


11 thoughts on “Google Tricks: How to be a better searcher

  1. This is great! I’ve never considered myself a good researcher. I usually leave it up to friends and my husband unless it’s for education. It seems like it takes me forever to find what I’m looking for. Nice post!
    Jaime Piatt

  2. Hi Tyler,
    I think everyone could use help making their research more effective. Classroom activities have shown me that my students generally don’t put much thought into their search techniques, which tells me that searching and researching are skills that students need to be taught. These are great tips, thanks for sharing.

    • It can be difficult to get students to understand the difference between “research” and “searching,” especially now that many students have smartphones that allow them to search wherever they are. I agree that researching needs to be taught and there should be a difference made between academic research and random searching.

    • Thanks for the resource! I’ll be taking parts of the first few weeks of the school year this year introducing Google Apps for Education with my students (first year of implementation) and this is a great resource I can use in conjunction with that.

  3. Tyler, great graphic and explanation. I think that this is an important skill that often is overlooked with our students, and can be used outside of school as well. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Wow, this is excellent. Our district is moving to Google Apps as well. This is very helpful information, especially for high school teachers and students as they seem to use google searches perhaps the most. I would love to pass this along to my coworkers!

  5. Thank you for sharing this graphic. I used Google Apps last spring with my 4th grade students and conducting research was a bit difficult putting it mildly. This graphic would help provide guidance when conducting research.

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