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Google Search

Using Google search engine to refine your search

The Open Teach project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, agreement no. 2020-1-DE03-KA201-077573.





Specify search language for results Google, in general, and if not defined differently in the settings, will use the language used by default in your computer to conduct search and present results. But you can change that! By clicking on the settings, you can select the language (or languages) that you want to be included in your search. In my case, I will choose Portuguese and English. To do so you have to click on the edit button and choose the language(s) you want. Choose the desired language(s) and save your selection.

Word misspelled? No problem! Google can correct your misspellings and also present results when the order of the words is slightly different than the one you presented. Let’s say for instance that I misspelled the word "astronomy": Google will show results for the correct spelling of the word you presented. If you still consider that you want to search for the word as you wrote you can select the presented option as you can see in the example.

Refine search to creative commons license Oh wait … are we looking for everything existing on the web or we are only looking for OER? While doing a generic search there is no option to select only creative commons license material so you need to add this to your search as seen in the example below (this is different if you are looking for an image as we will present later). Now results are far, far less. That doesn’t mean that material that is not clearly identified as public domain or with a creative commons license is not free for you to use. The author might just have forgotten to clearly state this option or not even know there is such a possibility. Imagine for instance that one of your colleagues produces a resource and puts it in the school platform for everyone to use. If it is not clearly stated that anyone can use it, it is a “crime” to use other people’s property without permission. So start spreading the word around that sharing good resources is the best thing you can do as an educator. Teach your colleagues how to properly do it. By the end of this course, you will be a professional in doing that.

Google returned over 243,000,000 results. Let’s trim down a bit our search by using the tools available. With that, we can reduce the number of items and get us closer to the result we expect. For that, you need to select the Tools button.

Explore Tools

When clicking on the Tools button, 3 sub-menus appear. Discover the possibilities of each, by selecting the corresponding arrow.

Language By choosing the "Any language" option you can choose to have the results in any language or on the specific languages you chose in your language settings:

Time By choosing the "Any time" option you can choose to have the results in any time period ranging from the past hour to a custom interval as you can see in this image:

Results In the (All results) option you can choose if you want the engine to present results for all the words you inserted in the search or only the ones where the exact sentence is present (Verbatim). Another way to reach the same result is to put your words within quotes “ ” . For example, let’s search for: solar system exploration and compare it with a search for “solar system exploration” (with quotes). By using quotes (or verbatim option) you will greatly diminish the number of results appearing in your search.