What is Google and why use it? Google is a search engine: a tool to find information on the Internet. Searchers can go to http://www.google.com/ and use this free resource to locate all kinds of information, including web pages, images, news, and even maps. Google is a useful resource when you need to find basic information on a topic, especially if you don’t know anything about it yet. For instance, if you were asked to research an unfamiliar topic, such as “clepsydra,” would you know what keywords to use when searching library resources? Google can help you obtain basic facts and information on a topic so you can plan your formal library research more effectively.
How do I search using Google? Type your search words into the box provided, using one of the strategies below:
- keywords or a person’s name: tsunami or Pope John Paul
- phrase enclosed in quotation marks: “torture memo”
- words connected with AND, OR or NOT: Iran OR “North Korea”
You can learn more with Google’s guide to searching at http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/basics.html. Important: when searching Google or any other search engine, remember that Internet resources are not normally peer-reviewed or selected by experts. In fact, anyone can publish a web site. This means you must carefully evaluate any information you find on the web and consider its validity before applying it to your research.