Type Google.ca into any browser’s URL address window to go to Google Search’s Canadian home page. In the top left corner of the window, there are two menu options for (a) information about Google, and (b) an online store where you can purchase things made by Google. In the top right corner, there are menu options for (a) Gmail, (b) Images, (c) Google Apps, (d) Google notifications, and (e) your Google account, typically represented by an image you have uploaded to your account. (If you haven’t created a Google account, we recommend you do so. It costs nothing and offers a wealth of free online resources.)

To start, type your search request into the window, and then press return or click on the Google Search button.

I’m Feeling Lucky

This button takes you to a page that displays the most relevant results for your search. This is a good place to start and will ensure that you find solid resources without needing to look further.

Use Your Tabs

This is a basic tip, but also possibly one of the most powerful Google Search features that are habitually overlooked. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s highly recommended that you explore it now. Tabs can cut search times dramatically.

Enter ‘Justin Trudeau’ into the search window and click the Google Search button.

Trudeau Search

Below the search window and above the search results, you’ll see some of tabs. Typically, they will include All, News, Images, Videos, Maps, More, Settings, and Tools. Using these tabs will help you define what kind of search you need to do. If you are looking for photos or illustrations, click on the Images tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. And clicking on Videos or Maps will give you results for those kinds of media. The More tab offers search results from a variety of perspectives. Depending on your search, you may find that unexpected Tab options appear. Get into the habit of using them and watching for them.

The Settings tab gives you access to more complicated search controls. See the Advanced Techniques section for more information. The Tools tab offers comprehensive search filters that are different depending on which tab you are using to search. Using your ‘Justin Trudeau’ search, explore the tabs one by one to see what some of the possibilities are.

Experiment

Before you find yourself working to a deadline, try experimenting with these techniques to get a sense of how each one works and how they can be fine-tuned to suit your needs. When in doubt, do a Google search for the kind of search or research you’re trying to undertake.

Start Simple

Google Search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use something like this to search: pizza places nearby. Google Search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

Google Suggests Words

Start typing a phrase and Google will suggest words that you may be looking for to begin your search. Just type a word that you are not sure how to spell, and Google will make suggestions. If you can use that word in a phrase in the Google search, your results will be even more successful.

Use Important Words

Google Search takes what you search for and matches it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results and take you longer to find what you’re looking for. So, it’s always smart to use only the key words when searching for something. Consider this example. Don’t use: ‘Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.’ Instead, try: ‘Chinese restaurants nearby’ or ‘Chinese restaurants near me.’ Doing this can help Google Search find what you need faster. So, remember: keep it simple and use key words only.

Use Websites Words

This is a very important tip. When people use Google Search to hunt the web, they often search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do. Instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. For example, ‘I have a flat tire’ could be replaced by ‘repair a flat tire,’ ‘My head hurts’ could be replaced by ‘headache relief.’ For more reliable search results, try to use words you might find on a professional website.

Use Descriptive Words

Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do. You might search for, ‘How to fix trucks in Moose Factory,’ when you mean ‘Troubleshoot truck problems Moose Factory.’ In other words, if you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using descriptive or different words and see if that brings you better results.

Case Sensitive

Google search is not case sensitive. Enter keywords with or without the Caps on, and you’ll get the same results.

Punctuation

Avoid using punctuation or special characters. Google search results are independent of them.

Spelling

Google Search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. Typically, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as you are relatively close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Google’s spell checker automatically uses the most common spelling of a given word, whether or not you spell it correctly. For example, if you search for, ‘Nver Gna Gve Yo Up,’ Google Search will automatically assume you mean to search for ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’ If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

This feature is extremely helpful if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well. A search for ’New York Times’ is the same as a search for ’new york times.’

Use Google Search Tools

If you are using Google Search on a computer, then you will get the Tools menu option just below the search bar. Click on it, and you will see many options; the options change depending on whether you are searching for All, Images, Videos, News, or other options.

Google Search Tools