I’ve been using Google as a search engine since its original web address was google.stanford.edu. I remember when I first stumbled across it and realized that it was lightyears ahead of other search engines of the day (such as Yahoo! and Alta Vista). Since 1996, Google has become pretty much the default search engine for everyone.
Searching for things on Google is pretty easy: type in your search query and check out your search results. Most of the time, the results are what you’re looking for. On occasion, however, your query results in something else. A few different searches later, and you’ll usually have what you wanted.
It’s possible to save time (and avoid consternation) by using better Google search queries. Google also has a number of features that can help you narrow down your search results. I’ve read many blog posts about searching better with Google, but they’ve never quite stuck in my non-photographic memory.
Enter Power Searching With Google. Google has created a free online mini-course to teach you how to become a better searcher on its search engine. The great thing about this is that it is broken down into short chunks. You watch a video where one of Google’s research engineers explains the idea, do a handful of practice exercises, and then move on to the next lesson. Midway through the course you take an assessment to see how you’re absorbing the information, and there’s even a “final exam” at the end.
You can knock out the entire program in a matter of days with just ten minutes or so each day. I’ve learned a bunch of new search techniques to use on Google, and I recommend the course to you. If I recall correctly, this course is available only for a limited time as it might be a “beta test” version. Thus, I advise that you not wait and that you head right on over to Power Searching With Google to sign up.