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Google Tips And Tricks

Google doesn't search the internet

There's a widely held misconception that Google searches the internet to find sites for your search. In fact Google searches its index of the internet. By constantly trawling the internet, Google is able to add potentially useful sites to its stockpile, and ensures that it has the latest version of each site.

Google for research

  • phrase searching
  • plus and minus symbols
  • confining results to a particular website / type of website
  • filters
  • Google Advanced


Google's main criteria for results are the number of links to a page and the number of times the search term/s are present in a site. Often the most useful results will be on the first page, and possibly on the second. It's often useful to use the Search Tools option at the top of the results page to sort results. Click on Search Tools, and then choose from the options by country, time period, type of site, and location, as you can see in this image. You can also filter results by using the options for Images, Maps, Blogs, etc.

Google extras

  • Google Translate

- The Google Translate page (do a Google search for it) provides a crude translation from many languages into English, or from English to another language. Copy and paste (or type) the text to be translated into the text box, choose the language you want it translated to, and the translation will appear on the right. You can even have an entire web site translated from or to English by entering the URL. When you open the link which appears on the right in the Translate page, you'll find that the website has been reproduced in the language you specified. This is a snippet showing the Law Student home page translated into French.

  • Cache

- A web cache is a temporary store of web sites and related material. Google takes a snapshot of every web page it examines, and stores this in its cache. For some results, Google includes a 'Cached' link. This can be found by clicking on the green arrow at the end of the web address. A box containing one, two or all three options of Cached, Similar, and Share will show, as illustrated in one of the results in this image.

  • Similar

- Some results will include a Similar link, which can also be accessed from the arrow.

  • Dictionary

- You can get a basic idea of the meaning of a word or phrase by using Google's Dictionary. In the Results page, click on Search Tools, then choose All Results, then highlight Dictionary. Remember that for formal definitions you should always use a "real" dictionary or a legal dictionary.