Google Search– Evaluating Results

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You will also find it is useful to do some general Ineternet searching for sources. Most of us are familiar with searching Google. In this module we will focus on using Google wisely—specifically how do you evaluate the results Google gives us? Let’s start with our research question: What effect do abstinence programs have on teen pregnancy? Our key concepts will be Abstinence Programs AND Teen Pregnancy. I’ll navigate to Google and type in the key concepts. Google will suggest keywords, but keep in mind that many students will select keywords, do a search, and then be unable to get back to their search results because they were unable to remember what words they originally searched with. The first thing you want to do is note the range of results you get. Google provides a useful tool to help you understand the scope of your results. If you take a look at the menu on the left-hand side of your screen you will see a toolbar that allows you to search Everything and More. If we click to open up the More option, you will see several types of sources: Images, Videos, Maps, News, Shopping, Books, Blogs, Updates (like Tweets) and Discussions. It will be important to filter the results carefully, because many of these sources will not be appropriate for our research. So, we’ll have to use other clues to point us in the right direction. The first clue we can look for is our keywords: are they in the title? Are they in the snapshot we see? The second thing we want to pay attention to is the URL—where does this hit come from? We want to pay attention to the domain name and what is the extension. In our example Preventing Teenage Pregnancy, the domain name is Policy Almanac and the extension is .org. In general we will want to select sources that have the .org or .edu or .gov endings as opposed to .coms. We’ll also want to look for authors: do any of these pages, clearly listed? Or are they published by corporatations or corporate authors? In #3 we can see that the paper is written by JE Darroch. So given the nature of our research question and the fact that we used very precise keywords in our search, our initial results look good and there are many sources we can explore.

2 Replies to “Google Search– Evaluating Results”

  1. NarutoSSj6 says:

    very informative. Knew most of the tricks and i have a few others: Use the command "site:(name on the domain)" to search in specific sites, "-" does excludes tags that you do not have any use for( "-music" for instance take away everything that have the tag music in it), "(sentence)" use columns for a specific sentence instead if every word tagged by itself. these tools i use most of the time. "-" symbol i find particularly important since it can be used for everything, for instance "-site:"….

  2. NarutoSSj6 says:

    … that excludes the website that is not wanted. i also saw that you looked for with org and such. can be easily solved though site:org. and the sentence you searched for can of course be written before the command. "(sentence/tag) site:org".

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