Secret Google Tips

Google imageYou probably use Google all day, every day.  Google’s default search is powerful enough to easily get you good results most of the time.  But did you know there are ways to use Google to get precisely what you want?

Google Scholar searches as broadly as possible for academic research.  It’s a good choice for very specific or obscure topics. You can even use Google Scholar to access CSUN subscription content

Another option for authoritative websites is searching by a specific domain, like .com, .edu, or .gov. Just add site:.edu to your search terms to look only at results from educational institutions, or site:.gov to your terms to search only US government websites.

For example, if you search for crime statistics, you’ll get a mix of police departments, newspaper reports, Wikipedia, and real estate websites, which might not be reliable, precise, or current. But if you search for crime statistics site:.gov, your very first result will be the official FBI Uniform Crime Statistics – the most detailed, comprehensive reliable source for crime statistics in the US.

Did you know Google has a reverse image search?  Maybe you’ve found the perfect image for a presentation, but you don’t know the photographer to cite. Start at Google Image Search, then click on the camera icon to the right of the search bar.  You can upload a picture or paste in an image URL, and Google will display pages that include matching images.

If you’re taking a course in Education or Child & Adolescent Development, you might want to find webpages by reading level – basic, intermediate, or advanced.

Google reading level

More options are available at google.com/advanced_search.  You can limit your results by language, country, date last updated, and more.

For more help using Google, ask a librarian!

- Laura Wimberley

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