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Art and Design Subject Guide: Searching Google Tips and Tricks

Google Tips and Tricks

What is Google?

Google is one of the most popular search engines on the Internet, and by learning to use it effectively you can improve the quality of your search results.


Google can be used to find

·         background reading

·         images

·         recent news articles on your search topic

·         organizations or government information


However it should not be your only source if you want to thoroughly research the topic. The library’s databases can provide extra information such as newspaper articles, journal articles (including peer-reviewed), encyclopedia articles and reports on the topic.


Ways to improve your Google search



What it does

What to type

What you will get

 “ “

Exact phrase

Searches for the words contained in the quotation marks as a phrase

“a bird in the hand”

Search results where the exact phrase “a bird in the hand” appears



Excludes words

Searches for sites that exclude the specific word

virus –computer

Search results that contain the word ‘virus’ but do not contain the word ‘computer’



Find meanings

Finds the meaning of a word or phrase


A list of definitions and links for the word “atelier”



Hyphenated words

Searches for words that could be spelt either as single word, with a hyphen or as two words



Search results with the word second-hand as well as the words secondhand and second hand




What it does

What to type

What you will get

 New Zealand button

Searches for websites with a New Zealand domain name

Click the button labeled pages from New Zealand under the search box

Web pages with a .nz domain. The search excludes sites with an .org or .com domain name that have New Zealand content



Converts measurements (i.e. cm to inches), currency (i.e. United States dollars to NZ dollars) or time (i.e. time in London)

Measurements: 25 cm in inches, 65 miles in km, 5 kilos in lbs

                     Currency: 25 USD in NZD, 100 GBP in NZD (NZD = NZ $, GBP = Great Britain ₤)


Time: time in London, time in Sydney


Google will convert the information for you into the required measurement or currency. It can also tell you what the time is for any major city in the world

 Image search

Searches Google pages for images, charts and graphs

Click the images link at the top left of the Google home page. Type your keyword(s) into the search box and then the enter key

Thumbnails (small pictures) of images contained within websites. You then can select which image you would like to look at more closely




36 + 6 (addition)

36 – 6 (subtraction)

36 * 6 (multiplication)

36 / 6 (division)

36 % of 425



The answer to mathematical calculations.




If you do not find the information you need, consider changing strategies


Remember: If in doubt, just ask. We are here to help you.


Adapted from:

Google Inc. (n.d), Better searches. Better results. Retrieved September 3, 2008, from