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Stony Brook University

JRN 105: The Mind of a Reporter: Google

Resources for student journalists in JRN 105

Get to Know Google Better

Some Search Tricks

Here are some easy tricks that can help with your searching:

Putting an AND between words will search for BOTH words on a webpage or in an article.  When you do a normal Google search, you are doing an AND search.

EXAMPLE: immigration and employment will only give you web pages or articles that have both of those words.  This means you will get fewer results, but they should be better results.

Putting QUOTATION MARKS around a phrase will search for web pages or articles that have that exact phrase.  This is a very useful trick.  It will cut down on the number of bad results.  Be careful not to include too many words inside the quotation marks, because that's EXACTLY what will be searched.

EXAMPLE: “genetic engineering” will only give you web pages or articles with that exact phrase.  Other examples are "climate change," "no child left behind," "body image."

An ASTERISK (*) search is very useful when similar words are being used to talk about a topic.  It searches for all the various words using the same root.

EXAMPLE: comput* will give you articles that have the words compute, computer, computing, etc.  Or: educat* will search for educate, education, educator, educators, etc.

Putting an OR between words will give you articles with at least one of the words.  This will give you more results.  It can be useful when you're not sure which word is being used more.

EXAMPLE: fat OR obesity will give web pages and articles that have the word fat.  And it will give you web pages and articles that have the word obesity.

Use (Parentheses) to group multiple search terms together.  You're basically doing TWO searches at the same time.

EXAMPLE: debt and (teenagers or adolescents) will give you web pages or articles that have the words debt and teenagers and web pages and articles that have the words debt and adolescents.

Boolean Operators

How to use AND, OR, NOT and parentheses to create more powerful searches and save yourself some time.

Google for Journalists

Google has different search engines for different countries which produce different results. To search for information local to another country, try searching within its own Google. For example, Google UK for British news. 

Google Advanced Search: Search for news or information by region.

Google Advanced Image Search: Refine images by copyright, size, type of image (e.g., line drawing or clip art). 

Google Alerts: Monitor the web for new content based on your search terms. Customize customize the frequency of the alerts, the types of websites you want to search, and the email address for your alerts.

Google Politics & Elections:. For some elections, it offers real-time results from various news partners overlaid on Google Maps, a trends dashboard that can track candidate activity online over time, and links to Google News stories on both sides of the aisle. You can also find candidate YouTube channels, Google+ pages and related Google+ Hangouts.

Google Crisis Map Provides relevant, up-to-date information from authoritative sources throughout a disaster. Past Crisis Response work includes the 2010 earthquake in Haitithe 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, andSuperstorm Sandy in the United States.

Google Media Tools: Google’s suite of digital tools that can enhance newsgathering and exposure across television, radio, print and online.

Searching for images by format: Search Google for a particular format by entering a search with the format name followed bya colon and then followed by the subject of the image. For example jpg:cat