Google – Search Engine and Beyond

Most search queries are relatively simple on a search engine like Google. Usually in the first try, a few keywords will answer basic, popular questions. Obscure and past topics, or advanced and genre-specific searches are sometimes hard to find. The additional features on Google are ideal for this type of extensive research.

Google.com has categories to refine searches at the top of the page, such as Images, Maps, and Shopping. The “more” option, has additional queries that may be of interest , such as Finance or Blogs. The “even more>>” link directs users to a page of all the categories and other special features, including alerts that can be sent to your email for specific topics, links to popular resources, like YouTube, and Google tools and software, like the Google mail server and browser. Each item has a short description of how it can be used.

Many research topics have subtopics, categories, and fields that can be explored on Google. A “Show options…” link is available at the top of the search results of every query. When a user clicks here, a sidebar displays to the left of the search results with additional search tools.

The first section is videos, forums or reviews of the keyword(s) queried. The next section has the option to specify the age of article or website. The third section changes the layout of the search results to include pictures or more text.

The fourth section has four options:

Standard view-the normal view showing the search results of the keywords queried.
Related searches-common topics related to the query
Wonder wheel-related topics are displayed on spokes with the keyword(s) in the center. For example, for the keyword “apples”, the wonder wheel shows “apples nutrition” and “apple types” as related searches. A sub category (when clicked) becomes the main category and shows more subheadings. “Apple types” brings up “apple varieties baking” and “sweet apple varieties”.
Timeline-shows the graph of search results for the queried keywords over time. Underneath the graph is a listing of results in chronological order. Each decade, year, month, etc., on the timeline graph can be clicked to expand the results over that time period. The earliest search results will query books written on the topic.

There are other search options available on Google.com. The advanced search link on the home page leads to a detailed page that helps a user make specific choices about what type of results should be displayed. The “Topic-specific search engines from Google” section at the bottom of this page shows multiple genres that may be of interest to advanced searchers.