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Google Your Genealogy. March 9, 2012. What is Google?. Google is a popular web search engine— And learning techniques saves time and results in rewarding research. How?. A Search engine scans web pages to find instances of the keywords in sites that creates an index of the world web.

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Google your genealogy

Google Your Genealogy

March 9, 2012


What is google
What is Google?

Google is a popular web search engine—

And learning techniques saves time and results in rewarding research.


Google your genealogy
How?

  • A Search engine scans web pages to find instances of the keywords in sites that creates an index of the world web.


G o o g l e search strings
Google SEARCH Strings

  • WWW is critical when using Google for genealogy

    • No . . . not World Wide Web

    • WHO are we searching for

    • WHERE did they live, work, travel, etc.

    • WHEN did the event take place

    • and WHAT type of data are you seeking

      Vital Records, Census, Passenger Lists, etc.


G o o g l e search strings1
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Google is *not* case sensitive (two exceptions are AND and OR):

    • GENEALOGY is the same as

    • genealogy is the same as

    • Genealogy is the same as

    • gEnEaLoGy is the same as

    • GeNeAlOgY (96 million results and counting . . .)


G o o g l e search strings2
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Google uses an ‘automatic AND’ (also called an ‘implied AND’) between multiple keyword queries


G o o g l e search strings3
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Common words (also called ‘Stop Words’) are generally ignored by Google (a, of, the, and, or, not, to, how, if, where, how, etc.)

    • This has changed over time – these words don’t generally provide enough meaningful difference to results, but do tend to slow down overall response time


G o o g l e simple search
Google Simple search

  • A simple search starts by typing into the search box and hitting the 'Enter’.

  • Choosing the right search terms is the key to finding the information you need. Try alternates;

  • Use a research log to remember what you tried.


G o o g l e search strings4
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Google and most other search engines perform special actions when using reserved terms or Boolean operators:

    • AND (when typed in upper case) requires presence of both terms on results pages (but no proximity required)

    • Syntax: Busby genealogy AND Alabama

    • OR (when typed in upper case) allows for either of multiple conditions

    • Syntax: ditoto OR ditota campobasso


G o o g l e search strings5
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Search at the same time for the three ways names are entered:

    • “George Washington” OR “Washington George” OR “George * Washington”


G o o g l e search strings6
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Adding quotations around the phrase requires resulting pages to include all keywords in the exact order specified in the query. This narrows results.


G o o g l e search strings7
Google SEARCH Strings

Wildcard *

The placement of a single asterisk serves as a wildcard that instructs Google to accept any character or consecutive string of characters in place of the asterisk.


G o o g l e search strings8
Google SEARCH Strings

  • Special Symbols for Filtering Results

    • Minus sign (-) acts as the word NOT as an operator (though NOT isn’t actually supported by Google as an operator – go figure?)

    • Tilde (~) processes immediately following term along with similar words having same or similar meanings

      • ~genealogy will yield results including terms such as: ancestry, family, family history, family tree, genealogical, genealogists, roots, surname, tree, vital records, and others…

    • Plus + is an essential word. These all need a space before the symbol.


G o o g l e advanced search
Google Advanced Search

  • Numrange searches for results containing numbers in a given range. Just add two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces, into the search box along with your search terms. You can use Numrange to set ranges for everything such as dates (“Ellis Williams” 1950..1960)