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A Simple Visual Guide on How to Refine Google Search ( for Teachers and Students )

Upon the requests of several readers of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, I recently started a series of guides on how to effectively use some Google services in education. These guides are very simple and well illustrated with explanatory screenshots. The purpose is to help teachers and educators tap into the educational potential of Google. Here are the posts I have published in this series so far :



Today, I am touching on how to refine your Google search. The guide below will help you and your students refine your Google search to make it more specific and to the point. Enjoy


Filter results by type of content


1- Along the top of your page, you'll see a number of Google products to filter your content by. When you select More, you'll see a drop down of additional products to choose from.
Web: By default, your Google search will show unfiltered results that can include all the types of content below.


  • Images: See only results from Google Images. 
  • Maps: See only results from Google Maps. 
  • Videos: See only video results from YouTube.
  • News: See only results from Google News.
  • Shopping: See only results from Google Shopping.
  • Books: See only results from Google Books, including reviews, excerpts, and where you can buy the book.
  • Places: See only results from places and businesses using Google+ Local. 
  • Blogs: See only results from Google Blog Search.
  • Flights: See only results from Google Flight Search.
  • Discussions: See what people are saying in discussion groups, forums, and question-and-answer sites.
  • Recipes: See only results for recipes. Customize and filter these results to show recipes with your ideal ingredients, cook time and calorie count.
  • Applications: See only results for non-Google and Google applications for your mobile devices and desktop.
  • Patents: See only results from Google Patent Search, which allows you to search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you.

2- Publish date: 

You can limit results according to when they are published on the Web. Options include any time or a custom range like past month.


3- Reading level: 
You can limit your search results to a specific reading level (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced).




4- Translated foreign pages:
 Sometimes the best results for your search are written in another language. Based on your search term, this filter chooses the best language (or languages) to search in, translates your search, and then translates the results back to the language you prefer to read. Our automatic language selection isn't perfect, of course, so if you'd like to search specific languages, select them in the panel above the results.


5- Verbatim search:
You can see results for the exact words you searched for.


6- Dictionary tool

You can find definitions, synonyms, images and more for your search term.

7- Visited pages/Not yet visited:
If you're signed in to your Google Account and have Web History enabled, you can limit the results to pages you have or have not already visited.


8- Safe Search
Activate Safe search to filter sexually explicit content. To activate it, click on the gear icon in the right corner, then click on search setting, then tick the safe search box
Click on the image to see it in full view

















Advanced Search

To access advanced search settings , click on the gear icon in the right corner,



9- Refine your query by time, region, and language
Click on the image to see it in full view


10- Select results by file format
Click on the image to see it in full view

11- Select usage rights
Click on the image to see it in full view



12- Web History
When you create a Google Account, Google Web History is automatically turned on. Google Web History offers more relevant search results and recommendations across Google’s products and services based on your web activity, providing a more personalized experience on Google. You can turn off Google Web History at any time.

With Google Web History you can:
View and search across webpages you've visited in the past, including Google searches. Now you don't have to hunt for things you've seen and liked in the past!
Find trends on your web activity, such as your most visited sites and top searches.
Get more personalized search results and recommendations across Google products and services based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited.
See personalized predictions in autocomplete based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited.
Filter search results by pages you've visited before using the search options panel
To check your web history click on the gear icon displayed in the top right corner of the search results

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