Example: Google

Google is an example of a search engine and is one of the most popular and largest on the Internet. You can search by just typing in one or more keywords.

The Advanced Search enables you to refine your search by using limiters (Fields: date; author; title) thus producing more specific results. Take the time to read through the Advanced Search Tips .These are the same kind of techniques as used in library catalogues and databases.

google advanced


Phrase searching is a way of ensuring that you are searching on the exact term you want. Google automatically joins words with "and" so you can just put in words without connectors. To search for a phrase the common method in most web and database sources is brackets or " ". Or you can use the the exact wording or phrase field in the Advanced Search screan.

To see the power of phrase searching undertake this simple test.

Search for charles darwin university and check the number of results. Try it again with "charles darwin university" and see the number of results and the order they display.

File format: You can also search for a particular format of information on the Internet, for example a powerpoint (.ppt), word file (.doc), excel spreadsheet (.xls) or an adobe acrobat (.pdf).To find a powerpoint presentation on business ethics you can use the file format field in the advanced search OR type: "business ethics" filetype:ppt using the standard search box on the Google homepage.

Limit by country:To look at Australian presentations only further limit the search by domain. Use the advanced search to construct this search OR type: "business ethics" filetype:ppt site:au using the standard search box on the Google homepage.

Finding academic information on the Internet

In general, academic research that has been commercially published is not freely available on the internet. Subject databases, as demonstrated in the previous section, are a major source of academic publications.

Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer reviewed papers, theses, abstracts and technical reports from broad areas of research. If you set the preferences in Google Scholar so that it recognises you as a student at CDU, you will be able to access articles within our databases. Otherwise you will often be told you need to pay for them.

Setting up Google Scholar at home

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Edit the Scholar preferences Library Links to locate Charles Darwin University as per the example below.When prompted sign in using your student logon details, generally when off-campus.

You will then be recognized as a CDU student and will be able to access the complete article via the Full text @ CDU link of anything we have purchased access rights to via our databases.

If you need help setting up you preferences use the Ask Us service.



The order in which search results appear on a page is called ranking. Different search engines use different ways to calculate this, factors such as how often the term appears, whether they appear in the title, and how close they are to each other are all part of this calculation. Relevancy ranking means that the results are ranked in order of relevance, dependent on how the search engine calculates. Sometimes popularity is used as a form of ranking, which means a search engine counts how many other sites link to a given site. Advertising dollars are another method of assuring that a site is ranked near the top of the results list, which provides us with another reason not to believe that the top 10 results are the best.