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How to Use Google More Effectively

Boolean operators, site searches, & country internet codes are just a few of the things we cover to help improve your searches.


Google search page
You've grown up with the internet and you know how to type things into a bar to get information. That's all there is to Google, right? Wrong. There is so much more to learn. This guide aims give you tips and tricks that will help you to become a more savvy searcher and save you time when researching.



"Google" by Simon [CC0] from Pixabay.

Understanding the URL

It might seem silly to you to look at a URL for information other than where to find a web page, however, these are filled with useful tidbits about the webpage, and overall website, itself. 

So, what type of information can you get from reading a URL? You can find out what type of website it is, who made it, who the intended audience is, and what its purpose is.

In order to accurately read a URL, you must first understand what the pieces of it are. All URLs have a domain name and an extension. A domain name is, in most instances, the name of the website itself. The extension tells you what type of organization the website is linked to. Put together this would look like https://www.domainname.extension.

Now, let's look at a few real websites and break down their URLs.

Common Website Extensions

The extension of a website is the text immediately following the . after the domain name (http://www.domaninname.extension).

.com Commercial websites (such as Many of these types of websites are selling you some type of product.
.edu Educational institutions. These are used by schools from Kindergarten through doctoral degrees. In addition to the information about the school, you will also find pages written by students, faculty, and staff.
.gov Local, state, or federal government websites (such as The government produces a great amount of information, but viewpoints are often changing for a variety of reasons. Be sure to check the posting date for currency of the information.
.org Nonprofit organizations (such as Be sure to look at the organization and their mission/viewpoints. Just because an organization is nonprofit does not mean that they are non-biased. 

To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA: Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page. Title of LibGuide. URL

MLA: Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.