Lesson 1.1: Introduction

Access Lesson 1.1 slides here


Hi my name is Dan Russell and I'm a research scientist at Google where I work on search and I teach classes like this one. My goal in doing a lot of this kind of work is to help people become better searchers, and that's what I hope you get out of this class: how can you be a power searcher with Google.

The chief contents of this class are first: How does Google work? We'll talk about that, but more importantly I want you to be able to have the skills to understand the idea of search and the methods, strategies and tactics to allow you to actually find what you need to find. So we'll be talking about some key methods to improve your search skills. We'll also talk about a few things  like what does it mean to search? What does it mean to search on Google and other products? It's also important to understand what kinds of things you can find. Not everything is on the Internet! The way we'll do this is we will be going through a set of classes.

Each class is composed of a set of lessons, so here we'll start with class 1: How Google works, and within this class we'll have a set of lessons. Now each class may have four or five or three different lessons, but you'll go in order through each one...Class 1, Lesson 1, then Class 1, Lesson 2 and so on and when you get to the end of each lesson there'll be an activity.

The activity is intended to give you a little bit of practice on the skills and ideas that were taught within that lesson. I highly recommend that you do the activities because that's the only way you're going to cement the key ideas of that lesson in each class.

Now when we get to class three we're going to have a mid class test. Now the test is not critical to your life, it’s intended to give you a sense for what works and what doesn't work, what you know, and what you don't know, so it's really intended to help you diagnose your state of knowledge. There's one in the middle, and there's one at the end.

As we go through each lesson you'll find the activities and the individual lessons within the class on the left-hand side. Now on the right hand bottom there is a little button that says next that allows you to go to the next class, the next lesson or the next activity. In the upper right up there you'll see the text version so you can actually read what I've been saying and the slides so you can look at each of these slides individually.

What counts in this class, or what counts I think for me, and I hope for you, is that you become a better searcher, a power searcher. What I want you to really take away from this class is an understanding of how Google search works and more generally how search works on other products and other platforms. We'll have assessments to help you assess your own state of knowledge. We're also going to use the forums to help discuss what we've learned in each of the activities, in each of the classes. So when you go through them, I recommend you go look in the forum for discussions with your classmates; see what they're thinking, see who can help, look who's understanding what's really going on.

Note that not all of the features we’ll show here in this course may be available in all countries, but I will show you later how to get to the US version of Google where all the features I show you are available. I'll be sure to tell you as we go through what works and what doesn't work internationally. As I said, one of the key ideas here is that search is sort of one of these ubiquitous things...it lives in almost every online product; your mail has it, your online movie

services have it. Everything has search functions.

What I hope you get from this class is a sense for the general functions of search and how you can take those skills you learn here and use them when you are next looking for a movie. So this is really a large scale class. Use the forums to help connect with other students and other people. For example, what I recommend for this first activity is that you do a search for Google in other countries, Google Senegal if you're from Senegal or if you want to find out about Costa Rica, Google Costa Rica. Then when you find something interesting, post it in the forum; see what other people have found and enjoy the conversation.

This whole class is intended to help all of us become better searchers and I hope this gets you going for our next lesson. We'll be talking about the concept of filtering when you do a search.  You might get a million results - how can you filter it down to just the ones you want, something more precise and more targeted? Go ahead and go to the next activity and then I'll see you in the next lesson.

Power Searching with Google © 2019 Google, Inc. CC-BY-SA

(Updated 1/5/19 A. Awakuni Fernald)