[HOWTO] Become a Google Search Master

Category: Search-Engines

Google is offering two online video courses aimed at turning ordinary mortals into Google “Power Searchers” who can use the search giant’s most sophisticated tools to quickly search, research complex questions, and find the most pertinent results. You might be surprised by how well that pays, and by the might of your own Google Fu. Read on, grasshopper...

Opportunities for Google Search Experts

“Internet Researcher” is the generic job title, and it’s part of the new “gig economy.” Working from home - or wherever else you can find Internet access - a generalist Internet Researcher is needed by companies large and small. Such experts can answer questions like:

What is the market for widgets in a defined geographic area? What laws and regulations impact a business planned in a given city and state? How does weather influence sales of a given product?

Large corporations may employ Internet Researchers to answer a steady flow of questions full-time, paying $50,000 to $65,000 per year according to salaries reported at Glassdoor.com. Smaller firms engage freelance Internet Researchers for ad hoc assignments; freelancers tend to earn less, in the $38,000 to $45,000 range.

How to become a Google Power Search Master

Working from home (or the beach, if you can get Internet access), interesting problems to solve, and work/life balance are the top advantages that Internet Researchers see in their jobs. Income potential and career advancement prospects are two of the downsides.

Google offered its first advanced search courses way back in 2013, and established a global community of Power Searchers who graduated from it. That alumni association acts as a cadre of ambassadors, first for the many uses of search, and secondly for Google Search. In return, Power Searchers get work leads from Google. It’s an arrangement similar to that of Microsoft to its value-added resellers and app developers.

The latest curriculum for Google Power Searchers is taught by Daniel Russell, a senior research scientist at Google. It consists of two courses. The first, “Power Searching With Google” is a series of videos grouped into three categories: Introduction, Interpreting Results and Advanced Techniques. Students progress as their own individual paces; there is no time frame for completing the course.

The second course, “Advanced Power Searching” consists of 12 challenges in which a student learns by actually searching, interpreting results, and applying techniques to refine the results (literally, “re-searching”). The techniques include the less well known operators and search modifiers, Google properties aside from Search that may yield fruit, and strategies for homing in on the ideal information as fast and efficiently as possible. This course consists of video and text components. It is also self-paced.

Both courses may be found here.

One thing you'll learn in these courses is how to use Google search operators to help you refine your search results. For example, you can use the site: operator to limit results to a specific website. Here is an example search phrase:

free faxing site:askbobrankin.com -- will find pages that contain the phrase "free faxing" at askbobrankin.com

If you want to explore advanced Google search options on your own, click the Settings link on any Google search results page, then click Advanced Search.

“Internet Researcher” sounds a lot cooler than “Uber driver,” is much more convenient, and probably pays better. What question might you pose to one? What are your favorite Google search tips? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[HOWTO] Become a Google Search Master"

Posted by:

Harry Higinbotham
18 Jul 2018

You say in your article: "Both courses may be found here." However, the site that comes up when one clicks the link only shows the first course (“Power Searching With Google”. There is no mention at all of the second one (“Advanced Power Searching”).

Posted by:

18 Jul 2018

2nd course: http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course/aps
These courses also work for 'Startpage' - without the tracking that Google uses.

Posted by:

18 Jul 2018

This is the page Bob should have linked to. It includes both courses:


Posted by:

James Shaneman
19 Jul 2018

Gonnah look into it. A senior with lots of computer tech experience, retired, and looking for work. Planted the standard four rose plants on retiring, don't golf, fish, play tennis. Computers are all I know. Thanks for the lead, Bob.

Posted by:

John Hill
20 Jul 2018

The courses utilise search functions that are not available to iPad users. Back to the desktop!

Posted by:

Ryan James
20 Jul 2018

I have taken the first lesson of these courses. The link to the Forum does not work, though it is encouraged to post there.

One activity asks if there is a different between two links for student loans based on the word order of the search. The answer should be YES, they were very different, but I was marked wrong.

Posted by:

Ryan James
20 Jul 2018

One thing I forgot to mention. In activity 1.6, the task is to go to this site US Geological Survey’s list of Historic World Earthquakes at this link: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/historical.php/

This is the result
Bad Request
Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.

Is this a trick question?

Posted by:

22 Jul 2018

Ryan, Take the slash off the end. You will get further...

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