Library Information Guide - Fort Wayne

Google and other search engines provide an easy way to search for and access information on any topic you may need to research. They "crawl" the web and index websites so that you can go to one place and access a full list of sites.

It's all very convenient, but you must use caution. Just because a site shows up at the top of your Google Search Results doesn't mean it's a reliable site to use. Anyone with a computer and internet access can create a website and make it accessible to the world.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Google uses "PageRank" to decide how relevant a page is to your search, which considers:
    • How many times your search term shows up on the page
    • Whether the page is new or has been around for a while
    • How many other people link to the page, and where those other pages rank
  • Google has advertisements. People can pay money to show up at the top and sides of your search results.
  • Google can remember your preferences. If you tend to visit sites with a certain viewpoint, those are the types of sites that will show up in your search.

Google can be a good resource, but remember to evaluate your results to make sure you are using quality websites in your paper.

Ways to Use Google

The Perils of Online Research