Are you a power searcher?

Google has dominated the online search world for quite a while now. A basic Google search can satisfy many information needs. However, many of us aspire to be more than average online searchers. Do your search skills feel stale? Do you want to learn some new power search techniques? Infopeople instructor Rita Gavelis can help!

Start here

  • In a one hour webinar in January, Rita focused on search operators, including wildcards and delimiters.  AVAILABLE NOW
  • In a second one hour webinar, Rita covered alternate search engines, subject indices, and social media. AVAILABLE NOW
  • On May 13th, Rita will discuss finding content that’s part of the Hidden Web, on webpages that have not been indexed by search engines.REGISTRATION OPEN

continue learning

  • And if you really want to improve your search techniques, watch for Rita’s 4-week Power Searching online course, coming this summer!

Using Google Analytics

A great deal of time and energy is spent creating an online presence through library websites, blogs, and social media. It is important to know if your organization’s audience is using the resources or if perhaps you need to make changes. To measure usage and make informed decisions, you need analytics.

Infopeople instructor Rita Gavelis notes that through the regular collection of statistical data or “analytics”, you can:

  • Measure the success of your websites.  Are people viewing pages you worked hard to create?
  • Spot trends. Are more people accessing your site through tablets and smartphones?
  • Make data-driven decisions. Do navigation menus need to be changed?
  • Gain keyword insight. What search terms did people use to find your site?
  • Identify the traffic coming to your site. Are locals coming to your site, or are people accessing from other towns or countries?google_analytics_logo

In her upcoming course, Gavelis will help learners get started with Google Analytics. It’s a short format course, so learners will gain lots of practical information in the span of 2 weeks. From embedding the Google analytics code, to navigating the dashboard, to creating reports, and interpreting data, course participants will leave the course ready to determine how people are using their “online branch”. The course starts April 7th and registration is now open.

Google adds bike paths to Google Maps!

This is very cool! Google just added bike paths and bicycle directions to Google Maps! Currently, the directions are available for 150 cities. To enable it, click on the More button lurking up by the Traffic, Satellite and Terrain buttons in the upper right corner of the Google map.

Google versus Bing: taste testing search engines

I have been pondering & exploring for a while now the differences between Bing and Google. I’m so used to using Google that it’s hard to stop down and really give Bing a shot. But now that Bing is officially going to power Yahoo! and is the number two most used search engine (sorry, decision engine) it behooves us all to get familiar with its ins and outs.

I found this side-by-side comparison site that helps to illustrate the similarities, strengths and weaknesses of each: http://www.bing-vs-google.com/. Another useful site for doing some comparison searching: BlindSearch. This one lets you enter a search term or phrase then returns results from Google, Bing and Yahoo then lets you vote on which results seem most relevant. You’ll only find out which results are which search engine AFTER you vote!

We’ve also updated our Best Search Tools and Search Tools Chart pages to include Bing. Enjoy!