[an error occurred while processing this directive] Google Guide: Entering a Query Google Guide: Making Searching Even Easier
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Entering a Query

If you have little or no experience with Google, read on. Otherwise, skip to the next section, titled "Go to the First Result."

If your browser isn't pointing to Google, visit Google's home page by entering one of the following web addresses into your browser:

(When we refer to a web address in this tutorial, we omit the "http://" prefix. For a description of web addresses, see the section "Anatomy of a Web Address."

You may also have a bookmark or favorites entry for Google or a "Google" button on your browser window. No matter how you do it, you should see the Google home page with a search box:

Screen shot of Google's home page

What is a query? It's a request for information from a search engine. A query consists of one or more words, numbers, or phrases that you hope you will find in the search results listings. In Google Guide, I sometimes call a query search terms.

To enter a query, type descriptive words into Google's search box. You can use either the search box on Google's home page (shown above) or the search box that always appears at the top of a Google results page (shown in the next screen shot). And for now, you can also use the search box we've provided. For practice, point to this box, click in it, and type the words [ california driving ]:

  

The previous example isn't just a picture of a search box. Now press the ENTER key or click on the "Google Search" button to view your search results. You'll get the Google results page for a search on the words "california" and "driving." The results include links to pages that match your query as well as relevant snippets (excerpts) with your search terms in boldface.

Feel free to change what's in the search box and run other searches. To come back to this tutorial, click your browser's "back" button (more than once, if needed).

Screen shot of Google search results for "california driving"

The results page is full of information and links, most of which relate to your query. Results Google considers to be most relevant to your query are shown first. To the right of Google's search results appear sponsored links, which are paid advertisements.

The first line in each result is the page title. The title will be underlined, i.e., it's a link to the web page. You can click on the title to view that page. (The URL of the page is shown in green at the start of a line, near the end of the result.) Under the title are often excerpts, called snippets. Snippets include one or more of your query words shown in boldface. In our example, click on the link California Driving — A Survival Guide to view the corresponding California Driving Guide web page.

Your results for a search on "california driving" may be different from this screen shot because Google constantly searches the Web for new pages and adjusts its results algorithms.

This page was last modified on Monday January 02, 2006.


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