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Fast Track : Google

A student's guide to high-performance research

Google: A Giant among Search Engines

Google is the undisputable giant in the world of search engines, both in terms of what it searches (web pages, videos, images, documents, and much more) as well as the percent of market share it averages. The only other contenders are Yahoo! and Bing, but neither tool matches Google in number of users or searches.

We used to recommend learning the ins and outs of at least a few different search engines to get the best results, but at this time, it's probably more important to learn how to use Google more effectively. On this page, you learn about ways to search more efficiently in addition and a straightforward way to avoid the Google "filter bubble" that Eli Pariser describes. 

What's the difference between Google and Google Scholar?
Google searches broadly across all of the Internet, including commercial sites, while Google Scholar searches primarily academic content--scholarly articles, book chapters, books, and more.  Whatever you do, do not pay for access to articles you find in Google Scholar!  The University Libraries most likely has access to what you need.

Searching Google

Searching Google Scholar

Want to make sure BGSU and OhioLINK materials show up in Google Scholar?  Access Google Scholar one of these ways:

  1. Use Google Scholar on campus.
  2. Set your Google Scholar library preferences to OhioLINK.  (See an example.)
  3. Connect to Google Scholar from the BGSU Libraries home page or use the search box on this page. You will be prompted to authenticate with your BGSU username and password (same as your email).

Remember: Don't pay for materials you find in Google Scholar.  Always check with a librarian if you want a resource but can't figure out how to get it.

Still want to know about other search engines?

Check out Yahoo! and Bing for a different experience.

Search Tip!

Become an expert searcher. Get guided, interactive help from Google Inside Search and get real practice playing a Google a Day.

What about Wikipedia?

No matter what you're searching, Wikipedia seems to rise to the top of search results.  That's because of the way Google ranks search results, not because it's the best resource out there. 

Keep this in mind: Wikipedia is a good starting point, a place to get an overview of topic and sense of what's out there.  However, you should generally avoid including it in an academic project.  Even Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, had this to say about using it in academic work:

Want to avoid the filter bubble?