Every day we are asked to “find” something….I’ve found Google to be a good research tool for many tasks. Some of the more common uses utilized in the Plaintiff Law Firm are given below:
If you use Google’s “advanced search” feature, you can limit your search to Powerpoint files.
On the “file format” section, set the search parameter to return only files in the format “Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt)”. Then enter your search term, e.g., “Laminectomy”. All hits will be in the form of Powerpoint presentations, many of these are posted by medical students, doctors, etc.
Another way to search for PPT presentations is to use your search term (such as laminectomy) plus the word “powerpoint”.
It is also useful to use Google to locate images, most of which can then be downloaded and used in Powerpoint. An image search for “laminectomy” returns over 230 hits.
The image search is selected from the main (home) page of Google, not on the advanced search page.
And if you are looking for say “daubert motion Steven Clark” sometimes you can get lucky there and find them online with a google search in the general search feature.
Another idea is to do a search for “motion” “brief” with key words…..and if you don’t find it at the search result link, use the “cache” feature.
The cache feature will highlight with a different color for each search term everywhere it occurs in the webpage/document. Very handy for looking for a certain name, etc. I have found warrants, court orders, etc. More and more documents are being archived online and available to the public.
New Feature to monitor appearance of future references to search terms
Now on Google you can specifiy a search term, and google will let you know via email if it appears on the web…you can use it to search for any term you wish…put in the name of a surgical procedure, an expert, a defendant, even your “favorite” opposing attorney…this feature is found at http://www.google.com/webalerts/
Too many results?
Ever do a search and still feel like you have too many results? Instead of trying a new search, you might have more luck narrowing down the set of matches you’ve already generated. Google makes this process easy through a “Search Within” feature. After performing a search, click on the “Search within results” link that appears at the bottom of the results page, next to the search box, on the results page.
Customize your results using the Preferences Page
Pick the Language…you can do a search in the translation of your choice from the Preferences Page OR you can translate a page in a language foreign to you by selecting the “translate” feature on the search results page…
Select the number of results per page, the default is 10, but you can select 20, 30, 50 or 100 if you wish Using the “New Results Page” feature allows you to keep your search page open, and any link clicked on will open in a new browser page/window…this eliminates back browsing and repetitive search requests.
Various search commands
- Include search term “+” sign (most do this by default but it will not hurt to use this symbol) this has same effect as AND
- Exclude search term “-” sign (in effect same as NOT)
- Must include phrase “” (quotes around phrase to be included)
Yellow Page Directory-type search feature
Google Local integrates yellow pages-style information right into your search. Search for pizza 75662 or pizza marshall,tx and up will pop a little compass with a couple results. Click the compass, and you’ll get a full listing of nearby results, with distance, maps, directions, related web pages, phone numbers, and more. You can narrow it down by category and distance, and look at a map of all the results. Wireless Froogle Froogle is Google’s product search service. To use Froogle on your cell phone, just point your phone’s brower to http://wml.froogle.com/ Then enter your search terms in the box/select search, using your phone’s keypad arrows to scroll through the results. At the store looking for a PDA, whip out your cell phone/use Froogle and never wonder again if you paid too much.
To see delays and weather conditions at a particular airport, type the airport’s three letter code followed by the word “airport.” For example, San Francisco International Airport updates can be found by searching for “sfo airport.”
Google has added more search by number features:
UPS tracking numbers – example search: “1Z9999W999999999”
FedEx tracking numbers – example search: “999999999999”
USPS tracking numbers – example search: “9999 9999 9999 9999 9999 99”
Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers – example search: “AAAAA999A9AA99999”
UPC codes – example search: “073333531084”
Telephone area codes – example search: “650”
Patent numbers – example search: “patent 5123123”. Remember to put the word “patent” before your patent number.
FAA airplane registration numbers – example search: “n199ua”. An airplane’s FAA registration number is typically printed on its tail.
FCC equipment IDs – example search: “fcc B4Z-34009-PIR”. Remember to put the word “fcc” before the equipment ID.
More Google Web Search Features
Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you’re looking for. Go here to find more information on each feature listed below:
Cached Links – View a snapshot of each page as it looked when we indexed it.
Calculator – Use Google to evaluate mathematical expressions.
Definitions – Use Google to get glossary definitions gathered from various online sources.
File Types – Search for non-HTML file formats including PDF documents and others.
Froogle – To find a product for sale online, use Froogle – Google’s product search service.
I’m Feeling Lucky – Bypass our results and go to the first web page returned for your query.
Local Search – New! – Search for local businesses and services.
News Headlines – Enhances your search results with the latest related news stories.
PhoneBook – Look up U.S. street address and phone number information.
Search By Number – Use Google to access package tracking information, US patents, and a variety of online databases.
Similar Pages – Display pages that are related to a particular result.
Site Search – Restrict your search to a specific site.
Spell Checker – Offers alternative spelling for queries.
Stock Quotes – Use Google to get stock and mutual fund information.
Street Maps – Use Google to find U.S. street maps.
Travel Information – Check the status of an airline flight in the U.S. or view airport delays and weather conditions.
Web Page Translation – Provides English speakers access to a variety.
New Search Features:
GOOGLE for Mobile Devices – If you have a mobile device and need to Google something, they released a mobile page you can navigate to via your Palm, Pocket PC or phone. Just load http://www.google.com/xhtml in your browser and it will come up.
PICASSA 2 – A great idea for picture organization on your computer. (As well as sharing photos with others, and allows you to edit the quaility of photos as well.
GOOGLE – Desktop Search – Google Desktop Search is how our brains would work if we had photographic memories. It’s a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats and web pages you’ve viewed. By making your computer searchable, Desktop Search puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails and bookmarks. After you download Google Desktop Search, the application creates an index of all your searchable information and stores it on your computer, allowing you to search your personal items as easily as you search the Internet using Google. Unlike traditional computer search software that updates once a day, Desktop Search updates continually for most file types; when you receive a new email in Outlook, for example, you can search for it within seconds. To download and read more information on this feature.
Google Earth – Mapping/Image search – Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in — Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the worlds geographic information at your fingertips. Some of the features include Visually fly from space to your neighborhood, type in an address and zoom right in, Search for schools, parks, restaurants, hotels, get driving directions And you can tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings. In addition, you can save and share your searches and favorites…even add your own notations. This is a great resource for exhibits, school projects… and just for fun! ..and the best news? It is free.