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Last month Gina Pasqua, SEO Coordinator at Penton Marketing Services, posted a blog about a new course Google is offering called Power Searching with Google. The instructor of this interactive course is Dan Russell, a senior research scientist at Google. The course is being offered for free to the public, and upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate. Google is only offering this interactive power searching course for a short time, giving users a small registration widow. But, if you miss the course, the materials will become permanently available on Google's Search Education site.
I see myself as a competent searcher and was not expecting to gain new knowledge from this course. I was pleasantly surprised at the conclusion of the course that I had learned some new tricks and was reminded of some old ones. For example, if you want to search for a blog post at a specific site, you might refine your Google query this way: Blogs site:penton.com filetype:HTML, which will give you the following results (see below). Notice they are all from enews.penton.com, they all contain the word "blog" and are all HTML pages with links, not PDFs , videos or any other types of files.
Example of refined search results using information from the 'Search with Google' course
The course is a relatively basic overview of search techniques and how you can think of search queries in new ways to yield the desired results. My biggest complaint with the course was that it had to be completed in stages, so the course takes you a week even though it could be completed in one day. After my completion of this course, I personally recommended it to my parents, which I hope they took it. Overall, I think this is a great course that will help anyone learn, and can help refresh the basic elements of search. I challenge you to take the course; you might be surprised with what you learn.
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