Power Search With Google

Power Searching with Google

A free course to help you become a better searcher
Knowing how to find answers on Google is an important skill in today’s digital age. Taught by Google’s Search experts, this online class will help you search smarter, so you can find the information you need — even in the most challenging situations.

What you'll learn

This is an online, community-based course showcasing search techniques and how you can use them to solve real, everyday problems. Dan Russell, a senior research scientist at Google, will cover topics that will help you:
  • Find just what you’re looking for, faster
  • Get right to the most credible sources
  • Solve even the most challenging questions
Another live session of Power Searching with Google begins on September 24!

Register now to complete the course alongside a community of global participants and when the course begins you'll receive:
  • Access to community discussion forum
  • The opportunity to put your new skills to test with mid and post class assessments
  • Support from Google course staff
  • An official Power Searching with Google certificate upon completion

How it works

The course begins on September 24 and ends on October 10. Register now and we’ll send you an email when class begins.
  • Lessons and activities will be released three times a week and you can complete them at your own pace.
  • You’re not alone! We provide plenty of opportunities to connect with our search experts and other Power Searching participants.
  • Upon passing the course, we’ll email you a printable certificate so you can show off your Power Searcher status!

The course is composed of six classes:
  • How Google works
  • Extending what you know
  • Advanced techniques
  • Finding facts faster
  • Checking your facts
  • Putting it all together
Access Lesson 1.1 slides here | #powersearchingwithgoogle

Step 1 :

Step 2 :
                After Registering for Power Searching with Google. Stay tuned for more information about the class which will start on September 24.

Schedule :

  • Pre-class assessment available 2012-09-24
  • Class 1 - Introduction available 2012-09-24
  • Class 2 - Interpreting results available 2012-09-26
  • Class 3 - Advanced techniques available 2012-09-28
  • Mid-class assessment available 2012-09-28, deadline 2012-10-10 11:59pm PT
  • Class 4 - Find facts faster available 2012-10-01
  • Class 5 - Checking your facts available 2012-10-03
  • Class 6 - Putting it all together available 2012-10-05
  • Post-class assessment available 2012-10-05, deadline 2012-10-10 11:59pm PT

                                   More details | Press Center | For Educators 

                      Course is available where Google infrastructure is available.


Google Buys Nik to Lure Photographers to Google Plus

Google said on Monday that it had acquired Nik Software, a company that makes tools for editing and sharing photos. It is Google’s latest defensive move against Facebook and part of its strategy to become a photo-sharing hub.

Facebook’s dominance in photo uploading and sharing was strengthened by its acquisition of Instagram, which closed this month. Meanwhile, Google Plus — which also announced on Monday that it had 400 million users, 100 million of them active — has been trying to attract both professional and amateur photographers to Google Plus.

Though Nik, which is based in San Diego with offices in Germany and elsewhere, is outside the Silicon Valley bubble, it has a following among serious photographers. The companies did not disclose the acquisition price, though one person briefed on the deal said it was significant because Nik has more than 100 employees and is 17 years old.

Nik’s most well-known product is Snapseed, a mobile app for editing and sharing photos that Apple  named iPad app of the year in 2011. It has more sophisticated photo editing tools than Instagram, but it is not nearly as popular. Snapseed is available only for Apple devices but will come to Android soon (and probably a lot sooner now that Google owns it). Many of Nik’s other products are aimed at professional photographers.

Facebook says its user upload more than 300 million photos a day, many more than on Google Plus or any other Web site. Google declined to say how many photos its users upload.

But Google Plus does offer special tools for photos. For sharing them, Google Plus’s mobile app automatically uploads cellphone photos to a private folder on Google Plus, so they are backed up and can easily be shared. Users can also upload and download high-resolution photos.

With Nik and other services, Google is trying to differentiate itself from Facebook and other photo-sharing sites with more advanced photo editing. Google, which owns Picasa and Picnik, the online photo editor, has incorporated their high-end tools into Google Plus, including adjusting light and pixel size, sharpening or softening colors and applying filters.

Google seems most interested in Nik’s mobile and online tools and how they can improve Google Plus. Google declined to say whether or when it would discontinue any of Nik’s other products, like desktop software for professional photographers.

“We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Vic Gundotra, senior vice president at Google in charge of Google Plus, wrote on Google Plus.


Google+ now home to 400 million total users, 100 million active monthly users

Google+ now has 100 million monthly active users and 400 million registered users. Let’s all break out the party favors and host a few hangouts!

But wait just a second. The new figures, revealed by Google’s senior veep of engineering Vic Gundotra in a Google+ update this morning, have me scratching my head.

Google reported in June that its 1-year-old social network had reached 150 million active users. Did Google+ actually lose 50 million monthly active users over the summer? That would not be cause for celebration, now, would it? Let’s also not forget that in April of this year, Google said that Google+ had reached 100 million active users. 

So what gives?

The discrepancy in monthly active users looks to be a semantics problem. From what I’ve been able to decipher, Google sees 100 million people visit or Google+ mobile apps each month. The 150 million number, however, is a catch-all figure that applies to all Google+ activity happening across any of Google’s socially enhanced services such as Gmail, search, and YouTube.

Google+ the social network has 100 million monthly active users. Google+ the social layer has 150 million active users. Get? Got it? Good.

Why would Google report two numbers that essentially sound the same but mean two different things? Well, the 100 million monthly active user stat reported today is an achievement that directly addresses critics’ “ghost town” accusations. In essence, Gundotra proved that people — 100 million each month to be exact — intentionally (not by accident, naysayers!) visit Google+ on desktop or mobile to connect with friends, brands, and celebrities.


Fun With Google Search

What's Michelle Williams's Bacon number, you ask? It's two and no — that's not the number of bacon strips she had to eat this morning; it's the degree of separation between Kevin Bacon and the award-winning actress, aka her Bacon number. Now it's readily available on the Internet, thanks to the Google Knowledge Graph.

The project is part of the search giant's effort to make online discovery more intelligent and informative (plus a bit more fun, we'd say!). To account for something like the Bacon number, Google looks at relationships not just between search terms, but also between real people, places, and events.

Read more about Michelle and the Google Knowledge Graph after the jump.

For example, if you search "Michelle Williams," Google knows that there is not one but two women you may be looking for: the aforementioned leading lady and the underappreciated Destiny's Child songstress. Google now makes it easy to switch between the two and provides more details about their family, background, and the movies or music they've produced — shown right on the search page in widgets powered by the Google Knowledge Graph. Things that you would find on IMDB, Wikipedia, or CIA World Factbook are now built into Google Search as well.

Do you find the Google Knowledge Graph helpful or an unnecessary gimmick?