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Web search for local communities in the
Highlands of Scotland: An online self-tutoring guide

This self-tutoring guide and online learning resource is designed to assist you to acquire Web search and evaluation skills, learn about tips and techniques that will improve your searching, and how to explore the Web as a rich information resource. The guide focuses on Google and how to acquire “Google literacy”, and enables you to learn to use the numerous Google products, tools, and applications, and how to get the most out of Google’s many search services, whether for personal, leisure, or business interests. 

Additionally, the guide also describes a diverse range of other Web search tools that are worth exploring as an alternative or as an adjunct to Google, together with an annotated listing of 100 outstanding websites and resources, grouped under a number of topic headings. The tutorial has been primarily designed for local communities in the Highlands of Scotland, and many of the examples used for search strategies focus on this region. 

The guide consists of a package of 4 self-tutoring modules in PDF format, each liberally illustrated with screenshots of Google pages and many other websites and resources. For those with slow Internet connections, a choice of file sizes is offered for download purposes: “Standard” or “Minimum size”, the latter with somewhat diminished quality of the screenshot illustrations. 

  • Module I: How to get the most out of Google Web search 47 pp.
    (File size choice: 2.5MB “Standard”, or 905KB “Minimum size”)

    This module deals primarily with Google Web search, but also offers a potted history of Google, provides an overview of Google’s page ranking algorithms, and describes how Google works and tracks down information on the Web and delivers the results to you. 

  • Module II: A concise guide to Google products, services, applications and other offerings  54 pp.
    (File size choice: 4.7MB “Standard”, or 1.5MB “Minimum size”)

    A comprehensive inventory of Google’s numerous other products, services, applications, and desktop extensions. Over a hundred products are briefly described and evaluated, setting out their principal features, range of tools, and utility. 

  • Module III: Alternatives to Google: some other search tools worth a try  25 pp.        
    (File size choice: 2.6MB “Standard”, or 818KB “Minimum size”)

    Examines and describes a number of other search engines and tools that you might wish to try, or which might be used alongside Google from time to time. It also offers a critical evaluation of speciality and meta search engines, real-time search engines, question & answer search engines, as well as a number of vertical and blog search engines.  

  • Module IV: The best of the Web: a guide to some of the most information-rich resources on the Internet 44 pp.
    (File size choice: 5.9MB “Standard”, or 1.53MB “Minimum size”)

    Reviews and describes 100 of what arguably are among the very best, most authoritative, and most information-rich websites and resources.  

Since January 2013 online access to the tutorial (4 PDF files, a total of 170 pages in A4 size format) is now freely accessible without password and without the need to register.

Free online access to the four modules is at www.hanszell.co.uk/websearch/download/index.shtml.

However, it should be noted that the tutorials have not been updated since August 2011. As a result some of the information, especially as it relates to Google products reviewed in Module II, may not be entirely current any longer.

“Page views, hits, visitors, unique visitors, new and returning visitors …. A short guide to website statistics” was added as an Appendix to Module II in March 2012.



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[T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants]

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