search for local communities in the
of Scotland: An online self-tutoring guide
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
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
(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
(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
- Module IV: The best of the Web: a guide to some of the most information-rich resources on the Internet
(File size choice: 5.9MB “Standard”, or 1.53MB “Minimum
Reviews and describes 100 of what arguably are among the very best,
most authoritative, and most information-rich websites and
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.