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Google for Business Information: Google Search Engine

Tips, tricks and strategies for using Google to find business information on the web.

Limitations of Google

Google is a great resource for finding free information. However, be advised that you may not be able to find all of your needed information on the Internet. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Your topic is not covered on the Internet at the depth that your assignment requires.
  • Your topic requires specialized business information that is not freely available.
  • Your topic requires specialized business information that can only be found in a library database

If you fail to find the needed business information on the Internet please see the Industry Research LibGuide.

Using Google Effectively

Most users of the Google search engine conduct their searches from Google's basic search interface. Many of these users type in random keywords which is not the most effective way to approach a Google search. To get the most out of Google we recommend that you use Google's advanced search interface. What follows are suggestions for using Google's advanced search interface to find business information:

Relevant Keywords and Phrases:

Typing in random keywords is not the best method for using Google. Before you even conduct a search you should follow theses steps:

  1. Carefully read your assignment and understand what it is you are looking for.
  2. If you are unsure of your information needs, consult with your professor or your group.
  3. Brainstorm relevant keywords and phrases.

Example: I need to find demographic information of pet owners.

Possible Keywords: pets, industry, demographics, customers, ownership, etc.

Possible Phrases: "Pet industry statistics", "Pet owner demographics", etc.

Using Google's Phrase Search:

  1. Navigate to advanced search
  2. Type your phrase in the box labeled "this exact wording or phrase"
  3. Click search

Using Google's Phrase Search with Relevant Keywords:

  1. Navigate to advanced search
  2. Type your phrase in the box labeled "this exact wording or phrase"
  3. Type your keyword or keyword in the box labeled "all these words"
  4. Click search

Locating Trade Associations via Google:

Trade associations provide targeted information on specific industries. While some trade reports are available only to members at a significant cost, many associations provide free industry information on their websites.

Follow these steps to find trade associations for your industry:

  1. Identify possible phrases (e.g. "pet industry association")
  2. Use advanced search to conduct a phrase search (see above)
  3. Review your results

Conducting a phrase search for "pet industry association" led me to the following website: http://www.americanpetproducts.org/. However, I had to spend some time reviewing their site before I found the free information.

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