Workshop: Getting the best out of Google (Reading)

Having problems with Google? Fed up with it ignoring your search terms and giving you something completely different? Or confused by irrelevant postings from complete strangers appearing in your results? Personalisation, localisation, social networks and semantic search are all being used by Google in an attempt to “enhance” your results but it can go horribly wrong. Austria suddenly becomes Australia and Google decides that buttercups are really goats! There are many tricks that we can use to make Google return better results and this workshop will look in detail at what is available.

Topics will include:

  • how Google works – what Google tells us and what we have to guess
  • recent developments and their impact on search results
  • how Google customises your results and can you stop it?
  • how to focus your search and control Google
  • Google’s specialist tools and databases
  • what Google is good at and when you should consider alternatives

You will have ample opportunity to experiment and try out the techniques for yourself. Exercises will be provided to help you test out the search features but you are free to explore and try out searches of your own.

This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience. The techniques and approaches covered can be applied to all subject areas.

The workshop leader is Karen Blakeman.

Date: Thursday, 28th June 2012, 9.30 – 16.30
Venue: Agriculture Building, Reading University, Reading, UK
Cost: £150 +VAT (Total £180). A limited number of places for unwaged and students are available; please contact for further details.
Further details:

Forthcoming workshop: Effective online search tools and techniques (Sheffield)

If you want to make Google behave or learn about alternative search tools, I am running a workshop for SINTO next week in Sheffield. It is a one day hands-on workshop to be held at Sheffield Hallam University on Tuseday 1st May (10 am – 4 pm).

This workshop will start with how Google works, important changes that are affecting search results, and how to make use of Google search features to improve and focus your search. It will then move on to other options for general web search and specialist tools for different types of information (for example statistics, social media, research) and subject areas. This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience and the techniques covered can be applied to all subject areas.

Cost: SINTO members £80 + £16 VAT= £96. Non-members £110 + £22 VAT = £132

Feel free to contact me if you require further information about the workshop content.

A booking form is available at or you can contact SINTO on Tel 0114 2255740, email

Presentation: Search Turns Social – Resistance is Futile

The presentation I gave to CILIP in Hants & Wight yesterday (Search Turns Social – Resistance is Futile) is now available on authorSTREAM at

It is also available on Slideshare at and temporarily on my web site at

IFEG advanced search presentation now available

The presentation on advanced web searching that I gave to the Information for Energy Group on April 3rd, 2012 in London is now available. It can be found on:

authorSTREAM at


Slideshare at

If you have problems accessing it on either of those sites it is temporarily available as a PowerPoint file on my web site at