The three minute video, “How Search Works” from Google provides a nice overview of search engine basics, page rank, and online advertising. Consider sharing this with your students and discussing both the function as well as the power / importance / ethics involved in Internet search today.

Google’s official YouTube channel has hundreds of other good videos to use with students. I like their playlist of 15 second search tips.
15 second search tips

Unit conversions, word lookups in Google’s dictionary feature, quick access to the Google calculator, and currency conversion are four of the videos relevant to academic curriculum included in the playlist’s 17 videos.

These are all “search engine tricks” with which we should be familiar as teachers. It’s not that we need to know this so we have digital “party tricks” at our finger tips with which we can impress others. Instead, we need to know “this stuff” as teachers because adept use of search engines is a hallmark of digital literacy… and we’re in the literacy business as educators.

Hat tip to Colette Cassinelli for sharing the “How Search Works” video via Twitter.

More information about Google search is available in the “About Search” section of Google’s “Facts about Google and Competition” website.

Full disclosure: I’m a Google Certified Teacher and I’m convinced their virtual Kool Aid tastes GREAT. 🙂

Kool Aid Man

'Google KoolAid Machine' photo (c) 2008, Andrew Turner - license:

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2 Responses to Explaining Google Searches and Page Rank

  1. […] Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Explaining Google Searches and Page Rank […]

  2. Steorling says:

    At the high school level I introduce students to how page rank can be manipulated by researching “Google Bombing”. (on Wikipedia, for instance.)  The subversive bit of the teenage mind LOVES the idea of making the web your play thing.

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