Google Help

Internet, the basics

We all know that information has been kept on computers for the past 50 years. In the past you would have to call the company to get the information you needed, Whether it was help with a product you purchased, to apply for something, planning a trip or ordering an airplane ticket, book a hotel, etc.

Of course when you called and talked to someone they would have to look up the information on their computer and give it to you verbally. This often would lead to mistakes being made.

In the Internet age, what has happened is that all of the information is now on computers that can be access by anyone. You may have noticed that a lot of companies make it quite difficult for you to actually talk to someone. The world is certainly changing.

Using Google to find information has made it easier than traditional methods to get the information fast and it's more accurate. Google™ is the equivalent of a card catalog used in a library. Google has a very simple screen and a search box that you can use to look up information. With Google™ you simple type in a sentence just like you would ask someone a question or you can just type in a few “KEYWORDS” and Google™ will help you find the information you are looking for.

Surfing the Internet with Google

Let’s get you using the Internet and looking up information using Google. Go to senior place and click to open, then click on the icon for Google.

In the middle of Google you will see a box with a BLINKING CURSOR “|”. This cursor is telling you that what you type will go where the cursor is blinking. In the search box you can simply type in a few words like a medicine, product you've been looking for, a review on a movie or a place of interests. When you search with just a few words they are call KEYWORDS. Google will bring up a list (in order of relevance) of web sites with information about what you asked for.

Google helps you type

One great feature of Google is intuitive typing. If you type a few letters is will try to figure out what you are looking for. For this example we will type in the name “Abra”. It will try to figure out what you are looking for so you don’t have to type the entire word or phase out. If we just type in the first four letters of “Abra” you will see that Google presents a list of possibilities of what you may be looking for. This is a great time saver especially for people who don’t type.

This is how the list will look like as you type just the first 4 letters:

Here you will see a list from Google of possible items you may be looking for. For our example here we see that the correct term Abraham Lincoln. Move your mouse pointer onto the the name and click. This will finish the typing for you. Click the search button on the right and just like in a card catalog in a library, a list of web sites with a brief description of each comes up on the screen.

Google takes you to the results page of what you were looking for and will look like this.


Here on the results page, Google first gives you a list of Images that are available. You can click on any image to see it bigger.  

Below the images you will see a listing of WEB SITES that have information on what you are looking for. Each site listing has a title as well as short descriptions of what the site contains (just like on a card in a card catalog). Usually the top three listings will most likely give you the information you are looking for as they are listed by relevance. 

So let’s take a look at a listing and how  it works:

You can read the short descriptions below each title, and see which one sounds like the WEB SITE  that will have the information you're looking for. Again, it works just like the brief descriptions on an index card in a library.

If it does, place your mouse pointer on the blue title line of that listing and click. Notice that when you have your mouse pointer in the right location it will change shape from a pointer to a hand. When it's in the shape of the hand, you can click and it will take you to that site.

Usually, the top listing is the one that most likely will be what you will be looking for but it it's not don't worry, you can always go back to the search results. In the upper left you will see the back arrow that you can use to go back a page .

Surfing the net

When you are looking for information on the Internet, it’s much like you do it in a library with the card catalog. Google is nothing more than a very large card catalog for the Internet that lists each WEB SITE (books) that is a collection of WEB PAGES (the pages in a book).

When you get to the home page of a WEB SITE you are on the home or INDEX PAGE. The home page works just like a table of contents in a book and should tell you everything that would be available inside the WEB SITE. On the home page there will be LINKS which you can click on that will take you inside of the WEB SITE to it's different pages. Links will be a different color and underlined, you will also know your mouse pointer is on a link because it will change from a pointer to a hand. 

There are a few controls to help you while you are looking for information on the Internet.


These are your buttons for moving a page back or a page forward when you are looking at information on the Internet. They are used as you move from “page to page” on the Internet.

Using the address bar

Let's look at the Address Bar. When you know an address, for example you see one in a magazine or on TV you can type in the address directly into the address bar like this:

You DO NOT have to type in the HTTP://WWW., you can simply type in the part of the address AFTER the …www. So for this example we just typed in, and press the ENTER KEY on the KEYBOARD.

Next you have the HOME page button. Clicking on this icon will take you back to Senior Place.

The Internet has trillions of pages of information and is truly an information highway. Use it to look up information about a favorite movie star, a new medicine, travel plans or anything else you have an interest in.

Remember that most business is done on the Internet today, not on the phone. While this change has caught some by surprise a good way for you to find reasons to use the Internet is every time you think to “call” a company try to do it on the Internet first. It’s a great way for you to get comfortable using the Internet and you'll find that with just a little practice you'll amaze yourself.

Finally we need to point out that web pages do not always end at the bottom of your screen. You will notice on most web pages that there is a scroll bar along the right side of the page.

You can move a page up or down by placing your mouse pointer ON the scroll bar and HOLDING DOWN the left mouse button you will be able to then move the page up or down using your mouse. Release the left mouse button when you are done moving the page. If your mouse has a "scroll wheel" then you can also use that for moving pages up or down.

It will come in handy and just keep it in mind that most web pages will have a scroll bar along the  right side of the window so be sure to keep looking for them.

Back to Senior Place 
Copyright © 1998 A Plus Senior Computer, Inc. All rights reserved.