Google Search Workshop Conducted at the International Journalism Festival

Google search workshop had been conducted during the first day of International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy on the 15th of April. Matt Cooke, the representative of News Lab at Google, provided participants with a brief information on Google search technics and the possible ways of its usage in journalism practice.

Google specialist mentioned during the workshop that the main idea of Google search usage is to support journalists and improve their work with different innovative solutions. Thus, Matt Cooke offered 4 basic variants that can optimize journalists’ work: advanced search, image search, public data’s and Google trends’ usage. The way how Google transformed since its first version in 1998 until now was followed by the illustration of the development of mobile devices and their usage as searching tools.

For the 17 years of existence, Google have developed efficient web search tools, which allow journalists to specify their requests by filtering as much as needed. The representative of Google News Lab suggested several tips to optimize the web search:

  • Use Google Inside Search (
  • Use search with an exact phrase (‘to be or not to be’)
  • Include or ignore words and characters in your search by using ‘-‘ (salsa recipe –tomatoes)

Google image search had become useful journalism tool of information verification. Basically, the user can make a search on the exact photo published, for example, in social media. The search will reveal if the photo was taken in other place or on the other date, but is presented as an illustration of some other story. This tool had become extremely popular recently among journalists with the aroused usage of social media and user-generated content as news sources. Different filters (size, license, date etc.) help to significally optimize the image search. Answering on the question on video verification, Cooke agreed that there are substantial limitations of video verification, since the tool will recognize only exactly the same piece of video which has not being edited.

Google public data allows users to see complicated statistics organized in a visual form, which can be embedded into the article, blog or website. This helps journalists to use and present numbers efficiently and in the more convenient for the audience way.

The last part of the workshop was dedicated to the journalism usage of Google trends that present users’ search requests by country. Matt Cooke provided participants with a case of the Google trends usage during the current elections campaign in UK, where journalists compare users’ search requests on different candidates on the timeline and analyze how they differ with a duration of elections campaign.

During the Journalism International Festival in Perugia Matt Cooke will conduct two more workshops on Youtube and Maps usage.

Olena Puzina