Google Master Class: Improve Your Online Search Skills in 8 Weeks

Need help tracking your ancestors online? The Google Master Class is an eight-week intensive combining the following classes, giving you three courses for the price of two:

In the first part of the Master Class, you’ll learn how to speak the search engine’s “language” through tips and step-by-step search examples. You’ll master core Google search techniques, then move on to additional techniques designed to help with your specific genealogy challenges and research goals.

Next, you’ll learn all about Google’s built-in search tools. Lessons help you explore four of the tools best suited to help you with your genealogy: News Archive, Book Search, YouTube and Google Earth.

In the third part of the course, you’ll learn how to tame Google’s seemingly endless search results to find the answers you need—including solutions to common genealogy search dilemmas, such as looking for names that double as common words. You’ll also take advantage of Google features and services that will help you research more efficiently.


$199.99 ($179.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

8 Weeks


Lisa Louise Cooke

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.

Praise for this Class

“I loved taking this course. It was so well laid out, with plenty of information to help with my research. The content and assignments made me dig deep for back stories.”


  • The basic guidelines for successful searching—including Google’s limitations
  • How to identify historical books and articles about your family and view them online (or offline)
  • Techniques to refine your searches and ferret out irrelevant results
  • How to automate your Google searches so the search engine finds new information for you
  • Techniques to deal with challenging surname searches and other genealogy search dilemmas
  • How to use Gmail to become a more efficient researcher
  • How to use Google’s translation tools for overseas research


  • People who are familiar with Google but want to deepen their knowledge and hone their skills
  • Researchers who would like to gain confidence in navigating the web
  • Genealogists looking to save time in their Google searching


  • A free Google account
  • This course assumes you understand the basic principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, consider taking the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of how to use their computer and the web. If you’re new to the web, consider taking our Computer Boot Camp class first.


Part 1: Mastering Google Search
Lesson 1: Harnessing the Power of Google Search
A. Basic Search
B. Incorporating Operators
C. Advanced Search Strategies
D. Keys to success
E. Quiz
Lesson 2: Sift Through the Clutter to Get to What You Want
A. Search Options Column
I. What the Search Options Column can do 
II. Switch up your view
III. What’s not in the Search Options Column
B. Google Alerts
I. Creating Google Alerts
II. Editing your Google Alerts
III. Alerts That Will Further Your Research
C. Keys to success
D. Exercise
E. Quiz
Lesson 3: How to Find Hard-to-Find Website Content
A. Google Site Search
I. Site Search Syntax
B. Bringing Websites Back From the Dead
C. Keys to Success
D. Exercise
E. Quiz
Lesson 4: Searching Visually
A. Images Search
I. Conducting an Image Search
II. Conducting an Advanced Image Search
B. Pictures From the Past
I. How to Retrieve an Image That Is No Longer Available
C. Similar Images Search
D. Looking to the Future
E. Keys to Success
F. Exercise
Part 2: Google Tools for Genealogists
Lesson 1: Google News Archive
A. Overview of Google News Archive
I. Types of content
B. The Timeline feature
C. Sample search
I. Basic family history themed search
II. Incorporating the timeline into the search
D.  Advanced archive search
E. Keys to success
F. Exercise
Lesson 2: Google Books
A. Overview of Google Books
I. Types of book content
II. Accessing content
B. Sample search
I. Advanced search
II. Viewing books
III. Search within the book
C. Keys to success
D. Exercise
Lesson 3: YouTube
A. Overview of YouTube
I. Concentrating on the search
II. Playlists 
III. Favorites
IV. Video sharing
B. Sample search
C. Keys to success
D. Quiz
Lesson 4: Google Earth
A. Overview of Google Earth
B. Locating ancestral homes and locations
C. Historical imagery and map overlays
D. Photos
E. The power of street view
F. Family history tour maps
G. Keys to success
H. Exercise
Part 3: Advanced Google
Lesson 1: Gaining a Deeper Understanding of Search Results
A. Introduction
B. The new Caffeine indexing system
C. Gmail 
D. Quiz
Lesson 2: Techniques to Solve Research Dilemmas 
A. Introduction
B. Challenge #1: Too many low-quality results
I. Advanced Search 
C. Challenge #2: Last names that are common words or shared by famous people
I. Using Operators
II. Searching Within Results
D. More challenges and strategies
E. Quiz
Lesson 3: Getting Better Connected and Organized
A. iGoogle: Your personal genealogy homepage
I. Everything you need to know, step-by-step
II. Adding genealogy gadgets
III. Google gadgets and other gadgets
IV. Organization and layout
V. Adding Tabs
B. Exercise
Lesson 4: Specialized Tools for International Research
A. Google Translate
B. Google Translation Toolkit
C. Google Script Converter 
D. Tips for trip planning
E. Quiz

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