I've always said "What good is a resource if you don't know how to use it?" Imagine walking into your public library and not being able to differentiate between fiction and nonfiction books, or being incapable of deciphering the Catalog Retrieval System to find your book.
With the plethora of obscure information at the deepest reaches of the Internet, you clearly understand the ramifications of not using a top notch search engine. To that end, Google is unmistakably and unequivocally the best search engine available in assisting you with your searches.
O'Reilly's Google Pocket Guide, by Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest, and
DJ Adams, should be required reading for not only learning the capabilities of Google, but for getting the most out of your searches as well. They say we only use 10% of our brains (don't quote me on that, but just go with it). I guarantee the majority of Google users tap into less than 10% of the search engine's voluminous capabilities.
The Google Pocket Guide is 129 pages broken down into four main sections complete with an appendix and Syntax Summary (very useful). Part 1 explains exactly what Google is and isn't. It also provides a concise overview of how to improve your Google search results. Part 2 called "Asking for What You Want," should be considered Google 101. Here you will find the essentials such as Phrase Searches, Basic Boolean, and putting the wild cards to work for you. The Google "Advanced Search" is demystified as well. You will also find special syntax searches and how to mix them to create powerful possibilities in your investigative quests. Part 3 is all about making Google work for you and understanding the results you requested. This includes not only setting preferences, but how to interpret the results of your Google search. Additional coverage is provided in the "Anatomy of a Search Result" and how Google guides your questionable spellings to assist you. Part 4 for many will be like opening up a whole new world of Google services that will absolutely amaze you! I'm not going to give the store away, but I will tell you this-you will become a much smarter and more resourceful individual after reading this section.
As a person that lives and dies by the Internet, I can tell you the Google Pocket Guide is the best ... investment you can make to grow your web experience. Resist your fast food drive-through lunch and go to the bookstore with your [$$]instead...nourishing your mind is a much better alternative!