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Many SEOs have logged an untold amount of time and energy adrift in The Great Google Sea–lost in a wake of mediocre results. Good news, you don’t have to be Garrett McNamara to surf like a boss. Google created power searching tools to help you find exactly what you are looking for in the least amount time; you just have to know how to use them. To that end, Google offers self-paced Power Searching and Advanced Power Searching courses to teach you how to navigate to the treasure of SERPs you seek.

Dr. Dan Russell has a cool job. He is a research scientist at Google. Dr. Russell leads the power searching classes online, hosts the accompanying Google+ Hangouts, and operates a related blog called Search Research. Oh yeah, plus, he is part of the team at Google that controls how search engine optimization works. The experiments carried out by his team are what lead to algorithmic updates, such as Panda and Penguin, which directly affect SEO strategy on a daily basis.

Power Searching Courses

You can take the Power Searching courses at your own pace or you can add yourself to the Search Education Google Groups mailing list to receive updates about upcoming courses and other related opportunities.

If you successfully complete the two course assessments, you will earn an official certificate of completion from Google. In your first Power Searching course, you will participate in six classes that focus on how Google works, the art of keyword choices, word order importance, and how to use some advanced techniques, like search operators.

Each lesson has a 3-10 minute video and followed by a hands-on activity that will give you an opportunity to practice what you have just learned. There is a mid-term after the third class that counts for one-third of your final score, and another assessment after the sixth class that counts for two-thirds of your final score. A score of 70% or better is required to pass the course. Each lesson also has a text version, in case you prefer to read the lessons instead of watching the videos.

In the Advanced Power Searching course, Dr. Russell will take you through a series of challenges that will help you hone your research processes so you can practice and develop your advanced searching skills. Every challenge is rated easy, medium, or hard based on level of difficulty, but each of them are designed to be completed in less than one hour. When you complete these challenges, you will also be able to see how others solved them to give you a better understanding of how to use Google search tactics. You will also explore more search operators, additional Google properties, like Google Scholar, and learn how to refine searches and search strategies.

Any smart SEO will tell you that if you’re not using advanced search techniques, you’re wasting valuable time. Visit Google’s Search Education Evangelism site for links to upcoming classes and lessons offered. Click here to learn more about how Google search works.

Main image credit: Malene Thyssen