How to Find Google Groups

By James T. Cains

You have essentially two ways to find Google groups that interest you: You can either search or browse for them. Searching is, by far, the easiest way to find something, if you know exactly what you want. However, if you’re not sure and want to see anything that might be in a general area of interest, you may want to browse.

Search for Google groups

To search for Google groups that interest you, first log in to Google Groups and then follow these steps:

  1. At the top of the page, type in your search term or phrase in the Search field.

  2. In the drop-down menu that appears, either choose one of the options or just go ahead and hit the Enter key to proceed with your search (see Figure 1).

    • In the drop-down, you have the option to search for your term in any group (that is, your results show only results from a search in posts and topics, not in group name) or search for group names containing your search term (the results show only group names, not posts or topics). This is a way to filter your searches a bit. Google may also list a few Google groups that you can go right to.

  3. If you go ahead with your search without choosing an option from the drop-down, you see combined search results of posts and groups (see Figure 2).

    Figure 1: Performing a search.

    Figure 1: Performing a search.

Source: google.com

Figure 2: Your search results, broken down into groups and posts.

Figure 2: Your search results, broken down into groups and posts.

Source: google.com

Luckily, the combined search results are divided by posts and groups. The group results are at the top, and you can click See All to view just all the groups. The post results appear below the group results. The results are not paginated; instead, as you scroll down, results continue to load on the same page.

The group and post results show results from both Google Groups and Usenet groups. You can tell the difference by the name of the group. Usenet groups are called something like rec.gardening.edible; Google groups have a more user friendly, conversational name, such as Gardening Society of America.

If you receive too many search results, narrow your search by including more terms in your phrase, such as tomato gardening instead of just gardening. Also, you can enclose your search term/phrase in quotation marks to find the exact term or phrase, rather than any variations.

Browse for Google groups

To browse for Google groups, just log in to Google groups and view your Home page. Click the Browse All button, which shows very broad category and region links. Clicking a category or region filters down to one sub-level of more defined categories. Choose a more defined category to view all the groups in that category. You can type in additional filtering terms, as well as filter down to language, to narrow your browsing even further.

You may notice an “Adult” category. Be careful of this as it includes sexually oriented content.