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Google Search Tips

Tips for more sophicated Google searching

Google Advanced Search

Because Google likes to keep its main search page as simple as possible, there is no quick way to access the Advanced Search from the default Google page.

To access Advanced Search, enter a search and click the gear icon on the right side of the results page. If you use Advanced Search often, you can bookmark the URL:



Advanced search offers multiple options for building a search.



                             The "Last updated" field is especially helpful if you are looking for recent publications.

Google considers the order of your search terms: words that are closer together in your search are more highly ranked in the results. Order your search terms accordingly. 

Common Search Commands

" "    Quotations marks indicate that words should appear together as a phrase. Otherwise Google searches for items that include both terms, but not necessarily the terms together.   

                  Example: "solar industry"

     The minus sign is equal to saying "not" or "don't include this in the search results". 

                  Example: diet soda -pepsi

*     The asterisk is sometimes known as the "wildcard". Use this if you're unsure of a word in a phrase

                 Example: seven habits * people

OR Use OR to search for results that have one or both of your search terms. This works especially well for related terms and synonyms. In Google, OR must be capitalized for the search to work correctly.

                 Example: college OR university

~  A tilde in front of a word will search for that word and its synonyms. Note that there is no space between the tilde and the word.

                 Example: ~crime

AROUND(n) Searches for words that are within a certain range of other words. You must capitalize AROUND for this to work.

                 Example: AROUND(3) environment

Other Useful Search Functions

intitle  -- intitle:Louisiana hurricane

Google search for items with "Louisiana" in the page title and with "hurricane" anywhere in the results.

allintitle  -- allintitle:Louisiana hurricane

Google searches for page titles that include the terms "Louisiana" and "hurricane".

inurl -- inurl:"new jersey"

Find pages based on the URL. Combining the above search term with, for instance, the word "engineering" will search for URLs that contain the phrase "new jersey" and that include "engineering" somewhere in the results.

site -- site:de

Find pages from an organization, geographical region, or a web domain (e.g., .com or .org). The above search [site:de] will find German websites.

link -- link:"new jersey".edu

The link feature finds pages containing links to a specific website. The above search, for example, will list all websites that link to "new jersey".edu.

related --

Use related to find pages related to the page you are searching for. Can be an extremely effective way of finding new websites.

cache --

This operator will show an older, saved version of a website. If someone takes a webpage down you may be able to use cache to access a version of the page before it was changed.

filetype -- filetype:pdf

Searches for a specific type of file.

*Note the spacing of these examples. If a space is inserted between the command and the search term, the search will not work correctly.