This guide was adapted from Illinois University Library's "A Student Researcher's Guide to Google Searching." Many thanks to them for permission to adapt their resource.
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: http://www.google.com/advanced_search
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.
" " 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.
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
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 -- related:www.stumbleupon.com
Use related to find pages related to the page you are searching for. Can be an extremely effective way of finding new websites.
cache -- cache:www.whitehouse.gov
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.