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Google Search Tips

Tips for more sophicated Google searching

Advanced Search Terms: Combining Search Commands

These search examples combine different Google search options. Many of the searches can also be done in Google's Advanced Search interface.

"Euro Crisis" site:ie

Searches for Irish websites [site:ie] that have the term "Euro Crisis" somewhere as a phrase. Further refine the search by date by selecting "Search Tools" and entering a time range.

hurricane OR disaster

Searches websites that link to for results that have the word hurricane and/or the word disaster. A useful way to find government websites that provide disaster relief. Once a website is found, use related:[url] operator to find more similar websites.

Blagojevich AROUND(3) corruption inurl:illinois

Searches websites that have "illinois" in the URL and that have Blagojevich's name within three words of corruption. Use the AROUND operator to find items with the terms "Blagojevich" and "corruption" near each other. 

"alcohol advertising" -wine filetype:ppt

Searches Google for Powerpoint files related to alcohol advertising but that do not explicity mention wine. Tl further narrow the search, modify the first part to read allintitle:"alcohol advertising" (searches only for presentations with "alcohol advertising" in the title).

"Who Cares?" Search Strategy

When looking for information using Google, one strategy is to ask yourself, "Who would care about this information?" or "What organization would devote time and money to answering this question?" Then search Google for that organization's resources, rather than using Google to search directly for the information.

Libraries, corporations, government agencies, universities, and journalists can be good sources of information. Below are examples of using Google to locate these information sources. This can be more efficient than trying to use Google alone to find the information. Instead you can use Google to find the best portal to the "invisible web" or to others who might have the information you're looking for.

Problem: You need information on advertising rates in airports and bus terminals.

Search Strategy: The search "advertising airports bus terminals" yields many results that are not useful. The search allintitle:"advertising rates" takes you to Clear Channel Outdoor, an advertising division that deals with advertising outside the home. This page gives rates and contact information. You could also Google allintitle:"airport advertising" to just get Clear Channel's airport webpage. 


Problem: You want to know about busy travel days in the United States and other travel statistics.

Search Strategy: The search "busy travel days united states" yields a set of unreliable sources. Enter transportation site:gov to get dozens of helpful government websites that will have reliable information on the topic.


Problem: You are looking for African websites on the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Search Strategy: Googling "AIDS Africa" gives you a lot of information about AIDS in Africa, but it may be hard to find websites that are African-based. Google "AIDS websites Africa" to get resources with lists of websites. You can then select relevant websites from those lists. Use the related:[url] operator to see more websites like the ones you've found. For example: related: