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Using Google and Google Scholar Effectively

Where is Google Search?

The quickest way to get to Google Search (if it's not a default setting in your browser) is to go to: 

google.com

Google Search Tips

Improve Your Results

Follow the directions below to improve your search results when using Google's basic search box. You can also use Google Advanced Search.


Searching for a Phrase

Enclose phrases and names in quotation marks.  This will ensure that Google searches the words as a phrase, instead of as separate words. Put quotation marks around phrases, for example:screenshot of a google search box with search terms inside the box

Other examples: 

  • "Coca-Cola Bottling Company"
  • "Taste the Feeling"
  • "One Brand"

Limiting by Domain

Limit your search to a specific domain, such as .edu, .org, .gov, .mil, or .com to minimize the number of commercial sites in your results.  You can do this in Advanced Search or by adding either site:edu or site:org or site:gov to your search. To limit your results to a specific web site or domain, add site:domain name to your search terms, for example:
screenshot of a google domain search

Other examples:

  • "business USA" site:gov
  • "cost of education" site:edu
  • "LEED certification" site:com
  • "Internet service provider" site:org

Focusing a Search

You can specify where your search terms appear -- for example, in the title of a web site -- by adding allintitle: to your search terms. For example:

Screenshot of Google allintitle search

You can focus your search further by combining advanced search features, for example:

  • allintitle: "health care" site:gov
  • allintitle: "military retiree benefits" site:mil

Finding Statistics & Government Studies

Government agencies collect and analyze statistics on a variety of topics.  You can try limiting a Google search to a government or nonprofit web site by adding site:gov or site:org to your search, for example:

"women's mental health" site:org
"National Institute of Mental Health" site:gov

For statistics or reports on a specific topic, try searching the websites of relevant government agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Justice, etc.  Here's a handy list of federal agency web sites from USA.gov: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/ 

Google Hacks

Try these hacks (shortcuts) in the basic Google Search box to focus your results. Note : Not all search operators return exhaustive results. 

Search social media

Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price

Put in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags

Put in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Exclude words from your search

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search within a range of numbers

Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches

Put "OR" between each search query. For example, marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site

Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov.

Search for related sites

Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example, related:time.com.

See Google’s cached version of a site

Put "cache:" in front of the site address.

Google Advanced Search

Go beyond the basic Google Search box! Try the Advanced Search for more options. Here is the actual page for it: Google Advanced Search.

Starting from the Google Search Home Page: You'll have to dig for the Advanced Search since it is behind the Settings link on the main Google Search page.The Settings link is in the bottom right corner of the page. Choose Advanced Search from the menu options. 

 

OR

Starting from a basic search results list: If you've already done a search in the regular (basic) Google Search box and want to switch to the Advanced Search, then click the gear icon in the top right corner of the results page to get the menu that has the Advanced Search options.

Google Advanced Search

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