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Database and Google Search Tips: Google Search Tips

Google Search Tips

You can use symbols or terms in your search to make your search results more precise. Here's an overview of some of the most useful search tricks.

Google and Databases

  • "X X" Putting double quotes around a phrase will find only that exact phrase, e.g. "climate change"
  • AND, OR, NOT.  Use these words between search terms when searching databases. e.g. climate AND change searches for both words in the page, climate OR change looks for either word, climate NOT change looks for results with the word climate but not the word change.
  • Google's default is to look for all the words in your search. Using OR (must be capitalized) will allow you to look for any one or more of the words.
  • site:X  This search tells Google to limit your search to a particular site or domain.  For instance, if you limit to site:robcol.k12.tr you would only search the Robert College site.  Similarly site:gov would search only sites ending in .gov, and site:edu would search only sites ending in .edu.
  • filetype:X  Using filetype: will only find certain file extensions (.doc, .pdf, .xcl, etc)
  • link:X  Will list sites that gives link to the URL.
  • Search social media
    Put @ in front of a term to search social media. For example: @twitter.
  • Search hashtags
    Puting # in front of a word. For example: #
  • Use “DEFINE:” to learn the meaning of words

You can also combine some of these search tricks, such as adding -site:nytimes.com to remove results from the New York Times website.  Click here to find more search tips.

You can use Google Advanced Search Page if you forget the search operators above. 

Google Image Search

  • Ever come across a photo that looks strangely familiar? Or if you want to know where it came from? If you save the image, and then search it on Google Images (with the camera button), you’ll be able to see similar images on the web.