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Google Search: 10 Search Tips

This guide discusses basic and advanced Google search features.

10 ways to search Google like an expert

  1. Get specific with quotes ("")
    Google looks for all of the words you enter. To maintain the integrity of your sentence and eliminate many false positive results use quotations marks.
  2. Search within a specific website (site:)
    You are able to limit your search to within a particular website, or web domain. A search for .gov information would look as follows: literacy statistics
  3. Subtract terms you want to exclude (-)
    As though you are using a calculator you are able to subtract terms you do not want to appear in your results: football -soccer.
  4. Add terms you want to include ("")
    An opposite approach is make sure that a word appears in all of your results. To do so, simply place quotation marks around the single term ("hydrogen").
  5. Use the Advanced Search Page
    There is no need to rely on the basic options. Get advanced!
  6. The OR operator
    Using the OR operator between words allows you to search for synonymns and spelling variations.  The following example will search for "worldcup football OR soccer."
  7. Specific Document Types:
    You can limit your results to certain file types. These file types include PDF, PowerPoint, Word Document and Excel Spreadsheet. Here is a list of file types indexable by Google.
  8. Set your preferences:
    Setting your search preferences will result in saving you time. Two quick methods are to increase the number of hits that you retrieve during a search (i.e., 100), and to turn on query suggestions.
  9. intitle/allintitle, inurl, allinurl
    Get specific by searching within a title, or url.
  10. Find similar words
    Finally, if you would like Google to consider synonyms, you can search for similar word by using the tilde (~). If you would like your results to contain similar words or synonyms use the "~" in front of the word.  Example: "internet marketing" ~professional
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