Google Search Tips

Here is a condensed collection of some of the most effective, quick-and-dirty Google search techniques out there. These examples will make it easy for you to perform efficient searches just by using the standard Google interface.

Have you ever been baffled by the sheer number of search results you get while searching in Google? Who hasn’t? There are often just too many results to be able to deal with them effectively. This summary of search tips for the standard Google interface will help you make your full-text searches become more productive. After all, less is more. So let’s get going!

AND

The Google search engine uses the so-called Boolean AND by default. All that means is that Google automatically searches for all of the words you enter.
For example, the entry moped aardvark peanuts will only find the entries that contain all three of these words.

OR (or the “pipe” symbol |)

You can specify that any of those three words are acceptable by using the modifier OR. If your entry is now moped OR aardvark OR peanuts you will notice a considerable difference in the number of returns you get.

Quotation marks

What’s the difference between typing pink monkey and “pink monkey”? Because of the default Boolean AND, the pink monkey search will result in finding all documents in which both the individual words pink and monkey are present. The “pink monkey” search will only locate the documents in which the term pink monkey is present.

Parenthesis ( )

If you are sure about one search term, but not so sure about the others, you can group them together with parenthesis. For example, moped (aardvark OR peanuts) will search for all of the instances of aardvark or peanuts along with the word moped.

Minus sign –

If you want to make sure that a particular query item does not appear in your search results, simply use a minus sign. Example: moped aardvark -peanuts.

filetype:

The term filetype: helps you to search for specific filename extensions. For example, moped filetype:doc will only show you the search result documents that have the extension .doc.

site:

The term site: will help you to search at either a specific site or a top-level domain. Try idaho site:gov if all you are looking for is information about Idaho in the .gov top-level domain.

intext:

The term intext: searches for text in the body of a page. Try intext:”the blue moped” or intext:”four score and seven years ago”.

intitle:

intitle: will limit your searches to titles of web pages. For example: intitle:”tiny tim”.

inurl:

inurl: cuts your search down to the URLs of web pages. Example: inurl:”google search tips”.

phonebook:

That’s right! You can also search for telephone numbers in Google. Try phonebook:george bush DC.

bphonebook:

Search for “businesses”, too. bphonebook:airport san francisco.

And remember the 10 word limit!

Google doesn’t like your queries to be any longer than 10 “words” (the keywords and the syntax included). In some instances you can help yourself here with the wildcard symbol: *. Google doesn’t count this wildcard toward that limit.

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