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Google search tips

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Started by Nick Ford 30 Mar 2012 11:40am () Replies (10)

Almost everything we need is out there, somewhere, on the Internet but how do we find what we want quickly and easily?

Using Google Search

For the “good oil” on Google searching visit http://support.google.com/websearch/?hl=en#topic=1221265  and http://www.google.com/help/features.html

Some tips using Google search

Phrase search ("")

By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. Google already uses the order and the fact that the words are together as a very strong signal and will stray from it only for a good reason, so quotes are usually unnecessary. By insisting on phrase search you might be missing good results accidentally. For example, a search for [ "Alexander Bell" ] (with quotes) will miss the pages that refer to Alexander G. Bell.

Search within a specific website (site:)

Google allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website. For example, the query [ iraq site:nytimes.com ] will return pages about Iraq but only from nytimes.com. The simpler queries [ iraq nytimes.com ] or [ iraq New York Times ] will usually be just as good, though they might return results from other sites that mention the New York Times. You can also specify a whole class of sites, for example [ iraq site:.gov ] will return results only from a .gov domain and [ iraq site:.iq ] will return results only from Iraqi sites.

Terms you want to exclude (-)

Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. For example, in the query [ anti-virus software ], the minus sign is used as a hyphen and will not be interpreted as an exclusion symbol; whereas the query [ anti-virus -software ] will search for the words 'anti-virus' but exclude references to software. You can exclude as many words as you want by using the - sign in front of all of them, for example [ jaguar -cars -football -os ]. The - sign can be used to exclude more than just words. For example, place a hyphen before the 'site:' operator (without a space) to exclude a specific site from your search results.

Advanced search

To access the advanced search features enter your search word(s) into the search field and click search. Look for the “Advanced search” link at the bottom of the results page

Advanced Google search can also be accessed by going to http://www.google.co.nz/advanced_search?hl=en

Here is a video on using Google advanced searching

What Google search tips do you have to share with the VLN community?

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