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Google Search Tips


Not getting what you're looking for when you search?

Try these advanced Google search strategiesSample searches are in [square brackets]

Strategy What it does Example
OR searching for one term OR another term [Istanbul OR Constantinople]
site: searches only within a specific site (or subdomain) [schedule]
filetype: search for a specific type of file (ex. PPT, PDF, XLS) [lesson plan filetype:ppt]
-term eliminate terms from your results [mullet -hair]
word * word * is a placeholder that will be filled in with any word [every year * people...]

find exact word - no synonyms. Also indicates that a term

must be in the results

"set of words" search for an exact quote or phrase ["I have a dream"]
around(X) Find pages containing two words or phrases within X words of each other [student AROUND(3) activism]

search within a specific country using the top level domain (tld)

search [tld countryname] to find the top level domain

[vaccination site:jp]
context term add a term to your search to specify the type of source you're looking for

ex: [map], [timeline], [schematic], [infographic] [chart]

Use the menus in your search results to narrow and refine results

Specify a time period (Click on Tools --> Any time to select a time range or enter a custom range)

Sort image results by color (Tools --> Color) 


Limit video search results by duration (Tools --> Any duration)

Use specialized search tools:

Ngram Viewer - charts the frequency of terms/search strings as they appear in GoogleBooks data from 1500-2019

Dataset Search - search for and download datasets

Google Scholar - search for academic journals (note: not all will be publicly available)

Reverse Image Search - click on the camera to upload an image to search for

Google Trends - explore the popularity of search terms over time and in different locations