This is the "Google: Basic Searches" page of the "Google Search Tips" guide.
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Google Search Tips  

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Google: Basic Searches Print Page

Basic Search Tips

1. Keep your searches simple. Don't use full sentences, or punctuation marks. Use as few words as possible.

2. Make those words you do use as descriptive as possible.

For example, if you are looking for information on Western Europe during the Cold War: 

INCORRECT search: history of Europe during the Cold War

CORRECT search: western europe cold war

3. If you want to specify that you do not want a term to appear in your search results use the - function directly before the word you wish to exclude.

Example: middle east -iraq

4. If you want your search results to contain an exact phrase, put that phrase in quotation marks.

Example: "college application process"

Combining two or more of the search tips on this page: 


    Searching using Variations of Words and Phrases

    1. Use OR to indicate that your results do not need to contain all of your keyword terms.

    Example: Iran OR Iraq

    2. If you are comfortable with synonyms of a word appearing in your search, use the ~ function (tilde function), followed directly by the word you are open to synonyms of.

    Example: ~drinks

    3. If you want to search for results containing a specific phrase, but you are not sure of the exact phrase, put the phrase (including the part you are unsure of) in quotation marks, and use the * function (asterisk function) in place of the part you are unsure of. Google will then return results that complete the phrase and that contain the specific phrase you are looking for.

    Example: You want your search results to include John F. Kennedy's famous quote from his 1961 Inaugural Address: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." However, you are not sure if Kennedy used "your country" or "America."

    Your search would look like this: "Ask not what * can do for you - ask what you can do for *"

    Combining two or more of the search tips on this page:




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