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VVC Library: Google Advanced Search Tips

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Google Advanced Search Tips

When searching for information on the Web, Google’s Advanced Search offers many useful options to help narrow and control your results. By combining some of the tips below, you can narrow searches to authoritative sites and “Google” more effectively and efficiently. (Note: The "Advanced Search" option is located under the  icon in the top-right of the search screen after completing any search.)

Search Tips

General Tips

1. Use the "All these words" field to include all of the terms in a search. (This is the same as Goolge's default single search field. Do not use “AND” to connect search terms. Google is not case sensitive – no need to capitalize letters. Add quotation marks around terms to be searched as a phrase)

2. Use the “Exact word or phrase” field to search multiple terms as one phrase. Example: give me liberty or give me death. (It is not necessary to include the quotation marks)

3. Use the “Any of these words” field to incorporate words with similar meaning. Example, movies films “motion pictures.” (This is the same as including "OR" between search terms)

4. Use the “None of these words” field to exclude terms that are not relevant to your topic. For example, if you are looking for information on the Harry Potter books and want to exclude information about the Harry Potter movies, add the terms movie, film, etc. (This is the same as including "NOT" between search terms. Note that Google uses the "-" symbol instead of NOT in its default search box. Example: -movie)

5. Use the “Site or domain” field to limit your search to a specific internet domain. Example: .edu for educational institutions, .gov for government sites, or enter an entire URL to search within an individual site.

6. Use the “Terms appearing” field to limit your search to terms that appear in a specific area of a Web site. Example: “In the title of the page,” “In the text of the page,” “In the URL of the page.”

Other useful search options include date, language, file type (PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), and geographic region. Also see Google Search Help for further details.

Sample Google Advanced Search

Note: The following example limits search results to government internet sites (domain = .gov) that address global warming/greenhouse effect, and the influence of cars or automobiles, but excluding the influence of factories or airlines.



Google Advanced Search


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