Advanced Searching Tools

A few favorite limiting tools

While unknown to the majority of users, Google has many advanced and special operators which are extremely useful for broadening or streamlining searches, depending on need. Here are some useful operators. (For a complete list see Google's Cheat Sheet or Google Guide.)

OR

Use OR between words or phrases to get results using either term or phrase. Google does not support full Boolean logic (see tutorial on Boolean Operators), but OR is recognized.

google search showing boolean operator OR: global warming OR climate change. In google, he OR has to be capitalized.

- minus sign

Use a minus sign to exclude a word from your results. This will streamline your results by eliminating unnecessary words or phrases.

Google search demonstrating the minus sign

" " quotation marks

Surround your terms in quotation marks to ensure Google keeps the words together. Using quotation marks around words can also create unique search terms.

google search demonstrating using quotation marks around a phrase

~ tilde

Use the tilde before your word to search for synonyms of that word. This can be useful if you want to broaden your search but cannot think of related keywords.

google search showing using a tilde in front of your search term to search for synonyms

.. numeric range

Use two periods to search a range of numbers. This type of search is useful to search specific years, as shown below, distances, or price ranges.

google search demonstrating using two periods betwen two dates to search for a numbers or dates in between.

 

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google search to demonstrate Boolean operator OR; global warming OR climate change. In google, the OR has to be all uppercase. google search demonstrating the minus sign. Search is for: "pride and prejudice" -movie google search demonstrating to use quotation marks around a phrase: "critical thinking skills" Google search demonstrating using a tilde in front of a search term to search for synonyms google search demonstrating using two periods betwen two dates to search for a numbers or dates in between