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12 Things You Want to Know about Resources: Google

This guide targets students in the areas of Arts and Social Sciences. All the pages will be updated to provide new features.

How to Effectively Use Google

Google provides a list of search operators, which allow us to effectively retrieve information via Google, Google Books, and Google Scholar. With my comments, I included these symbols and operators in this guide. Please also visit the original Google Search Operator page.

★ Punctuation & symbols

Quotation marks and asterisk are particularly useful. For example, when you know a title of an article/book, use quotation marks to find the information on the title.

Symbol

How to use it

"

When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include pages with the same words in the same order as the ones inside the quotes. Only use this if you're looking for an exact word or phrase, otherwise you'll exclude many helpful results by mistake.
Example: "imagine all the people"

*

Add an asterisk as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. .
Example: "a * saved is a * earned"

-

When you use a dash before a word or site, it excludes sites with that info from your results. This is useful for words with multiple meanings, like Jaguar the car brand and jaguar the animal.
Examples: jaguar speed -car or pandas -site:wikipedia.org

★ Search operators

Search operators are words that can be added to searches to help narrow down the results. Don’t worry about memorizing every operator, because you can also use the Advanced Search page to create these searches.

You can save your time at least if you know how to use site: [e.g., 1) site:.edu ➞ You can limit your search within American universities. 2) site:.ac.uk ➞ You can limit your search within universities in the United Kingdom.)

). For example, we use Google to find out government publications. When there are so many pages within a government website, but its search function is not effective, use site:.

Operator

How to use it

site:

Get results from certain sites or domains.
Examples: olympics site:nbc.com and olympics site:.gov

link:

Find pages that link to a certain page.
Example: link:youtube.com

related:

Find sites that are similar to a web address you already know.
Example: related:time.com

OR

Find pages that might use one of several words.
Example: marathon OR race

info:

Get information about a web address, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site.
Example: info:google.com

cache:

See what a page looks like the last time Google visited the site.
Example: cache:washington.edu

Note: When you search using operators or punctuation marks, don't add any spaces between the operator and your search terms. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com won't.

For the direct page, go to Google Search Operator

Question? Ask your librarian!

Last Updated: September 8, 2015
Created by Y. Umetsubo

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