Utilizing Google’s Search Operators: Getting the Best Results for your Search

Everyone uses some type of search engine everyday of their life. We use search engines for research, the weather, directions, addresses, facts we are curious about, school work, and pretty much everything else we need to or want to know. There are many different search engines;  Google, Bing, and Yahoo are probably most commonly used but there are others. Some of these search engines have different ways to make searches more defined. I will focus on how to use Google’s advanced search features so that you can get the best results from your search.

First, there is a lengthy advanced search that can filter exactly what you would like to search for. Here’s what this looks like with a link to get to it…




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This lengthy process does work but sometimes it is more efficient just to type something into the search box provided.

I will explain how to use a few shortcuts that will help you to easily and quickly define your searches. The first technique I will explain is using quotes (” “) around words. When used, Google will search for exact words or phrases. When using it, it looks like this: “Search for these words”.

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This is very useful for when you know the exact words of a phrase but you do not know where it came from (and would like to know). Another helpful search operator is an asterisk (*). This can be used when looking for a phrase/quote but you just don’t remember one of the words. It can be used with quotes to help increase the usefulness, finding phrases that have similar wording. In practice, it looks like this: ” * High School”. (This search will bring up a bunch of different high school names).

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Another search operator is the “or” (OR) command. This allows results for websites that were search for a match of either word. For example: ‘ Summer Olympics swimming OR water polo ‘ would bring up a search with either Summer Olympics of swimming or water polo (or both).

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For more Google search operators with full explanations of how to use them, go to the following link:


Many of these search tools can come in handy when you need them. They are quicker and easier to use than a full advanced search. Just knowing that there are search operators that are available to use helps because it can save you the frustration of not finding what you are looking for. Because you know that search operators exist, you can do a Google search for them and use them even if you have not memorized them. My hope is that you will find this information useful so that you can better search the internet for the articles, documents, facts and other information that you are looking for.


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