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Holmesglen's Guide to Google and Google Scholar

Advanced Google Search

A basic Google search will give you quick results, but they can be very broad and imprecise, and there may be millions of irrelevant hits.

Using the advanced search techniques, or Google Advance Search is far more precise, targeted and efficient, and will retrieve more specific search results, saving you both time and effort.

Advanced searches can also find specifically relevant information that may otherwise be difficult to find.

Advanced Search is listed under Settings, which only appears after you have done an initial search in Google.

Google search tips

You can also search Google more effectively by using advanced search techniques. 

Check the Research Skills Guide for more information about searching for resources 

Google Web Search

Basic and advanced search operators

Basic Search operators  Example 1 Example 2 Notes
AND search both/all words wage equality equal+pay Google automatically defaults to an AND search so results will include both words/terms 

"exact phrases" in quotation marks

"education outcomes"

"home based care"

Results will all include the exact phrase

 Minus sign (-) excludes words animals -dogs bread -yeast No space between minus sign (-) and word
 OR find either word/s  cats OR kittens gender OR women Must capitalise OR
Wildcard * replace words, where * can be any word  "cats * dogs" "Francis * Coppola" Useful in a phrase when you don't know one of the words. Include spaces around *

Advanced Search operators

 Example 1 Example 2 Notes
 site:specific website or type of site (refer to Website domains box below)  site:abs.gov.au site:org No space between site: and URL 
 filetype:specific file type  filetype:pdf filetype:docx No space between filetype: and file suffix
 intitle:words in the title  intitle:"my cat loves"   No space between intitle: and keywords
 intext:words in text intext:puppies intext:"best dogs" No space between intext: and keywords
 AROUND(#) number of words between two terms  cats AROUND(4) dogs dogs AROUND(9) humans Must capitalise AROUND and have no spaces before (#)

For a full list of Advanced Google operators refer to the GoogleGuide Reference Sheet

Website domains

The domain is the name of the website and the URL is the address of the website. The domain is made up of elements that you can use to help you search Google.

Country/location domain  Types of organisation domain
.au = Australia .gov = government 

.vic = Victoria (other states are .nsw, .qld, .tas etc)

.edu = education
.co = Colombia, but often used by companies .com = for profit companies
.uk = United Kindgdom .net = networks or also for profit organisations
.us = United States of America (often not included but assumed) .org = not-for-profit organisations