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Google Search Tips: Advanced Features. By Robin Hartman, Associate Librarian Darling Library – Hope International University Adapted from “A Google Gambol” (Internet Librarian 2003) Greg Notess, Creator, Search Engine Showdown & Reference Librarian, Montana State University

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google search tips advanced features

Google Search Tips:Advanced Features

By Robin Hartman, Associate Librarian

Darling Library – Hope International University

Adapted from “A Google Gambol” (Internet Librarian 2003)

Greg Notess, Creator, Search Engine Showdown

& Reference Librarian, Montana State University

Updated by Bethany Ahlberg 8/2/07

advanced features of google
Advanced Features of Google
  • Fill in the Blanks – “*”
  • Diacritics
  • Query modifiers
  • GAPS (proximity search)
fill in the blanks1
Fill in the Blanks – “*”

You can replace unknown words with an asterisk - “*”.

Google returns results substituting the “*” with words most frequently used in the context of the query.

possible uses for

Busted!

Possible Uses for “*”

Searching out suspected plagiarism.

possible uses for1
Possible Uses for “*”

Including results with common misspellings.

All spellings of a word will be found.

possible uses for2
Possible Uses for “*”

Finding common variations.

fun with
Fun with “*”

Finding parodies.

fill in the blanks2

…Google will treat the characters on either side of the “*” like separate keywords.

Fill in the Blanks – “*”

Replacing a character.

If you try to use “*” to fill in a letter, number, or symbol…

diacritics1
Diacritics

If you search for a word with a diacritic (distinguishing mark) in it…

…will Google return results with or without the diacritic?

diacritics2
Diacritics

The answer is: both!

A search for unité produces results for both unite and unité.

diacritics3
Diacritics

To limit your search to only unité, add a “-” followed by unite.

diacritics4
Diacritics

Notice how the number of results has decreased.

query modifiers1
Query Modifiers
  • Use these commands in the search window.
    • intitle: Find sites with one search term in the title.
    • allintitle: Find sites with all search terms in the title.
    • inurl: Find sites with one search term in the URL.
    • allinurl: Find sites with all search terms in the URL.
    • site: Limit your search to a specific web site.
    • filetype: Specify a type of document to search.
query modifiers intitle
Query Modifiers – intitle:

Find sites with one search term in the title.

query modifiers intitle1

…and ingredient anywhere in the document.

Query Modifiers – intitle:

This search returns sites with the word shampooin the title…

Find sites with one search term in the title.

query modifiers allintitle
Query Modifiers – allintitle:

Find sites with ALL search terms in the title.

query modifiers allintitle1
Query Modifiers – allintitle:

Notice fewer “hits” when shampoo AND ingredient must be found in the title of the page.

Find sites with all search terms in the title.

query modifiers inurl
Query Modifiers – inurl:

Find sites with one search term in the URL.

query modifiers inurl1

…and ingredient anywhere in the document.

Query Modifiers – inurl:

This search returns sites with the word shampooin the URL…

Find sites with one search term in the URL.

query modifiers allinurl
Query Modifiers – allinurl:

Find sites with ALL search terms in the URL.

query modifiers allinurl1
Query Modifiers – allinurl:

Notice fewer “hits” when shampoo AND ingredient must be found in the title of the page.

Find sites with all search terms in the URL.

query modifiers site
Query Modifiers – site:

Limit your search to a specific web site.

query modifiers site1

Enter search terms, then qualifier.

Finds elephant race on the Cal State Fullerton site.

Query Modifiers – site:

Example 1

Limit your search to a specific web site.

query modifiers site2

Enter search terms, then qualifier.

Finds dinosaur on the Smithsonian Institute site.

Query Modifiers – site:

Example 2

Limit your search to a specific web site.

query modifiers site3

Enter search terms, then qualifier.

Limits search of schwarzenegger to official California senate pages.

Query Modifiers – site:

Example 3

Limit your search to a specific web site.

query modifiers filetype1
Query Modifiers – filetype:

pdf – Adobe readable files

Specify a type of document to search.

query modifiers filetype2
Query Modifiers – filetype:

pdf – Adobe readable files

doc – Microsoft Word documents

Specify a type of document to search.

query modifiers filetype3
Query Modifiers – filetype:

pdf – Adobe readable files

doc – Microsoft Word documents

mdb – Microsoft Access databases

Specify a type of document to search.

query modifiers filetype4

D’oh!

If you get no results from Google Web, try Google Images.

Query Modifiers – filetype:

pdf – Adobe readable files

doc – Microsoft Word documents

mdb – Microsoft Access databases

jpg, gif, tif – graphics and photos

Specify a type of document to search.

query modifiers filetype5
Query Modifiers – filetype:

pdf – Adobe readable files

doc – Microsoft Word documents

mdb – Microsoft Access databases

jpg, gif, tif – graphics and photos

ppt – Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

Specify a type of document to search.

using multiple query modifiers

Key words, plus…

…site: modifier, plus…

Voilà!

Search of shampoo ingredient limited to find only PowerPoint files on official California government pages.

…filetype: modifier…

…equals…

Using Multiple Query Modifiers
gaps by staggernation com
GAPS by staggernation.com

Searching for all kinds of cookierecipes with chocolate – but not oatmeal?

slide39

http://www.staggernation.com

This search will return:

Chocolate chip cookierecipe

Chocolate cookierecipe

Chocolate covered cherry cookierecipe

gaps by staggernation com1
GAPS by staggernation.com
  • Google API Proximity Search
    • A script that searches Google for two search terms that appear within a certain proximity of each other on a page.
      • Studies show that the closer search terms are in proximity, the better chance that the document is relevant to the searcher’s need.
    • For more info go to: http://www.staggernation.com/gaps/readme.html
search engine showdown1
Search Engine Showdown
  • For in depth information on how Google and other web search engines work, go to Greg Notess’ Search Engine Showdown: The User’s Guide to Web Searching at http://www.searchengineshowdown.com/
see more google1
See More Google
  • This is one of three presentations on Google Search Tips. Others include:
    • Lesser Used Features
    • Lesser Used Databases
    • Advanced Functions
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