Privacy and Cookies

Search Strategies Home Page

Selected Google Commands

Google Search Tips

Top Search Tips (HTML)
(PDF version)

Summary & Comparison of Commands (HTML)
(
PDF Version)

Selected Google Commands

PDF Version

Command What it does Example
" " Double quote marks around terms to search for a phrase . (Google sometimes ignores quote marks if your search returns zero or what it thinks are too few results). "spending review" looks for spending immediately followed by review
+

The plus sign is no longer available in web search for forcing an exact match search. Use intext: before single words or the Verbatim option in the Search options links above your results. (Search tools, All results, Verbatim). It can still be used in Google Scholar, though. Simply add the + sign to the front of your term (no spaces).

north sea +norne oil field
- Minus sign before a term excludes pages containing that term. It can also be used before commands, for example to exclude a particular site or domain from a search. zeolites -site:wikipedia.org
OR Use OR to specify alternative terms. OR must be in capital letters. oil OR petroleum
* Use the asterisk to stand in for 1 to 5 terms between two words. Useful when you are not sure of the industry jargon and for identifying additional search terms and phrases. solar * panels finds solar PV panels, solar photovoltaic panels, solar electricity panels, solar water heating panels
.. Numeric range search. This can be used with numbers of any kind for example years, temperatures, weights, prices, distances. Separate the two values in your search by two full stops (no spaces). See also numrange: TV advertising spend forecast 2013..2018
cache: cache: followed by the URL of a page displays Google's cached version of a web page instead of the current version of the page. cache:www.cilip.org.uk
daterange: To specify documents with a date that falls within a specified range. Uses the Julian date format without fractions (for a converter see http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/JulianDate.php). Useful if you want to limit by date when using Verbatim. daterange:2456098-2456104 Cameron housing benefits
define:

Finds definitions and synonyms of words. Also provides information on the origin of a word, use over time and translations. (No colon is required after ‘define').

define dialectic
filetype: Restricts your results to the specified file format. zeolites environmental remediation filetype:pdf
intext: Word must be in the text of the page and match exactly your term. Very useful now that Google no longer gives you pages containing all of your search terms and automatically runs synonym searches UK public transport intext:biodiesel
intitle: Searches for pages that have the term or phrase immediately following intitle: in the title of the page. Other terms can be anywhere in the document. statistics intitle:"diabetic retinopathy"
inurl: Searches for pages that have the term or phrase following inurl: in the URL. Other terms can be anywhere in the document. inurl:coffee UK consumption 2011
numrange: The older version of numeric range search but still works. TV advertising spend forecast numrange:1-5 kg
related: Finds pages that are similar in content and from similar organisations. related:www.statistics.gov.uk
site: Restricts your search to the specified site or domain. car ownership site:statistics.gov.uk

Last updated December 16, 2014

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/  Copyright © 2013 Karen Blakeman