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Advanced Google Searching

Key Points to Always Apply to Your Search

CHOICE OF WORDS-The more precise your keywords, the better the results.

  • Don't use full questions
  • Avoid redundant or uneccessary terms
  • Break query down into small questions
  • Being too specifc or using too many keywords can impact and result in less than ideal results

WORD ORDER - Position keywords from left to right in order of importance. 

PHRASES ("  ") Always place phrases in quotes or Google will search for the words separately.

  • For example: "not for profit"; "private equity"; "voter registration"
  • For example, stock options will search for the words: stock and options separately, and then stock options together.

AND -Google looks for all keywords to appear in each returned website or document. It automatically inserts AND between each of your terms unless you tell it otherwise.

  • For example: environmental social governance innovations-will search each word separately.
    • environmental AND social AND governance AND innovations-this is how Google interprets the above search.
    • "environmental social governance" innovations -is a more precise search.
    • Try the search using the words in a row without "  " , and then with the words "environmental social governance" innovation and compare the results.
  • Since AND is the default, you do not have to include it in your search.

OR -combine Searches (like concepts/synonyms) with OR to maximize best results. Note: Always capitalize OR.

  • For example: AI OR "artificial intelligence" OR "machine learning"
  • can substitue for OR, cat | dog. This is known as a pipe operator.

COMBINING AND & OR -Always separate AND & OR logic statements with parenthesis/parentheses (    ).

  • For example: ("social media" OR "social platform") AND (trends OR statistics OR forecasts)

EXCLUDING WORDS or NOT (-) -Place a minus sign " -" in front of the word(s) you wish to leave out.

  • For example: jaguar speed - car .   This tells your search to include the jaguar (the animal) NOT the car.

WILDCARDS - (* ) substitues for missing letter or word.

  • William * Gates -William H. Gates
  • "Candle in the *".  -Candle in the Wind

AROUND -used to help determine how close words are to each. More precise than combining with AND. AROUND must be capitalized. Put the maximum number terms should be apart in ( ) parentheses.