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Google Searching: Search Tips

Google Search Tips

Find a Phrase

Use quotes around a phrase to keep the words together

"nanaimo river basin"

Combine Search Terms

Use a + symbol to add combine search terms

ebooks +free

This search will return free ebook links.

Find Similar

Use a ~ before a word to find other similar words

MLA citation ~guide

This search will pick up guides, manuals, reference documents related to MLA citation style.

Take A Word Out

Use the minus key to remove a concept from your search.

jaguar -car -automobile

This search will look for jaguars other than cars and automobiles.

Fill in the Blanks

If you don't know a word, use a *.

Origin of *

Find Keywords in a Specific Site

Use site:<> to limit your search to a specific site.


This search will look for tshirts within the site

Find a Specific File Type

Use filetype:<whatever file type>

"social media" filetype:ppt

This search will look for PowerPoint presentations on social media.

Find summary information about a URL

Use info:<url> to retrieve summary information

This search will attempt to retrieve information including:

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KJ Reed
Assessment and Data Librarian
Vancouver Island University
900 Fifth Street
Nanaimo, BC
V9R 5S5

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