Skip to main content

COM356 Advanced Reporting: Search Engines

LibGuide for COM356

Google Advanced Search Tips & Tricks

Build a Better Search

Google Operators:

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
    Example: "journalism ethics" - finds the words journalism and ethics together as a phrase
  • Use intitle: to look for your term(s) in the titles of webpages
    Example: intitle:"journalism ethics"
  • Use site: to restrict to a certain website or domain extension.
    tax forms site:.al.us will find the keywords tax and forms on an Alabama government website with the extension .al.us
    Example: operators site:google.com: intitle: google will finds pages on google that have the word operators
  • Search for a number range using two dots (without spaces)
    Example: scanners $150..$300 should find pages with scanncers priced between $150 and $300
  • Use a minus sign to exclude a word or term
    Example: "journalism ethics" -site:comwill find the phrase journalism ethics but will exclude all results from .com addresses

For more on Google operators, visit http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861.

You can do most of the functions above, without knowing the "operators," by using the Advanced Search screen. To access the Advanced Search, click the gear icon in the top right corner of the search results page then click Advanced search.


For more informaiton about how google works, visit http://www.google.com/competition/howgooglesearchworks.html.

Evaluting Web Sources - Handout & Tutorial

Check out the Internet Detective online tutorial from Intute Virtual Training Suite and the handout below for more information about evaluating web sources. Also remember that snopes.com is a good place to read more about urban legends.

Search Google

Google Web Search

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Evaluting Web Pages - Tricks & Tools

Another way to evaluate websites is to use a site such as register.com or GoDaddy to do a "whois" search for the site. This will show you information about who "owns" the domain.

You can also use Google to see what pages link to a specific address. To do this, simply type link: followed by the website address (with no spaces after the colon).

Want to see what a webpage looked like in the past? Use the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. See also the webpage Finding Old Web Pages.

What's in a name? For help understanding what the different domain extensions tell about a website, visit the ISO's decoding table.