This Week's Tip

Weekly>Techtip>Searching with GoogleCommunication Minute: Using Google To Find What You Need

One of the most widely used tools on the web is Google. Here are a few simple tips to make your searches more powerful:


  • Less is More: Instead of using a full sentence, such as "Which vegetable is the most popular in the United States" simply search for "popular vegetable united states" and quickly look through your results to find what you need.
  • Use unique and descriptive terms: Try to use words that are unique to what you are searching for. For example, use "carnivore" instead of "meat eating animal."
  • Use quotation marks to search for exact text: If you are looking for a quote, put it in quotation marks. This is especially useful for looking up computer error messages!
  • Start broad, then narrow your scope: If there are a few good results in your first set that all contain the same word, add that to your search and look again.
  • Use '-' to remove a word: If there is a word you don't want to include in results, add a minus sign in front. "Frankfort -Kentucky" would search for results that include Frankfort but not Kentucky.
  • Use '~' to look for synonyms: Instead of using a thesaurus, you can have Google search for synonyms by simply putting a tilde (it's on the key above Tab) in front of a word. "Cow ~facts" will search for pages containing "facts, information, trivia" and many other words along with "Cow."

You can find more information about using Google on their help pages: