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Google Quick Reference Search Guide

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Doing a search from the Google home page is pretty straightforward. Just type several unique words or phrases in the Search box and click Google Search to submit your query. Chances are you'll get pretty good results most of the time. For more precise searches, however, it helps to know a few tricks and we've collected them all in this handy reference excerpted from Diane Poremsky's new Google and Other Search Engines: Visual QuickStart Guide.
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Google Quick Reference Search Guide

Doing a search from the Google home page is pretty straightforward. Just type several unique words or phrases in the Search box and click Google Search to submit your query. Chances are you'll get pretty good results most of the time. For more precise searches, however, it helps to know a few tricks and we've collected them all in this handy reference excerpted from Diane Poremsky's new Google and Other Search Engines: Visual QuickStart Guide.

 

Google Quick Reference
F o rt h i st y p eo fs e a rc h : D o t h i s : E x a m p l e s :  
Plain-English Question Simply type a phrase or question that expresses the idea or concept, using as many words as necessary. Who invented the steam engine?
Phrase Search Type the phrase surrounded by double quotation marks (common words will be ignored, even with quotation marks). “industrial revolution”
AND Search (multiple words and phrases, each of which must be present) Type the words (or phrases in quotation marks) separated by a space, without any special punctuation. Use a plus sign (+) only if one of the words in your query is a very common word (or stopword). Edison “light bulb” +about guides history
OR Search (multiple words and phrases, any one of which may be present) Type words or phrases (no quotation marks allowed) separated by OR (full caps required). phonograph OR speaking machine
NOT Search (to exclude a word or phrase) Use a minus sign (–) directly in front of the word or phrase you want to exclude. Lincoln –”town car”
Synonym Search Use a tilde (~) in front of the search word to include synonyms in the search. ~food returns recipes and nutrition information.
Case-Sensitive Search Not available.  
Date Search Advanced search option; choose from within the last three months, six months,or year.  
Field Search Type the field-search term followed by a colon and the search word or phrase. Note that there is no space after the colon. (For fill-in-the-blanks field searching, use Advanced Search.)  
  Titles. Use allintitle: or intitle: with one or more search words. The first example would look for both words in page titles; the second would look for either word. allintitle:inventions inventors intitle:inventions inventors
  URLs. Use allinurl: or inurl: with one or more words to find in the URL. The first example you want would look for both words; the second would look up either word. allinurl:pdf 1099 inurl:patents trademarks
  Domains. Use site: followed by a domain name or type (com, edu, gov, and so on) along with the search word or phrase you want to find at that site or domain type. The first example would find pages at the National Geographic Web site that include the word inventions. The second would find government (gov) Web sites that include the word patents. site:nationalgeographic.com inventions site:gov patents
  Links. Use link: with a specific Web address to find all pages that link to that address. The example would find pages that link to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You cannot combine a link: search term with another search word or phrase. link:www.uspto.gov
Numeric Range Type the lower number, followed by three periods and the higher number. Don’t use spaces between the numbers or periods. Leave either number off to do an open-ended search. 20...30 ...100 1000...
Google Specialty Formats and Keywords  
F o r t h i s t y p e o fs e a rc h : D o t h i s : E x a m p l e s :
Address Lookup Enter the last name and the city and state or zip code. Punctuation and case are ignored. smith jackson tn
Airline Flight Information Enter the flight number. ua11 or usair 782
Airport Weather and Delays Enter the airport code followed by the word airport. jfk airport
Business Search Enter the business type and the city. The state is optional but should be used for smaller cities. pizza cleveland
Calculator Enter an equation or natural-language query. 3.6 miles in km or 5*5+23
FAA Airplane Registration Numbers Enter the plane’s number, usually found on a plane’s tail. n199ua
FCC Equipment IDs Put the word fcc before the equipment ID and include spaces or dashes. Not case sensitive. fcc B4Z-34009-PIR
FedEx Tracking Numbers Enter the tracking number. 999999999999
Map Addresses Enter the street and the city and state or zip code. Punctuation and case are ignored. 124 main johnson city tn
Patent Numbers Put the word patent before the patent number. patent 5123123
Telephone Area Codes Enter the three-digit area code. 650
Telephone Numbers (reverse lookup) Enter the 10-digit number. You can also use the traditional format, with parentheses or hyphens, but the format with periods will not work. 4235551212 or (423) 555-1212 or 423-555-1212 are acceptable; 423.555.1212 won’t work.
 UPC Codes Enter the number without spaces or dashes; be sure 073333531084 to include the first and last numbers.
UPS Tracking Numbers Enter the tracking number. 1Z9999W999999999
USPS Tracking Numbers Enter the number as received from USPS, including spaces. 1234 1234 1234 1234 1234 1234 12
Vehicle ID Numbers (VINs) Enter the number as written. 1AAAAA999A9AA99999

Plus signs are required only for very common words, which Google typically ignores. A search like this tells Google not to ignore the word about.

Use a(~) to perform a synonym search. Searching for ~food find pages about nutrition and recipes as well as food.

To produce these results, we searched for allintitle:human genome project history. Note that all of the seach terms appear in bold in the Web page titles.

The Google home page is the least cluttered among all the leading search engines. The search form gets exclusive billing, and there are no banner ads.

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