Search Engines - make them work for you!
Click on the headings below for more information.
Select the best keywords
- Be specific in the keywords you enter in a search engine. The more specific you are, the more relevant your results will be.
- Nothing relevant? - change your keywords
Use Advanced Search options
- Advanced search will let you restrict your search to a domain, a time period, a format and many more options.
Phrase searching – using Quotation Marks
- If your search term is a phrase rather than an individual word, enclose it in inverted commas.
For example “Sydney Opera House” This means that you want these words to occur one after the other in the document.
Logic – using logical operators
- AND Links two terms with the operator AND, requires that both terms MUST appear in the document. For example, Sydney AND Olympics will retrieve only pages with both terms present.
- OR Links two terms with the operator OR, will return results where either word appears in the document. For example, computer OR PC will retrieve pages using either term
- NOT Allows you to remove all pages from the results list containing a particular word. For example: drug abuse NOT alcohol will return pages about drug abuse that do not refer to alcohol.
- Use a + sign in front of a word to ensure that the word appears in the results, but do not leave a space between the + and the word. For example, +Macbeth +film
- Use a -sign in front of a word to exclude it from results. For example, to search for information about cats, but not the musical named Cats, try cats –musical
Wildcards and truncation
- Truncation is used instead of the Boolean operator OR where there are several possible endings.
For example: comput* will retrieve computers, computing, as well as computation.