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Monday, June 30, 2008

Google Search Features

Improve Your Search Experience
Doing a search on Google is easy. Simply type one or more search terms (the words or phrase that best describe the information you want to find) into the search box and hit the 'Enter'

Choosing search terms
Choosing the right search terms is the key to finding the information you need.
Start with the obvious – if you're looking for general information on Hawaii, try Hawaii.
But it's often advisable to use multiple search terms; if you're planning a Hawaiian vacation, you'll do better with vacation Hawaii than with either vacation or Hawaii by themselves. And vacation Hawaii golf may produce even better (or, depending on your perspective, worse) results.


Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results.

Automatic "and" queries
By default, Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. For example, to plan a vacation to Hawaii, simply type vacation hawaii.

Automatic exclusion of common words

Google ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.

For example, to search for Blair Witch Project, Volume I, use:

Or You Search like This:

Negative terms
If your search term has more than one meaning (bass, for example, could refer to fishing or music) you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid.

For example, here's how you'd find pages about bass-heavy lakes, but not bass-heavy music:

"I'm Feeling Lucky"

After you've entered your search terms, you might want to try the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which takes you straight to the most relevant website that Google found for your query. You won't see the search results page at all, but if you did, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" site would be listed on top.

For example, if you're looking for the Stanford University homepage, just enter Stanford and click "I'm Feeling Lucky" instead of the Google Search button. Google will take you directly to "www.stanford.edu."

Related: Advanced Google Search

Related: Help and other Google Search Features

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