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Advanced Google Searching

Using Google’s Advanced Search function


Go to Google.com.

To access the Advanced Search grid, click “Settings” in the bottom-right corner and then “Advanced Search.” (You can also get to this directly by typing google.com/advanced_search.)

Cheat sheet to advanced functions

Use these with your search terms in the search field (the box where you type what you're looking for).

1.  To find an exact phrase, use quotations marks around your search term.
Example: lettuce with chicken brings up results about chicken salads, lettuce wraps, etc; “lettuce with chicken” (in quotes) brings up only pages that use the exact phrase “lettuce with chicken” with no other words between them.

2.  To exclude terms from your search results, use a minus sign (-) before the term you want to exclude.
Example: bass -music will return results about the fish, people named Bass, and the shoe company, but not about music.

3.  To narrow your search to a range of dates, prices, weights, or anything else that can be expressed in numbers, add two periods between the starting and ending points.
Example: 1950..1970 will return only pages referencing any dates in that range; $40..$100 will return prices between forty and one hundred dollars; xiv..xx will return events designated by Roman numerals between 16 and 20 (think Super Bowls, etc)

4.  To get results only from a specific website (or type of website), use site: before the website address or domain type.
Example: site:.org will only return results from sites that end in .org; site:youtube.com will only return YouTube links. Make sure you use the colon (:) after the word site!

5.  To return only certain types of files (e.g., Word docs, PDFs, PowerPoint, etc), use filetype: before the file extension.
Example: filetype:pdf will only return PDF files. Same for doc, xls, ppt, jpg, etc. Make sure you use the colon (:) after the word filetype!

These options are stackable, meaning you can use multiple search options in your search field and even within each search term.
Example: the search george washington -carver site:edu -site:gwu.edu filetype:pdf returns only PDF files about George Washington (but not George Washington Carver) from all school/college/university websites except George Washington University.