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Oak Park and River Forest High School Library: Google Search Strategies

How Search Works

Keep in Mind Boolean Operators


  • Google adds an automatic "AND" between your search terms.
  • You can do an exclusion search by putting a - in front of a word.  Google doesn't recognize the word "NOT" as an operator.
  • You can do a combination search by putting "OR" between your search terms.

Google Search Practice

Practice each of the following:‚Äč

Exact Match Search

  1. Internet protocol vulnerabilities
  2. "internet protocol vulnerabilities"

Exclusion Search

  1. mercury
  2. mercury -planet

Combination Search with the OR Boolean Operator

  1. Russia
  2. Russia OR Soviet Union

Site-specific Search

  1. income
  2. income
  3. table design
  4. table design

Important Things To Consider

  1. Every word matters.
    1. [who] vs. [a who] vs. [the who]
  2. Order Matters.
    1. [blue sky] vs. [sky blue]

Google Search Strategies

**Use Google Advanced Search**

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Combine searches

Put "OR" between each search query. For example,  marathon OR race.

Exclude words from your search

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for a specific site

Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, or

Search for related sites

Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example,

Get details about a site

Put "info:" in front of the site address.

See Google’s cached version of a site

Put "cache:" in front of the site address.


More Google search tips