Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Boolean
Searching

Default AND to narrow

Example: physician assisted suicide



OR to combine synonymous terms

Example: bipolar OR manic depressive



- to eliminate terms

Example: dolphins -football


Nesting

( ) to nest synonymous terms when the search statement also contains the default AND Boolean Operator.

Example: hate crimes (teens OR childs)


Phrase
Searching

" "

Example: "physician assisted suicide"


Truncation

Stemming Technology

Automatic


Wildcard

* Use in place of common words in long search statements to work around limit of 10 search terms/syntaxes.

Example: "* * nothing * * * blood toil tears * sweat" Churchill "world war"


Stop words

Use + to force common words if important for the search.

Example: "+to +be +or +not +to +be"


Field
Searching

Field Searching is one of the most effective ways to narrow and customize a search in Google. Special syntaxes are used to designate various types of field searches.

See below, Useful Special Syntaxes and Mixing Syntaxes


Synonymous Terms

~ immediately before a key term will search for synonyms.

Example: ~buildings




Special Syntax

intitle:

This syntax restricts a search to titles of Web sites; it can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search. An alternative syntax, allintitle: looks for all the words in the title of a Web site; allintitle: does not mix well with other syntaxes.

Example: intitle:"bob marley" "popular music"

inurl:

This syntax restricts a search to the URLs of Web sites. It can be an effective way to find sites from within a domain, directory or path; it can also be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search. See site: below.

Example: intitle:"civil liberties" terrorism inurl:cnn
Example: intitle:turkey intitle:carve inurl:help
Example: inurl:butterflygardening

site:

This syntax allows you to limit a search to a site or a top level domain. It is similar to inurl: but will not search for a site within a subdirectory (i.e., anything beyond the /). Some advantages to using inurl: over site: are:
You can use inurl: by itself without using any other search terms or
syntaxes.
You can use inurl: to search subdirectories.

Example: intitle:"hate crimes" site:gov
Example: intitle:"hate crimes" OR "gay bashing" site:org
Example: intitle:"binge drinking" site:edu

intext:

This syntax searches for words in only the text of a Web site. It ignores link text, URLs and titles which makes it a useful syntax for finding search words that are commonly used in URLs or links. It can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search.

Example: intext:html site:edu
Example: intext:"google.com" inurl:help

inanchor:

This syntax searches for text in a Web site's link anchors (i.e., the text you click on get to a Web site). Since the anchor text for a link is usually descriptive of the page it links to, the inanchor: syntax can be a useful way to limit a search to relevant sites. It can be effectively combined with other syntaxes to customize a search.

Example: inanchor:"Google Help"
Example: inanchor:AIDS inanchor:grants
site:gov

For a fun experiment, try typing your name as a phrase with the inanchor: syntax!

link:

This syntax returns a list of Web sites linking to a specific URL. The link: syntax can not be combined with another syntax.

Example: link:www.linccweb.org

daterange:

This syntax allows you to limit a search to a specific date or range of dates that a site was indexed by Google (this is not the same as the date the site was created.) The only drawback to this syntax is that it works with the Julian Calendar, not the Gregorian Calendar (the one we use). To use daterange: first go to the Julian Date Converter at the U.S. Naval Observatory (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/JulianDate.html).

Example: intitle:"george bush" daterange:2452389-2452389
(this would search for April 24, 2002)

filetype:

This syntax searches for specific filename extensions. Google searches for PowerPoint (.ppt), Excel (.xls), and Word (.doc) documents as well as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Adobe Postscript (.ps) and Rich Text Format (.rtf).

Example: intitle:"hate crimes" filetype:pdf
Example: intitle:google filetype:doc
Example: intitle:"date rape" site:edu filetype:ppt

related:

This syntax searches for Web sites related or similar to a specified URL. This is a good way to retrieve categories or types of Web sites.

Example: related:google.com
Example: related:www.linccweb.org

info:

This syntax provides a page of links to more information about a specified URL including a link to the page's cache, a list of Web sites that link to the specified URL, a list of Web sites related to the specified URL and Web sites that contain the specified URL.

Example: info:cnn.com




Date Searches


Google Search Statement

Results
(August 2004)

Search Strategies

date rape

2,690,000

Default Boolean AND search.

"date rape"

541.000

Phrase search.

intitle:"date rape"

10,200

The phrase must be in the title.

intitle:"date rape" inurl:cnn

15

Site must be from CNN.

intitle:"date rape" site:edu

328

Site must be from an educational institution.

intitle:"date rape" alcohol site:edu

161

The word alcohol is added to the previous search.

intitle:"date rape" inanchor:statistics

373

The word statistics must be an anchor (clickable) in the site.

"date rape" site:edu filetype:ppt

98

Site must be a PowerPoint presentation from an educational institution.



Sample Search


Google Search Statement

Results
(August 2004)

Search Strategies

women ancient greece

834,000

Default Boolean AND search.

women "ancient greece"

288,000

Default Boolean AND and phrase search.

(women OR woman) "ancient greece"

300,000

Boolean OR, default Boolean AND and phrase search.

~women "ancient greece"

332,000

Synonymous terms for women and phrase search

"role +of women" "ancient greece"

4,610

Two phrases with forced stop word and Boolean AND search.

intitle:women "ancient greece"

2,220

Women must be in the title, Boolean AND and phrase search..

women "ancient greece" inurl:pbs

49

Site must be from PBS.

women "ancient greece" site:edu

23,400

Site must be from an educational institution.

"role +of women" "ancient greece" site:org

429

Site must be from an organization.

women "ancient greece" site:edu filetype:ppt

40

Site must be a PowerPoint presentation from an education institution.


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