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Research Skills: Become a Google expert

A guide to the research process, compiled by your Librarians

Become a Google expert

Become a Google expert

Google is probably the search engine that you are most familiar with but most of us only use a fraction of Google's full potential.  

On this page we'll show you some ways to improve your Google searching skills in order to retrieve more useful search results for your research.

Google Searching

Use the search box below to try some of these modifiers to help refine your searches and get better results.

(From Google)

What it does:searches for an exact phrase

What to type: "I have a dream"

What you'll get: results that include the exact phrase "I had a dream"

What it does: excludes search results with a particular word or phrase

What to type: apple -fruit

What you'll get: results about Apple that are not related to fruit

What it does: searches for a word and all its synonyms

What to type: ~mobile phone

What you'll get: results with "phone" and also "cell", "cellular" etc.

What it does: searches for pages that include either word

What to type: diving Tioman OR Redang

What you'll get: results with "Diving" and either "Tioman" or "Redang"

What it does: defines a word or phrase

What to type: define:ubiquitous

What you'll get: links to definitions of "ubiquitous"

What it does: searches only particular websites

What to type: robotics

What you'll get: references to robotics found on .edu websites

What it does: searches for webpages

What to type:

What you'll get: websites that link to the website

 Access Google Advanced Search for many more options to improve your search.

Google Web Search

Improve your search skills

Watch the video below to learn 10 tips and tricks to improve your Google searches


Boolean in Google

You have already learnt how to use Boolean operators for databases but they work slightly differently in Google:

AND - Is automatically included between every word you add to the Google search box so there's no need to include it.

OR - Works in exactly the same way in both databases and in Google

NOT - In Google you need to use the symbol - instead of the word NOT

Explore the interactive site, Boolify, to find out more about using Boolean operators in Google...