Search Assist

We have created this page to help you use Google’s search engine more effectively. By examining our web site logs and looking at what keywords many of you used to get to our site, it is apparent that many of you are having trouble finding what you want on the web. (Try your search below.)

If you don’t find what you are looking for, you can hit the BACK button to return to this page and try another Search Tip.  Type Ctrl-D to bookmark this page so you can return to it for easier searching. Hold the Ctrl key down while simultaneously pressing the D key.

Important Definition - “Search Phrase”: This is the text that you enter into Google’s search box to begin your search.


Search Tips

How can I find exactly what I want?

If you are trying to find a particular phrase then you should surround that phrase with double quotes.  This tells Google that you are looking for that exact phrase.  For example, if you are looking for baked  beans, you would enter the search phrase “baked beans” into the Google search box. This tells Google that matches that contain the exact phrase baked beans are more important to you than matches that have both words in them, but not necessarily in that order or right next to each other either.

The exact search phrase would look like this: “baked beans”

How can I eliminate search results I don’t want?

Sometimes when you search Google, you get back a lot of results that don’t interest you and clutter up the search results. For example, suppose you are searching the web for ham.  But when you search Google for ham you get back a lot of unwanted results for ham radio operators.  To get rid of these results you add the word radio to your search phrase preceded by the dash or minus sign character. This tells Google to subtract any matches that contain the word radio from your search results. 

The exact search phrase would look like this: ham -radio

How can I emphasize one word I am searching for over another?

Sometimes when you are searching with a multiple word search phrase, you may get back too many results that aren’t focused as well as you like.  One way to tell Google how to correct this is to tell Google which words in your search phrase are more important to you than the others. The way to do this is to precede that word or words by a plus sign character. For example, you are using a search phrase with the words red black bowling shoes in it.  You are getting back too many matches with the word bowling in it, but don’t contain the word shoes.  To fix this you precede the word shoes by a plus sign. This tells Google that all matches must have the word shoes in it or you don’t want them.

The exact search phrase would look like: bowling +shoes

What are some of the exciting new search technologies Google has to offer in the near future?

Google has a top notch laboratory of genius scientists working around the clock to come up with new and exciting ways to search the Internet. If you want to get a sneak peak at what they have to offer, you should visit the Google Labs page. To whet your appetite, here is a list of our favorite upcoming search technologies:

Books on searching Google

Here is a list of our favorite books on searching Google:

  • Web Search Garage - by Tara Calashain, The Search Guru. The latest tips, tricks, and resources on how to search the Web effectively. Highly Recommended.
  • Google Hacks - also by Tara Calashain. An older book but still packed with plenty of advanced tips all web searchers should know about. Highly Recommended.
  • Google for Dummies - by Brad Hill. Another excellent book from the “for Dummies” book series. Highly Recommended.
  • Google Pocket Guide - another book by Tara Calashain. A handy pocket guide that any serious web searcher should keep right by their side on their desktop. Highly Recommended.

Try a different search engine

Give Ask Jeeves, a try if you struck out with Google or you just want to compare search results.

Make sure you check back here frequently.  We have some search technologies of our own coming, that will be driven by artificial intelligence to help you search the Internet better.  Use the link at the bottom of the page to contact us if you have any questions or any feedback about this page.


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