Google search tips

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Search term Explanation
AND doesn't do anything - treated like any other word so don't use it!


does work and will help ensure you find more stuff.


doesn't work - use - (a minus sign) instead (see next row)


the minus sign right next to a word will exclude that word e.g. -fish will exclude any results that contain the word fish


has been replaced by use of speech marks (see next row)


speech marks around a phrase will search for the entire phrase (if you don't put the speech marks results may only contain one of the words in the phrase). e.g. "fish and chips" will only return results that contain the phrase 'fish and chips', so doesn't return results that have fish but not chips or even a phrase such as 'chips with fish'.


forces the search to return results where the term is in the body of the website. e.g. intext:"fish and chips" intext:"fresh" will only return results that contain both the phrase 'fish and chips' and the word fresh.

term1 AROUND(n) term2

returns results where term1 is within n words of term2 e.g. "fish and chips" AROUND(5) fresh will return results which have the word fresh within five words of the phrase 'fish and chips'

define term

provides a definition of the term. e.g. define spork would return a definition of the word spork. It often works for words that are not in a normal dictionary.

term site:url

forces the search to stay within one website/URL e.g. BYOD will search for the term BYOD within this website (and no others)

term filetype:extension

will only return results which are of the specified file type (extension). e.g. ICT filetype:pdf will only return pdf files that contain the term ICT.


is a bit creepy - it returns previous versions of the website!

If you are searching for an image like one you already have then you can show the Google image search your existing image and it will find similar ones - find out how.

If you are using Google maps and you have found a location you are interested in and want to know about what is near by then put * (an asterik) in the search bar at the top of the map - this will return all the info Google has about what is close to your identified location.

(Many of) these tips came from a blog post by John Tedesco