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APSC 261/262 - Technology and Society

Using Google

Advanced Google searching can improve your results dramatically. Here are some of the most useful commands:

  1. "" (quotations) search for an exact phrase - use carefully so you don’t exclude too much!
    Example:

    "patio heater"
     
  2. OR allows you to search multiple terms at once (Google usually assumes AND between terms)​
    Example: bags OR liners
     
  3. - (minus sign) excludes a word from your search results
    Example: compostable (bags OR liners) -plastic
    Can also be used in conjunction with site: to filter out results from a particular website​

     
  4. * is a truncation symbol that finds word variations based on the stem
    Example: recycl* 
    Finds recycle, recycles, recycled, recycling…
     
  5. site: finds results from a specified domain
    Useful when a website's own search engine is less than helpful, or when wanting to search only a certain country's sites or type of sites
    Examples:
    site:ubc.ca stormwater management
    site:honeywell.com (corporate responsibility OR corporate citizenship OR sustainability)

     
  6. intitle: searches for your keywords in the title of the website - often increases the relevance of your results
    Example: intitle: "climate change"
  7. filetype: finds results with a specific file type extension –pdf, doc, txt, etc…)​
    Example: "genetic engineering" filetype:pdf
     
  8. Search Tools button at the top of your Google results gives you a variety of other options
    Can limit your results by date, use verbatim to search for your exact keywords, and more