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Search Engines

Page history last edited by ted.coopman@... 11 years, 10 months ago

Searching and Search Engines


Search Tips for specific search engine compiled by students - spring 2008.


Watch this before using ANY search engine...



Information on Search Engines


Search Engine Watch

Search tips, information on search engines and the search industry


Search Engines (search % 2007 Nielsen/NetRatings)

Top 5 search engines by percentage. 



54% of searches


To find “Help” in Google click on:

Advanced Search

      Web search help

            Using web search

Some of the tip they give are:

    * Be specific with your search terms

Ex: Search for: 2008 Presidential election rather than: Election

Search for: Golden Retriever rather than: Dogs

    * If you are looking for an exact match of multiple words use quotation marks

Ex: search for “Bob Jones” rather than: Bob Jones

Searching with quotation marks will only show the words in the exact order you have the words quoted. It will eliminate people with the first name Bob that do not have the last name Jones and places that have the last name Jones and do not have the first name Bob.

    * Use the specific Google search feature.

Ex: Book Search, Groups, PhoneBook, Street Maps, Spell Checker, Define

Define: Navigation rather than Navigation

    * Use an asterisk as a “wildcard” in a search where you aren’t sure of all the right words or to have the search fill in the blank.

Ex: “large * dogs” will return “large breed dogs” and “large-sized dogs”



19.5% of searches

Great Tips for Searching

    * When at Yahoo.com start by entering Yahoo Search. A drop down menu title Options allows you to change all advanced search settings or preferences, including a filter for viewing adult image and content.

    * Yahoo Shortcuts is great to search for specific topics such as health tips, dictionary definitions, and encyclopedia information.

    * When searching for images, changing advanced image search to choose image size, color, and even how many images per page

    * Change advanced searches to look for the type of domain; example: .com, .gov, .edu, .org

    * To search for an exact phrase, put quotation marks around the phrase. For example, “to be or not to be”

    * Use keywords such as when looking for maps, enter maps and the location or when looking for the weather in an area, enter weather and the location

    * If you're equally interested in two or more alternatives, use OR in capital letters. For example, search for horseback riding OR kayaking in Peru

    * Yahoo will help narrow your search by using synonymous words and phrases for what you’re looking

Loved It!

    * Many shortcuts

    * Parental Controls

    * Advanced search options

Hated It!

    * Very busy website

    * Too many options for one thing


MSN/Windows Live

12% of searches

MSN Live

   1. Go to Msn.com

   2. Search on a broad topic.

   3. Click advanced options to narrow your search.

   4. You can run local, state, country, or worldwide searches by topic as well.

   5. Capitalize “stop words,” i.e. AND, OR.

   6. You can also modify a Search according to the following fields:

         1. Search Terms

         2. Site/Domain- sites that contain the name

         3. Links to- pages that link to a URL with the name of the search

         4. Country/Region

         5. Language

         6. Results Ranking

   7. When you get results, you can filter by images, videos, maps, and much more.


   1. The basic search options you would expect on all sites were easily visible and accessible.

   2. Detailed Help Page


   1. Not very user friendly; busy screen.

   2. Did not like the map feature; except Stephanie, she liked it.




6% of searches



2.2% of searches

How to Use This Search Engine:

*Here are the special search terms:

"Terms": The terms surrounded by quotation marks. This will search for exact phrase entered. For example, "Marin county seat".

+: Plus sign in front of the term(s) specified. This will include specified term(s) in addition to the original term(s) entered.

-: Minus sign in front of the term(s) specified. This will exclude specified term(s) from the original term(s) entered.

OR: OR (uppercase) between two terms. This will include either of specified multiple terms in addition to the original term(s) entered.

Intitle: intitle: followed by the specified term(s). This will search for documents whose page title has the specified term(s).

Inurl: inurl: followed by the specified term(s). This will search for documents whose URL has the specified term(s).

Site: The term(s) followed by site: and domain. This will search for documents found only within the specified domain.

Last: The term(s) followed by last: and time variable. This will search for documents that are found within the specified period.

    * Supported time period:

    * Within one week = last:week

    * Within two weeks = last:2weeks

    * Within one month = last:month

    * Within six months = last:6months

    * Within one year = last:year

    * Within two years = last:2years

Afterdate: The term(s) followed by afterdate: and date in yyyymmdd format. This will search for documents that are found after the specified date.

Beforedate The term(s) followed by beforedate: and date in yyyymmdd format. This will search for documents that are found before the specified date.

Betweendate: The term(s) followed by betweendate:, starting date, a comma, and ending date. Dates must be in yyyymmdd format. This will search for documents that are found between the specified starting date and ending date.

Inlink: inlink: followed by the specified term(s). This will search for documents that contain the specified term(s) in anchor text.

Additional Tips:∫

   1. When viewing your search results, you can narrow your results by category (topic).

   2. Map:

         1. You can draw your own route.

         2. You can label certain locations you want to save for future use.

         3. You can save a map that has been altered for future reference.


Search Information


Boolean Searching on the Internet

Excerpted from the University Libraries, University at Albany, SUNY webpage Primer on Boolean Logic http://library.albany.edu/internet/boolean.html


March 29, 2004

“The Internet is a vast computer database. As such, its contents must be searched according to the rules of computer database searching. Much database searching is based on the principles of Boolean logic. Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship among search terms, and is named for the British-born Irish mathematician George Boole” (Primer on Boolean Logic, para 1)Boolean logic consists of three logical operators:




OR logic organizes the search to retrieve all distinct records containing one term, the other, or both.


The more terms linked in an OR logic search, the more results will be displayed.


For example: San Jose State University OR SJSU


AND logic organizes the search to retrieve all distinct records containing both terms. Records that only contain one of the terms will not be displayed.


Unlike OR searches, the more AND terms used, the fewer results will be displayed.


For example: Bush AND Iraq


NOT logic organizes the search to retrieve all distinct records containing one term as long as the other term is not present.


For example: WMD NOT Iraq


Be careful when using NOT, as it may result in your search missing useful records.


Searching the Internet with Boolean Operators


Generally, Internet search engines use Boolean logic in three ways:


1. Full Boolean logic with the use of the logical operators

2. Implied Boolean logic with keyword searching

3. Predetermined language in a user fill-in template

(Boolean Searching on the Internet, Para 1)


Full Boolean logic allows the user to simply enter the search term, say Bush AND Iraq, and the engine will conduct a Boolean search. If you want to prioritize one part of a search you may put part of it in parentheses. For example, if you wanted the terms University of Washington OR UW OR Washington State University OR WSU and you wished University of Washington OR UW to be searched for first you would enter the terms like this: (University of Washington OR UW) OR Washington State University OR WSU


Implied Boolean logic with key words allows the user to substitute spaces or symbols in place of AND, OR, and NOT. Spaces (Bush Iraq) usually translate to AND as does a + (Bush+Iraq). AND is usually the default Boolean search term. Consult the search engines help files for further information. NOT is often indicated by a (WMD-Iraq).



Predetermined language and forms are often found on search engines for databases. Often this takes the forms of phrases like “any of these words,” “should contain the words,” or “should not contain the words” and so forth.


Other Boolean Searches

Excerpted from "Internet Effectively: A beginners Guide to the World Wide Web." Adams, Scollard, & Clark (2006).


Keywords located close to each other, often within 10 words.

* Asterisk

"Wild card" character that searches for a root word that either precedes or follows the asterisk. For example, litiga* could be used to find litigation, litigator, or litigant. This can be a handy when the keyword you are searching for may have a variety of iterations.

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