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Rhetoric 159A: Google Tools

Google Search Tips, Tricks and Hacks

One of the largest hurdles of using Google is the amount you must weed through.  Some searches result in thousands of pages; who has time to go through all that?  You don't need to.  Did you know you can manipulate a regular Google search with a couple hacks to your search?  Its true!  Try these search hacks during your next google search.

  • site:XXXXX  This search tells google to limit your search to a particular site or domain.  For instance, if you limit to site:berkeley.edu you would only search the Berkeley site.  Similarly site:.gov would search only sites ending in .gov, and site:.edu would search only sites ending in .edu.
  • -XXXXX  Adding a minus/hyphen sign "-" to a term will remove results with that term.  This can be very helpfull when removing common words associated with your topic.
  • filetype:XXXX  Using filetype: will only find certain file extentions (.doc, .pdf, .ppt, etc)
  • "XXX XXXX" Putting double quotes around a phrase will find only that phrase.

You can also combine some of these search hacks, such as adding -site:nytimes.com to remove results from the New York Times website.  More search tricks can be found in the Library's Google Search Guide

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