Google search tips and tricks

Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned about searching Google:
1. Use boolean operator words AND and OR. Note that the pipe character, |, is a synonym for ‘OR’. Also note that AND is assumed when two search terms are given, so searching for red AND blue is the same as red blue.
  • cat OR dog
2. Use parentheses, (), to group AND and OR statements.  Note that, in my experience, you need to include either OR or AND between two parenthetical expressions. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure how well parentheses actually work.
  • (cat OR dog) AND (black OR white)
  • (car AND black) OR (dog AND white)
3. Use + to force inclusion of words that Google usually ignores, such as ‘to’ and ‘from’.
  • cat +to sell
4. Use – to filter out terms you don’t want.
  • dog -black
5. Use quotes to search for literal phrases. Use a * character to match multiple words in your literal phrases.
  • “fighting like cats and dogs”
  • “raining cats and dogs”
  • “* cats and dogs”
 6. Use the filetype: term and file type extensions (the part after the ., like .pdf) to filter for particular types of files, or to filter out particular types of files. (List of types you can use)
  • cat filetype:pdf
  • dog -filetype:doc
7. Search only a particular site with the site: term.
  • dog
  • cat
8. Limit searches to a particular author with the author: term. (May only apply to
  • cat author:smith
 9. Include similar words by adding the ~ (tilde) character to the front of a search term.
  • dog ~intelligence
10. Look for words near other words using the AROUND(#) operator. Syntax: wordA AROUND(#) wordB, would find instances of wordA within # words of wordB.
  • cat AROUND(3) dog
This information has been pulled from memory and from various sources around the internet. No affiliation with Google or any other website.

Some sites that appear to have additional, related information: