Internet Research and Advanced Google Search Functions

Have you ever tried searching for for something on the Internet and felt like the results just weren't what you are looking for? What if you would like to search for a topic on a single website--but they don't have a Search box?

Google has a very handy list of search operators published on its support section. Learn more about using punctuation and symbols to refine your search results, and Search Operators like "Site:". 

Search Operators for Google


For example, let's say you're searching for Watauga County related items on the website Your text in the search box would look like this:

"watauga county"


But, you want to filter out all school related items. Your text in the search box would look like this (note the "-" in front of the word school):

"watauga county" -school


By removing the quotes from the phrase watauga county, I will see results that include the word watauga and/or the word county (but not necessarily both).

Search Tools

Google has handy search tools available to help refine your results. For example, I searched for girl scout cookies and get 1,220,000 results. If I narrow down the results with search tools, I am able to get more specific results. 

For example, click on "Search Tools" and you will see 2 menu items appear -- one for "Any time" and another for "All results.Under any time, I can select results for the last 24 hours, week, month, or a custom time range. Under "all results" I can choose verbatim and it's as if I searched with the quotes as demonstrated above. 

TIP: If you're looking for a promo code or coupon when shopping online, I tend to get better results if I narrow down the time frame to the "past week" or "past month."

Print Friendly and PDF