Google Search Skills

Here are some tips to help you search the web ore efficiently and get better results. We'll use Google as our example, but the same principles apply to most search engines.

Post-Search Limits

Limit your results to recent news items, images, videos, full-text books, shopping sites, blogs, and more.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search lets you combine your keywords in different ways and limit your results to different types of sites or sites in different languages.


  • all these words - This works the same as the Basic search screen and will find all your search terms but not necessarily as a phrase or in that specfic order. Searching for smoking prevention will find smoking prevention but also prevention of smoking and prevention programs produce reductions in smoking.
  • this exact wording or phrase - Use this if you're looking for an exact phrase.
  • one or more of these words - This option lets you enter a choice of words for the same concept, and it will find anything with any one (or more) of those words. This way, you can make sure you don't miss something because you're using one word for something and they're using a different word to describe the same thing, i.e., adolescent or teenager.
  • unwanted words - Here you can make the search omit words you don't want in your results. Dolphins without football will exclude results that mention the Miami Dolphins football team.
  • search within a site or domain - Besides searching within a single website, you may limit your search to pages from a particular type of domain: .org for sites owned by organizations; .edu for sites affiliated wtih educational institutions; .gov for federal and many state government sites; and .mil for sites owned by branches of the U.S. military. Other countries have their own domains, including for British companies or .jp for Japanese sites.

Google Scholar and Google Books

These are two specialized areas of Google that are useful for academic research:

Google Scholar indexes articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions that are discoverable through the web. To see if UGA subscribes to the journals you find in Google Scholar, you'll need to set your preferences to link to UGA. [Show me how]

Google Books is a project to digitize books housed in a number of major libraries. You can search the contents of the books, and if the book is out of copyright you can read it online. If the full book isn't available online, it may be in the UGA Libraries.