Published: December 2005

How Do I Limit Search Results?

The quick search (also known as: simple search) offerred in the sidebar is fast, easy, and fairly thorough, unless you want your results to be very specific. When you need to limit search results, we recommend using tags. Tags are keywords located at the end of various articles and can be used to narrow search parameters. Additionally, since Google handles our primary search results, you can use Google's advanced search techniques, such as AND, NOT, phrases, and more. We've included a couple frequently used techniques below, and a link to other sources, where you can improve you search skills.

Some Basic Advanced Search Techniques

  • Search On Phrases - Google allows you to use quotes to search on phrases, such as "credit cards" will find the exact phrase 'credit cards' rather than the less exact search: credit cards, which will return all variations of credit and cards;
  • Exclude Words - You can exclude words from your search results. This can be very powerful. For example, when searching for "credit cards" you could exclude fraud, by adding the negative sign in front of it (i.e.  "credit cards" -fraud), will exclude all credit card results that specified fraud.
  • Search Synonyms - Google will include synonyms for popular terms in your search if you use the approximately symbol ( ~ ). So enter in ' ~auto '  and Google will return results that include auto, automobile, and cars. Though, its worth noting that result priority is given to the term used, so in this case— auto.
  • Find Files - Looking for a document with a printable PDF file? Then use your search keywords, plus Google's filetype parameter, like: "credit cards" filetype:pdf will return just results with PDF files attach.
  • AND and OR searches - Google also allows for AND searches ( credit AND cards) or ( 'credit cards' AND insurance), as well as OR searches, such as ( 'credit cards' OR insurance)

Here are links to two articles that offer some additional techniques for improving your Google search skills:

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