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Google and Google Scholar Search Tips: Advanced Searching

Advanced searching tips and setting your library links in Google Scholar to get more University Libraries purchased content.

Advanced Search and Using Operators

Did you know two people could do the same search in Google, but see different results displayed?  That's because the Google search engine takes into account previous searches and customizes the results.

Use Advanced search and operators to target the power of your Google searches.



Advanced Search


Go to 


once you’ve done a Google search, you’ll find it after you click on the gear icon in the top right corner.


The form shows you how to search for


     either term

     and other options




 “  ”

Use quotation marks to match an exact phrase or word

“islamic state”



Type a capitalized OR between words to look for either term

isis OR “islamic state”



Search within a specific site or a particular domain


ebola statistics site:gov



Add an asterisk for any unknown or wildcard terms

“thomas * edison” influence



Search for the term in the title of the search results.  One way to try to target your search when you get lots of results.



Use a minus sign to exclude

jaguar –car

“green tea” –site:com





The Advanced search form makes it easy to narrow your search, including by:


region (country)

site or domain (ex:  com, edu, gov, org)

file type

usage rights

After searching, you’ll find some options for limiting your search presented on the page and under “Search Tools”


you can go to the Advanced search by clicking on the gear icon in the top right corner.


more search help from Google

Are you a long time Google searcher?  No longer supported:

~     tilde used to bring back similar terms, Google now does this automatically

 +    plus sign(term had to be in the results

Google and Google Scholar Search Tips handout

Subject Guide

Reference Desk Thomas Cooper Library's picture
Reference Desk Thomas Cooper Library
Thomas Cooper Library
Subjects:Special Topics