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Google Techniques: Every Student Should Know

esther.diaz September 1, 2017

Google has become the top internet search engine since the last few years of the 2000s. With its speed in gathering many different pieces of information across the internet, it has also become one of the most important digital tools used by students. In a world where information is now becoming more accessible than ever, students need all the help they can get. From students of architecture and engineering, to courses like history and psychology, Google is an invaluable tool that provides you information on the go.

While searching something for Google may be just simply typing some words on the search bar, there are also techniques that would help you get the best sources available on the internet. Here are some techniques that students would be able to use to improve their search skills.

Add Quotation Marks

One of the more simple ways to look for specific entries like book quotations and song lyrics is to add quotation marks. Quotation marks would help you look for the exact set of words in the source material you are looking for. A simple but effective technique that would help you find written sources quicker than before.

Example: “I shall return”

Searching by Domain

If you are looking for specific websites that are consistent with your topic and source material, you can filter it by adding the domain along with your search term. This can help you look for specific websites for places like schools and government agencies. This would provide you with sources as close to the source material as possible. Alternatively, you can also type in “site:” plus the domain name, which provides you with a similar result

Example: History Program .edu or History Program site:edu

Add a Minus Sign

There are times that certain search terms would lead you to a variety of different topics, some of which may not be related to what you are looking for. This may make your search longer, because you have to go through different unrelated sites, which can be an inconvenience. To make your search smoother and cleaner, you can add a “-“ along with the word that is unrelated to your topic. This will help you eliminate various unrelated topics that do not have to do anything with your search.

Example: San Miguel –beer

Find Related Sites Easier

An alternative to searching specific domains, adding “related:” next to a specific website, would help you find similar websites much faster. Finding similar sites would help broaden your search, and find more solid sources that would be beneficial for your research.


Look for specific File Formats

Sources come in many kinds of formats, and there are times when you would just like to look for a certain type of file. Searching by file type makes these an easier and more convenient task to do. Add “filetype:”, plus the file format to help you look for specific documents that are related to your research.

Example: filetype: .pdf

Key Takeaway

Google has made researching much more convenient, with so many different kinds of sources at our disposal. By using these simple Google search techniques, you are ensured that you would be able to get the best and most reliable sources on the web.

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