Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

Google Search Tips: Advanced Google Search

Advanced Google Search

Google Search Symbols

You can use symbols and other punctuation to get more specific search results.

SymbolHow to use it
- When you use a dash before a word or site, it excludes sites with that info from your results. This is useful for words with multiple meanings, like Jaguar the car brand and jaguar the animal.
Examples: jaguar speed -car or pandas -site:wikipedia.org
" When you put a word or phrase in quotes, the results will only include pages with the same words in the same order as the ones inside the quotes. Only use this if you're looking for an exact word or phrase, otherwise you'll exclude many helpful results by mistake.
Example: "imagine all the people"
* Add an asterisk as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. .
Example: "a * saved is a * earned"
.. Separate numbers by two periods without spaces to see results that contain numbers in a range.
Example: camera $50..$100
@ Find social tags
Example: @agoogler
# Find popular hashtags for trending topics
Example: #throwbackthursday
$ Find prices
Example: nikon $400

Note: Except for the examples above, Google Search usually ignores punctuation.

Google Search Operators

Search operators are words that can be added to searches to help narrow down the results.

OperatorHow to use it
site: Get results from certain sites or domains.
Examples: olympics site:nbc.com and olympics site:.gov
related: Find sites that are similar to a web address you already know.
Example: related:time.com
OR Find pages that might use one of several words.
Example: marathon OR race
info: Get information about a web address, including the cached version of the page, similar pages, and pages that link to the site.
Example: info:google.com
cache: See what a page looks like the last time Google visited the site.
Example: cache:washington.edu

 

Note: When you search using operators or punctuation marks, don't add any spaces between the operator and your search terms. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com won't.

Chat with a Librarian!

Need help?

Contact the Reference Desk!
Phone: 262-472-1032
E-mail: Ask a Librarian
24/7 Chat: Ask a Librarian

Reference Desk Hours* (Spring 2016)

Monday-Thursday:
9am-10pm

Friday:
9am-5pm

Saturday:
1pm-5pm

Sunday:
1pm-5pm & 6pm-10pm

*UW-W librarians chat online Wednesdays 6pm-10pm

*Online chat is always available

Check here for schedule exceptions.