Below is a quick reference summary "cheat sheet" to help you with your daily searches on Google or It contains the basics, like using OR, exact matches, finding pages for types of sites, etc., to more advanced search features. Remember, practice makes perfect, so the more you do advanced type searches, the better you will get at it.

Quick Reference Keyword Search Guide

  • AND/OR
    Use AND to require all terms. Example: peanut butter AND jelly
    OR will give a match with any of the terms. Example: football OR baseball OR soccer 
    Note: for AND, just putting the words together gives the same results, but it can be useful when combining AND with OR for complex searches. | is a shortcut to use instead of OR.
  • Exact Match with Quotes
    will return an exact match of the phrase, meaning everything must appear when a match occurs. Example: "John J. Smith"
  • Exclude Words with a Dash You can prevent certain words from appearing anywhere on a search results page by using the - operator. Here is an example to return pages about jaguar cats, but not related to the famous car company: Example: jaguar -cars
  • Search Inside a Website with Site
    If you only want results from a single website, use the site command. Example: geometry
    You can also combine this with the * to get general types of sites, like only educational websites  Example: geometry site:*.edu
  • Find matching page titles with intitle
    Search for pages that have a title description matching your search term with intitle. This is useful for getting content more focused on your term. Example: intitle:Algebra
  • URL Matching
    Use inurl to find pages that match your keyword as part of their url. Example: inurl:math
    You can use allinurl to match the entire part of the url and not just the main domain. Example: allinurl:math
  • Find Related Sites
    You can find sites similar to the one you enter using the related command. Example: related
  • Wild Card Searches with *
    Search for a phrases with different words wherever you have * in them. Example: "* is the best ice cream flavor"
  • Find Sites that Link to Another Site
    The link keyword can help you find sites that link to specific site: Example: link:
  • Number Ranges with ..
    Use .. to see sites that have numbers inside of that range. Here is an example that searches for bicycles with prices between $50 to $200 Example: bicycles: $50..$200
  • Filetype to Specify Types of Documents
    This command lets you get specific types of documents, such as finding a pdf file. Example: filetype:pdf constitution
  • Spelling and Capitalization
    Unless you are doing an exact match with quotes, don't worry too much about spelling, grammar or capitalization. Most punctuation is ignored. Texas is the same as texas. If you spell something incorrectly, the most likely correctly spelled search will be returned, but you still have the option of using your original spelling by clicking on the "Search instead" link.
  • General Advice
    Start out using the least number of terms and only the most important words you want to see in the results. You can later add more descriptive terms to improve it.