Search Google

Google is the world's most popular search engine, so if you don't know how to use it, you may be feeling left out. Whether you want to know how to do a basic Google search, or you want to improve your Googling skills, you've come to the right place. Follow these easy steps to learn how to search Google.


Do a Basic Google Search

  1. Open your web browser. Its the icon that says "Internet".
  2. Type into the address bar on top of the page. This will bring you to the Google homepage. You'll see a white screen with a search bar in the center with "Google" written above it in colorful writing.
  3. Type in the word or phrase you'd like to search. You could search "how to find a job" or "best restaurant in Oakland," for example.
  4. Press enter. You can also click on the blue magnifying glass for the same result. This will present you with a list of options that should match your search.
  5. Browse your options. Scroll down to look through all of the options. If you don't see anything that matches what you want on the first page, you can scroll all the way down and press "Next" to be brought to the next list of options.
  6. Click on an option that suits you. If you've found an article that looks like what you want, you can click on it. You'll be brought to a new web page. If you're done reading the article but would like to read more on this topic, you can press the left arrow on the top left-hand screen of your browser to be brought back to the search page.
    • You can continue to browse your options for as long as you like.
  7. If you don't see anything that fits your needs, refine your search. You can go back to the Google search bar to refine your search. To refine your search, you can make it more specific, focusing on the year or a different detail. For example, instead of searching "best restaurant in Oakland," which may overwhelm you with responses, you can search "best Chinese food in Oakland 2013," which will narrow your search.
    • You may also need to refine your search if it's too specific. If your search phrase is too long or too specific, you may not find any good matches and will have to go back and try searching something a little more general.
  8. Try these other tips for refining your search. In addition to refining your search by changing the words you've used, you can also try these search tips:
    • Common words are usually overlooked during a Google search, so if a common word like "how" or "the" is essential to your search, put a "+" in front of it.
    • If a set of words belongs together in a phrase, you should put quotes around those words or dashes in between them. This is great for when you know a few lyrics to a song and want to search them to find the song's name. For example:
      • The-girl-in-the-mirror or "the girl in the mirror"
    • You can place a minus sign in front a word that you want to omit from your search results. For example, if you want to search "nano" and don't want results for the iPod Nano to show up you can type "nano - iPod."
    • If you're searching for a price range of an item, type the lowest range after a dollar sign and then type "..." followed by another dollar sign and the highest price in the range. For example: "Mattress $250...$400."
  9. Run your search through other parts of Google. Instead of searching through the Google search bar when you first pull up Google's home page, you can make your search more specific depending on whether you want to search Google's images, news, or maps. To select one of these options, you can just click on the option on the top left hand side of the Google search bar. Here's what you can do:
    • Select "images." It's the third option from the left on the top of the toolbar. This option will run your search only through images. For example, if you wanted to have images of a celebrity or a fashion style, Google images will be a great resource.
    • Select "news." This option is the fifth option from the right on the top of the toolbar. This is a great option if you just want to search something that's in the news, instead of the term in general.
    • Once you enter Google news, you can select which country's version of the news you'd like by selecting the arrow under the current edition of the news ("U.S. edition" if you're in the U.S.) and choosing the country you want. This option appears just under your search bar.
    • Select "Maps." This brings you to Google Maps, where you can find directions from one place to another.

Do an Advanced Google Search

  1. Open your web browser.
  2. Go to the Google Advanced search page. You can do this in one of two ways:
    • Go to the website:
    • If you're already searching through Google, you can click on the gear on the right hand side of the search page. Select "Advanced search," the second option from the top.
  3. Find pages with the words you want. This requires you to fill out as much as you can of the first half of the new page. You don't have to fill in every box; just focus on the categories you need to improve your search. Here is the information you'll need to provide:
    • Under "all of these words" type in any of the important words in your search.
    • Under "exact word or phrase" type in the word or phrase you're looking for.
    • Under "any of these words" type in any of the words that you want.
    • Under "none of these words" type in any words you don't want.
    • Under "numbers ranging from" type in any numbers in a range you want.
    • Notice that Google gives you tips for how to perform these same searches while using signs in the actual Google search box. You can find these tips to the right of the search tools.
  4. Narrow your results. Now you can provide even more information about what you're looking for to narrow your results even further. You don't have to select all of the options -- just focus on the ones you need to help narrow your search. Here are your options for further refining your search:
    • Language. Select the language of your search results.
    • Region. Find pages published in a particular region.
    • Last update. Find pages that were updated after a certain date.
    • Site or domain. If you'd like to narrow down your search for something within a certain website, type in the name of the site.
    • Terms appearing. Select where you want the terms to have appeared, whether it's in the title of the web page or in the text of the article.
    • Safe Search. It should be set to "show most relevant results." If you'd like to remove any potentially inappropriate articles from your search, select "filter explicit results."
    • Reading level. Modify your search to fit your reading level.
    • File type. Find pages that are in the format you prefer, whether a PDF or a Word Doc (.doc).
    • Usage rights. Select one of the options to choose pages you are free to use yourself.
  5. Click "Advanced Search."
  6. Browse through your options. Look through your options to see if you've found an article, or many articles, that fit your needs. If you're still not finding what you're looking for, then you can go back to Google Advanced Search and make your search more or less specific.

Google Tips and Tricks

Doc:Google Tips and Tricks


  • If looking for the exact search use " ". Eg: "<search term>". This will give the exact search what for which people are looking for.
  • The same search may return different (while similar) results as soon as after several days.
  • If you want to do a Google Voice search, then you have to download the Google app on your iPhone, Android, or another phone that supports the Google app. After you download the app, you can select "voice search" and say whatever words you're looking for. Once you stop talking, the search will begin.
  • Many web browsers have a built-in search box where you can search Google and other search engines. In that case, you can type your search directly into that box and not actually load the site.
  • You can set preferences for your Google searches by using the Preferences link next to the Google search box.
  • Consider opening a Google account for access to Google's full suite of search and Internet tools.
  • Pick you keywords - think about words or combination of words that are unique to the topic that you're searching for so that the results would be only related to your topic.

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Sources and Citations