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Using Punctuation and Grammar for Google Search

Read the information below about using punctuation and symbols to get the best internet search results. This is not only for general search but also for academic search like Google Scholar. Then, use the skills you learned to find information about one of the sources mentioned in the previous topic 3.9 Summary of Grammar.  To get a new Badge, add the information you found in a new discussion topic, then move on to the next lesson. 

Refine web searches

You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.

Google Search usually ignores punctuation that isn’t part of a search operator.

Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term. A search for will work, but site: won’t.

Refine image searches

Use filters like region or file type to narrow your results.

At the bottom, click Advanced Search.

Search for an exact image size

Right after the word you're looking for, add the text imagesize:widthxheight. Make sure to add the dimensions in pixels.

Example: imagesize:500x400

Common search techniques

  • Search social media

Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

  • Search for a price

Put $ in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

  • Search hashtags

Put # in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

  • Exclude words from your search

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

  • Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

  • Search within a range of numbers

Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

  • Combine searches

Put "OR" between each search query. For example, marathon OR race.

  • Search for a specific site

Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, or

  • Search for related sites

Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example,

  • See Google’s cached version of a site

Put "cache:" in front of the site address.

Important: Not all search operators return exhaustive results.

Source: Google

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