As a best practice you always want to proceed with caution when Googling certain phrases and words. There have been plenty of reported cases of “interesting” results that were triggered by searching for fairly innocent terms. Today I wanted to share three Google search tricks that you and your students can use to maximize the effectiveness of Google searches.
Typing your search term in quotation marks tells Google that you are looking for that exact phrase. For example, if you search for “Elements of a narrative essay” your search results will come back with pages that have those exact words in that exact order. This is a great trick for when students are looking for quotes or specific phrases.
The Minus Sign
By including a dash or minus sign in your search you can remove any unwanted content. For example, if you search for “The five pillars of Islam -wikipedia” you will not see a link for a Wikipedia page. This is a great way for excluding any results that are not school appropriate. This is also a great tool when searching for terms that have more than one meaning.
Specific Site Search
By including the line site: you can search specific websites or for specific domains. For example, if you search for “persuasive writing site site:edu” your results will all be from websites that end with .edu. You can also search a specific site for key terms. Using a specific site search can help students quickly find accurate and relevant content.
For a complete list of Google search and tricks click here.