Simple Search

The beauty of Google is that it is so easy to use, and you might think that you don’t need a guide to searching it. However there are techniques you can learn that can make your Google searches more effective and help you to use other search engines.

The simple search box is often on the search engine's home page. To carry out a simple search using Google, you need to type your keywords into the search box provided and press your "enter" key or click on the “Google Search” button.

If you use more than one keyword or search term in a search engine, it is important to know how the search engine will combine the words that you enter into your search engine. Google searches for all the words that you enter in the search box, i.e. if you typed International Programmes into the search box, Google would search for pages that contain both the words International  AND Programmes.

Phrase search

This is another way of combining the terms that you type into your search engine . A phrase search looks for all the words that you type in the search box, but also they need to be next to each other on the webpage.
Example “International Programmes”. - This will find web pages that contain the words International and Programmes next to each other. However, it would not find a webpage that had International at the top of the webpage and Programmes at the bottom of the same webpage.

When using other search engines check how the search engine combines the words you enter in the search box as not all search engines search for all the words you type in the search box. Some search engines may search any of the words e.g. if you typed International Programmes it might find you web pages that either contain the word International OR Programmes, not both International AND Programmes. Therefore your search will be less specific.

Search Engine Help pages

When using other search engines check how the search engine combines the words you enter in the search box as not all search engines search for all the words you type in the search box. Some search engines may search any of the words e.g. if you typed International Programmes it might find you web pages that either contain the word International OR Programmes, not both International AND Programmes. Therefore your search will be less specific.
Find out how a search engine combines the words that you enter in the search box by looking at the search engines help pages. There is often a link to the help pages on the home page of the website, although some search engines seem to hide their help pages so you will have to look carefully.

Click here for further help with the Google simple search.
Google Cheat Sheet - http://www.google.com/help/cheatsheet.html

If you like using Google, you’ll love Summon the Online Library Power Search.