While searching using natural language is commonplace with online search interfaces, understanding traditional power search techniques will help demystify your search results.
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Guarantees that a string of words will appear together and in the order typed. Most search engines require quotation marks (“ ”).
-- Also known as the exact phrase in advanced search mode
Example: violence commited by children
It is common for search engines to search all words in the phrase, though not exact phrasing.
Searches for multiple forms of a word. Generally the astrisk * is used following the root of the word.
Example: Terror* -- terrorist, terrorists, terrorism, terrorizing
Google automatically searches with trucation/stemming. Adding an astrisk does NOT work to search multiple forms of a word. Use a ~ to find synonyms
Sometimes this can be too vague:
Example: nav* -- how can you use the tools above to create a better search?
Try domain specific searches
Identifying the source of the information will be more relevant & more specific
Shortcut - site:.mil
Try format specific searches
If you are looking for reports, PDF documents often have more content and are more focused
Shortcut - filetype:pdf
Try limiting the date range
If you are looking for current information, limit to the past week/month/year, or set range.
Utilize the Find or Search
To quickly locate your search terms within a webpage or document.