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Research Help

Google Searching Tips

  • Use quotations to search your phrase in that exact order: Searching "cognitive behavioral therapy" will return only results with that exact phrase, but searching cognitive behavioral therapy (without quotes) will return results which match only the word "therapy" as well. 

  • Search a specific website: Want search results just from the Assemblies of God main website? Use the site: modifier! Searching alcohol will return results about alcohol from only the Assemblies of God website, 

  • Filter your search to show results featuring a specific file type: If you're specifically looking for a certain type of document, like a PDF or a PowerPoint file, you can use the filetype: modifier. Searching squirrels filetype:ppt will return only PowerPoint slideshows about squirrels. You can find a complete list of searchable file formats here.

  • Use placeholders for forgotten words: If you're looking for a quote or lyrics but can't remember all of the words, you can use an asterisk (*) to represent the forgotten words. Searching amazing grace how * the sound will return results showing the missing word.

  • Limit results by time: If you're looking for recent information, you can limit your search results by time. After placing your search, click "Tools" and then "Any time" to change the timeframe. 

  • Find images you know you can reuse: Need an image for your presentation? Not all images in a basic Google search are licensed for reuse. After placing your image search, click "Tools" and then "Usage rights" to select the license that best meets your needs. Unless you need to modify the image, selecting "labeled for reuse" is a good choice.

  • Save images for later: Similar to Pinterest, Google allows you to save an image to collections for viewing later. After logging into your Google account, click on any image in your search results and select the bookmark icon labeled "Add to" to save it. To view your saved images later, select "Collections" on the top-right of your search results. 

  • Filter explicit content: Open your Google Settings and select "Turn on SafeSearch" to enable filtering of inappropriate content. While this is not 100%, it does help.

Shoutout to Evan Dashevsky and Jason Cohen at PCMag for compiling the items on this list.