1. Use Advanced Search if you are not comfortable entering Boolean operators or specifying limits.
2. Most search engines have search tools listed on the side of the search results; use that to filter/limit the search results to specify focus, types of sources, date range, etc.
3. Use Boolean search to expand and/or narrow down your search.
Google: AND is the default operator between search terms; use OR to expand your search, use - (minus sign) to exclude terms; Google does not support ( ).
Yahoo! Search supports AND, OR, NOT and ( ).
4. Except for Exalead (www.exalead.com/search/), most search engines do not support truncation; search terms are not case sensitive.
5. You can limit your search to more reliable domains, such as Web sites from government and educational institutes. Type site:.gov or site:.edu with your search terms. To search within a particular Web site, type the Web address right after site:
Example: financial aid site:www.butte.edu
6. Most search engines support phrase search. Use “ ” (double quotations) to make the search engine search the exact phrase for more relevant results.
Example: “California Education Policy Fund”
Example: global warming “Antarctic ice”
7. Use a + sign in Google and Bing to indicate an essential word to make sure all results contain that word. (No space between + and the search term)
For example, if you want to find information on the disposal of hybrid vehicle battery, you can search like this: hybrid vehicle battery +disposal
8. Use a - sign in Google to exclude an irrelevant word so that all the pages that contain that irrelevant word will not be retrieved. (No space between - and the search term)
For example, if you want to find information on games, but not computer games or video games, you can search like this: games -video -computer -online
9. In Bing, enter norelax before the fifth search term to specify that all the search terms are of same importance.
Example: wifi security airport hackers norelax: hotspot
10. Try these search engines: Ask – www.ask.com
Exalead - www.exalead.com/search/
Bing - www.bing.com/