There's no way to anticipate everything that you might need to know for your story with this guide, and it could be that the library doesn't even have all the types of information you might need. So, you will likely need to do some Googling as part of your research. But it can often be time-consuming and frustrating to sift through pages and pages of results. That's where the tips and tricks on this page come in - they will help make your searching more precise.
Go to www.google.com and try each of the searches below to see how they change your results. You can also try these techniques using Google's advanced search form.
Part 1: Search by Domain Name
In the search box, enter some keywords as you normally would and then add this to the end of your keywords: .domain (e.g. .edu, .gov, etc.)
Common Domain Names:
.com generic domain, usually commercial, but anyone can use it
.edu limited to U.S. educational institutions
.gov limited to U.S. government
.org usually non-profit organization, but anyone can use it
.mil limited to U.S. military
.museum = museums
.net = networks, but anyone can use it
Part 2: Search Using Special Characters
Exert greater control over your search results using special characters called search operators.
Common search operators:
Search for an exact word or phrase using quotation marks (" "): "keywords"
Exclude a word by adding a dash (-) before the word you'd like to exclude from your results: -keyword
Include a "fill in the blank" by using an asterisk (*) before or after a word or phrase: keyword*
Search for pages that are similar to a URL by using related:keyword
Part 3: Search by File Type
This technique allows you to limit your search to a particular file type. It can help you find reports, newsletters, articles, fact sheets and similar documents.
In the search box, add this to the end of your search: filetype:PDF *Note: Use PDF not .PDF (with a period)*
Other Common File Types:
doc or docx = Word document
xls or xlsx = Excel spreadsheet
ppt or pptx = PowerPoint