Improve Your Google Search Skills!


True confession time…even more than UpToDate or PubMed, Google is your go-to source for information on the fly.  Following are some tips for faster, more focused search results using Google:

  • Exclude terms. If you are looking for information on the term “myocardial,” but not “myocardial infarction,” place a minus sign in front of the word you wish to exclude, e.g., myocardial -infarction.
  • Site search. Limit your search to a single website or a specific group of sites, by using site: followed by a Web address or ending. For example, entering “stroke site:gov” as the search will provide information about strokes from government agencies, including MedlinePlus!
  • Wildcard search. Use the asterisk to substitute for any word in a phrase. This can be especially useful for identifying a particular fact or even finding a missing word in a song lyric! Put phrases in quotes; for example, “Las Vegas is in * county.”
  • Math and conversions. Enter a math problem into Google Search, and it will give you the answer (use * for multiplication and / for division). It will also convert currencies and temperatures. For example, enter “$100 in euros.”
  • Definitions. Place the word “define” before any word, for example “define popliteal,” and Google provides a definition at the top of the results list. You can also enter “movies” or “weather” before a ZIP Code or city name to see a list of films playing nearby or a weather forecast for that area.*

*Improve your Google Search Skills!.  NewsBits.  Published June 20, 2012.  Accessed May 24, 2013.

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