Google Search Operators Lesson

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Do you Google: Tips for Becoming a Library Superstar

Do you Google: Tips for Becoming a Library SuperstarThursday, July 23, 2015

Lydia Thorne

Ranking 1-51

Search OperatorsA Review


What is an Operator?

An operator = a symbol that modifies the words or numbers around it

Operators help to tweak, refine, and narrow search (for ex. Boolean operators)

Using an operator changes your search query (sometimes drastically!)


Familiar with Boolean operators (LIS 9003)3

Google Search OperatorsRefining Your Search!

Learning OutcomeBy the end of this session, students will be able to determine when each Google search operator should be applied in a given situation

Wildcard (*)The asterisk (*) symbol acts as a place holder for missing words if you only have a partial phrase or title Ex. [database * systems] [invit*]

1) Database management systems2) Invite- invitation6

Exclusion (-)The minus (-) symbol excludes any words from your search that follow the symbolWorks the same way as NOT (Boolean operator)Ex. [jaguar speed] [jaguar speed animal]

Want car, excludes animals..leaving only car speeds7

Inclusion (+)The plus (+) symbol will include words that follow the sign in your search resultsEx. [jaguar speed] [jaguar speed +animal]

Limits search results to just car speed 8

Similar Words (~)The tilde (~) symbol includes similar words in your search resultsEx. [mobile phone] [~mobile phone]

Will also bring up cell, cellular phone for exampleto expand search and give more information9

Number Range (..)The dot-dot (..) symbol can be used to include a range of numbers in your searchEx. [academy awards] [academy awards 1965..1973]

Looking for who won academy awards between the years 1965 and 197310

Restrict Keywords (:) A few types:i) (define:) Finds the word or phrase immediately after the colon in the titleEx. define:inorganic chemistry define inorganic chemistryii) (filetype:) Restrict your search to a specific file typeEx. IRS tax forms filetype:pdf

*Note- no space between colon and text!*Note- definecan be used with or without colon*Note- more on sheet- look at them at home!


SummaryYou have learned the following Google Search Operators!*-:~+..

In-Class Activity: Google Trivia!Are you a Google Library Superstar?

Google Trivia Time!


Text messaging Text LYDIATHORNE464 to 37607 once to join the session, then A, B, C, or D to vote!

Note: Depending on carrier and text message plan, some charges may apply!

Post-test rating 1-5: How do you rank your Google searching skills now?14

ReferencesCreating an Effective Search Strategy. SNHU: Shapiro Library, 13 July 2015. Web. 20 July 2015. Formulating Your Search Strategy: Introduction. University of Saskatchewan Library, 11 July 2015. Web. 13 July 2015.Google Search Tips. NDSU: North Dakota State University, 29 June 2015. Web. 16 July 2015. Google Search Tips: Search Operators. MIT Libraries, n.d. Web. 22 July 2015. Information Literacy @ The Patrick Power Library. Patrick Power Library, Saint Marys University June 2014. Web. 17 July 2015. Search Operators. GoogleGuide, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 July 2015. Top Ten Search Modifiers: Why They Matter, What They Are & How to Use Them. Search Engine Land, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 20 July 2015.