A lot of the content you'll find online will be organized into a type of database. This means you can search them using the same tricks and techniques you use to search library databases.
This page will give pointers on phrase searching and Boolean Operators. Ask a Librarian to get more help with search strategies.
Some databases and search engines don't support Boolean Operators or wildcard characters. Many of them will state that near the search box, but you should be able to find more information about advanced search techniques in a website's Help or FAQ pages.
In addition to "phrase searching," and Boolean operators, you can also try using wildcard searches.
Like truncation, wildcard searches will expand your results. Wildcard searches allow the database to replace the wildcard symbol with any letters that would make up a real word. It's like a shorthand way of typing every possible word that fits the pattern with OR in between. Not only will this save you time, but it might also give you alternative keywords you hadn't even thought of.
Here's a table to illustrate how some of these symbols (including the truncation asterisk) typically work.
|What it does
|Instead of typing
|replaces zero or more letters at the end of a word
|computer OR computing OR computational OR...
|replaces at most one letter
|net OR neat OR next OR nest OR...
|replaces only one letter
|bat OR bet OR bit OR bot OR but OR...
REMEMBER: Some databases may use these symbols differently or may use different symbols, so check the database's help section if you're having problems with wildcards.