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POSI 3314: State and Local Government: Evaluating Websites

Dr. Fields

Advanced Google Searching

You can use Google Advanced Search to find more relevant information.  However, you can use these tips to search without having to go through through the Advanced Search page.

Phrase Searching:
Use quotation marks around words to ensure that Google searches them as an exact phrase.  For example "Texas State University"

Limit to a Website or Domain:
Google lets you search within a specific website or a domain by typying site:domain or website.  For example, you can search the city of San Marcos website by typing

One benefit is that you can easily limit your results to more legitimate websites.  So, instead of going to specific websites or government portals, you can search,,, etc.

Limit to a type of file:
You can limit your results to a particular file format.  For example, you can search filetype:pdf to find only pdf documents.  

Use Boolean Search terms
Boolean strategies can also be used in Google.  For example, Google automatically searches with an understood AND.  However, you can use an OR operator to search results that have different search terms.  For example, you can search for College OR University. 

Google Web Search

Be sure to read How do I evaluate websites? to the right before using regular Google to search for sources, and check out the infographic below for some expert search strategies.

Google Web Search