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Research Tutorials

Guidance for using Google

Google became synonymous with web searching. It is famous for its simple search box, but Google also has more sophisticated tools to search for quality content online.



  • Google constantly changes: search features are dropped and added, sometimes without a warning.
  • Google search functionality may differ depending on:
    • a browser you are using
    • whether you are logged into your Google account
  • Word order matters.
  • Filter: run a broad search and use filtering options in the menus or headers to narrow down.
  • Harvest keywords: look for relevant keywords in your results to use for further searching.
  • Google hints: use auto-suggested searches.
  • Use relevant search terms for what you need to find:
    • e.x.: "statistics," "market research reports," "public polling," "PDF," etc.
  • Use Verbatim Search if you search for the exact phrase and don't want Google to make suggestions (run a search > Search Tools > More > Verbatim)
  • For your eyes only: be aware that Google personalizes your searches based on your search history, so consider customizing your account settings to search and browse privately.

Find Quality Sources Using an Advanced Google Search


Begin by clicking on the link to "Settings” 
Google page displaying settings option

Then, click on the link to select "Advanced Search
Google Advanced search option

Through the "Advanced Search” form you have the ability to limit your search to government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and educational sites
Under the "Narrow your results" tab, in the "site or domain" field enter:
.gov (for government websites)
.org (for non-governmental organization websites)
.edu (for educational websites)
Google Advanced search by site or domain