When you put a search word in quotes you make it a mandatory term: Google's results must include that word.
When you search for two or more words in quotes the phrase is mandatory and the order of the words is also mandatory. For example, "bills super bowl" is a different search than "super bowl bills." Other examples include:
You can expand your search by including synonyms. To include synonyms, use OR between the words. The word OR should be in capital letters. You can use two or more synonyms; for example, dessert OR cake OR ice cream. Good sources for synonyms are thesauruses, professors, and published articles.
You can limit your results to either a general domain or to a specific Web site.
The Web is organized by domains. A domain is a type of site. There are many domains. Examples of domains include:
.edu for higher education sites
.com and .co for commercial sites
.org for non-profit entities, schools, open-source projects, and communities
.gov for government Web sites
.mil for military sites
You can add the following syntax to your search to limit results to a general domain: site:.domain. For example, to limit results to higher education Web sites, add the following to your search: site:.edu. One possible search is: financial aid site:.edu.
You can also limit your results to exact Web sites. For example, to get results from only Harvard University, use site:.harvard.edu in your search. To get results from only the White House Web site, include site:.whitehouse.gov in your search.
You can exclude sites by using a minus sign before the code: for example, you can include -site:.com to exclude results from .com sites.
You can limit your results to specific computer application files by adding the following syntax to your search: filetype:file-extension-name. Examples of file types include:
|Lotus 1-2-3||wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wks, wku|
|Microsoft Works||wks, wps, wdb|
|Rich Text Format||rtf|
For example, to search for only pdfs, add filetype:pdf to your search. To search for only Excel files, add filetype:xls.To search for only PowerPoint files, add filetype:ppt.
One possible search is: climate change filetype:ppt. Results must be PowerPoint presentations.
All of Google’s special search functions can be combined. A strong search includes different elements, for example, a bound phrase, a limit to a domain, and a limit to a file type. For example, the following search may find examples of reports by Inspectors General on US government Web sites: "inspector general" report site:.gov filetype:pdf
Examples of companies' sexual harassment forms may be found by searching:
"sexual harassment" form site:.com filetype:pdf
Examples of professors and college students' PowerPoint presentations on college athletes may be found by searching:
"college athletes" site:.edu filetype:ppt