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Search Strategies: Internet Searching

Words for Your Search

  • Use words that would be used in your desired result. The search engine is trying to match the words in your search to words that appear on the pages.
  • Use the search engine to find more keywords, by searching "another term for..." or looking at related searches provided.

Advanced Google Searching

  • Search for an exact phrase: Use quotation marks to find results that only have those words appearing consecutively.
  • Exclude a word: Use the sign - before a keyword to eliminate results that include that word.
    • For example, "salsa recipes -tomato" would return salsa recipes without tomatoes.
  • Find related websites: Search for "related:URL."
    • For example, "related:www.smu.edu" will give you the homepages of other private universities, starting with ones in this area.
  • Search within a single site or domain: Search for "site:URL."
    • For example, "site:.edu biology" will only return results for the keyword biology that appear on webpages that end in .edu. A search of "site:www.smu.edu football" would only return webpages within the SMU site that mention football.

Google Scholar

  • Search for an exact phrase: Use quotation marks to find results that only have those words appearing consecutively.
  • Links to "related articles" and "Cited by" in the results screen can be helpful for finding more relevant scholarship.
  • There is no guarantee as to the quality of the scholarship, so be sure to evaluate the materials you use. Materials that are indexed in Web of Science are of high quality.
  • Links on the right side link to the full text in SMU databases. If you are off campus, you can set your Google Scholar preferences to look for results through SMU Libraries.""

Alternate Search Engines