We all know that Google is the “all-powerful search engine master”. But, a lot of people don’t realize that Google has TONS of advanced “search operators” that you can use to help you find all kinds of useful information regarding your required textbooks. Listed below are some of the advanced “search operator” strategies that I’ve used in the past to really “drill down” and locate the exact type of educational material I was after. Take the time and learn a couple of these advanced search “tricks”, as I bet you will be amazed at how quickly you can get to the textbook information you’re after. Of course, you could just continue endlessly clicking through pages and pages of Google search results hoping to get lucky.
If you start your Google search query with “allintext:”, Google will only give you websites that contain all the search terms you specify in the text of their webpage. For example, [ allintext: biology smith 7th edition ] will return only pages in which the words “biology," “smith," and “7th” and “edition" appear in the text of the page. This specific search capability can also be accessed through the Advanced Web Search page, under Occurrences.
If you start your search query with “allintitle:”, Google will only give you websites that contain all the search terms you specify in their title. For example, [ allintitle: myers psychology chapter 7 ] will return only pages that contain the words “myers" and “psychology" and “chapter 7″ in the title. This specific search capability can also be accessed through the Advanced Web Search page, under Occurrences.
When you are using the “allintitle:” command, don’t attempt to use any other search operators at the same time.
Also, if you want to look for a specific string of words or a specific phrase, you can wrap that phrase in quotes when using these same commands discussed above. For example, allintitle: “elementary statistics” will give you websites that contain the exact phrase “elementary statistics” in their title, and not pages that contain “elementary” and “statistics” anywhere in their title. So this search wouldn’t give you websites that are titled: “I love elementary school! I also love statistics!”, but it would give you websites that are titled “Elementary Statistics 9th Edition” and so on.
If you start your search query with “allinurl:”, Google will give you websites that contain all the search terms you specify in the URL, also know as the website address. For example, [ allinurl: coursesmart answers ] will return only websites that contain the words “coursesmart" and “answers" in the URL, such as “www.coursesmart.com/help/answers.html". This specific capability can also be accessed through the Advanced Web Search page, under Occurrences.
In URLs, words are often run together. They do not need to run together when you’re using the “allinurl:” search operator.
If you include “filetype:suffix” in your search query, Google will only give you documents that are in your requested format. For example, [ greek history study filetype:pdf ] will return Adobe Acrobat pdf files that match the terms “greek", “history", and “study". You can limit the Google search results to web pages whose names end with both pdf and doc by using the OR operator, e.g. [ industrial revolution benefits filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc ].
When you don’t specify an exact File Format in the Advanced Search Form or by using the “filetype:” operator, Google will automatically search through a variety of formats.
Using these advanced search engine strategies, you should be able to uncover a wealth of educational material in a very short amount of time. Google has tons of advanced “search operators”, but these ones are what I have used in college to find solid information involving textbook material in general. You will never what is really out there until you give it a shot! You just might surprise yourself.