Google Search ( is a good addition to databases for finding information freely accessable on the internet, e.g., documents, laws, instructions, open access journals, radio shows and podcasts, study materialt, etc. Google Search is also best for finding scientific materials and blogs uploaded to author's homepages.

Below are given some tips for building up a Google search. For more tips see:

  • Keep your search as simple as possible. If you limit your search too much you will miss relevant information. A large number of results is normal. It is important to get relevant results among the first ten results.  
  • All words in the search box are searched, meaning that by default, there is the operator AND between the words. 
  • The operator OR must be typed in capitals. 
  • Instead of the operator NOT, - is used, e.g., if you want results on electronic products and not fruits, you can search for apple -tree 
  • Try out different words or word forms that you think the web site might use  
  • Google automatically searches synonyms and abbreviations and similar word forms, thus it is not necessary to use *. However, this could add many irrelevant results. If you wish to to use a word only in the form you typed in, put the word in quotation marks. You can use * in the middle of a phrase though, to mark substitutable words, e.g., "largest * in the world" 
  • If you want to search within one website, use site: and the URL of the website, e.g., conference

Above the search results there are a number of options available to refine your search. To see the drop-down menues Any time and All results, click on Tools on the right. More options, including the Advanced search box and the Search help page are accessible from the link Settings next to it. 

Google search


Google advanced search will not always give a smaller total number of results, it may in fact be even larger. However, it brings more relevant results into the beginning of the list.

Also take into account ...

... that Google personalizes search results. The selection and order of the results depends on your previous activities on Google. Use an incognito window if you don't want your previous activities to affect your results. The results will still be personalized by your location country though. 

... that Google doesn't show which words were actually used to get a result. Sometimes some words are left out or changed. The words left out might appear under the result as crossed off, but not always.


How to get more relevant results from Google (10.09.2015).



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