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Refine web searches

You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.

  • Google Search usually ignores punctuation that isn’t part of a search operator.
  • Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com won’t.

Common search techniques

Search social media

Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price

Put in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags

Put in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Exclude words from your search

Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match

Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search for wildcards or unknown words

Put a * in your word or phrase where you want to leave a placeholder. For example, "largest * in the world".

Search within a range of numbers

Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches

Put "OR" between each search query. For example,  marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site

Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov.

Search for related sites

Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example, related:time.com.

Get details about a site

Put "info:" in front of the site address.

See Google’s cached version of a site

Put "cache:" in front of the site address.

Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page.

Katie is a Search expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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