How to Conduct an Advanced Internet Search

by eHow Internet Editor

To conduct an advanced search on the Internet, use the Boolean operators, such as "AND" and "OR," to make your search as specific as possible.

Go to a Web search engine.

To find documents containing an exact phrase, type the phrase, surrounded by quotation marks, into the search field. For example, typing 'fish sticks' (with the quotation marks) will return documents that contain the phrase 'fish sticks,' but not Web pages that contain only 'fish' or 'sticks.'

To find documents containing a pair of words, but not necessarily together, type the words separated by the word 'AND' in all caps. For example, typing 'fish AND sticks' (without the quotation marks) will return Web pages that contain 'fish,' 'sticks' and 'fish sticks.'

To find documents containing either one word or the other, type the words separated by the word 'OR' in all caps. For example, typing 'fish OR sticks' (without the quotation marks) will return documents that contain 'fish' or 'sticks,' or both.

To exclude a word from your search, type the word you wish to exclude into the search field, preceded by the word 'NOT' in all caps. For example, typing 'fish NOT salmon' (without the quotation marks) will return only documents that do contain the word 'fish' and do not contain the word 'salmon.'

6 To find documents that contain two words separated by 10 to 25 words, type the two words separated by the word 'NEAR' in all caps, into the search field. If your search expression is lengthy or complicated, use parentheses to separate the different parts. For example, typing 'fish OR sticks NOT (salmon OR trout)' will get you entries that have the words 'fish' or 'sticks' or both, but do not have the words 'salmon' or 'trout.'

Tips

  • check Check the directions for the search engine you're using. Some require very specific syntax.
  • check Some search engines allow the following symbolic substitutions for Boolean words: & for AND, | for OR, ! for NOT, and ~ for NEAR. But not all searches allow this, so if your query comes up blank, try using the words instead.
  • check Some search engines don't sup-port the Boolean words 'NEAR' or 'NOT.'

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