Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Google smarter

Use this guide to learn how to use Google better

If you've done any searching in Google, then you've probably found that the results can be quite varied and you may have had to sift through a lot of irrelevant content to find what you need.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you to harness Google's power to better meet your needs (click on the link to download a PDF version):

1. Search for an exact phrase or quote

Use double quotation marks " " to look for an exact phrase or quote, e.g. to find results that contain the phrase "freedom of speech" (exact words, in the exact same order).

2. Exclude a term from search results

Use the dash/hyphen before a word or site to exclude it from your search results, e.g. to search for information on hamburgers but exclude results from the McDonald’s website.

3. Search within a single website

Use site:URL, e.g. to search for publications on climate change within the United Nations website.

4. Search a specific domain

Use site: if you only want to see results from a specific type of domain, such as: .org .gov or .edu

Use (Australian government domain), e.g. to search for policy papers on climate change on Australian government websites.

5. Search for a particular file type

Use filetype:[pdf/doc/xls/ppt… etc.] to limit results to a certain format, e.g. to search for documents on the topic of social media in PDF format.

6. Search for words in a webpage title

Use intitle: [your search words], e.g. to search for web pages that have “climate change” in the title.