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Search ‘Smarter’ NOT ‘Harder’ using Google’s Advanced Search

Search Smarter NOT Harder using Google's Advanced Search Teaching Forward blog post headerGoogle’s Advanced Search

Of course you know how to search, but if you aren’t using Google’s “Advanced Search” feature, you’re missing out on searching efficiently. With “Advanced Search” you can easily filter and narrow your search results, without needing to recall Boolean logic operators.

Advanced Search allows you to filter a web search by:Google's advanced search menu

  • Finding a specific word or phrase in sequence rather than anywhere on a page
  • Excluding words to further narrow search results
  • When a page was last updated (great for current events!)
  • Site or domain (e.g. search nasa.gov only)

In addition to searching for information, educators are often on the hunt for resources, whether it be worksheets, lesson plans, slide shows or school policies that can be used directly or modified to suit the needs of their particular school or classroom.  Advanced search will allow you to return only links to files of a certain type (PDF, DOC, PPT and more), not web pages that leave you searching for files.

Accessing & Using Advanced Search:

  1. Go to Google.com (or use the omnibox) to enter your search words.  Hit the search icon to execute the search.
  2. When your search results appear, you should see a gear icon in the top right corner of the page (see image below).  Click the gear & select “Advanced Search” to access the menu.
  3. Narrow and filter your search using any of the available fields in the Advanced Search menu to refine your results.

Accessing Google's Advanced Search

Advanced Image SearchGoogle's advanced search for images options

If you are conducting an image search (images.google.com) you can narrow your image results using Advanced Search.  As with the standard web search above, you first enter your search terms and will see the gear icon in the top right when you get your initial search results.  The Advanced Image Search menu is somewhat different, in that it allows users to filter by:

  • Image size
  • Aspect ratio
  • Colors in image
  • Type of image (e.g. clip art, photo, animated)
  • File type (JPG, PNG, SVG, etc.)
  • Usage rights (e.g. return only images you are free to use/share or modify)


Google Search Tips Tutorial Video

For more information about effective search strategies, including how to conduct an “Advanced Search”, check out the Google Search Tips tutorial video below:

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