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ITI 220: Retrieving and Evaluating Electronic Information (04:547:220): Search Engines techiques

This course guide contains library research resources for the IT market sector analysis project in ITI 220.

List of videos for Search Engines

Search Engines: Searching Tips and Tricks

In the video listed on the left, I talked about how to use keyword search and Boolean search to get better results.  Wait, there's more! Try the following techniques to make your searches even better or read this article from

Linshi, J., & People. (2015, 00:49,  -08-06 22:40:30, 2015-08-06 22:25:53). 11 Google Tricks That Will Change the Way You Search. Time. Retrieved from

Phrases with quotes

Very often keywords contain more than one word. Databases let you put quotation marks around these so that only results with the exact phrase are listed.

Why is this technique important?

For example, there is a movie called “Dead Man Walking” which is about a death roll inmate.  If I do not put quotation marks around the words, I may get "Walking Dead." which has to do with zombies!   This technique is particularly useful if you are searching for a company’s name, a product name, title of a book or title of an article.  You will get better results by using the quotation marks with the words.


Nesting or using parenthesis ( ) is nothing new if you remember how the order of operations works in the days of your Middle School.  Do you still remember how to solve this one: (3 + 2) × (6 − 3)?  When you conduct a search, you can use ( ) to help you combine terms.  The search engine will search for what is grouped or nested inside the parentheses first. For example, to find articles about privacy issues associated with Fibbit, I can enter the following search.

(wearables OR fitbit OR smart jewelry) and privacy issues

This technique is particularly useful if there are a number of terms that are used to describe the same idea.  You can then use the Boolearn operator OR to combine the words and then use the parenthesis to group them together.

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