Google searchis a very useful educational resource used to search and find educative and Informative materials from the web. Students as well as researchers find this tool very helpful to them. But sometimes, searching for a specific thing from google’s database may not be easily gotten if you type only your search keywords on google and rely on it alone for accurate result. You may get irrelevant results mixed with your search result  because they also match your search keywords but they are not exactly what you were looking for.  To solve such problems, google introduced search filters.

Google search filters enables you to have absolute control over the search results that google displays for you whenever you search for anything. In other words, you specify criteria’s for google to use when getting results for you such as what to look out for, and what to avoid. With this you will get an effective and a more accurate search result when you include search filters in your search. Let’s learn about them and how they affect our search results in google.

Google Search Engine

Google Searching Tips using search filters

Below, we take a look at the various ways some symbols, punctuation and operators affect search results and how to use them to achieve an effective google search.

Punctuation Marks & Symbols

  1. Quotation marks (“ ”): Simply put your words in quotes. Google will bring you results matching the exact words you quoted and so your search becomes more specific to what you want.
    Type “Nigerian Students” in google. Search and see the result.You will notice that your results are containing the quoted words and maintaing their order.
  2. Underscore (_):You use underscore to join words together so that google sees it as one. When ever you notice that your results are containing your keywords splitted apart when they are suppose to be joined, you can use underscore to indicate to google to join those words together for your search.
  3. Hyphen (-): Any hyphen attached to a keyword would tell google to exclude any result that has the keyword(s) that is written after the hyphen from the result.
    Tokunbo has been associated with cars but I want to know of other things named tokunbo but not cars. In this case, all you have to do is to type “tokunbo –cars” and search. You are now telling google to search for anything with the name “tokunbo” but excluding cars.
  4. Double dots (..):You use this when you want to search for a complete phrase or sentence when you can only remember part of it. Google will give you possible conclusion of the missing part.
    I can only remember “two to tangle” and i know that it is the ending part of a complete sentence. How do i know the rest of the sentence? Just go to google and type “..two to tangle” with the double dots before the phrase. See the result that appears and look at the position of your keyword i.e two to tango. You will notice that it appears at the ending part of whatever statement it comes in. If a phrase you remember is the beginning of a sentence, put the double dots after the phrase.


  1. The “site: [part or whole site url]” operator: This is used to specify to google a specific site you want to get your informations from. Examples”[] lady gaga – bad romance”. Notice that all your result will be coming from
  2. The“type: [file type here]” operator: This is used to specify to google the type of file you want. Examples of file types include mp3, pdf, doc, jpg, docx, avi, etc.
    To search for a pdf file on Environmental Scices, just type “Environmental Sciences [type:pdf] and search. See the result.
With these search tips, we do hope your searches becomes more effective from today as you begin to use the search filters.
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