The internet can be such a wonderful source of information, or an overwhelming tangled mess of opinions. There are many ways to refine and target your searches, resulting in better results and faster access to the information you seek!

Regular search: Just typing words or a question into Google will search each of those words. Sometimes those words might appear next to each other but not necessarily. When looking at your results, the words that you used to search will be bold so you can see how relevant the results are to your search.

Quotations: Putting a word or series of words in quotation marks guarantees that the word will searched and all words will be seen together in that specific order instead of searching for the words individually.

Minus: Using the minus sign in conjunction with other search parameters will help you exclude things you don’t want. For example, if we search Norfolk, results for MA and VA might both come up. If we search for Norfolk -VA, only results that do not have VA in them should come up.

Asterisk: Using the asterisk symbol (*) will help your search engine fill in the gaps where you might be missing words. This is a great trick for song lyrics where you remember some words but not others.

Site: You can also tell Google to search only within a specific website. To do this you type site:[sitename] and then your search criteria. For example, Board of Selectmen “Norfolk MA”.

As you might expect, the list of tips could go on for ages. For more tricks, visit the following resources:

Mental Floss -

Life Hack -

Google -

AuthorKaty Woodhams