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Evaluate a Web Site: Search & Tips

These criteria will help you learn the tricks of evaluating web sites.

Search Engines

evaluate

The search engines below provide web sites that have been evaluated by librarians based on the five main criteria: coverage, accuracy, authority, objectivity and currency.
 

Google Search Strategies

Developed by Pierce College Library, this short video provides search tips that will give you better Google results.

Google Scholar Search

Google - Advanced Search

Google - Advanced Search allows you to refine your search terms:

  • be specific with phrase searching: "cardiac arrest"
  • limit to certain domains, like .edu or .org
  • restrict to certain file types or a specific language
  • set date ranges

Advanced Google Searching

Here are some of the advanced search features available in the Google search engine. Using these can help you to improve the relevancy of your search results. Each example below has a live link that will demonstrate the search in Google.

" " (double quotes)

Use these to search for a phrase or an exact word match (not synonyms)
Examples:
"marcellus shale"
"metabolic syndrome" "college students"
"grammy award winners" 2014



site:

Searches within a specific domain or website. Keep in mind that anyone can register and post information on a .com, .net, .org domain. Sites that end in a .gov, .edu, or .mil have specific registration requirements, so websites on those domains are more controlled.
Examples:
climate change site:edu
atlanta snow storm 2014 site:gov
site:cnn.com california drought
statistics population Pennsylvania site:gov OR site:edu



intitle/allintitle:

Finds results that have a specific word in the page title. Use allintitle to search for multiple words in the page title.
Examples:
intitle:elvis
intitle:statistics intitle:air intitle:pollution
allintitle:air pollution statistics
allintitle:elvis nixon site:gov



filetype:

Find specific types of files like PDF, Word, or PowerPoint documents.
Examples:
"minimum wage" filetype:pdf
"medical marijuana" filetype:ppt
NSA "domestic spying" filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc



inanchor/allinanchor:

Finds results that have a specific word as a hyperlink. Use allinanchor to find multiple words within a hyperlink.
Examples:
inanchor:influenza statistics
allinanchor:national park lodge



- (minus sign)

Place a minus sign in front of a search word to get results that do not include that word.
Examples:
"federal reserve" -greenspan
"hillary clinton" -"bill clinton"
"domestic drones" -site:gov



AROUND (#)

This searches for words that are close together in a sentence or paragraph. To use it, place AROUND (#) between search words and put a number in place of #. Make sure AROUND is all caps and that there is a space after it.
Examples:
heroin AROUND (2) pennsylvania
heroin AROUND (5) "western pennsylvania"
"chemical weapons" AROUND (4) syria site:gov
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