By default, Google returns only pages that include all of your search terms. You do not need to include "AND" between terms. The order of search terms affects the search results. To further restrict a search, just include more terms.
Google may ignore common words and characters such as where and how and other digits and letters that slow down a search without improving the results.
If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include the word by putting a plus sign (+) in front of it. Make sure to include a space before the plus sign. For example, to ensure that Google includes the "I" in a search for "Star Wars Episode I", enter the search query as follows:
Star Wars Episode +I
Special Characters: Query Term Separators
By default, non-alphanumeric characters in a search query separate the query terms in the same way as space characters.
The following characters are exceptions:
Double quote mark (") Used as a special query term for phrase searches.
Plus sign (+) Treated as a Boolean AND.
Minus sign or hyphen (-) Treated as part of a query term if there is no space preceding it. A hyphen that is preceded by a space is the Exclude Query Term operator.
Decimal point (.) Treated as a query term separator unless it is part of a number (for example, 250.01).
For example dancing.parrot is equivalent to "dancing parrot" with quotes in the query. The term dancing.parrot is not equivalent to dancing parrot (without quotes).
Ampersand (&) Treated as another character in the query term in which it is included.
If a document
contains a number, with or without a decimal point, that has letters
immediately before or after it, the letters are treated as a separate word
or words. For example, the string 802.11a is indexed as two separate words,
802.11 and a.
Automatic "and" Queries
By default, Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. For example, to search for engineering product specification documents, enter:
engineering product specifications
To broaden or restrict the search, include fewer or more terms.
Google supports the logical "OR" operator. To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase "OR" between terms. For example, to search for an office in either London or Paris, enter:
office london OR paris
See Your Search Terms in the Results
Every Google search result lists one or more excerpts from the web page to display how your search terms are used in context on that page. In the excerpt, your search terms are displayed in bold text so that you can quickly determine if that result is from a page you want to visit.
Does Capitalization Matter?
Google searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you enter them, are understood as lower case. For example, searches for "george washington," "George Washington," and "George washington" all return the same results.
Refining Your Search
Since Google only returns web pages that contain all of the words in your query, refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered. The refined query returns a specific subset of the pages that were returned by your original broad query.
You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to exclude. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign.
For example, the search:
will return pages about bass that do not contain the word "music."
You can search for phrases by adding quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes ("like this") appear together in all returned documents. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for famous sayings or specific names.
Certain characters serve as phrase connectors. Phrase connectors work like quotes because they join your search words in the same way double quotes join your search words. For example, the search:
is treated as a phrase search even though the search words are not enclosed in double quotes. Google recognizes hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs, and apostrophes as phrase connectors.