Leveraging Google Advanced Search

Editor’s note: This tip was provided by Ted Tjaden, National Director, Knowledge Management at McMillan, Slaw contributor, and . Thanks Ted!

Although many law librarians “complain” of the tendency for law students to go straight online before thinking about the issues and consulting print and online secondary resources, I remain surprised by the number of smart law students who when they go online have never used

Google Advanced Search has a number of advantages over a simple Google search:

  • Search within a a site or domain: limit your search to a particular domain or URL (e.g., “un.org”)
  • Show 100 results per page
  • Where your keywords show up: easily limit your keywords to the “title” of a document (providing a much more focused search)
  • File type: limit your results to a particular document format (e.g., PDF or Word)
  • Date or region restrictions

The screenshot below shows a Google Advanced search limited to the United Nations website where the words “canada” and “treaty” appear in the title of the document showing 100 results per page.

Click on image to enlarge

Running a search on the United Nations website on “canada” and “treaty” gets results, but different results. In many situations, I find it easier to review and navigate the Google Advanced Search results compared to the actual site’s internal search engine results.

Realize, however, that some websites make block Google from crawling their entire website.

Start the discussion!

Leave a Reply

(Your email address will not be published or distributed)