Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Google trick: -site:

Posted by Megan on March 1, 2011

Despite the simplicity beloved by web searchers, Google has an ever-increasing array of tips and tricks for narrowing, refining, and manipulating search results.

One new one to me is the idea of combining the minus sign with the site domain limiter.

On its own, the minus sign (or NOT operator) excludes web pages that contain a particular term. For example, if you type…

“Full body scans” -MRI

… no pages with the word MRI will appear in the search results.

The site: operator limits results only to pages that have a particular domain or web address. For example, if you type…

“Airport security” “full body scans” site:gov

…only pages on the U.S. government domain .gov will be found.

Thus, the following search will exclude all web pages on .gov pages:

“Airport security” “full body scans” -site:gov

Hat tip to Edward Bilodeau.

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