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Tips for Better Search Results

Tips Examples

Be specific

If you were interested in "the history, language and current location of the Ojibway people" you could search for: Ojibway history language location

  • Use nouns and unique words

  • Put the most important words first

  • Use multiple terms when possible

Use quotes around phrases so the search engine will search for the words as a phrase, not as separate words

To look for a term, rather than search the individual words in a term, use quotes around it:"Bureau of Indian Affairs"
Use a plus sign + in front of a word or a phrase to require its search A word or a phrase preceded by a + must be present in all pages returned: Hopi  +"land claims"  
Hopi  +petroglyphs

Use a minus sign - in front of a word to exclude its search

If you wanted pages on Apache but not the web server software you can prevent "web server" from being searched:
Apache  -"web server"  
Use connectors to indicate inclusion, exclusion, or word proximity. Some common logical operators include OR, AND, and NOT. Iroquois AND constitution
Native Americans OR First Nations
indigenous NOT Australian
Use parentheses around terms that are alike. Inuit and (traditions OR culture)
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