A Few Google Search Tips and Tricks

Leanne Wells


Google can be a very useful tool for finding business-related information that’s freely available on the free internet.

As noted in Module 1 (Isn’t Everything in Google?), Google gives students the impression that the most popular and freely-available information is best but many students are unaware that a Google search is not a complete search nor are your results vetted for reliability of the information found.

A few areas where Google is useful:

  • finding government information (international, national, provincial and local)
  • accessing corporate websites
  • finding statistics (e.g., Statistics Canada, US Census)
  • locating technical information like help manuals and software documentation

Using Google’s Search Tools

Government information is a perfect example. As you see in the screen capture below, a search on population statistics is limited by only searching the Statistics Canada website.

Using a specific operator site: along with the Statistics Canada URL, forces Google to limit the search to a specific set of results (only from Statistics Canada).

Screenshot of a Google search on only the Statistics Canada site.

Let’s say, for example, that you are interested in discovering what Canadian federal government funding may be available for women entrepreneurs.

As you see below, you can narrow your search to information only from the Government of Canada by including site:gc.ca You’ll notice that you can select Tools (circled) to narrow your search further by changing the date from “Any time” to “Past year” to obtain more current results.

What if you want to search for information from the Government of NB? Try limiting your search to site:gnb.ca

Screenshot of a Google search for "women entrepreneur funding" on the Government of New Brunswick site.

Want to Learn More about Google Search Operators?

Learning more about how Google works can be really useful. Please keep in mind that Google won’t get you to all the quality content that the library offers (via the Deep Web) but it can help for some topics. Below are a few basic operators to help to improve your searching:

Chart with examples of common search operators such as the asterisk (placeholder for an unknown keyword) and minus sign (use before a word to exclude it from search results).
Common search operators to use in Google.

Instead of trying to remember these search operators, try using Google’s Advanced Search.  Take a look at this video created by UNB Libraries, as well as a few tips and tricks when using Google.


PDF Transcript

Image of the Google at UNB Libraries handout, which explains how Google Searching works.


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Business Information Skills Certificate (BISC): Research Guide Copyright © 2023 by Leanne Wells is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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