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3 Tips for Searching Our Websites

With thousands of pages in our ag.ndsu.edu domain, finding something through our custom Google Search can be difficult sometimes. Here are 3 search tips that might help.

  1. Use quotes to search for an exact phrase
    Putting quotation marks around your search phrase returns results that contain those exact words in that exact order.
    Here are the results of search on our ag.ndsu.edu sites for a news release titled "Net Farm Income Drops 30 Percent."
    Search results for net farm income drops without quotes
    The news release I was looking for came up first, but the results also include items that contain the word "dropped" instead of "drops" and items that have the words "net farm income" in that order, but not "net farm income drops."
    Here are the search results when I included quotation marks. All the results include the specific words I searched for in the specific order I wanted them in.
    Search results for net farm income drops with quotes

  2. Include and exclude keywords
    You can emphasize keywords in your search by putting + (a plus sign) in front of them and exclude other keywords by putting - (a minus sign) in front of them. Here's a search of our sites for the keyword "stress."
    Search results for stress without exclusions or emphasis
    3 of the top 5 results are related to farm and ranch stress, but what if I'm looking for items about other kinds of stress? In the search below, I emphasized stress, (+stress) and excluded farm (-farm) and ranch (-ranch), removing the farm and ranch stress items from my search results.
    Search results for stress with emphasis and exclusion

  3. Use "allintitle" to search for words in a title
    Sometimes we know or have a good idea of the title of the item we are searching for. In the example below, I was searching for a particular publication about feeding corn to beef cattle, so I searched for the keywords "corn," "beef"," and "cattle."
    Search results for corn beef cattle
    The publication I was looking for came up first, but I also got results about feeding wheat and utilizing corn residue. In the next example, I used the "allintitle:" command, so my results include only items that have all 3 of my keywords in the title.
    Search results for corn beef cattle using allintitle command
    Because I used "allintitle:" I only got 4 results back, all of which include all 3 of my keywords in the title.

These tips work in any Google search, not just the custom search on our domain, so try them out and let me know if they help you find what you are looking for.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-7381

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