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  • Check spelling - Make sure your search terms are spelled correctly.  The search engine will attempt to find words that sound similar your search terms, but it is always best to spell the search terms correctly.
  • Avoid common words that are found throughout the website.  For example, in the Phytoremediation website, don't search phytoremediation. All pages will have this keyword.
  • Use multiple words - Use multiple words when performing your search.  More words for a search will return more refined results than a search from a single word.
  • Use related words - The more related words you use in a search, the more relevant results will be to the words that you are searching for.
  • Use appropriate capitalization - Use capitalization when looking for proper nouns such as the name of a person or place. Lowercase words will match any words of any case.
  • Use quotation marks to find words that must appear adjacent to each other within a phrase.  For example, search for "heavy metal" within quotes rather than just heavy metal.
  • Use Boolean operators:  plus (+) or minus (-)  Precede a search term or phrase with a plus (+) sign to indicate it must appear in a search result. Precede a search term with a minus (-) sign to indicate an undesirable search term or phrase that must not appear in a search result. For example, searching for +dogs -collie will return results that are about dogs, but not about collies.
  • Use field searches - Field searches allow you to search for words that appear in a specific part of a document such as the body text (body:), title text (title:), alt text (alt:), meta description (desc:), meta keywords (keys:) or URL (url:). The field name should include the colon and precede the search word or phrase with no spaces between them. For example, searching for title:presidents will find pages with presidents in the title of the page.

 
 
 
 
Page last revised February 5, 2000.