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A Quick Tour of the Advanced Search Page

There are a couple of things to note about the Advanced Search page:

• When you enter items on the various lines of the Advanced Search page, Google will construct the full “Googlespeak” query for you. This query is likely to be full of AND statements, OR statements and quotation marks. You can see the full query that Google constructs for you once you hit the enter button.

• Google provides a list of punctuation, symbols and operators that can be used in search. It is worth perusing this list if you have specific search requirements. For example, you can use the hashtag symbol (#) to search for topics on Twitter.

Note: Google has killed the tilde symbol (~) in search. This was a symbol that was used to search for approximate synonyms of a word. For example, search for an address using ~street in the search query would have brought up results that also included words such as road, lane, drive, etc. Apparently, not enough people used the tilde in searches and it was too challenging for Google to maintain multiple synonym dictionaries in multiple languages.

• If you are looking to search the vast Google Newspaper Archive, use the Genealogy Search Engine. Not only is it the only ancestral search engine on the internet that covers this important genealogy resource, the Genealogy Search Engine is specifically tailored to ancestral searches. Read the brief article A Guide to Performing Online Genealogy Searches if you require assistance.

Tip – Use the Genealogy Search Engine for searching online historic newspaper archives. It indexes dozens of these archives, including the massive Google Newspaper Archive, Chronicling America, Australia's Trove system, etc.

• Google also has some topic-specific search engines. The most popular for genealogists are:

Google Books - full text search of the millions of historic books that Google has scanned and put online. This includes many old city directories.

Google Maps - look for an address.

Google Images - look for an image of someone.

Google News - search current news.


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