Skip to content

This … but not That

When searching for information through Internet search engines (AOL, Bing, Google, Yahoo), the more precise your search words, the more precise the search results, and the faster you will find what you are looking for.

One way to increase your search precision is to proactively exclude certain words from your search by typing a minus (-) sign before them.

  • If you are researching beetles (the bugs not the car), type “beetle -volkswagen” (no quotes)
  • If you are looking to purchase or learn about golf clubs (the equipment not the facilities) type “golf -courses” (no quotes)
  • If you are looking to take a bicycle trip somewhere other than in the United States, type “bike trips -usa” (no quotes)

Note that the minus sign must have a space before it, but no space after it.

If you wish to exclude more than one word, leave a space between words: “dogs -poodles -pitbulls” (no quotes).

Try it!