Advanced search techniques for reporters

Google Advanced Search, search operators, deep searching a government website with a lousy search tool, Google Dataset Search, Google Scholar. Data sources — Google Public Data explorer and other data portals that collect information so we don’t have to go fetch it.

Warmup tools The Shorter Thesaurus

Lose the Very

Public Data Explorer:

Video: Census (first tool)

Dataset Search:

Video: Dataset Search

Google Scholar:
Search academic journals and case law

Search Operators

Search within a site for a topic: site:cdc .gov SARS

Search for a file format/topic: filetype: .csv us mass shootings

Search a range: Put .. between two numbers. 

Example: camera $500..$1000

Sites similar to one you’re searching: Put “related:” in front of a web address you already know. 


Look at a website’s cache: Put “cache:” in front of the site address to see an earlier version of the story/site. 


Search for an exact image size: Right after the word you’re looking for, add the text imagesize:widthxheight. Make sure to add the dimensions in pixels.

Example: Eiffel Tower imagesize:500×500

Search a Twitter list: inurl:lists <michelin starred>

Video: Search tips

Google’s official search operators list:
There are many “cheat sheets” on the web, some better than others. Here’s another good one.
More Google Advanced Search tips:

More training on Reporting & Writing: