Advanced Internet Searching Tips – pt. 1/6

Advanced searching allows you to limit results and helps you break through ranking algorithms to find those useful documents that are multiple levels deep. I’ll post a new tip every Wednesday for the next six weeks, so check back!

Today’s tip: FILETYPE searching + keywords

FILETYPE searching is not fully supported in all search engines, which is why you want to check the advanced search tips for availability. Google and Yahoo! are the strongest search engines for filetype searches. Exalead is strong also, but does not pull from as many sources as Google or Yahoo!.

All search engines support PDF filetype searches, and most support PDF, TXT, and all MS Office extensions.

Different search engines may use different tags for filetype searching:

[Examples of searching for PDF files on education in the major search engines]:

Google: education filetype:pdf
Exalead: education filetype:pdf
MSN: education filetype:pdf
Yahoo! : education originurlextension:pdf
Gigablast: education type:pdf

How else are filetype searches useful?

You can use them to find statistics:
– students public missouri filetype:xls
– This search helps you find statistics (spreadsheets) on students in Missouri’s public schools.

The tips in this weekly update are from a January 2006 presentation for SLA. Beyond the Basics of Internet Search Engines: Choosing and Using the Best Features of the Major Engines, Rita Vine, MLS,


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