Advanced Internet Searching Tips – pt. 5/6

Advanced searching allows you to limit results and helps you break through ranking algorithms to find those useful documents that are multiple levels deep.

Today’s tip: Proximity and Wildcard Searching

Yes, you can do proximity and wildcard searching in search engines, to some extent. In Google, you can use the asterisk * in the middle of a phrase: “read the * manual.” This search will retrieve results for “read the owner’s manual.” You can use up to three wildcards, separated by spaces. “read the * * manual,” will retrieve “read the Nissan owner’s manual.”

Truncation Searching

Only Exalead offers truncation searching, which works at the end of or in the middle of words. Exalead uses the asterisk * to truncate word stems.

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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