To help you get the most out of our site search, here are a few tips:
- Common words are usually ignored, like 'the,' 'a,' and 'for'.
- Capital and lower case letters don’t matter with our Search. Searching for [ School of Psychology ] is the same as searching for [ school of psychology ].
- Keep it simple. Describe what you need with as few terms as possible. Since all words are used in the query, each additional word limits the results. The main advantage to starting with fewer keywords is that, if you don't get what you need, the results will likely give you a good indication of what additional words are needed to refine your results on the next search.
- Use the words that are most likely to appear on the page. For example, instead of saying [ tell me about researching ], say [ research ].
- Choose descriptive words. The more unique the word is, the more likely you are to get relevant results. Words that are not very descriptive, like 'document,' 'website,' 'department,' or 'info,' are usually not needed.
- You can refine your search to show more relevant results higher on the list, by selecting Events, News, Courses or People under “Refine results for:”. For example, you may be looking for a course in Maths. Search on [ maths ], then select Courses, and your results will be limited to Cardiff University course websites such as Coursefinder.
- Please bear in mind that these refined searches are there to help you find the information you are looking for, but in order to do this, they narrow your search to areas of our website that are more relevant to what you are looking for. The exact information you are seeking may be on an excluded page, so you may find the full search is more helpful depending on what you are looking for.
- Phrase search (""). By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. However, Google already uses that order and will stray from it only for a good reason, so quotes are usually unnecessary.
- Terms you want to exclude (-). Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. For example, in the query [ anti-virus software ], the minus sign is used as a hyphen and will not be interpreted as an exclusion symbol; whereas the query [ anti-virus -software ] will search for the words 'anti-virus' but exclude references to software.
- Search exactly as is (+). Google employs synonyms automatically, so that it finds pages that mention, for example, childcare for the query [ child care ] (with a space), or California history for the query [ ca history ]. By attaching a + immediately before a word (remember, don't add a space after the +), you are telling Google to match that word precisely as you typed it. Putting double quotes around a single word will do the same thing.
- The OR operator. Google's default behaviour is to consider all the words in a search. If you want to specifically allow either one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type 'OR' in ALL CAPS). For example, [ Open Day 2008 OR 2009 ] will give you results about either one of these years, whereas [ Open Day 2008 2009 ] (without the OR) will show pages that include both years on the same page. The symbol | can be substituted for OR. (The AND operator is the default, so it is not needed.)