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Advanced Google Searching

This guide is a supplement to the Advanced Google Research Class

Subject Guide

Bernard Lyons's picture
Bernard Lyons
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A basic Google search can be quick and often broadly effective, but will not always find everything you need. Effective research should use a number of search tools to cover material not retrieved by a basic Google search. Using the advanced functions of Google, and/or specialised search engines, will get you more specific search results so you don't have to look through irrelevant results, and may find specifically relevant information that otherwise may not be available.

Search discussion groups

Find information from Websites that are no longer online

Search news web pages

Use academic specific search engines


Search discussion groups

Google Groups searches email posts from discussion groups and list serves, including their archives. Specialists/Experts in areas often discuss their concerns in email lists and discussion groups, and this information is not generally searchable through normal search engines. Once in the search engine, you can narrow down the search to specific lists that may be relevant to your legal topic.

Find information from Websites that are no longer online

The Internet Archive aka The Wayback Machine, searches for old versions of web pages that are stored in its database, some of which may no longer be online. Useful to look at historical versions of websites. Searches by URL and keyword.

Search news web pages

Google News searches 4,500 English-language news web pages worldwide. You can narrow down by region and it includes an historical search.

Google News Archive provides access to scanned versions of old newspapers. A timeline view is available to quickly see what dates are available for the selected newspapers.

Yahoo News will keyword search across thousands of news sources, plus the Yahoo full coverage which includes human sorted news stories.

Note: The Library also has subscription databases that contain news archives. For more information see the guide Finding News.

Use academic specific search engines

Google Scholar will search scholarly articles indexed on the google search engine. Its limitations are that it does not cover large amounts of commercial material, does not provide equal coverage of all subject areas, and it doesn't necessarily retrieve the best articles. Articles are often not full text, though searches on University computers will give you access via the University subscriptions. It does not publish the list of titles it covers

Directory of Open Access Journals indexes and allows searching of many freely available Journals on the web. Broken up into subject sections, including a law section.

Search law blogs

 Justiasearches Law Blogs (or Blawgs). Simply go to the website, type in your term, and the results will show you blogs that have been written about your legal topic of interest. It is mainly US, though some has some other jurisdictions. It also has a great directory of law blogs, by category.

Technorati searches general Blogs.

Google Blogsearch searches a wide variety of blogs including law related ones.

What if I still need help?

Ask a Librarian at the Law Library Information Desk for assistance with your specific question – we look forward to helping you!


Telephone: +61 3 8344 8913

This guide last updated on 9 February 2011