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EPA Search

Search Help

Searching with the Google Search Appliance (GSA)

Search method Examples
Keyword Search wetlands, smog, lead, BMP
Phrase Search "total maximum daily loads"
"hydraulic fracturing"
"lead paint"
Plus (+) and Minus (-) /Inclusion and Exclusion (+) Includes automatically omitted common phrases.
(-) excludes words or phrases you wish to exclude from the search.
Boolean Operator OR Lead paint OR dust
Fielded Searches inurl:water
Wild Cards and Truncation **Not supported by the google search appliance
Any combination of above "total maximum daily loads" lead

  • Full text search, which searches the entire text of the documents for the query terms, is the default search using the Google Search Appliance. More sophisticated searches can be performed by following the search tips listed below or by referring to the Google Search Protocol Reference Document.
  • Searches are not case-sensitive. This means that searches for BMP and bmp will get the same results.


Keyword Search

There is no limit to the number of search keywords entered. The more keywords entered, the narrower the results / fewer results will be returned.

If more than one search word or term is queried, the order in which the search terms are entered affects the search results; terms that are entered first have more weight than the terms that come after.


Phrase Search

If not enclosed in quotes, the Google Search Appliance will search the words in a phrase individually. To search a specific phrase, narrowing search results, include the query phrase in quotes.

Example: "Hydraulic Fracturing "

Alternately, search words together by including a hyphen between the words. The hyphen gives the associated words more weight than others.

Example: Hydraulic-Fracturing


Plus (+) and minus (-)

The plus(+) sign is treated as the AND Boolean operator, however there is no need to include the Boolean operator "AND" between terms. Google does this automatically. By default the Google Search Appliance excludes common words. If you find that a common word is being excluded and it is essential for the search, you may place a plus (+) sign in front of the common word to include it.

The minus(-) sign is treated as the NOT Boolean operator.

Example: lead-paint

will return results with lead, but not paint in them, excluding "lead paint" from the search results.

If a word is returned in your results and you wish to exclude it in order to broaden your search results, you may include a minus (-) in front of the search term.


Boolean Operator "OR"

To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, place OR between terms.

Example: Lead paint OR dust

Will retrieve documents about either lead in paint, or lead in dust.


Field Searches

Limit search by url or by title, for example, by using a field search.

Preceding a query term with inurl: will restrict the search results to documents containing the word in the url.

Example: inurl:water

Similarly, search for words in a page title alone by preceding the search terms with intitle.

Example: intitle:lead

Search for more than one word in the title by preceding the search terms with allintitle.

Example: allintitle:water lead

For additonal information on field searches and other special query capabilities please visit the Query Terms section of the Google Search Protocol Reference Document.

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