Search Help

Searching for a phrase

You can search for a phrase or a passage of text by enclosing it in double quotation marks.

Try entering a phrase from a speech - "four score and seven".
Try searching for a song by entering a line of lyrics - "devil with a blue dress on".

Including and Excluding Words

Searches can be configured to require or exclude specific words through the use of +'s and -'s.

To find sites with information on real estate in Middleborough, but not in Lakeville, enter: +"real estate"  +Middleborough  -Lakeville. This will require the phrase "real estate" and word Middleborough to be part of every web page found in the search, while excluding sites with the word Lakeville. There should be no space between the + or - sign and the word or phrase they modify. There should be a space between each search term

About Web Addresses

To access a site on the Internet, you need its unique Internet address, called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Each address consists of at least two discrete parts: protocol (network service) and domain name. URLs may also include the complete path to a specific file on the host computer.

Protocol//Domain Name/Directory(s)/Specific File.htm

Internet Protocols

Commonly used internet protocols include:

  • http:   (hypertext transfer protocol)
  • ftp:   (file transfer protocol)

Domain Names:

  • consist of two or more parts separated by single dots. (ex: www . gm . com
  • often begin with www (World Wide Web) (although some do not).
  • often have parts that represent the organization (ex:

Top-Level Domains

The last three letters of a domain name are called the top-level domain. Top-level domains can tell you either the type of organization publishing the web site, or the country the site is located in. Top-level domains indicating organization type include:

  • .com  commercial sites
  • .edu  educational sites
  • .gov  government sites
  • .mil  military sites
  • .net  companies providing networking services
  • .org  non-profit organizations

Additional Top-Level Domains

In late 1996, a plan was made by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC), a group named to resolve questions critical to the current and future growth of the Internet, to add seven new top-level domains. The new top-level domains proposed by the IAHC were:

  • arts  for entities emphasizing cultural and entertainment activities
  • firm  for businesses or firms
  • info  for entities providing information services
  • nom   for those wishing individual or personal nomenclature
  • rec   for entities emphasizing recreational or entertainment activities
  • store for businesses offering goods to purchase
  • web   for entities emphasizing activities related to the Web

Use of these new domains is still infrequent and inconsistent.

Country Codes (two letter top-level domains)

  • Two-letter codes at the end of a domain name generally refer to a country.
  • Though most Web sites in the United States use the top-level domains previously listed, occasionally you will see the two-letter country code for the United States (.us) as the top-level domain.
  • For a complete list of country codes, go to