Search Tips

We are pleased to offer the Google Site Search as the search tool for the BOE.

Topics:

  • Choosing search terms
  • Capitalization
  • Automatic "and" queries
  • Exclusion of common words
  • Phrase searches
  • Negative terms

Choosing search terms

Choosing the right search terms is the key to finding the information you need.

Start with the obvious – if you're looking for general information on Tax rates, try Tax rates.

But it's often advisable to use multiple search terms; you'll do better with fuel tax rate than with either fuel or tax rate by themselves.

Capitalization

Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for tax evasion , Tax Evasion, and tAx eVaSIon will all return the same results.

Automatic "and" queries

By default, Google only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. To restrict a search further, just include more terms. For example, to view jobs in property tax, simply type career property tax.

Automatic exclusion of common words

Google ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. Google will indicate if a common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.

If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it. (Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.

Word variations (stemming)

Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for pet lemur dietary needs, Google will also search for pet lemur diet needs, and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result.

Phrase searches

Sometimes you'll only want results that include an exact phrase. In this case, simply put quotation marks around your search terms.

Phrase searches are particularly effective if you're searching for proper names ( "George Washington"), lyrics ("the long and winding road"), or other famous phrases ("This was their finest hour").

Negative terms

If your search term has more than one meaning (bass, for example, could refer to fishing or music) you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid.

For example, here's how you'd find pages about bass-heavy lakes, but not bass-heavy music:

Note: when you include a negative term in your search, be sure to include a space before the minus sign.