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The Basic Search

To start a search, type a few descriptive words and click the Search button. Results are displayed in just a few seconds.

BU Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. For instance, BU Google analyzes not only the candidate page but also the pages linking to it to determine the relevancy of the page to your search. It also ranks pages according to how near each other your query terms appear.

Choosing Search Words

For best results, choose your search words wisely. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Try the obvious first. If you're looking for information on the poet Robert Pinsky, enter "Pinsky" rather than "poet."
  • Use words likely to appear on a site with the information you want. "Luxury hotel Boston" gets better results than "really nice places to spend the night in Boston."
  • Make search words as specific as possible. "Antique lead soldiers" gets more relevant results than "old metal toys."

When the search engine finds a spelling error in your search terms, your search terms are displayed with a corrected spelling above the search results. Click the corrected search terms to start a new search.

The spell checker feature is context sensitive. For example, if you search for "Gail Divers hurdler," "Gail Devers" is suggested as an alternative; however, "scuba divers" would not return an alternate suggestion.

Note: Currently, the spell checker supports only US English.


Google searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you enter them, are understood as lower case. For example, searches for "george washington," "George Washington," and "gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN" all return the same results.


Synonyms are different words that have the same or similar meanings. When your search terms contains a word for which the search engine knows a synonym, a link to the synonym appears at the top of the results. Click the link to perform a search for the synonym.

Search Terms in Results
Each search result contains one or more excerpts from the found page, with your search terms highlighted. You can quickly scan the excerpts to determine which results are worth viewing.
Sorting by Date
By default, search results are sorted by relevancy. To view the most recently updated pages first, click the Sort by Date at the top of the search results. Search results for pages that do not contain date information will be displayed at the end, sorted by relevance.
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