A site search is a focused search that only looks at a specific website or type of website. This type of search can be very useful when you are trying to find information from a specific domain (Harvard, Amazon, etc...), type of website (.edu, .gov, etc...), or to search for information on a specific website (www.mass.gov, www.apa.org, etc...).
First, let's look at how to search for a specific type of website. Let's say you are interested in locating information from colleges or universities. You would need to know the extension of educational websites, .edu.
In your Google search bar, you would type "site:.edu". "Site" tells Google that you only want to search a specific type of website and the ".edu" tells Google that you want to search educational websites. Your results will only include hits from websites that end in ".edu".
Now that we know how to search for a top-level extension let's search for a topic on educational institution websites. We will still type
"site.edu" in the Google search bar but next, we will follow it up with our topic, cats. Your search bar should read: "site:.edu cats".
This will return results from educational institution websites that involve cats. In the three examples shown below two are from veterinary programs, and one is about the Center for Accessible Technology in Sign, more commonly known as CATS.
Now that we know what type of information we are looking for (things about cats), and where we want the information to come from (educational institutions), we can narrow our focus even more by searching a specific website. This time our search bar will read "site:hawaii.edu cats". This tells Google to only search "hawaii.edu", the University of Hawaii domain, for information about cats.
The results you return will only be from the University of Hawaii and will be about your selected topic, cats.
Fun fact: The University of Hawaii at Manoa has a large feral cat population. They are well tended, much-loved, and not a nuisance. It is against campus policy for individuals to feed the feral cats, but there are specified "cat caregivers" that look after their general well-being as part of a pilot project being conducted on campus. This project aims to control and humanely reduce the feral cat population on campus.
"Feral Cats at UH Manoa" by Unknown, via UH Manoa BGM.
To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:
APA: Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page. Title of LibGuide. URL
MLA: Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.