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There are many documents on this website. Pulling one specific document from that pile in a quarter of a second is difficult - but it is possible, and this page will help you do it.

The words we use to search

Firstly let’s look at some search terms people use to find things on this site: Forms, policy, services, job, Lincolnshire etc..

A lot of them don’t identify a document at all. For example, if you type only “Lincolnshire” into the search you get many responses. What you are looking for would be buried in there somewhere.

Searching with such a universal phrase is as good as useless - you’re not going to go through all those many documents to find what you want. However if you search using its name in full, it’s probably first on the list.

But what if I don’t know the full name?

The answer is to type in what you know. Lets say you are looking for information on “Household Waste”. If you type in full - “Household Waste” the relevant content is number one in the list. The reason is Google is looking for something with all of these words in and so rates that page the highest.

The Golden Rule

The more you put into the search box the better the results of the search. Using one word rarely gets you to where you want to be. 

Narrowing your search

To narrow your search you can use the “Advanced Search” link - it’s just under the search box on the page. This allows you to state the exact phrase you want to look for, type of document you want to see etc.

Using the - (minus sign)

If you are getting a lot of information that is irrelevant and you want to see the search results without that information you can use the - sign after your search terms. As an example using the word “forms” you can search for forms across the site but lets say you don’t want any planning forms. You simply type: forms -planning. Notice the space after “forms” and no space after the “-” sign. You won’t get any forms with the word “fire” in.

Using ” ” (quotation marks)

If you put quotation marks around your search phrase it will look for that specific phrase and not a page with just one of the words.

Using “or”

If you use the word “or” between search terms e.g. “offices in North Hykeham or Metheringham”. You will get results that include the word “offices” with either “North Hykeham” or “Metheringham”.

Using numbers

You can search for content between a range of numbers. E.g. Let’s say you were looking for “planning committee minutes in 2010 or 2011”. Simply enter “planning committee minutes 2010..2011”. The 2 full stops between the numbers (with no spaces) define the numeric range.

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Last updated: 14 November 2014

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