Help: How do I search the website?

How to use the search box

Understanding the results of your search

Tips to make your search more effective

Try an alternative search engine

How to access the latest release of your favourite statistics

How to search within a product

Statistics Filter

How to use the search box

The ABS website has over 1 million pages and more than 120,000 downloadable files, and it's growing. To help you find information the ABS provides customised access to Australia's 'whole of government' Agency Search search engine, Funnelback. Funnelback searches through all of these pages for 'key words' and returns to you the most relevant documents found.

The search box is located at the top right of every page. To use it, simply enter a few short words describing the information you want to find. Click 'Search' and you will be taken to a page displaying the results of your search.

Image: Search Bar

Understanding the results of your search

  1. Refine your search

    If you didn't find what you were looking for you can enter new search terms and try again.
  2. Search Australian Bureau of Statistics ( only OR Search all Australian Government websites

    If the information you are searching for doesn't appear in the ABS search results, you have the option to expand the search to cover all Australian Government websites using the radio button provided.
  3. Back to your previous page

    Return to your previous page
  4. Return to the ABS homepage

    Returns you to
  5. Number of results found

    Displays the total number of results found, and identifies the range of results being currently displayed on the page.

  6. Featured results

    Displays the most relevant results for the search term keywords provided
  7. Page Title

    This is the title of the page found in the search. The title often gives a good indication of what the page contains. Clicking the title on the results page will take you to the relevant document.
  8. Date & Description

    Some pages, like the ABS homepage, are frequently updated. This date indicates when Funnelback last compared results on (or indexed) this page.

    Description: This is a short sample of text taken from a section of the document where your search terms were located.
  9. Catalogue number:

    When a search result refers to an ABS Catalogued Product, the ABS Catalogue Number is displayed in this space.
  10. URL & 'Cached'

    The URL behind the Hyperlink (ie Page Title) to the website address of the page.

    Cached: If a page has changed recently clicking this link will show you the contents of the page as it was when Funnelback last indexed it (see 8 above).

Tips to make your search more effective
  • Select only the most relevant search terms.
  • Searches are NOT case sensitive.
  • To find pages that include either of two search terms, add an uppercase OR between the terms.
  • If you are looking for an exact title or a phrase you can enclosing those words with quotation marks to match the exact phrase only.
  • To search for similar words place a tilde sign ( ~ ) immediately in front of the term.
    eg. "Labour" would return words such as "Employment" and "Work" also.
  • Use three full stops "..." between two sets of numbers to find any number within that range. This work for dates as well as measurements.

For more search tips try those found at the Google Help Centre.

Try an alternative search engine

Other search engines, such as Google, MSN or Yahoo! can also be used to search the ABS website. A listing of other more commonly used engines can be found at Wikipdia's List of Search Engines page. You can search the ABS by going to the selected search engine site and entering your search term followed by '' (no spaces) in the search box as shown in the example below. Your search results will be limited to pages found on the ABS website.
Image: Search Bar
The ABS takes no responsibility for the results returned or not returned by these search engines. This includes, but is not limited to, the accuracy and completeness of, or any advertising materials associated with, search results.
How to access the latest release of your favourite statistics

You can access the latest release of any statistical product using a shortened URL. This URL can be created by following the pattern below, where only the catalogue number will need to be changed to access different products. (where xxxx.y is the ABS Catalogue number)

How to search within a product

If you are looking for a term within a particular ABS catalogued product, you can click on 'Search this Product' in the Page tools bar:

Image: Search this Product

On clicking the 'Search this Product' link you will be taken to a page where you can enter your search term and specify whether you want to search all Issues of the product, or just the Issue you are in at the moment.
Image: Search box, term = bank

The Results page for Product Search is the same as for the whole-of-site search, but in addition to the usual options, also allows you to limit your refined search to the Product/Issue originally specified.
Image: Search results

Statistics Filter

Statistics Filter provides a way to manage your search results, you can more easily restrict your search terms and sources and you can subsequently order your search results. The statistics filtering interface provides improved access to the full range of free ABS statistics and reference information. Statistics Filter allows you to search by Keyword, Catalogue Number, Title, Topic, Release and Product Type. By using Statistics Filter you can order your results by Catalogue Number, Title or Release Date.
Image: Statistics Filter search bar
Here is an example of search results for CPI ordered by Release Date