Search Strategies

You will probably want to select a few search engines and learn the tricks for searching those effectively. The following techniques will be helpful when finding information on the Web.

  1. Choose good keywords and phrases.
    Brainstorming before you start searching will generate a good list of keywords and phrases. Try to imagine what words the author of the web page would use. Unless the word is usually capitalized, stick with lower-case letters.
  2. Be specific.
    You can create more targeted searches if you use phrases. Most search engines require that you put quotes around a phrase.
  3. Try different searches.
    Search engines use sophisticated equations to calculate the number of times your search terms appear on a page and show you the best first. If the first 30 sites are not relevant, try a different search. If you are not satisfied after a few searches, try a different search engine.
  4. Use advanced search techniques.
    Many search engines have advanced search capabilities such as limiting by language or type of information. Read the help screens to see which special features are available.
  5. Browse a subject list.
    Choose a search engine that organizes pages by subject. Start with a general category and choose increasingly more specific sub-categories.
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