Search Strategies

The following search techniques will be helpful when trying to find information on the Web.

  1. Choose good keywords and phrases.
    You must search using the same words that appear on the page. Brainstorming before you start searching will generate a good list of keywords and phrases. Remember to think of alternate spellings and abbreviations for your topic.
  2. Be specific.
    You can create more targeted searches if you use phrases. Most search engines require that you put quotes around a phrase. Many search engines are also case sensitive.
  3. Try different searches.
    Search engines use sophisticated equations to calculate the number of times your search terms appear on a page. Pages that seem to best match your search request are listed 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 in your favorite search engine.
  5. Browse a subject list.
    Locate a search engine that organizes pages by subject to find useful sites. Start with a general category and choose increasingly more specific sub-categories. The appropriate subject category will give you a list of pages on your topic available in that search engine.
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