Navigating a search engine can be either a useful or frustrating enterprise. Like if you type a keyword into Google, Yahoo or Bing for a college, you will get tons of information and plenty of suggested webpages to visit for available online colleges. Sometimes, there can be an information overload. You can be bombarded with a plethora of results and not all of them are useful to the original purpose of your search.
So what are the keys to mounting a better search for information on your typical search engine?
- Know where to search.
Depending on what you are searching for, a specific database might be a better option for your needs than a generic search engine. But you can make the process easier if you have a goal in mind? Are you searching for a job? Planning a date? Doing reasearch for a college paper? Tailor your search to meet your needs.
- Refine your search.
The best way to get what you want on a search engine is to be more specific. Enter more specific keywords. Use phrases that narrow down potential results. Use additional keywords you might to expect to find in your target document.
- Anticipate answers.
Before starting your search, try to imagine what the webpage you want to find should look like once you find it. What should the homepage say? What words would be there that you would consider useful?
- Query by example.
Many search engines offer you the choice of doing a query by example. What this means is that you can look for similar sites to the ones that appear at the top of your initial search results. It allows the search engine to understand what you are looking for more clearly.