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New Surfers

New Surfers page is designed to acquaint new users to searching the Internet. Below, is basic information on how to submit simple to detailed searches, plus two Search Services to let you practice.

Once you know how to search the Net, check out the Advanced Search page which contains 71 different Search Engines and Directories, to help you access more information and let you customize the format of the search.

There are two different ways to find resources on the Web: Directories and Search Engines.

Search Engines are known by colorful names such as robots, crawlers, walkers, spiders, and wombats. Search Engines constantly visit Web sites on the Internet and create massive searchable catalogs.

Unlike Search Engines, Directories are created by humans. Sites are submitted and then assigned to an appropriate category or categories. Because of the human role, Directories often provide better results than Search engines.

Rating Services are Directories with select listings and sometimes reviews. Many of the top Search Engines have Directories or Rating Services associated with them, and vice versa.

How to Search The Internet

With the high number of pages being added daily, finding something on the Web may be likened to finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. There are a number of things to keep in mind, however, when you use the various Search Engines on the Web:

Be Specific

Don't be afraid to tell a Search Engine exactly what you are looking for.

For example, if you want information about Windows 98 bugs, search for "Windows 98 bugs," not "Windows." Or even better, search for exactly what the problem is: "can't install USB device in Windows 98," for example. You'll be surprised at how often this works.

Using The + Symbol to Add

Sometimes, you want to make sure that a Search Engine finds pages that have all the words you enter, not just some of them. The + symbol lets you do this.

For example, imagine you want to find pages that contain information on Netscape Communicator installation, you could search this way:

+Netscape+Communicator+installation

That would find pages that have all three of the words on them, helpful if you wanted to narrow down a search to Netscape Communicator installation, rather than on Netscape in general.

Using The - Symbol to Subtract

Sometimes, you want a Search Engine to find pages that have one word on them but not another word. The - symbol lets you do this.

For example, imagine you want information specifically about Windows 95 but keep getting pages about Windows 98 or Windows 3.1. You could eliminate them with a search like this:

windows -98 -3.1

In general, the - symbol is helpful for focusing results when you get too many that are unrelated to your topic. Simply begin subtracting terms you know are not of interest, and you should get better results.

Using Quotation Marks To Multiply

Now that you know how to add and subtract terms, we can move on to multiplication. As in normal math, multiplying terms through a "phrase search" can be a much better way to get the answers you are looking for.

For example, if you were looking for information on reserving a campsite in Yosemite, you would enter:

+Yosemite +camping +reservations

That would bring back pages that have all those words on them, but there's no guarantee that the words may necessarily be near each other. You could get a page that mentions Yosemite in the opening paragraph but then later talks about getting camping reservations in the Grand Canyon. All the words you added together would appear on this page, but it still might not be what you are looking for.

If this happens try doing a phrase search. This is where you tell a Search Engine to give you pages where the terms appear in exactly the order you specify. You do this by putting quotation marks around the phrase, like this:

"Yosemite camping reservations"

Now, only pages that have all the words and in the exact order shown above will be listed. The answers should be much more on target than with simple addition.
 


 

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Copyright 1996-2011, CVC Internet, LLC.  All rights reserved. 
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Certain names, logos, designs, titles, words or phrases on this site may
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