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.
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
Rating Services are Directories with select listings and
sometimes reviews. Many of the top Search Engines have Directories or
associated with them, and vice versa.
How to Search
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:
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:
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
Using The - Symbol to
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
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
+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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