Internet Search Engines
Tips To Make Internet Searches More Effective
Searching the web has some similarities to searching library databases, so you can use some of the same research strategies. Here are a few helpful search techniques that are good for both Internet search engines and the library databases:
- Choose only the most relevant words that describe your topic or information need and eliminate generic words. See the library guide, Choose Keywords to find out more.
- Use double quotation marks around words that you want to be searched as a phrase (e.g. "school choice”, “family therapy”, etc.).
- Look past the first page of results if necessary! It's tempting to look at the first 10 results and pick one that looks "good enough", but you may be missing relevant results from other pages.
Here are some search tips specific to using Internet search engines--and not recommended for use in advanced library database searches:
- Don't be afraid to use more than two or three words in a search box, as long as they are relevant to your topic.
Example: If you want statistics about juvenile arrest rates by state, try the words: statistics juvenile arrests state
- Add a specific domain (.gov, .edu) or file type (.pdf, .ppt) to your search to move those results to the top.
Example: statistics unemployment .gov