• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 17. Using Information Filters > Fine-Tune Search Engine Use

Fine-Tune Search Engine Use

To untangle yourself from the ever-expanding Web, you have to learn—then use— effective search techniques. Because every search engine is different, it is not possible to detail engine-specific search strategies here. But a good way to find one that works for you is to do the following:

Comparison shop search engines. Read the search hints or tips section of two or three search engines. A good place to start is www.metacrawler.com, which is recommended by several search-engine experts.

Run a test. Choose a topic to research, then test the search engines you have chosen using the querying hints they recommend. Run the test on information you actually need—such as finding travel tips for an upcoming vacation. Compare the quality and quantity of information you receive. Do the results meet your criteria for quality information?

Bookmark reliable resources. When you determine your favorite search engine(s), bookmark it. In the same way, bookmark valuable and reliable Web sites. Use the bookmark option on your browser.

Tip: Add a library or two to your bookmarks. Once upon a time, that is where everyone went to do research. And in many cases today, libraries are still the best place to go for reliable information. Many of the best in the country—including the Library of Congress— make it possible to tap their resources via the Web.

Do not confuse quantity with quality. With the Internet, more often means too much, resulting in more work and frustration. Who needs—or wants—10,000 or 1 million hits from a query when the Top 10 is what you are looking for? Once you learn to refine your search queries and use a search engine that is compatible with your way of working, you will find that less is more—and better too.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint