SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS ON THE WEB
Finding specific information in the billions of Web pages has become so difficult that the host computer name “www” might as well stand for “where where where” rather than “World Wide Web.”
The king of search, Google, uses advanced algorithms to return relevant results to your search. But as good as the results are, finding what you want depends heavily on the way you enter the query.
A single word will return popular pages and sites that reflect the essence of the word in the broadest context. This type of search is a useful first step to finding top sites related to the broadest meaning of the word.
A string of words will narrow your results by returning pages that contain all the words somewhere on the page. Although the search engines are good at listing results with the word sequence in the order of the query, the results are not restricted to the word order.
So if you search for Bob Smith, you will get pages that contain Bob Smith, but you will also get pages that contain Bob Jones and Jim Smith.
Narrow The Search
To restrict the results to pages that only contain Bob Smith, quote “Bob Smith.” To further restrict or narrow the results returned, use more words related to the search.
For instance, if you’re looking for Bob Smith’s farm, quote “Bob Smith” and also enter the word “farm” without quotes. This will return better results than a search for “Bob Smith’s farm” because Bob Smith’s Web page may not contain that string of words but is likely to mention his name and the fact that it is a farm.
The more you become comfortable using these search techniques, the more productive and less frustrated you’ll be finding what you’re searching for.