Databases & Websites by Subject
Net-Tips - Search Engines
Or How Do I Find What I'm
If you have a specific web address, it is very easy to
find what you are looking for. But what if you don't
have an address, or if you want to look at many different
sites on a particular topic? In these situations, the easiest
way to find information is to use search engines.
There are many different search engines—some are
broad and cover all types of information, while others
are limited to a particular topic. Some of the more popular
search engines are:
Search engines are set up to perform key word searching
to locate information on the Internet. By typing a word
or phrase, the search engine will look for sites containing
those words. Each search engine may perform searches in
different ways, so look for each search engine's
Words to use to limit or expand your search results:
And—both words or phrases are somewhere within the
Example: college and financial aid
Or—at least one of your search terms appears
Example: Soviet Union or Russia
Not—excludes any site containing the word
Example: Mexico not New
Words enclosed within quote marks tell the search engine
to look for that exact phrase. It treats the phrase like
one word, rather than searching for each word individually.
Example: "Chicago White Sox"
Use at least two search engines. You should
receive different results from each search engine.
Limit your query to two or three keywords.
If you don't get what you want, try again.
By using different keywords, your search might be more
Double-check your spelling. If a word is spelled
incorrectly, you won't find what your're looking
Prepared by Keith Barlog, September 2009