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Learning About Searching

This page will link to a variety of ways to learn more about searching and search engines. See the search strategies below as a starting point.

Search Strategies

Successful searching combines creative guessing of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) along with smart use of subject directories and search engines. Here are three general strategies. Before using any of them, be sure to consider what organization might be a likely source for providing the necessary information.

  1. URL Guessing and Cutting
  2. Using Subject Directories
  3. Using Search Engines

For a quick overview list of strategies to consider see the list below. It repeats some of what is is in the three above as well as in the online tutorials below.

  • Determine likely organization with answer
  • Guess organization's URL before trying search engines
  • Search for organization URL otherwise
  • Use "phrase searching" and unique words as much as possible
  • Use directories (Yahoo!, ODP, LookSmart) for broad, general topics
  • Use multiple step approach can be several clicks to an answer
  • Folders to narrow large search sets: Teoma, WiseNut, Vivisimo, or NLResearch
  • Try a title field search to focus results more by subject
  • Use specialized search engines for news, Usenet postings, phone numbers, etc.

In all of these, it is always important to know What's Not Included.

For some online tutorials using these strategies, try the examples I developed for my in person classes:

See also my articles from Online:
Internet Search Strategies. 21(4):63-66, July-August 1997.
More Internet Search Strategies. 22(5):71-74, Sept.-Oct. 1998.

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