Search techniques for the web
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Search Techniques for the Web. Internet Searching. Keywords The basis of all search techniques Main topic of search Additional words to narrow search But what if you still can’t find it? Boolean logic Use “computer- ese ” – language for machines!. Plan Your Search.

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Search Techniques for the Web

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Search techniques for the web

Search Techniques for the Web


Internet searching

Internet Searching

  • Keywords

    • The basis of all search techniques

      • Main topic of search

      • Additional words to narrow search

  • But what if you still can’t find it?

    • Boolean logic

      • Use “computer-ese” – language for machines!


Plan your search

Plan Your Search

  • Sometimes just keywords are too general

  • Make a plan for your search

    • Identify concepts

      • What are your keywords?

        • Make a list

    • Specify logical relationships

      • Boolean: AND, OR, NOT


Choosing keywords

Choosing Keywords

  • General keywords will return many results

    • Words that have different meanings

    • Example: Watch

      • Can mean timekeeping device or the verb “to look”

  • Before searching, compile a list of keywords and alternates to help refine your results.


Example of multiple meaning keyword

Example of Multiple Meaning Keyword

Return from Google on keyword “Watch”


Choosing keywords1

Choosing Keywords

  • Carefully specify keyword(s)

    • If searching for “watch” as in timekeeping device

      • “Wristwatch”, or “wrist watch” – space implies “AND”

    • Use Boolean logic operators to include and exclude unwanted terms.


Boolean searching and

Boolean Searching: AND

  • Search engines assume “AND” when inputting multiple keywords

    • The AND operator will narrow your results

    • Example: Instructional Design = Instructional AND Design

    • Search returns will contain BOTH those keywords

    • Search returns will reject pages that have only one or the other keyword


Boolean searching or

Boolean Searching: OR

  • Use the Boolean operator OR to:

    • Expand your results in the case of having keywords that are too specific

    • Example: college OR university

    • Results will return pages with the terms college, university or both in the same page.

    • Don’t use OR when you already have too many results


Boolean searching not

Boolean Searching: NOT

  • Use the Boolean operator NOT to:

    • Eliminate unwanted results

    • Example: college NOT university

    • Results will return pages with the first term only when not accompanied by the other term.

    • Wristwatch NOT watch will return only pages that contain “wristwatch”.

      • May narrow search too much


Boolean searching combining operators

Boolean Searching:Combining Operators

  • Use multiple Boolean operators in combination

    • Combine multiple operators in search string

    • Parenthesis determine order of processing

      • As in Mathematics

      • Example: wristwatch AND (analog NOT digital)

        • Results will include only wristwatches that have dials with hands, not digital displays


Search engine tools

Search Engine Tools

  • Most search engines have an “advanced” setting that allows more specific searches

    • In multiple keywords, AND is implied. Search:

      • All of these words/Must contain the words

    • OR logic - Search:

      • Any of the words/At least one of the words/Should contain the words

    • NOT logic - Search:

      • Must not contain the words/Should not contain the words


Verbatim keywords

Verbatim Keywords

  • Some search software allows the “+” symbol to specify a verbatim keyword

    • +wristwatch eliminates returns of “wristwatches” and other variations.

    • In Google, use “Verbatim” under Show Search Tools on left hand side of results page


Google show search tools

Google – Show Search Tools

  • Additional search options for refining Google searches

    • Narrow by posting date/time

    • Narrow by specific tools like Verbatim


Search phrases

Search Phrases

  • Use “quotation marks” on a phrase when looking for the exact return.

    • Example: 18,000 bph watch versus “18,000 bph watch” returns different results.

    • Using quotation marks will reduce unwanted results

    • Choose search phrase carefully

    • Quotes can limit results too much


Search techniques for the web

Searching the Web

Questions and Answers


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