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Searching the World Wide Web. CMP 101 Introduction to Information Systems. L02. Internet Search. What is the World Wide Web?. Billions of Documents Accessible via the Internet Viewed by a web browser . Web documents contain hyperlinks

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Searching the world wide web

Searching the World Wide Web

CMP 101

Introduction to

Information Systems

L02. Internet Search

What is the world wide web
What is the World Wide Web?

  • Billions of Documents

    • Accessible via the Internet

    • Viewed by a web browser.

  • Web documents contain hyperlinks

    • Allow readers to jump from one web document to another

    • Gateways to audio and video broadcasts, animations, and more.

What is a search engine
What is a Search Engine?

  • A collection of software

    • Locates words on web pages

    • Ranks and indexes the words

    • Creates a database that you can search.

  • When using a search engine, you search the database that has been created (not the Web).

How does a search engine work
How Does a Search Engine Work?

  • Robots, Spiders, Crawlers – Oh My!

    • visits web pages

    • collects words and hyperlinks

    • gives words to the search engine for ranking and indexing

    • differing strategies for crawling yield different results

How does a search engine work1
How Does a Search Engine Work?

  • Ranking and Indexing

    • Meta-information

      • the number of times a word appears on a page

      • the word’s location on a page

      • other much more sophisticated information.

    • differing strategies yield different results

Subject directories
Subject Directories

  • Categorical listing of topics with links to individual web sites.

  • Created with the help of human editors

  • Editors rate and rank the sites

  • Good for narrowing down a topic or browsing a large list of topics.

    Examples include: Yahoo! Directory (, and Gigablast (

Individual search engines
Individual Search Engines

  • Create and maintain a database of indexed and ranked words for searching.

  • Good to use if looking for specific information about a topic.

    Examples Include: Google (, Yahoo! Search (, and Ask (


  • Searches multiple individual search engines

  • Presents results in one convenient list.

  • Good to use to get a feel for how much information is available on a topic.

    Examples include Dogpile (, Mamma (, and Clusty (

Search strategy kickoff
Search strategy kickoff

  • Determine your needs:

Basic search techniques
Basic Search Techniques

  • Be specific

  • Put words in the order you would normally expect them to appear.

  • Avoid using common words.

  • Consider synonyms.

  • Use search focus options: (i.e. images, videos, or blogs).

Advanced search techniques
Advanced Search Techniques

  • Boolean logic (AND, OR, NOT):

    • Boolean AND

      • Include all words.

      • Narrows your search.

    • Boolean OR

      • Include any of the words

      • Broadens your search.

      • Useful for synonyms.

    • Boolean NOT or AND NOT

      • Excludes words

      • Narrows your search

Advanced search techniques1
Advanced Search Techniques

  • Implied Boolean operators (+, -)

    • Used in place of the Boolean AND and Boolean NOT.

  • Phrase searching (“ “)

    • Place quotes around a phrase.

    • Returns documents where the words appear as a phrase (side by side).

  • Wildcards (*):

    • Used for plurals, alternative endings, or alternative spellings,

Advanced search techniques2
Advanced Search Techniques

  • Advanced search form

    • With all the words:Same as using the AND or plus (+) operator.

    • With at least one of the words: Same as using the OR operator.

    • With the exact phrase: Same as using quotes.

    • Without the words: Same as using the NOT or minus (-) operator.

Analyzing results
Analyzing results

  • Scan through the first five to ten pages of results.

  • Consider synonyms.

  • Use the NOT or minus (-) operator.

  • Broaden your search.

  • Narrow your search.

Odds and ends
Odds and Ends

  • Search engines ignore some pages.

    • dynamic (created on demand) such as a request for account information,

    • require registration or a login (like the Wor-Wic research databases).

  • database not always up-to-date.

Odds and ends1
Odds and Ends

  • Search within a site.

  • Search for individual words or phrases on a page

    • Edit > Find on this page…on the menu

    • Search List arrow,

      Find on this Page….