Searching the Internet

Written By: Melissa Cameron

Straight Talk On Searching the Internet

Ah, the wonderful Internet! What a glorious experience surfing the waves of information and entertainment.No, you say? Not so glorious? Well then,lets get back to reality and have a straight talk
on searching the Internet.

The purpose of the Internet

The original purpose of the Internet was to offer research information for professionals around the world. Now its taken such a commercial turn that only 6% of Internet traffic is research-related. The result of
this for the average person is that its so hard to find what theyre
looking for. A simple search can turn into a complicated clicking catastrophe. Weve all been there, havent we?

And that brings us to the purpose of this article. We want to help.We
want to make your searches easier. We want you to be able to type in the
right words thatll get you the right results. After all, the purpose of any
search, of any kind, is to get results, right? So heres some straight talk on exactly how to get those results.

Specific keywords are the key

There are many search engines out there. You can use MSN, Yahoo, Alta
Vista, Lycos, or a number of others.But probably the most popular search engine is Google. The reason why Google is so popular is its very
comprehensive.Its easy to follow and offers you many options to customize
your search.

No matter which search engine you use, the principles are all the same
use specific keywords in your search and youll cut down on the pages of
sites you have to wade through to find what you want. What we would
define as keywords are: very descriptive and relevant words.Its as simple as that. The more specific you are in your description of what youre trying to find, the more youll narrow down the results.

Lets look at doing a search on Google. Its important to note that
Google searches for all the words you type in your search.The more
words you enter, the fewer pages youll get in your results and the sooner youll find what youre looking for.

Lets take an example.Say youre looking for a new set of

golf clubs
.If you enter golf in your search, youll get about
59,600,000 web pages with the word golf in them. Yes, thats 59
Do you think it might take you a little while to find exactly
what youre looking for?

Narrow your search for better results

Now, lets narrow down your search to golf clubs. Now youre down to
4,690,000 sites thats quite an improvement. Its important to know
that Google ranks each site by how relevant they are to your search.The
most relevant sites the ones with what youre looking for are listed
first in your results.So back to your search for that new set of clubs. Perhaps you have a favorite brand of golf clubs, like Callaway,
for example.So now your search will be for callaway golf clubs.
(Remember, your search is not case sensitive, so dont worry
about capitalizing the brand names.) Now you get 356,000 pages in your results.

Now well teach you a little technique that can be used in any search to specifically define exactly what you want. Use quotes (). (Hmm
that looks like my little brother with his brush cut!) Anyway, when you put
your search in quotes, then Google searches for that exact phrase only,
instead of each of the words individually. In our last search, Google found pages that had callaway, pages that had golf, and pages that had
clubs. By putting your exact phrase in quotes, like this: callaway
golf clubs, Google now looks only for pages that have that whole
phrase. Now you only have to search through 55,400 pages.

Thats still a lot of pages, but you can see the pattern here the more specific your search, the less pages youll get. And that means youll find what you want quicker.If you just wanted a new putter, you could type in callaway golf putter. Basically, what youre doing is describing exactly what you want, in as much detail as you can.

Just to make sure you have the right idea, well list a few more examples for you:

  • Instead of diaper bags search for
    baby diaper bags
  • Instead of water fountains search for tabletop water fountains.
  • Instead of mailboxes search for
    Victorian locking mailboxes

Get the idea?Its simple, isnt it? Now well give you a few more simple tips to help you ride the waves and stay on your board as you surf the Internet.

Google helps you search for anything

One way Google can make your search simpler is if you use their Directory. It lists specific categories, so you can narrow your search if you know which category your information will be in. The English language can be very complicated with so many words having more than one meaning.So if you search by category, then youll get results only for that particular meaning of the word.

Google also offers such features as Phone Book, to help you find U.S. addresses and phone numbers of people and businesses. Or if you watch the stock market, you can search their Stock Quotes section for the latest,
up-to-date information. Their newest tool for helping you find what you want is their Search by Number.This search engine will help you track any
packages youre having delivered, helps you find U.S. patents, or search a number of other online databases. You can also find an address on a
map with Street Maps, or you can get Travel Information with their travel
search engine.Theyve pretty well covered all your search needs, dont you think?

Searching can be simple

Theres no reason to make your Internet searching difficult.It can be very simple, if you just follow the guidelines weve set out for you here. Try a few, and see what happens. Remember, the more specific you are, the more specific your results will be.Happy searching
and happy surfing!

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is a successful

freelance writer
providing moneysaving tips and common sense advice for
consumers purchasing contact lenses and
Her many articles offer valuable insight and
straight talk on typically confusing topics.

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