Information Savvy: Basic Search Strategies

Uploaded by gcflearnfree on 09.01.2013

We're going to talk about how to do an effective search online.
If your browser has a built-in search bar (or supports searching in the address bar),
you can use that for convenience. Or you can go straight to the search engine you want.
I'm going to use Google.
The truth is, Google is a very good search engine. Most of the time, it can find what
you're looking for, even if you don't know what you're doing. But it can't hurt to learn
a few strategies.
Say we're looking for recipes online, but we're not sure what we want to make. We'll
keep it simple and just start typing the word "recipes."
This prompts the search box to give us a list of suggestions. Suggestions are great because
they can give you an idea for a search that you might not have thought of. You can click
one of the suggestions, or just keep typing. As you can see, you don't need to worry about
case, punctuation, or even using complete sentences. Hopefully we'll find some good
cookie recipes.
These are our search results. There are also some ads at the top, and sometimes you'll
find them to the right too. If you see what you're looking for, you can click the link
to go to the webpage. If not, you may want to reconsider your search terms; for example,
you could make them more specific, or search for different words all together.
Suppose we don't want cookies with chocolate in them. We can tell the search engine to
exclude those results by typing a hyphen (or a minus sign)… followed by the word we want
to exclude. Notice that there is no space after the hyphen. So it's "recipes cookies
This should have gotten rid of all of the chocolate chip cookie recipes. There's still
a pretty good variety to choose from. But I see that there's sort of a sugar cookie
recipe here, and that sounds really good… so I'm going to try searching for that to
get as many recipes as I can.
We want to put "sugar cookies" in quotes so Google searches for that specific phrase.
Otherwise, we might get results for other types of cookies that just happen to have
sugar in the ingredients.
These results look good because we have a lot of recipes to choose from, and they're
all pretty much what we're looking for.
However, we could refine them even more using the options below the search box.
Here, we have different types of content to choose from, like images, maps, and shopping.
To view even more options, open the menu that says More.
This is also where you can access special search tools that'll let you filter your results.
These options will change depending on what you're looking for, giving you even more control
over the pages, resources, and other things that you find.
For now, why don't we do a visual search for cookie recipes by switching over to Images?
Now we can just browse through pictures to see if there's anything we like.
These look really good…
But wouldn't it be great if we could just watch a video to learn how to make cookies?
We can do that. All we have to do is switch over to Videos—again, using the options
near the top of the page.
This will give us a lot of how-to videos, which should really come in handy.
Now you can experiment with your own search terms. And just remember that most of the
time, more specific search terms yield better results.