Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This is what I got while researching how to guides:

"How to..."
Pump Up Your Search Skills

When you think of searching the Internet, you probably think of Google or Yahoo, and you probably search by typing in a few key words into the query box and hope the results will contain something useful. Although that may be a quick way to perform a search, with billions of pages of content throughout the Internet, your results likely contain more useless and unrelated junk than the information you are seeking.

Here are a few simple tricks that will enable you to tap into the power that search engines can deliver and improve your odds of obtaining meaningful search results.

Using Double Quotes

Some search engines like Google evaluate each word individually. Knowing how to group words in your search query will be helpful. For example, if you're looking for song lyrics, a book title or a quote, you'll have better results if you place double quotes around the phrase you are seeking. This makes the search engine look for the words in the exact order as typed between the quotes. This is also useful when searching for a person, place, or thing that has two or more words in its name, title or description, such as “John Paul Jones”, “Colorado River”, or “salt water taffy”.

Be Specific

If you use too few words or words with double meanings you will likely not get the results you are looking for. If you want a nice image of a pink rose, you should be aware that the word rose is both a flower and a type of pink wine. Because search engines typically return pages that contain all of the words you type into the query box, using just the words pink rose will return hundreds of thousands of pages that have both roses and wine in them.

To make your search query more specific, you can make your search words more detailed, such as pink rose flower clipart. You can also place a minus sign (–) without a space in front of the word you don't want (in this example, you would type –wine). Just as with math, the minus sign subtracts a key word from your search and helps you avoid getting pages that you don't want. For this search, typing “pink rose” flower clipart –wine gives you a good chance of finding what you're looking for in the first 20 or so returns. You can also do this with bothersome words that show up in your search results.

Google offers many helpful features for searching all sorts of specific areas such as movies, music, phone numbers, people, stocks, the weather and much more. Just go to Google's Web Search Features to see their selection of specific search features. Yahoo! Shortcuts also offers special features designed to help you to find answers quickly they can be found at Yahoo! Help.

Specialized Search Engines

There are hundreds of free, specialized search engines that can also help your search. Here are some of my favorites.

Dogpile® is a meta search engine, which means that it gives you results from many search engines and web sources. Dogpile currently gets its results from Google, Yahoo, Live search, Ask, and more.

Search-22 is a directory of search engines, especially for kids and teens. You can find links to family-safe sites and reference and educational search engines.

The National Archives offers a search of the records from every branch of the Federal government. Almost all Americans can use this site to find themselves, their ancestors, or their community in these archives.

Zillow.com™ is an online real estate search engine dedicated to helping people find places to live or get the value of the home you have today. It also offers interesting housing information and maps.

Wink is a people search engine. The search engine finds individuals who are active Internet or social network users. It searches the public profiles on MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, LinkedIn, Live Spaces, and other sources.

I thought this might be useful to everyone in their internet researching

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