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College Resource Center : Capstone Projects / Project Management : Successful Web Searching : Selecting the Best Search Tools

Selecting the Best Search Tools

Tips and Tools Make Sure You Spel It Right!
Everyone is in a rush these days, and when searching for information on the Internet, you may misspell a word in your haste to find what you want. Doing that will have a dramatic effect on your search, since the search tool you are using will be searching for the wrong term. The results list may find information from the Internet containing the same misspelling, if it is a common one, but it is more likely that it will fail to find anything related to what you want. If you cannot understand why you are not getting the results you expected, one of the first things you should do is use the Back button on your browser to make sure that your keywords are spelled correctly.

To conduct an effective search you need to use the right tools. If what you are looking for is easily categorized by subject, you will probably find the best results by using a directory. If what you are searching for is difficult to categorize, or very specialized in nature, you will probably find what you are looking for by using a search engine. If you are having trouble defining your search you might want to try a site like Ask Jeeves, which allows you to ask questions using Natural Programming Language (NPL), and assists you by asking questions in return to help you refine your search.

Do not forget to take advantage of the internal search features of many Web sites. Internal search engines and directories are usually found on commercial and government Web sites containing large amounts of information, often organized around a single subject. You will typically find these specialized sites during a search using a search engine. These sites can be a gold mine, and through their internal search tools you can find information that would not appear in the results list from a normal search engine or directory search. Web sites focusing on a topic or subject and with search tool features are too numerous to list, but you can find a site for almost any topic you can think of.

If you do not find what you are looking for right away, keep trying. Try different keywords, change the order of the keywords, change search engines or directories - just keep trying. The information is almost certainly out there somewhere on the Internet; it is up to you to find it. The more you use the skills you have just learned, the more adept you will become at finding what you want. You will soon be adding your own methods to your Internet search toolbox.



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