Click on the link to see How Google Works
Start with the Key Words
Identify several terms that relate to the topic you are searching for. You can enter these words individually or in combination with each other. Try entering these words in different combinations if you are having difficulty finding relevant websites.
Boolean Search Techniques
There are several ways to help the computer refine your search.
A and B – searches for results containing both terms
A not B – searches for results with one term but without the other term present
A or B- searches for results with at least one of the terms
“all of the quote“ – using quotation marks searches for results with the exact terms in quotations
This search option is available to the right side of the Google search bar. It gives many more search options such as file types, language, and date published to name a few.
Use different Search Engines
Don’t just rely on Google, try some of these listed below.
Kartoo displays your results visually with a mind map that illustrates the links between keywords and pages in the search results. It can be helpful when trying to determine if a site is relevant or not.
Clusty groups your results in clusters according to tags or labels.
Dogpile searches all of the major search engines.
Yahoogle displays your results for Yahoo and Google on a split screen.
Ms Dewey provides a virtual search assistant to aid your research.
Evaluating the Results
You have to think critically when you are using the web to locate resources. Websites could contain biased or incorrect information. Here are some questions that might help you evaluate the reliability of a website
- Can you tell if the site is fact or opinion?
- Is the site sponsored by any organizations?
- Is the author identified by name?
- Is the place the author works or the organization he/she belongs to given?
- Are sources given for statistics?
- Are there spelling, typographical, and grammatical errors?
You can also use this Evaluator tool to help evaluate the site.
For more detailed information, this site at University of Berkley offers a great tutorial on Finding Information on the Internet.