How to search the web effectively?

by Dev Duff on March 27, 2010

Searching the web

Searching the web is an art that is mastered over the time. When you need answers to your questions, the only thing that can help you is effective web search using proper keywords. So the question, how to search the web and get answers to your query quickly and effectively? You can master the art of searching the web in just few steps. These tips will not only save you time but you will enjoy searching the internet. Once mastered the art of searching, finding information will be on your finger tips.

How to search the web

Selecting good keywords
Narrowing down your search
Using Search Engines
Using Metasearch Engines
Searching in directories
Truncation or Wildcards
List of Metasearch Engines
Clusty the cluster

Selecting good keywords

Logically, if you wish to get answers to your query quickly, you need to think about some good keywords to begin with searching the web. You could goto Google.com and begin your search. Let’s say if you wish to read product reviews for a particular product abc, you should begin with selecting some good keys to find accurate information. Some keywords you could use:

abc product reviews, abc reviews, abc ratings, abc user views, abc user reviews, abc sucks, abc rocks, etc.

All these keywords can help you find reviews, ratings and/or experience of other people who used that abc product. Also, you can try keyword phrases like top ten abc or search on sites like top ten reviews where you can find information about the best 10 products in a category.

Narrowing down your search

This is one good strategy that can be very helpful in finding exact information on a particular subject. Most search engines understand the usage of keywords within the quotes. For eg:

“abc product reviews”, “abc user ratings”, “top ten abc”, etc.

This is a very good method to search and find web pages that contain all the words mentioned within the quotes. By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling a Search Engine to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. Excellent way to search the web!

Using search engines

Although this is a very vast topic, still we can clear basics. How to use search engines to effectively search the web? The answer is simple, knowledge. You should visit the help sections of your favorite search engine website and understand the advanced searching features. I use Google for searching over the web and I commonly use these advanced search features:

To search within a specific website:
gaming site:dell.com
or, “gaming desktop” site:dell.com
(This query will search for gaming desktops at Dell.com website).

Excluding certain terms:
abc software trial -buy
(This query will return pages where you can download the trial version of abc software, but Google will exclude pages that are about buying the abc software).

Similarly, there are other ways to search the web while using advanced search features.

Using Metasearch Engines

Metasearch engines are popular because they query multiple search engines and return results from different sources. Meta search engines are search engine tools that pass queries on to many other search engines and/or directories and then summarize all the results in one handy interface. One great use of metasearch engines is that when you search for something on metasearch engine, it returns all kinds of search results that are not only limited to web pages. Along with web pages, it returns images, video and multiple content suggestions. This great feature has given lots of popularity to metasearch engines, a large chunk of the internet community uses them to fetch quality search results.

Searching in Directories

Directories are a wonderful place to find relevant websites focused to the subject of your interest. All the websites are properly organized in different categories and sub-categories, so that a user can find relevant information in a blink. Some of the most popular web directories are the Yahoo search directory and Dmoz. Also, these are human edited directories, which means that all the websites are selected individually and showcased in proper categories/sub-categories.

Truncation or Wildcards

Truncation or Wildcards are another method to search effectively on the internet. Using Wildcards, you can search for lots of information. For eg., if you wish to get results for all the words that start with the word “comp”, use this wild card: comp*

Using the wildcard comp* will return results for all the words that begin with the word “comp”, for eg., it will return results for keywords: comp, computing, computer, computerized, etc. You can use wildcards when you are not sure of the exact keyword to search.

List of Metasearch Engines

Although there are many good metasearch engines, but these are my favorite engines where I search queries normally. These are excellent and very helpful in searching the web.
Dogpile metasearch engine
Mamma metasearch engine
Search metasearch engine

Clusty the Cluster

Clusty is a meta search engine, meaning it combines results from a variety of different sources. However, Clusty adds a bit of extra search engine goodness in the mix by giving you clustered results. Clusty uses the award-winning Clustering Engine to organize search results into folders grouping similar items together. This is a wonderful source to search the web and find effective search results.

Conclusion

These are some of the best known techniques to search the web effectively. However, there are many other methods that can answer you question on how to search the web effectively. If you know some cool ideas on how to search the web, please share them with the community. What do you think about this article? If you found it helpful, please consider sharing your views below.

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Jamie

wow! that’s some good tips to search the web. i never thought there were so many ways to search. i use just google search and that too, in the simplest form. just type in query and get answers. i will use other methods to search now. thank you for sharing information.

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