Search Strategies: Search Strategies An exploration of options Start smartly: Start smartly Develop a plan Narrow Down Your Search Target: Narrow Down Your Search Target What do I understand about this already?
What are the key concepts?
Do I understand what it is I'm looking for?
How much information will I need?
How soon do I need to find this information?
What is my search topic?
What is my knowledge of this topic?
Do I need to consult dictionaries or encyclopedias?
What is my existing knowledge, and how can I expand on it?
What are the keywords or phrases?
Write out what you're looking for.
Brainstorm the most important key words.
Identify these words and use them in your search efforts. Develop a Search Plan: Develop a Search Plan Once you have organized lists of keywords, you can search quickly for the most relevant resources.
Formulate your search question.
For example: When was the Google first released?
Develop synonyms to your keyword list, or other words that might bring in relevant results in your search efforts.
For example, “search engine history" might bring in broader results than just “Google". Search engine rule #1: Search engine rule #1 Be specific ... because if you aren’t specific, you’ll end up with a bunch of garbage! Learn the basics about writing queries : Learn the basics about writing queries Using The + Symbol to Add
Using The - Symbol to Subtract
Using Quotation Marks To Multiply
Combining Symbols Search engine rule #2: Search engine rule #2 Use quotes to search for phrases.
“patrick crispen” Use quotes for phrases: Use quotes for phrases This works on every search engine and directory but Direct Hit, LookSmart, and MSN Search.
BUT, quotes do work for LookSmart's Inktomi results.
At MSN Search, it’s unpredictable about when this works. Search engine rule #3: Search engine rule #3 Use the + sign to require.
crispen +pepperdine Use the + sign to require: Use the + sign to require This works on every search engine and directory but LookSmart.
But, the plus sign does work for LookSmart's Inktomi results. Search engine rule #4: Search engine rule #4 Use the - sign to exclude.
crispen -roadmap Use the - sign to exclude: Use the - sign to exclude This works on every search engine and directory but LookSmart
But, the - sign does work for LookSmart's Inktomi results.
Also, the - sign will not work for preprogrammed results to popular queries at MSN Search. Search engine rule #5: Search engine rule #5 Combine symbols as often as possible (see rule #1).
+”patrick crispen” –roadmap +pepperdine The five rules: The five rules Be specific ... because if you aren’t specific, you’ll end up with a bunch of garbage!
Use quotes to search for phrases.
Use the + sign to require.
Use the - sign to exclude.
Combine symbols as often as possible (see rule #1). Even with the right tool: Even with the right tool You can waste your time The Biggest Mistake: The Biggest Mistake Typing search terms in the wrong box But the key is: But the key is Learn the tools, so you can use the right one The Second Biggest Mistake: The Second Biggest Mistake Using the wrong tool at the wrong time Three questions: Three questions Where would you find the telephone number of a Volkswagen dealer?
A telephone book
Where you would find the definition of the word “kombi”?
Where would you find the name of the war that the Treaty of Westphalia ended?
An encyclopedia But I’m looking for a VW Westphalia: But I’m looking for a VW Westphalia What is the best tool to use? So, which one will you use?: So, which one will you use? Do you have a general search question that can be asked with a few key words?
Do you need an answer quickly and don't want to search for it?
Would you like to search with more than one search engine at once?
Do you need help in narrowing or broadening your search?
Would you like to see a screenshot preview of search results?
Do you need academic or research oriented results?
Do you need to find images, photos, clipart?
Are you looking for multimedia? Sounds, movies, music?
Do you need to find a blog? How about an online community? Answering the questions Directories: Directories Usually human-compiled guides to the web, where sites are organized by category
What directories are good for ...: What directories are good for ... “What is the Web page address for some company, organization, or entity?” (or “who makes product X?”)
“Where can I find a list of Web pages that focus on a particular, ‘universal’ topic?”
In other words, directories are GREAT for “telephone book” searches. What directories AREN’T good for ...: What directories AREN’T good for ... Directories are horrible for “encyclopedia” or “dictionary” searches.
The only exception is if the topic is so universal that the directories have no choice but to link to a page or two that discuss that topic (and even then the selection will be slim.) Directories v Search Engines: Directories v Search Engines Directories are human-compiled and have a small number of pages in their databases (usually in the low millions)
Search engines are machine-compiled and have a HUGE number of pages in their databases (usually in the hundreds of millions or even the billions) The Third Biggest Mistake: The Third Biggest Mistake Not knowing how to use directories or search engines to actually FIND stuff So the real key is: So the real key is Use the one that is right for you Let’s take a quiz: Let’s take a quiz Try this out: Try this out What does “S.A.L. Magundi” mean?
Or is it “Salmagundi”?
I’m researching library issues – does the term relate to books, reading, libraries, etc?
What is my search strategy? Use the “experts”: Use the “experts” Patrick Crispen
Mary Ellen Bates
Search Engine Watch
Have a great 4th of July: Have a great 4th of July But be safe, at home and especially on the road