Effective Internet Searching


This module is a complete introduction to web-looking techniques and techniques. Assuming no prior knowledge, the module will explain ways to find what you are “surely” seeking out in preference to lots of other exciting links. Searching is straightforward; finding what you’re searching out can now and then be tough. Hopefully, the recommendation will make your next Web Search powerful. While 3 quarters of the Web users of the arena cite finding statistics as their most vital use of the Internet, identical percent also cite their inability to discover the facts they need as their biggest frustration. The reason for this module is that it will help you cease that frustration. Staff at ICIMOD also indicated that, at some stage in education needs evaluation, Internet Searching is a concern subject matter.

Key subjects


Part A: Tools and Effective Searching

1. Overview of the World Wide Web

2. Before Starting the Search

3. Tools for Searching

4. Which Tools need to you operate

5. Building your Search Strategy

6. Keywords Searching

7. Phrase Searching

8. Boolean search

9. Advanced Search/Field Searching

Related Articles :

10. Checking the Results

11. Useful to Know

Part B: References

Part C: Practical Exercise – Let’s Start Searching!

Part A

1. Overview of World Wide Web

The Internet isn’t just about information; it’s far an international network of individuals who share statistics, engage, and communicate. From its customers’ point of view, the Internet is a good-sized series of assets–people, statistics, and multimedia.

The Internet is an inter-related network of networks; the World Wide Web is the “digital” web linking those networks. Each system (or group of machines – instance, ICIMOD computers related to the net thru V-SAT) on a community has a unique “cope with” from which it can request and receive facts. A Web “browser” is a customer program that requests facts from other computers, which briefly characteristic as “servers” sending the statistics upon request. The Web has existed for a long term. However, its exponential use and the boom began in 1995 whilst graphical Web browsers (like Netscape, Internet Explorer) became more famous. At ICIMOD, Internet Explorer is the widely used web browser. With those graphical internet browsers, the Internet, mainly the web, has become “user-pleasant,” and those commenced developing and putting up net sites and net pages. The hyperlink is the advantage of the web pages. A hyperlink is a detail on a website that hyperlinks to another page/region in the equal internet site or to a completely exclusive internet site. Typically, you click on the link to comply with the hyperlink.

There are billions of web websites on the internet. With billions of web pages online, you may spend an entire life surfing the Web, following links from one page to any other. Amusing possibly, however not very efficient if you are some unique facts. One of the biggest problems we enjoy is the difficulty of finding focused/unique records. Where do you begin from? Searching

Searching the Internet calls for skill, good fortune, and a little bit of artwork.

2. Before Starting the Search

The simplest way to find information is to recognize an internet web page Internet deal with or URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which includes ICIMOD home website. You can locate those addresses on business playing cards, email signatures, or newspapers. Simply kind the URL in the browser’s address container and hit the key. If you do no longer realize the URL, you may find it through searching the Internet. In many instances, an easy seek at a company’s name inside maximum search engines will return a right away hit on their web page.

3. Tools for Searching

There are many search equipment to be had:

· Web Directories / Virtual Library / Library Gateways

· Search Engines / Meta-search engines

· Deep internet databasesSearching

‘Web Directories’ (difficulty directory) are the repositories of useful web websites organized right into a hierarchical, problem-based structure. They require people to view the man or woman Web site and determine its placement into a topic classification scheme or taxonomy. Once performed, sure key phrases associated with the one’s sites may be used for searching the directory’s statistics banks to find Web websites of interest.

For searches that are effortlessly categorized, consisting of shades companies, the quest directories tend to provide the most regular and properly-clustered outcomes. This advantage is usually constrained totally to the one’s type areas already used inside the taxonomy with that provider’s aid. Yahoo, as an example, has approximately 2,000 classifications (excluding what it calls ‘Regional’ ones, that are a duplication of the foremost class areas through the geographic area) in its modern taxonomy. The Open Directory Project has nearly 590,000 classes and 5,142,051 websites. Some broadly used net directories are:

  • Google™ Directory
  • Open Directory Project (ODP) – the largest net listing
  • Yahoo!
  • Zeal

A virtual library is an internet directory that includes incredibly selective hyperlinks, chosen commonly through librarians. Use library gateways when you are seeking out excessive first-rate statistics sites on the Web. You can be pretty sure that those websites have been reviewed and evaluated by situation experts for their accuracy and content material. Popular virtual libraries consist of:

  • Librarians’ Index to the Internet
  • Internet Public Library
  • The WWW Virtual Library

Funded with Danida and Sida’s aid and hosted with the aid of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, Eldis gives a huge series of assets for forty development-related sectors.

SD Gateway carries over 1200 documents relating to sustainable improvement, NGOs.

Mountain Forum’s Online Library, for articles and courses on global mountain problems.

Search engines index each painting within all or part of documents. When you pose a question to a search engine, it suits your query works in opposition to the records it has in its databases to provide a list of feasible files meeting your request. Search engines are best for searches in more difficult topic areas or those that fall into the grey regions between the concern classifications utilized by directories. Search engines like google and yahoo are silly and might only provide you with what you ask for. You can every so often get hundreds of documents matching a question. Also, a high-quality, even the biggest search engine like google and yahoo best indexes a small fraction of the Internet’s files.

It is important to remember that while you are using a search engine, you’re NOT looking at the entire internet because it exists at this second. You are genuinely searching a part of the internet, captured in a set index created at an earlier date.

Popular search engines like google and yahoo currently are:

  • Google™
  • Teoma
  • AltaVista

Meta-serps do not now crawl the net compiling their personal, searchable databases. Instead, they seek the databases of multiple sets of individual engines like google concurrently, from an unmarried website online and using the identical interface. Meta-searchers provide a brief way of locating out which engines are retrieving the exceptional consequences for you to seek.

Deep internet (or invisible web or hidden web databases) is the call given to pages on the World Wide Web that are not listed with the aid of conventional engines like google. It consists of pages that aren’t related to other pages, consisting of Dynamic Web pages. Dynamic Web pages are basically searchable databases that deliver Web pages generated simply in reaction to a query.

4. Which Tools You Should Use

If you are searching out specific information, use search engines (e.G. Paper supplied on biodiversity in 2005 ABCD convention. You would also use a keyword look for obscure topics, go-class searches (e.G. Mountain and GIS, surroundings, and soil)

If you are searching out wellknown statistics on famous topics, use difficulty (internet) directories. You may also use in instances wherein you do no longer recognize any keywords associated with a topic

Use virtual library/Library gateways whilst you are seeking out excessive exceptional facts websites on the Web. You can be pretty sure that those websites were reviewed and evaluated using problem experts for his or her accuracy and content.

If you’re looking for a unique or difficult to understand search term or if you need to make an in-depth analysis of what’s accessible on the Web on a particular problem, then use metasearch engines.

If you are searching out actual-time records or for dynamically changing content material inclusive of brand new information, smartphone ebook listings, to be had airline flights, and so on., then use deep databases (invisible or deep web.)

5. Building Your Search Strategy

Your ability to discover the facts you are searching for on the Internet is a function of how unique your queries are and how correctly you operate search offerings. Poor queries go back to poor results; true queries return super consequences. Search effects are the handiest as desirable as the query you pose and the way you search. There is not any silver bullet.

The data experts at the University of California at Berkeley advise a graduated method to Web searching. Here is their stepwise collection of steps to follow, which we typically propose for beginning searchers:

1. ANALYZE your subject matter to determine in which to begin

2. Pick the proper beginning place

3. Learn as you go & VARY your method with what you analyze

4. Don’t bog down in any strategy that doesn’t work

5. Return to previous strategies higher informed.

As you benefit, enjoy, you can begin cutting out the middle steps. By the time you are doing real heavy lifting along with your queries, you without a doubt handiest need spend a while first getting your question proper after which cutting to the bottom line with a full Boolean search the usage of phrases and three or so concepts connected thru the AND operator and more than one search engines like google and yahoo.

Following those pointers, right here are advocated steps to approaching the Internet search venture:

· Spend time BEFORE your search to investigate what it’s far you’re seeking out

· Use nouns for your queries – the who/what, when, wherein, how and why; avoid conjunctions, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives

· Use keywords at the right “degree” of specificity: unique, but not overly restrictive

· Use phrases in which herbal; they’re your most powerful weapon

· Use established (“Boolean”) syntax, particularly the ‘AND’ operator

· Constrain your search using the use of two or 3 related, however narrowing, standards for your query

· BUT, typically, preserve overall question length confined to six to eight key phrases most

· Use superior seek options and area of expertise capabilities while suitable

· For difficult searches, use handiest engines like google that support Boolean syntax, or gear or meta searchers that do

· For precise topic searches, don’t forget search engines like google and yahoo tailored to those subjects

6. Keywords Searching

Despite all of the gobbledygook approximately such things as ‘Boolean’ and implied operators, the most difficult – and essential – thing of a seek is the keywords used in your query. Mastering the standards behind a seek is not as complex as may additionally seem at the start. The first few searches are perhaps difficult; however, once performed, the nuggets at the back of your records request begin turning clear. Like using a motorbike for the primary time, it does take some exercise.

Before typing the keywords, take it slow and brainstorm applicable words. Create a listing of seeking phrases. Write them down. A few brainstorming seconds may want to save you mins or hours of retrieving beside the point consequences.

What are the traits to look for at the same time as shopping for a diamond? Hence, you could underline the primary standards – What are the traits to look for even as buying a diamond. Select synonyms and variant words, if required- (first-class, functions) (buying, buying).

Formulate a question with easy idea/phrases first, e.G. Search phrases – “diamond shopping for guide” is right enough.

7. Phrase Searching

A very effective way to grow the relevance or precision of “hits” is to go looking like a word. In most instances, honestly, method setting citation marks across the search phrases. “net looking” is a one-of-a-kind search than internet searching in most search engines. What you’re doing through searching as a word is using the idea of proximity which worries the terms’ physical closeness to each other (that is, their proximity). A record with net looking taking place close or after each other is more likely to be on track than a report with net inside the name and searching buried within the textual content.

Find the range of listing decreased from 30,100,000 to 977,000 when using the word for looking internet searching.

8. Boolean seek

Boolean searching is an implementation of Boolean good judgment and set theory. Boolean operators, along with AND, OR, and NOT are used to mix seek sets in selecting methods and appear inside Internet search engines in several disguises. A rapid overview:

  • Search word: cats AND puppies or cats dogs
  • manner locate internet pages wherein each term occur
  • Search word: cats OR dogs
  • method locate net pages in which both time period happens
  • Search word: cats NOT puppies (use cats -puppies in Google as NOT is supported)
  • manner discover web pages wherein the time period puppies seems but no longer cats

Most web engines like google have the functionality to enforce those fundamental Boolean operators and gift them in a one-of-a-kind way. You will nearly constantly need to go to an “Advanced” seek function to use authentic Boolean operators; however, you’ll be able to search the usage of implied Boolean the use of the symbols + (ought to include) or – (exclude) from the “Basic” search interface.

Note: those Boolean operators are regularly provided as options like “encompass all the phrases,” (AND operator) “encompass any of the phrases,” (OR operator) and “exclude” (NOT operator).

While you might expect that engines like google default to an implied AND (which means that in case you input 2 seek terms, it returns documents in which they BOTH occur), in fact, this isn’t always usually the case — a few serps default to the first of all unhelpful OR (it returns documents wherein EITHER occur)

Use an *, known as a wildcard, to healthy any phrase(s) in a phrase (enclosed in prices) specifically with Google.

Search phrase: “Mountain * poverty.”

way discover web pages containing a phrase that begins with “mountain” observed by a word(s), followed via “poverty.”

Phrases that match consist of: “mountain assuaging poverty,” “mountain regions poverty,” “mountain areas remained in poverty.”

9. Advanced Search / Field looking

Remember that a web seeks engine is most as effective exact as its database and indexes. Databases are collections of records organized similarly; honestly put, this indicates they’re divided into fields that include equal information in every record. If records are entered into a separate subject, you could retrieve them using its discipline label. This method that if you need to go looking by way of title, the search engine seems in a unique identify index (or searches notations that suggest that the time period occurs within the title area) where it has collected information from the sector with the label title. Many keywords seek engines additionally have an “advanced search” alternative, additionally known as area searching. This will allow you to specify which key phrases should appear, permitting extra management over the consequences.

Field looking is so super because you could specify in which to look inside the web record; for instance, inside the name handiest or the URL fields. Field searching allows you to be unique, approximately in which you want your terms to occur,r and consequently is a potent tool.

Field Searching is likewise the technique used in searching databases. Particularly, websites sharing databases offer this as a search device inside a website. For example, to search ICIMOD’s Library database or Mailing List Database or even FAO’s guides database, area looking is provided.


Nesting uses brackets with Boolean operators to make your search query syntax more meaningful and particular—for instance, pan pizza and either coke or ice-cream and cheese.

Simple type in “pan pizza” AND coke OR ice-cream AND cheese. This syntax might be puzzling to serps as it can be interpreted with many meanings – it could suggest pan pizza and coke, or coke and cheese, so we use brackets to split the blocks – “pan pizza” AND (coke OR ice-cream) AND cheese. Just don’t forget your excessive faculty arithmetic.

10. Checking the Results

Now you have a tough activity. After a seek, you have to determine which search effects will take you to the most informative site. Your excellent bet is to take a look at the identify and description of the page. Are they relevant to your seek? If sure, open the web page. If no longer, check the following result by scrolling down at the right side of the browser.

To view a page, you have got two alternatives.

1. Click on the name of the page – even though it says “No identify” or “?????”. Place the cursor on the web page name, and the cursor will exchange to the photograph of a hand. Usually, the hyperlinks are in blue and underlined; however, often, they’re not.

2. The second method is to open the page in a new browser window. Right-click over the identity of the result. This produces a pop-up menu. Select “open (hyperlink) in a new window.” After checking the result, near the brand new browser window. You will nevertheless have the first window browser along with your search.

If you use the first method, most probable you’ll not use the again button to head returned to the results page, but alternatively, you’ll virtually near the window, losing the hunt web page altogether.

What to do when you get TOO MANY outcomes

It’s not unusual to obtain hundreds of thousands of outcomes regularly unrelated to the hunt. To receive greater applicable outcomes you’ll have to refine or maybe rethink the quest. Here are some ideas to help you refine your seek:

Add one or more descriptive phrases in your query.

Use phrases. Enclose or extra phrases that may seem in genuine order inside double quotation marks.

Use Boolean Operator as you want to be specific or Exclude phrases with NOT or implied Boolean.

Use the hunt tool’s “superior seek” features. Limit you’re seeking using language, date, or by area looking: title, URL, link, etc.

What to do when you get TOO FEW effects

Sometimes you will get messages like “Your search did now not healthy any files” or “No pages have been found containing your question” or “No effects.” Other times you could get few or irrelevant results. What should do you do:

· Check the spelling of the question. Some engines like google routinely hit upon misspelled phrases and will display the right spelling. Just click on the suggested phrase or phrases.

· Delete the least essential phrase from the query.

· If you used seek terms, try removing the double charges.

· Use greater preferred phrases, trade spellings, plural paperwork, or synonyms. “Google™ has lately introduced a brand new advanced seek function that lets you no longer best look for a particular keyword but also its synonyms. Just location the “~” (tilde) mark directly in the front of the keyword for your search question. For example, “UN ~vacancies” no longer simplest searches for “UN vacancies,” however also for “UN activity opportunities,” “UN employment opportunities,” and “UN Jobs.”

Evaluating the Results

First of all, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Be careful what you believe. Governmental corporations, academic establishments, libraries, and prestigious courses are the most reliable sources of statistics. Be circumspect with facts discovered on personal websites saved in free hosts.

John R. Wright
Social media ninja. Freelance web trailblazer. Extreme problem solver. Music fanatic. Spent several months marketing pubic lice in the financial sector. Spent 2002-2008 supervising the production of ice cream in Africa. Had some great experience developing robotic shrimp in the aftermarket. Spent several years getting my feet wet with puppets in Miami, FL. Was quite successful at supervising the production of corncob pipes worldwide. What gets me going now is working with electric trains in Mexico.