of Searching the Web
Web Searches are Not
Limited to Factual Information
the advanced development of the World Wide Web, and search engines, you can
quickly find information on just about any topic. However, web-based searches are
not limited to factual information. You can find FREE:
open-source software, e-books, photographs, videos, sound recordings, music,
and online courses. You can search for items you want to purchase, such as
hardcover books, computer equipment, school supplies, or anything else. You
can search for professional services, such as, physicians, dentists, lawyers, and
tutors. You can find the best college or graduate school for your needs. You
can search for the personal opinions of others about: a product, a service, a
problem, or a life experience. Web-based searches are useful for locating
funding sources for higher education, for research projects, and for starting a
business. Some people successfully use web-based searches to obtain
employment, to find friends, and to find a mate.
The Simplest Way to Search the Web
The simplest research
method is familiar to most people. This involves using www.Google.com,
and the following three steps:
1) Create a search phrase
that relates to the information or entity that you want to find. If you want
the information in a specific format, indicate that in your search phrase. Examples
are videos of
deep-sea animals, PDF
animals, or e-book
deep-sea animals. (Left click on the blue words to
see the results of a Google search with these phrases.)
2) Enter the search phrase
into the search box
3) Examine the search
results. This must be done selectively, because of the large number of results
that is usually obtained with a Google search.
have found from experience that the above strategy is the quickest and most
efficient method for finding information and resources on the web. However,
this simple method sometimes fails to provide useful search results. When this
is the case, use the more complex techniques described in Chapters 2 to 4.
Web Searching is a Trial and Error
searches that are not very complex or unusual, you will probably find what you
want on your first attempt. If your initial search fails, modify your search
phrase, and try again. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat the search several
times, with modified search phrases before you succeed. An important idea to
remember is Web searching is a trial and error process, no matter what
technique or search engine you use.
Double‑Check the Information
you Find on the Web
information you find on the Internet is not always reliable. This is
because anyone can place their articles, videos, opinions, comments and beliefs
on the web, regardless of their knowledge or formal credentials. This has
certain advantages as well as some potential disadvantages. Problems can arise
if you are looking for information for a school assignment, or for any other
serious endeavor. These problems can be prevented, by checking the validity of
the information you obtain by consulting multiple sources. For a school
assignment, the instructor and the textbook might be the best source. You can
also use web-based sources that are academic authorities, such as those listed
under the next subheading.
are a large number of reliable academic sources on the web. I listed a few
examples two paragraphs below, which are online encyclopedias. These sources are
most likely to provide reliable information that meets academic standards. Scholars
write these encyclopedias, and they have their own built-in search engines. However,
any source of information can be outdated, or otherwise incorrect. Thus, it is
still best to check with multiple sources.
access any of the sources listed below, left click on the blue words or the
URL. If a link fails, do a Google search, with the some or all, of the
underlined blue words.
Words on website: Columbia Encyclopedia,
URL is http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia
Words on website: ENCYCLOPEDIA Britannica URL
Words on website: Scholarpedia the peer-reviewed
open-access encyclopedia, where knowledge is curated by communities of experts, URL is www.scholarpedia.org
Words on website: EOL Encyclopedia of Life URL
is http://eol.org, (The
above is focused on the life sciences.)
Words on website: MedlinePlus, Medical Encyclopedia A
service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, URL
The Two Components
for Web‑Based Searches
Web Browser, and a Search Engine
searches require a web browser, and a search engine. Some people
are confused about these two items. To clarify these concepts I will present a
few simplified descriptions and explanations, under the following subheadings.
This will include some practical information on web browsers and search
What is a Web Browser?
web browser is software that provides the functionality for accessing and viewing
webpages, and they are usually installed on most desktop and laptop computers.
Modern Web browsers work with other software called plug-ins to provide
additional functionality, such as for accessing web-based videos, sound
recordings, and online applications.
a technical perspective, web browsers with their plug-ins: interpret the
computer code that is used on the web, for a computer with a specific operating
system, such as for Windows, for Macintosh, or for Linux. As a result, most
web-based content can be accessed and used with almost any operating system
that has a compatible web browser.
are many brands of free Web browsers, which are available by downloading. You
should download web browsers from reliable sources only, such as the website of
the manufacturer of the web browser. If this is not done, you might get a
browser that was modified to limit web-based searches, and to focus on
advertisements. You might even get a browser that is infected with viruses.
must download web browsers that are designed for the operating system on your
computer. However, many of the browser manufactures automatically detect the
operating system on your computer, when you access their website. With this
technique, they display the download link of the browser that is compatible
with your computer’s operating system.
below are four examples of high quality web browsers. This includes links to
access the manufactures website, where you can download the browsers and
install them on your computer. If a link fails, go to the manufacture's
website, and search for the latest download.
Internet Explorer (from
Microsoft www.Microsoft.com) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/download-ie
Google Chrome (from
Mozilla Firefox (from
Mozilla: www.mozilla.org) www.mozilla.org/en-US
Opera (Opera Software) www.opera.com
Less Well Known Web
are a number of less well-known browsers, which can be downloaded from the
(From Maxthon) www.maxthon.com
What Is a Search
are simple search engines that are incorporated into various types of software,
such as the find function in Microsoft Word. This is NOT the type of
search engine that I am describing in this chapter. This section deals with
web-based search engines, which are highly complex systems, but they are
relatively easy to use. I present a simplified, but practical definition and
description of a web-based search engine in the following paragraph.
search engine is a special website that has a mechanism
with a search box. When a user enters a word or phrase in the search
box, and clicks on an icon, the mechanism carries out a search to
find web-based documents that contain the words the user entered. Examples are
www.Google.com and www.Bing.com.
a technical perspective, most search engines are comprised of two or more
computer systems, with special software. First, there are the web crawlers, which
are also called Internet bots. These devices are powerful computers that have
software designed to scan the web automatically. During the scanning process
information is gathered about web-based content. This information is
automatically stored in a database, with related hyperlinks to access webpages,
videos, PDF documents, and other web-based material.
databases compiled by the web crawlers are scanned by another set of computers
when a user submits a search phrase. The web content that matches the search
phrase is displayed on the user's computer on one or more webpages. This
usually involves a list of brief descriptions and related hyperlinks for
accessing webpages, videos, and other material that matched the user search
are a number of search engines available on the web, but I found from
experience that www.Google.com usually
provides the best search results. However, www.Yahoo.com, www.Bing.com and
also provide very useful results.
Less Well Known
are many less well-known search engines available on the web. Some of these
search engines might provide search results that are different, from the
populous search engines, mentioned above. However, some of these search
engines display a limited set of results. Below, there are examples of less well-known
From Other Authors: Additional
and Supporting Information, and Alternative Perspectives, for Chapter 1
you want more information, alternative perspectives or explanations, see the
following websites and videos from other authors. To access this material left
click on the blue links, or the URLs presented below.
a link fails, enter the indicated search phrase or the *words that
are displayed from the website, into the search engine presented on the
left of each entry. *Note the words from the website are indicated with Words on website: If you examine the following entries all of the above
will be clarified.
Webpages from Other Authors, to
Supplement Chapter 1
www.Google.com Search phrase: Basic
search strategies This is a Google search page, which indicates 63,300,000 results.
on website: Basic Search Strategies URL is http://libguides.princeton.edu/google
www.Google.com Words on website: Building Better Google Searches URL is: http://libguides.csusb.edu/BetterGoogle
www.Google.com Words on website: Basic Search Strategies
URL is http://libguides.princeton.edu/google
www.Google.com Words on website: Basic
search strategy in 10 steps URL is: http://goo.gl/cRjsIb
www.Google.com Words on website: A basic tutorial on searching the web URL is http://goo.gl/nBQ6J
www.Google.com Search phrase: “Web Browser” and
“search engines” This is a
Google search page, which indicates 3,460,000 results.
www.Google.com Words on website: Web search engine URL is
www.Google.com Words on website: What
is the difference between a web browser and a search engine? URL
www.Google.com Words on website: What
Is the Difference between a Web Browser and a Search Engine? URL is http://goo.gl/ML6bNq
www.Google.com Words on website: Google
Operating System URL is: http://goo.gl/g8qjLr
Videos from Other Authors,
to Supplement Chapter 1
you left click on a link for a video, a webpage will open, and the video
will start automatically in most cases. The webpage that opens with the video
will usually have 10 or more RELEVANT videos. If the video does not
start automatically, and the webpage opens, left click on the link provided by
the author of the video. This link is usually in the center of the screen.
Search Techniques This is a Google video
search page, which indicates 21,100,000
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: Basic Search
Techniques Ralph Phillips URL
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: OPAC BASIC
SEARCH TECHNIQUES, URL is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgDxzc8V30g
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: Web Search
Strategies for Research URL is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJQo_pw74ZY
Browser” and “search engines” This is a
Google video search page, which indicates 198,000 results.
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: Search
Engine vs. Web Browser : Tech Yeah!, URL is http://goo.gl/mxX8Nm
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: Filter bubbles in internet
search engines URL is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwspK-FfOo4
www.Video.Google.com Words on website: Understanding search engines URL