|Search engines are useful tools aimed at helping users find info they need. Search engines make a data bank of sites by sending "spiders" or "robots" which crawl through the Web, going from link to link. When they get to a website, they index most of the words on the available pages. The engine scans its data bank of sites to match your keywords to those same keywords in pages in the database.
How to make the search more efficient?
- Be specific
The more specific you are, the more info you'll find. Type in the search field exactly what you're looking for. Fir instance, if you're seeking science experiments, enter School Science Fair Projects instead of science projects. If you know it's a biology experiment, add the word 'biology' to your search.
- The + symbol
The most significant terms in your search should be placed first. For the search engine to find pages containing all the words you're searching for, use the + symbol in front of each word. For example, if you're searching for info on Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, then enter +Biel +Timberlake. Only pages that have both words will be on the list of search results.
- The - symbol
If you're seeking something specific but don't want info that's not related to your topic, place the - symbol in front of each term. For example, if you're searching for information on Michael Phelps but don't want to read about his sports achievements, enter Michael Phelps -Pro -Swimmer.
- Quotation marks
When search words are put in quotation marks, it's called a "phrase search." The search engine will provide a list of pages that have the words in the exact order as in quotations. Fir instance, if you're looking specifically for a biography on Misha Barton, enter "Misha Barton Bio".
Boolean operators (pronounced boo lee ans) can be applied in most major search engines which provide advanced searching options. The most popular boolean operators are AND, OR and NOT. Boolean operators are like the + and - symbols. AND means "include all of the words," OR means "include any of the words" and NOT means "exclude." Fir instance, if you're seeking information on music and dancing enter music AND dancing. Only pages that have both words will be on the list of search results.