Search Engines and Searching Tips
A search engine is a software program used to index Internet web pages, store the results, and return lists of pages that match your search terms. There are no editors selecting web pages based on quality. For an excellent review of many popular search engines and topic directories, see Search Engine Watch.
Search Engines Topic Directories Meta Search Engines
(search using many engines)
The Internet is a vast computer database. As such, its contents must be searched according to the rules of computer database searching. Much database searching is based on the principles of Boolean logic. Boolean logic refers to the logical relationship among search terms, and is named for the British-born Irish mathematician George Boole.
Check out this simple explanation and examples of using Boolean Logic. It's worth your time.
There is a difference between browsing and searching – use subject indexes or topic directories – consider human researched choices. Librarians' Index to the Internet has topic and subject directories as well as a variety of search engines all in one site.
Know Your Search Engine
Discover all its abilities, specialties, and limits in the "about us" section to really maximize its effectiveness for you, check its defaults and limiters. Google can be an amazing resource if you use it properly and take advantage of the advanced features and other options. Look at the footer and go to about us. All search engines have an about us or help section – make sure you check it out so you can best use that particular engine.
Try the same query in at least three search engines. Each one covers a different spectrum of the web – no single engine covers the entire web – to make sure you have not missed something major due to your choice.
Please note that sponsored sites have paid a fee to be listed whenever certain keywords are requested – they are not necessarily ideal matches.
Remember... Search engines only go where they are allowed... which is only to the front page of some sites. For example, the Library of Congress is a vast resource, yet its contents are "invisible" to web searches. You must go to the site and search from there. There are many portals like this one – explore www.loc.gov.
If you have trouble opening a web page, try backing up to the main address (the main address will end with .com or whatever domain) and search the main website through the site index for the particular page.
For detailed analysis on how to use search engines and get the most out of them go to Search Engine Showdown
Evaluate your website choices
Validity / Accuracy / Authority / Uniqueness / Completeness / Content Criteria / Updated? / Sponsorship
Types of Domains
.com .edu. .gov .mil .org .net ~ means personal site
How Not to Plagiarize, Proctor M., 2001
Avoiding Plagiarism: The OWL at Perdue