Seven Habits of Highly Effective Web Searchers

How to Search the Web Successfully

How to search more effectively
Credit: Granger Wootz

Even though there have been incredible advances in search engines and search engine technology over the past decade, our searches are not always successful. In fact, all of us have experienced the frustration of not finding what we're looking for, no matter how hard we try. 

However, all is not lost. There are several techniques we can utilize in our search queries that will make our searches more targeted, more effective, and ultimately more successful. All of the methods touched on in this article will work in any search engine on the Web. 

Effective Habit 1: Use Targeted Phrases

The more specific your query is, the more success you're likely to have. After all, "why is the sky blue" is easier to understand than "sky blue question". For more information on how to craft a more specific query, read this article titled Looking for a Specific Phrase.

Effective Habit 2: Expand Your Search Horizons

Get out of the habit of only using one search engine for everything. It's okay to use one search engine for the majority of your Web search questions - you can get to know that search engine better and can use it more successfully over the long run. However, with all the great search engines out there, it would be limited your search capability to only try one. It's smart to get to know a few search engines as your searches will not only be more interesting, but more effective as you learn which searches work best in which search engines. Learn more about search engines in this article titled The Most Popular Search Engines Online. 

Effective Habit 3: Learn a Few Web Search Tricks

There are a few Web search tricks that can make your life a lot easier. No involved computer programming involved, just a few simple Web search tricks that can instantly transform your searches from "blah" to "wow!". Check them out in this article titled The Top Ten Web Search Tricks You Should Know.

Effective Habit 4: Use Your Time Wisely

The longer you spend time searching for something, the more frustrated you can get. It's inevitable that sometimes there's going to be a Web search query that is not easily solved somewhere in your horizons - it happens to everyone. Rather than continuing to try the same search methods, get creative: try another search engine, try another way of framing your search query, etc. There's actually a lot of ways you can search to make your queries much more effective. For more information, read this article titled How to Get Better Search Results.

Effective Habit 5: Learn How The Web Works

If you want something to work right, you've got to read the users manual. The Web is a big place, and there's a lot of amazing technology and processes going on. It can seem overwhelming, but it's crucial when developing more effective Web search habits to actually learn more about what it is you're spending time on. For more information, read this article titled Web Search for Beginners, as well as How Did The Web Get Started? to understand where the Web actually came from. 

Effective Habit 6: Stay on Top of New Web Developments

The Web changes every day. Every day, the Web becomes a bigger and better place, with more to offer the world. The Web is becoming a platform for all kinds of new inventions and tools, including ​What is Social Media.

Effective Habit 7: Cultivate a Love of Discovery

Try something new. Many Web searchers get stuck in a rut, using the same search methods over and over again, the same search engine, visiting the same sites. There are hundreds of millions of websites online, each with unique offerings, capabilities, and useful services that searchers won't be able to find unless they look. Try reading the Top Fifty Sites You Don't Know About Yet to get started.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Web Searchers - Get Started

A good habit is easy to start. Grab any of these seven effective Web search habits today to start a more efficient and enjoyable Web search journey.