Web Search Made Simple

How to Search The Web Faster, Easier, and More Efficiently

If you've ever been frustrated with your Web search results, today is your lucky day. Keep reading for a few simple methods that will make your Web search efforts faster, easier, and more efficient.

1
Use more than one search engine

Couple looking at laptop computer in modern kitchen
Chris Ryan/OJO Images/Getty Images

Every search engine is different, and will give you different results. If you can't find what you're looking for quickly with the first search engine that you try, there's plenty more out there that can give you more information.

Search Engines:

2
Know your search engine inside and out

It's easy to skim the surface of your favorite search engine and only use the most prominent features; however, most search engines have a wide variety of advanced search options, tools, and services that are only available to those dedicated searchers that take the time to search 'em out. All of these options are for your benefit - and can help make your searches more productive.

Get to Know Your Search Engine:

3
Get to know common search terms

Knowing the basics of common Web search terms can help you make your Web search time a bit more productive - and thankfully, they're really not that difficult to learn.

Common Search Terms:

4
Go off the beaten path

You can certainly find a ton of useful information with your friendly neighborhood search engine, but there's lots of material out there that they don't cover. That's where the Invisible Web comes in.

Using the Invisible Web:

5
Frame your query differently

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again - but try again just a little bit differently. For instance, if you're not getting anything good for "pogo stick championships", try "winners pogo", or "pogo stick first place", etc.

Web Search: A Different View:

6
Spelling and grammar

Most search engines these days, if you misspell a word, will politely ask you "Did you mean...." and correct your spelling for you. Definitely take advantage of this feature - however, you can also get some pretty interesting results by deliberately misspelling the term that you might be searching for.

It's Okay to Misspell?

7
Metasearch

free people search tools on the web

One search engine is great, but a dozen search engines - at one time - is even better.

Metasearch Engines

  • Search.com: Search.com retrieves results from Google, Ask Jeeves, LookSmart, AltaVista, MSN Search, and more.
  • Mamma Metasearch: Mamma.com is a good, solid meta search engine that provides fast and relevant results and excellent advanced search options.
  • Metasearch with Clusty: Learn about Clusty, a meta search engine with lots of interesting features, including a blogosphere meta search option, customization tabs, and of course, clustering.
  • Dogpile: Dogpile, a meta search engine, is a great way to compare and compile results from many different search engines and directories at the same time.

8
Global search

History of the Web

Don't limit your Web search to just your home country - go international.

Global Web Search

9
Find some help

There are PLENTY of places on the Web where you can find expert help in a variety of subjects.

How to Find an Expert

  • Question and Answer Search Engines: If you're looking for a specific topic with a relatively narrow focus, question and answer search engines might just be what you're looking for. These search engines aggregate the vast resources of the Web into strictly defined categories; in other words, they make it extremely easy to find something.
  • Ask an Expert: Sometimes we forget in this age of Internet research that we can actually ask an expert for help. There are plenty of places both on and off the Web that you can tap into to find expert help for any kind of research topic that you can think of.

10
Use what other people have already done

Use caution on social media

One of my favorite things about Web search right now is the ability to harvest other people's Web searches all over the Web with the power of social bookmarking and social networking.

What are Other People Searching For?

  • Social Bookmarking Sites: These are sites that allow users to post their favorite sites, using tags (or keywords) to categorize and organize them; then other users can take these bookmarks and add them to their own collection or share them.
  • What is Social Networking?: You might have heard the term "social networking" in your travels on the Web. What does this mean?
  • How to Use del.icio.us: del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links.

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