Planning Your Search

This page is intended to give you general advice on how to use Internet Search Engines.

Planning Your Search

Why Plan? If you spend time thinking about what you want to know before you use a search engine you will make the time spent searching them more productive

  • Write down some words or phrases as they may help you to define what information you need. The words and phrases are referred to as ‘keywords’ which are what you are going to put into the search engines.
  • If you use very general keywords you get a lot of results but many could be irrelevant, if you use precise terms you get fewer articles but they will be related to your search.
  • Once you have your list of keywords it is a good idea to think of some alternative words that could be used to describe your ideas.

If you think of alternatives you can try these if your initial search is not successful.

How to use a search engine

Although there are many search engines available on the web and most of them work slightly differently, they often have a simple and an advanced search facility. To help you get used to using these search engine features we are going to have a look at the simple and advanced search features on the Google search engine.