Tips for Strategic Searching
1. Use multiple, specific, descriptive keywords for narrower results.
Using Google, search for concerts.
The search has led you to musical events, ticket purchasing, and tour dates.
Searching for concerts in Sydney 2017 will lead to narrower, location based results.
3. Place quotation marks around specific words or specific phrases you're looking for.
The Prime Minister of Australia lives at the lodge in Canberra. Search for a picture of his lodge.
You found log cabin, so try "The Lodge". You found a Disney TV show. Add tip 1 to your search - "The Lodge Canberra" - now you've got it.
Google doesn't always require quotation marks because it runs a prediction algorithm that may be helpful.
5. Look for two words at once by placing OR between them.
Maybe you want some information on Macquarie and you are not sure if it is a TAFE or a University.
Search Macquarie TAFE OR University.
HINT: Make sure OR is in capitals.
7. Specify the format of the information you're looking for.
Many search engines will allow you to search exclusively for images, videos, news, blogs,shopping, or even scholarly articles. Different types of information will help you in different ways.
If you search for dogs, the following information will tell you different things:
10. Once you have your search results, use them!
2. If at first you don't succeed, try synonyms (a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase).
Using Google, search for rare cats.
You may not find what you were expecting. Try searching for exotic cats, rare feline or exotic felines.
4. Add a minus sign before a word to show that you don't want that one included.
If you are searching for mullet but you want the fish and not the hairstyle, you would enter:
mullet -hair Have a go! Can you think of some others and try them with and without the minus sign.
6. Search for and pay attention to URL domain types.
.com = company
.gov = government
.edu = educational institutions
.org = organization
If you are searching for parks and you include .gov as a keyword, you should receive government websites in your search. If instead you include .com as as a keyword, you should receive results that are companies related to parks. Try it!
8. Use advanced search options on a search engine
Advanced search can be found under settings.
Try a search for fidget spinners.
Next to 'this exact word or phrase' type ceramic bearings. Scroll to the bottom and search. Try some other keywords and compare the results.
9. Choose the best image for an assignment by using Tools and More tools. Some artists do not mind you using their work, while others do. In google images, click on usage rights and choose labelled for reuse.
Search images for clock. Go to Tools and select Usage rights. Select each of the licenses and observe how the images change as the artist's restrictions of use are applied.
Searches enable you to access the huge store of knowledge on the Web, so take some time to see what is out there! Don't just look at the first results and use Wikipedia. Go deeper!