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Critical Thinking class extra credit - Fall semester 2009

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  1. 1. Web Search Made Simple<br />Help (?)<br />- If you get frustrated with your Web search results, this presentation will provide you with a few simple methods that will make your Web search efforts faster, easier, and more efficient. <br />
  2. 2. Web Search Basics:<br />A search engine is a software program that searches for sites based on the words that you designate as search terms. Search engines look through their own databases of information in order to find what it is that you are looking for. <br />
  4. 4. Specific Search Engines:<br />Blogs<br />Books<br />News & Television<br />Business<br />Forum<br />Game<br />Human-Powered<br />Image<br />International<br />Invisible Web<br />
  5. 5. Search the web like a pro:<br />Use more than one search engine.<br />Know your search engine inside and out.<br />Get to know common search terms.<br />Go off the beaten path using the Invisible Web.<br />Frame your query differently.<br />Spell it right and spell it wrong.<br />Metasearch the Web.<br />Web search around the world. <br />Ask an expert for help. <br />Piggyback on other people’s searches.<br />
  6. 6. Still confused. . .<br />In order to search the Web more effectively, there are a few basic skills that you need to learn to make your searches less frustrating and more successful. Here are the top ten basic Web search skills that you need to have.<br />Go to the next slide for more search help.<br />
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Phrase Search Using: (“”)<br />By putting double quotes around a set of word, your are telling the search engine to consider the exact words in the exact order without any change. For example, a search for [“Augustine Cantu”] (with quotes) will miss the pages that refer to Augustine R. Cantu. <br />
  9. 9. Search within a specific website using: (site:) <br />This allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website. For example, the query [iraqsite:nytimes.com] will return pages about Iraq but only from nytimes.com. You can also specify a whole class of sites, for example [iraq site:.gov] will return results only from a .gov domain and [iraq site:.iq] will return results only from Iraqi sites. <br />AWESOME!!!<br />
  10. 10. Terms You Want to Exclude Use this: ( - )<br />Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus (-) sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. <br />You can exclude as many words as you want by using the –sign in front of all of them, for example [jaguar –cars –football –os].<br />For example, in the query [fox –channel] will search for the words fox but exclude references to channel.<br />The - sign can be used to exclude more than just words. For example, place a hyphen before the ‘site:’ operator (without a space) to exclude a specific site from your search results.<br />
  11. 11. Fill in the Blanks: ( * )<br />The *, or wildcard, is a very powerful feature. If you include * within a query, it tells the search engine to treat as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches. <br />For example, the search [dogs *] will give you results about many breeds and topics about dogs. The query [Obama voted * on the * bill] will give you stories about different votes on different bills. <br />NOTE: the * operator works only on the whole words, not parts of words.<br />
  12. 12. Search Exactly as is. . . ( + )<br />Sometimes your search engine helps out a little too much and gives you a synonym when you don’t really want it. By attaching a + immediately before a word (remember don’t add a space after the +), you are telling your search engine to match that word precisely as you typed it. Putting double quotes around a single word will do the same thing. <br />
  13. 13. The OR operator<br />The search engine’s default behavior is to consider all the words in a search. If you wan to specifically allow either one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type ‘OR’ in ALL CAPS). <br />For example, [New York Yankees 2004 OR 2005] will give you results about either one of these years, whereas [New York Yankees 2004 2005] (without the OR) will show pages that include both years on the same page. <br />
  14. 14. Exceptions to ‘ Every word matters‘<br />Know the stop words: ‘like’, ‘the’, ‘a’, and ‘for’. These words are usually ignored by your search engine. Keep in mind that the word ‘the’ will not be ignored in the first query, such as [the who]. <br />Synonyms might replace some words in your original query. (Adding + before a word disables synonyms.)<br /><ul><li>A particular word might not appear on a page in your results if there is sufficient other evidence that the page is relevant. The evidence might come from language analysis that your search engine has done or many other sources. For example, the query [overhead view of the bellagio pool] will give you a nice overhead pictures from pages that do not include the word ‘overhead’. </li></li></ul><li>Punctuation that is not ignored<br />Punctuation in popular terms that have particular meanings, like [C++] or [C#] (both are names of programming languages), are not ignored.<br />The hyphen –is sometimes used as a signal that the two words around it are very strongly connected. (Unless there is no space after the – and a space before it, in which case it is negative sign.)<br /><ul><li>The dollar sign ($) is used to indicate prices. [motorola 200] and [motorola $200] will give you different results.
  15. 15. The underscore symbol _ is not ignored when it connects two words, e.g. [quick_sort]. </li>