- Internet & the Web
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Tips on Getting the Results You Want
The internet is packed with so much information that is can be pretty difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. Using vague or incomplete sentences can sometimes get the results you want, but in more complex subjects it often leaves people confused and frustrated. In this case certain methods were created using specific words or symbols. Many tactics expalined here are from the Boolean method but not all search engines comply to these rules.
The OR Word
Or logic combines the search words together and looks for documents that contain the word by itself or combinations of the keywords. The OR design is good for using synanoms since it helps broaden the search and raises the amount of results you can receive.
A great example of this is someone that wants to write a report on animals. In order to return the most results, you could use the words animal OR mammal. So the thing to remember is that the word OR is best used for situations such as research or when the looking for a specific topic.
The NOT Word
Using the keyword not is a great way to find information about one subject but put limitations on the information you receive. For instance, if you want to find sales that were on items other than clothing this search would help limit those results.
This method is good for saving time since it narrows down the amount of items you have to search. It can limit the amount of information you receive though since it will not pull up information with that word and the other.
The AND Word
Using the keyword AND is great because it returns results that contain a list of all the words listed. This can be helpful if you are trying to compare and contrast products, reviews, or benfcial in academic cases.
The AND keyword is different from using the OR keyword in that it only shows results that have each keyword in the page. An example of this could be a person looking for reviews on types of products. Typing in "Vacuum" AND "Review" brings a number of results that are specifically based on vacuum reviews.
Different methods are used for different search engines so if one does not work try something else. One trick is to eliminate criteria by using the minus symbol with the word or phrase you don't want. Be sure to include quotations around the first word since it tells the search engine that is the specific word to search for.
Order also has an impact on your results so if a particular word has more importance list it first. Some search engines also have features that limit the range of numbers. This can be done by putting the keyword and then the low and high number. Make sure both numbers are separated by two periods. This feature is especially handy when it comes to shopping.
One last tip. Many search engines have features such as spell check or sorting capabilities. Users can type in a word and put definition after it. Some search engines have location specific results so using the same trick with the word phone and a business will often get the same result.