Search Strategy

Searching the Internet is rarely a simple matter of typing in a keyword and being presented with the solution to your problem. Most Internet search sessions are a process of starting with a simple topic or key word, gathering more information on the topic and types of resources that are available, adapting your search expression, searching again, and continuing to refine the searches until you have your solution.

The procedure described below is an effective method, but by no means the only one. As you gain experience in searching the Internet, you will develop your own distinctive process depending on your skills and the types of information that you typically seek.

Search with a key term on Yahoo or another small index search tool.

  Collect terms that are common on the web resources that are good hits and also terms that are common on resources that are irrelevant.

Edit the search expression with terms gleaned from the Yahoo report.

  Add relevant terms to expression with AND/OR connectors, and irrelevant terms with NOT connectors

Advance into more advanced and extensive searches and search engines

  Enter new search expression into a larger search engine such as Excite or HotBot.  

Refine the search expression

  Explore the resources reported by the larger search engine and refine the expression even more, further defining the relevant hits, and filtering the irrelevant.  
Cycle back and Advance again.  
  Return to the advanced search engine that you used before or use another search engine.  
Harvest the results  
  Collect the needed information by printing, downloading, forwarding by e-mail or just reading.  
  Copyrighted by David Warlick