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How To Be A Better Web Searcher

Searching the web should not be rocket science, but it can be sometimes, from looking up a word to searching for assignment answers. It usually does not prove to be as easy as it sounds.


Students find it hard to know how to navigate the web to get search results. There is also a lot of fake information online, so it is imperative that you realise this when you are surfing. Simply typing a word to Google will not give you all the accurate answers you need.


Sometimes it might be that you are struggling with information overload or lots of different answers to a particular question. At that point, you are not sure what to believe. There is always a deeper meaning and reasons for every answer found on the internet.


1. Wikipedia is fake news

When surfing the net, it is important to search and then research. You need to verify your answers and sources before accepting something as facts. One of the places to be wary of is Wikipedia. The site usually comes as a top answer on the right corner of a google search. What you need to know about Wikipedia is that anyone can go there to edit any information. This means it cannot be a reliable source because it means anybody can put in any kind of information, true or false. This does not mean that it does not carry some true information. It just means that it cannot be trusted or quoted as a source. Academics strongly advise students against quoting it as a source of information. Also, if you have a work presentation, and you want to be taken seriously, refrain from using Wikipedia for your research.


web search engines


2. Be specific

The results of a Google search tend to more accurate when you are specific. It is remarkable how much a brief search of “Manchester” will be able to bring the right results about the Manchester United football club. It is important to be as specific as possible. Keywords are also important to help narrow down and streamline a search. It’s amazing how an ‘s’ can make a world of difference in a search too. Searching “Eagle” will bring you news about the bird, while “Eagles” will bring you results about the American Football team, Philadelphia Eagles. A lot of people think that they are very skilled in using a search engine. They think they only need to type in a word and that’s it.


Being specific might mean opening various tabs and picking different variations of the word or words related to the search. It is not enough to scan through the first page on a Google search too. Pages two to infinity also have answers that might be best suited to you. Always choose the best way to phrase the search. Be sure to put the first words first and not mix them up. For instance, type [Super Eagles] instead of [Eagles Super]. Using a double quote around the words you want — like [“the advent of superheroes”] — will bring you documents that have contain the specific words that you have typed in.


3. Use search tools

The search tools on the top are very useful, be it the adjustment for size, time or specifications. The news area is also useful to search for news stories on a particular search. With images too, you can type in the dimensions you want to prevent time wasting. Google can now bring you more specific images. You can also do safe searches to clean up the results you get. You can select the colours you want, usage rights, time, size and more for image searches.

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