Successful Searching of the Internet

All too often I hear comments like “I can’t find anything on the Internet” or “I’m afraid of getting viruses from the Internet” or “Where do I start”. In today’s meetings, we discussed some tried and true methods of searching the Internet successfully and easily.

Google is the current king of web searching and should be your first stop to start any search.

Boolean searching is probably the single best methodology to learn to improve your searching skills. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

Search Convention Result
Phrase –
ex: “create template”
only documents with the phrase you enclose in quotes
Include (AND) – ex:
“create template” +Excel
documents with your phrase AND the word or phrase you include after the + sign*
Exclude (NOT)- ex:
“create template” -Lotus
documents with your phrase WITHOUT any sign of the word or phrase you include after the – sign*
ex: dogs OR canines
returns documents that include one of the words or phrases you typed on either side of the OR
abraham NEAR lincoln
documents that include either word before or after the operator IF they are within 10 words of each other

* Note that the AND and NOT operators/conventions can be used in place of the + and – sign respectively.

Unlike searching topics in a library, web searching requires you to start more specific and then broaden your searches if unsuccessful with results.


Learn to utilize the power of your computer and the Internet to cull through results faster. Even with a fast Internet connection, clicking on one search result at a time is tedious and wastes time. Instead try these techniques:

Internet Explorer & Mozilla Firefox

Remember that with Google you can search for just pictures, just news, and perform other specialized searches as well.

Use this sites for specialized searches:

Residential Phone Numbers (including reverse lookup) Whitepages
National Yellow Pages Big Book or Dex Online
Movies Internet Movie Database
Encyclopedia Wikipedia
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