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Friday, July 6, 2012

Tutorial for teachers - How to select keywords to get the best search results?

Learning to find information quickly and effectively is essential to successfully using the Internet. Specialized search Web sites allow users to search for content that meets the selection criteria they specify. Keyword searching is an effective way to locate information on the World Wide Web.
Keywords are used to find relevant Web sites and pages. "key" has more than one meaning; here it means "important.
We are now learning  'how to select keywords to produce the best search results?'
Following procedure can help you get the best search results.

Procedure for selecting suitable keywords and use them to get the best search results:
Fine-tune your keywords: 
If you're searching on a noun (the name of a person, place or thing), remember that most nouns are subsets of other nouns. Enter the smallest possible subset that describes what you want. Be specific. Try to meet the search engine halfway by refining your search before you begin.

Example: If you want to buy a car, don't enter the keyword "car" if you can enter the keyword "Toyota." Better still, enter the phrase "Toyota Dealerships" AND the name of the city where you live.

Be Refined: 
Read the help files and take advantage of the available search refining options. Use phrases, if possible. Use the Boolean AND (or the character +) to include other keywords that you would expect to find in relevant documents.
Also learn to EXCLUDE with the Boolean NOT. Excluding is particularly important as the Web grows and more documents are posted. Run your initial query over again several times, each time adding further refinements to narrow down your list of relevant hits.

Example: If you want to find out how medical details about your grandmother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, try entering "Alzheimer's" AND "symptoms" AND "prognosis." If you want to find out about Alzheimer's care and community resources, query on "Alzheimer's" AND "support groups" AND "resources" AND NOT "symptoms."

Query by example: 
Take advantage of the option that many search engine sites are now offering: you can "query by example," or "find similar sites," to the ones that come up on your initial hit list. Essentially what you're doing is telling the search engine, "yes, this looks promising, give me more like this one."

Anticipate the answers: 
Before searching, try to imagine what the ideal page you would like to access would look like. Think about the words its title would contain. Think about what words would be in the first couple of sentences of a webpage that you would consider useful. Use those words, or that phrase, when you enter your query.
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