03 May 2007


Per and Susanne Koch of Pandia (Oslo, Norway) have put together a free tutorial on how to explore the Net more efficiently.” This would be a good tool to use in your classes, or at least to refer to.

From the introduction: “The main problem is not that the search engines and the search directories find too little, but that they find too much. It is hard to uncover the needle in a list of 400,000 hits. That's why Pandia brings you this short and easy search eng

ine tutorial. To get the right answer, you must ask the right question. This Web search tutorial will tell you exactly how to do that! It will take you approximately 30 minutes to read the search engine tutorial through, and you will learn the essentials of Web searching in less than an hour. By improving your searching skills you will be able to find what you are looking for faster and more efficiently. How is that for an investment?”

I think that the best parts of the tutorial are the section on error codes and Pandia's 17 Recommendations for Net Searching. They are:

1. If you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, use a search engine first. If you are looking for general information on a broader topic start with a search directory.

2. Use nouns and objects as query words.

3. Be as specific as possible.

4. If you do not find what you are looking for, search for synonyms. Use the OR operator.

5. Check your spelling! Then check it again...

6. Be aware of alternate spellings or alternative words in various forms of English.

7. Use at least two keywords in a query.

8. Use phrases enclosed by quotation marks in order to reduce the number of results.

9. Use the AND or plus operator in order to reduce the number of hits.

10. Normally use quotation marks and capitals when searching for names.

11. Consider truncating words in order to find both singular and plural versions of nouns.

12. Put the main subject first.

13. State to yourself what you want to find. You might find it useful to write it down on a piece of paper in normal language. Pick out the keywords and use them (and relevant synonyms) in your search query.

14. Do not make your queries too complicated.

15. Consider using field searching to get more relevant hits.

16. Use several search services. Not one of them covers more than a part of the Net.

17. Read the help pages.Admittedly the basic rules are the same, but the variations will affect the results of your query.

URL: http://pandia.com/goalgetter/

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