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Arkansas State University

Searching the Internet: Home

How to find information on the Internet.

Searching the Internet

There's no reason why you can't use the Internet in your research -- as long as your professor allows it.  The Internet contains a vast amount of information, some good and some bad.  Either way, it's a lot and it's really easy to get overloaded.  This guide will help you search the Web easier and more efficiently.

Additional Search Tips

Most search engines have an advanced search feature.  The advanced search link is usually located near the search box or the search button.  Advanced search will allow you set limits on your search, such as using Boolean, limiting the date range or limiting the domain. 

Search Tips

Quotation Marks

Normally if you just type in a phrase and search the Internet, you will get a very large number of results.  This is because search engines look for every web page that has those words in any order.  If you only want web pages that contain the words exactly as you typed them in, you will need to use quotation marks around your terms.  This will limit the search to your exact phrase and will greatly increase the chances of finding what you're looking for.

Look at the differences in the following Google searches:

April Sheppard   2,370,000 results
"April Sheppard"       2,640 results
Arkansas State University   20,400,000 results
"Arkansas State University"   528,000 results
Type O Negative   10,500,000 results
"Type O Negative"   1,030,000 results



Most Internet search engines use the same Boolean connectors that databases do. 

AND      For the most part, you do not need to worry about using the AND connector.  Search engines automatically assumes an AND between your search terms and will search for web pages that contain all your terms.
OR   Use OR if you want to find any of your search terms.  This is good for looking for similar words such as teen OR adolescent and gray OR grey.  Also, OR really only works in search engines such as Google.  Note: When using OR, OR must be capitalized
NOT   Use a minus sign (-) to exclude search terms.  This works in most Internet setting including Google, eBay and Amazon.  For example if you are looking for a purse that is NOT made from leather, you will search for:  purse -leather.  For a purse that is NOT leather and NOT a clutch, you will look for:  purse -leather -clutch.