Exploring the Web Exercise

This exercise is intended to help you become more familiar with one search engine and to show you how to learn more about the Web sites you find.

Pick a search engine from those listed below. The link will open a new browser window. When you finish the exercise, close the browser window to return to the tutorial.

Some Popular Search Engines to Try

Go to the search engine's "help" pages. Hint: These pages may be called Tips for Searching, About [Name of Search Engine], Advanced Search Features, or other title indicating you can find more information.

See if you can find answers to the following questions:

  • What type of Web sources is it searching (e.g. Usenet, Web pages, Listservs, etc.)
  • Can you search for a phrase? How?
  • Can you require a word be present? How?
  • Can you exclude words? How?
  • How is relevance determined?

Do a search in this search engine for the topic you have been working with. How many "hits" did you get?

Try the search again putting your search words in quotation marks, e.g. "endangered species." How many hits do you have now?

From this last group, pick one site to explore further.

  • Who created this site?
  • Is there a "parent organization" for the site?
  • When was the site created? Has it been updated?