Search Engine Strategies

The following strategies can help make the time you spend searching with search engines more fruitful:

  • Always carefully evaluate the information you find using search engines.
  • Search your topic as a phrase by putting your keywords in quotation marks (e.g. "endangered species") so the search engine will find all your words right together.
  • "Require" all your keywords by putting a "+" in front of each word (e.g. +endangered +species +united +states).
  • To get around the "buried words" problem, try to use the more unique words and synonyms for your concepts.
  • Take time to study help screens, examples, and FAQ's of search engines - they can, and do, change overnight.
  • Get to know more than one search engine, no single database has everything.
  • If your topic is broad (such as our example of endangered species) try using a subject arrangement like Yahoo!
  • first.