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Researching Information

Learning Goals

  • Understand Internet search choices
  • Understand how Internet search engines work
  • Learn search improvement skills

Search Engines

A number of companies make search engines that will help you find information on the Internet.  Some of the biggest search engines are: Google Search, Microsoft Live Search, and Yahoo Search.  Although they all do roughly the same thing, Google is currently the leader in both usage and number of websites it has indexed.

You can try several "General" search engines and see how they differ in their results and presentation.  Also, the website below demonstrates this difference by comparing your search in Google Search and Microsoft Bing side by side:
In addition to general internet search services, there are a number of "specialized" search services that look for very specific information on the Internet:
  • pipl - search for information on people
  • Canada411 - phone numbers, addresses and more
  • Qwiki - a multi-media search engine that combines text, picture and video from several websites
These videos describe how search engines work, and provides a few useful tips for improving your search results:

Setting Google as your Default

Google may not be the default search engine in Internet Explorer. It it is not use this helpful on-line tutorial to set it as the default

Improving Your Search

Here's a helpful exercise to try in class or at home.  Google A Day is a great way to practice doing research on the Internet:

Use these helpful tutorials to improve your ability to find information on the Internet:
Example - 15 Second Search Tip - Earthquakes

Searching by Media Type

Try out the other Google Search products above the search box.

Google Search is filled with enhanced options to narrow or refine your search, for example:
  • Look for the Show Options feature, try it out!
  • Check out specific features, like Find Similar Images in Google Image Search (see video below)