The Computer Revolution/Internet/Searching

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Many search sites, like Google, offer numerous tools to find specific types of information. Search sites use a search engine which is a software program as well as a database of information about websites to help you find what you are looking for. Search sites are updated on a regular basis using automated programs call spiders or web crawlers and from Web page authors who submit their information, URL's and keywords to the search site. The website also gives you the option of not just text information but also music files, videos, images, and maps. Google also allows a mixture of specific search criteria in its search box to find other convenient information, such as the status of a flight, the weather, a conversion or calculation. To find the status of a flight, you would type in for example AA 123. The information is then processed and the outcome is the flight details.

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Boolean Operators[edit]

Sometimes an internet search may return too many results. For example, if the word "coffee" is searched, a lot of the results that return would include companies that sell coffee like Starbucks or Duncan Donuts. That's where Boolean operators come in handy. They allow searches to be narrowed to specific search results with little effort. If you aren't interested in the companies and just want to know information about coffee, the search could be entered as "coffee NOT Starbucks". Or if you wanted to search information about coffee relating to health benefits you can search "coffee AND health". AND, OR & NOT are the three common Boolean operators, but their use varies between different search engines. [1]

Search Websites Google and Bing are websites that can be used to help find specific information on the Internet, and are updated daily. To search the Internet using a search website, use the URL for the site into your address bar. The search sites allow users to search by a keyword, and brings up websites that match your search.

Keyword Searches Keyword searches are the most common type of Internet search. The website returns to a page with websites that match the keyword search these are called hits. Each site returns the websites with the closest match to your search. Websites also offer the most popular websites first, this is based on the amount of webpages that are linked to it, or the sites that pay the highest fee to be displayed in a search.

References: Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow

  1. Information found on page 315 of Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow (13th Edition).