In this section we will briefly examine some of the features of web search engines that allow you to construct more effective searches, and we will look at ways of finding quality websites for your research. Critically evaluating the information you find on the Web is absolutely essential; anyone with access to a computer can make a website and content is usually unmonitored. We will look at the criteria for evaluating sources, including websites, in the next module, Using Information.
In Module 4: Search Strategies, we looked at search techniques for constructing an effective search in a library database. You can apply some of these same search techniques when you are using a search engine - namely:
Since Google is the most popular search engine we will look at how it supports Boolean operators (if you use a search engine other than Google, go there now and look at its Advanced Search screen). Here is Google's Advanced Search:
Just as scholarly article databases and Summon offer ways to narrow one's search results, Google Advanced Search also offers ways to limit search results by language, last time the page was updated, to specific domains, and where one's search terms must appear (such as in the title of the page or the text of the page):
You can refer to the Best Search Tools Chart for a description on Boolean and other search options available in other popular search engines and Web search tools.