Get the Best Results with Internet Search Engines

Still searching the internet? Follow these suggestions to refine your search and obtain specific information on your desired subject.



  1. Choose a few of the most specific or relevant keywords or phrases to describe your topic.
  2. Start with the most specific keywords you can think of. As search engines improve, queries with detailed queries increasingly provide surprisingly helpful results. If that fails make your terms increasingly general till you get a good result.
    • Reword the query to provide better results. For example if "How to Skip Rope" doesn't work well, try "How to Jump Rope" .
  3. Use trigger words to bring up certain types of search results:
    • images - "Lady Gaga images"
    • how to - "how to boil an egg"
    • videos - "U2 concert videos"
    • weather - "London weather"

Boolean Connectors

Boolean Connectors provide an advanced method to make more complex searches.

  1. Place a plus sign (+) prior to each word to view each word separately within your search results, such as: "+writer+grammar+punctuation".
  2. Place a minus sign (-) prior to each word to omit a word, such as: "recipe-meat" for a vegetarian meal.
  3. Use quotation marks ("), to view consecutive words of a phrase, such as: "flower arrangement."
  4. Use hyphens to replace quotation marks, such as: To-be-or-not-to-be.
  5. Use plus signs with the quotation of a phrase, such as: +baking+"chocolate cake."
  6. Connect words and phrases with hyphens and quotation marks to pinpoint the search, such as: "baking German-chocolate-cake."
  7. Use "and" within a phrase. “James Taylor and singer” will result with a list of singers with the name of James Taylor.
  8. Use "not" to eliminate part of a search. “James Taylor not singer” will result with a list of people that are not singers, but have the name of James Taylor.
  9. Use "or". “James Taylor or Frank Sinatra” will result with a list of either or both of these phrases.
  10. Connect to search similar items, such as: "blue-bird or black-bird or blackbird."


  • At the top of any page, type the phrase “search engines” into your Search Bar to attain access to several different internet sites that specifically aid in searching.
  • Search engines usually disregard minor words such as "the, and, to, etc."
  • Translation of a language may not be entirely accurate. Keywords may result with a different ranking of web pages.
  • Generally, capitalization and punctuation are not needed.
  • Sites differ in their searching techniques, searching only one word or many variations of a word as well as many similar words.
  • Most sites have an Advanced Search feature and Site Map.


  • If you don't follow these directions, you may find that you'll be looking up stuff for longer than you need too.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet Access

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Sources and Citations