InterNet Access Network ( )
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 08:33:02 -0400

>Free Internet Tip of the Day:
> Before we get started, we'd like to let you know that our
>website has moved. You can now find the Free Internet Tips
>website at:
> Today we'll continue talking about search engines. We'll
>focus specifically on using keywords and advanced functions of
>the search engines.
> Let's start off by considering what keywords we should use.
>Yesterday we saw what happened when we used a keyword that was
>much too general. We had the Alta Vista search engine find
>webpages that contained the word "corvette". Alta Vista found
>over 200,000 pages. That's a bit more than we really want to
>browse. That exercise taught us that we should probably use
>more than one word in our search and also more specific words
>if possible.
> Lets work on another search exercise. Suppose our trusty
>old printer is on its last ream of paper. It's been a faithful
>machine, but it's time for its retirement. You've had your eye
>on a new Epson printer, but you're not sure if it's the right buy.
> Searching the Internet for reviews of printers is exactly
>the type of task for which search engines were created. We
>could go to Lycos and use the keyword "printer", but the amount
>of webpages that have the word "printer" in them are
>overwhelming. A better choice would be to use two or three
>specific words.
> When using the keywords "epson printer review", Lycos was
>able to narrow down the results to some webpages that may be
>helpful. The first two webpages it found were:
>"REVIEW: Epson Color Stylus 500 " &
>"Tech Review: Printers"
>Both of these websites would probably be very helpful to us.
>By using at least two or three specific keywords the results
>were much more usable.
> Another trick you can use when using more than one keyword
>is to enclose them in quote marks. Below are two examples that
>could be typed into the search box on the Lycos webpage:
>epson printer review
>"epson printer review"
> The first line tells Lycos to find webpages that contain
>those three words, if possible. Lycos doesn't care where
>those three words are in the web page, or what order they
>appear, or even if they appear near each other.
> If we were to type the second line into a search engine
>(including the quote marks), we would be searching for a
>phrase. That means that all three of those words must appear
>in a webpage IN THAT EXACT ORDER.
> Using the quote marks to search for a phrase can be very
>handy. It can really filter out a lot of webpages that we
>probably don't want to see in the first place. However, it
>can sometimes have the opposite effect. Typing the
>second line (including quotes) into Lycos results in no
>webpages being found. We already know that reviews of
>Epson printers exist because Lycos found some for us
>in our earlier example. It's just that, in this case, we were
>too specific when searching for a webpage that contained this
>exact phrase.
> Although we used Lycos for this example, most all search
>engines understand that if you enclose your keywords in quotes
>you want to find webpages that contain that exact phrase and if
>you don't use quotes you are looking for webpages that contain
>those words, but necessarily in a particular order or proximity.
> When searching, you may want to start out by using
>somewhat general keywords or phrases. If the search engine
>finds too many webpages, try your search again, being a little
>more specific.
> Tomorrow we will talk about a few more advanced search
>engine features
>Web Site of the Day:
>The Kansas City Public Library has some great information
>about search engines. It compares the most popular engines
>side-by-side showing their strengths and weak points.
>Today's Sponsor:
>Mountain Stitchery makes the most beautiful handmade quilts
>you're ever likely to see. Visit their online store at:
>(C) 1999 Terragon Media.
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Dayton, OH