Search the Web
Internet Searching Tips
Search engines look for key words. These are words contained in the title or early body portion of a document that appear relevant to the search engine. Since you have no way of knowing what the engine decided, you might first try a search in plain language such as "worms on my cypress tree." That will usually return more links than you really want. If you have some idea from looking at your plain language search, you might try a specific search and put it into quotes such as "cypress tree worms." When you put a search in quotes, it will look for exactly those words in that sequence. Use lowercase words whenever you can.
If you don't come up with results at first, please be patient and try again with a new phrasing or combination; e.g. "worms eating cypress tree." It will amaze you what will come up with different combinations. Some engines such as Ask.com or Dogpile can make a broad search of other search engines, which is called a metasearch.
Some search engines such as Yahoo have human editors selecting material to list. Others such as Altavista list as many sites as possible. Metasearch engines can search through the entire web and also search other search engines, thus giving a huge amount of information. Metasearch engines work best with limited or shortened key words. Some sites such as CEO Express list newspapers, magazine sources, and other search engines. Others are a combination of all, such as Google.
The important thing to remember is no single search engine is perfect! A good search requires patience. Try different key words or combinations and try different search engines, or even specialty engines such as American Medical Association Health Insight or Library Spot. Remember, we have library information helpers at our help desk, and the library has many excellent reference books not necessarily listed on internet sites. Don't forget our Athena
electronic catalog too. This searches for books in our library.