Searching the internet effectively is a very important skill to acquire.
At some point in your life, you may need to use the internet to search for resources for school, work or even home.
So how should you search the internet effectively?
Besides the right keywords of course, you need to tell the search engine specifically what you need if you are not just searching for a generic/broad topic. And being specific does not just mean typing the whole question.
Most people have this misconception that the keywords refer to the topic/issue that they are looking for.
That is only partially correct.
Besides the topic/issue that you are looking for, if you are searching for something specific about it, then you should include what that is.
For example, you are researching for a science topic on “What are the factors that contribute to Ovarian Cancer?”
Using Google, if you type in the whole question exactly as it is, you will get many diverse results, filled with scientific reports that you probably won’t be able to understand. If you type just “Ovarian Cancer”, most likely you will get results that give you the medical side of ovarian cancer, like symptoms, treatments etc.
But if you type “Factors cause ovarian cancer”. The results that you want can already be found on the first page!
“Factors cause ovarian cancer” may not sound logical, but it got you what you need. The choice of your keywords is very important. Typing just “ovarian cancer” was too broad, while typing everything gave you results that were too profound or limited.
Since you are looking for factors that cause ovarian cancer, then just “tell” the search engine that you are looking for factors that cause ovarian cancer! And you can omit “that”, because it’s not really a keyword. In addition, some results will display “cause of ovarian cancer” and this is an example of using a synonym.
Factor and cause are quite similar in meaning when used correctly. So using synonyms will also help to return more relevant results.
Most people are afraid that if their search query does not sound logical, the search engine might not be able to search and return relevant results.
As I’ve shown above, it does not exactly work that way. Search engines are meant to search what you are looking for, they are not teachers and won’t grade your search query and fail you if it does not sound logical or do not show the exact phrase.
So the next time you search, tell the search engine what you want even if it sounds illogical.
Remember, your choice of keywords affects the relevance of your search results.