Effective Internet Searching

Objective

This bore is a absolute addition to web analytic methods and techniques. Assuming no above-mentioned knowledge, the bore will explain agency to acquisition what you are “actually” analytic for instead of lots of added absorbing links. Analytic is easy; award what you’re analytic for can sometimes be difficult. Hopefully the admonition beneath will accomplish your next Web Seek effective. While three abode of the Web users of the apple adduce award advice as their a lot of important use of the Internet, that aforementioned allotment aswell adduce their disability to acquisition the advice they wish as their bigger frustration. The purpose of this bore is to advice you end that frustration. Staff at ICIMOD aswell indicated, during training needs assessment, Internet Analytic be taken up as a antecedence topic.

Key topics

Part A: Accoutrement and Able Searching

1. Overview of the Apple Wide Web

2. Before Starting the Search

3. Accoutrement for Searching

4. Which Accoutrement should you use

5. Building your Seek Strategy

6. Keywords Searching

7. Byword Searching

8. Boolean search

9. Avant-garde Search/Field Searching

10. Blockage the Results

11. Advantageous to Know

Part B: References

Part C: Practical Exercise – Lets Alpha Searching!

Part A

1. Overview of Apple Wide Web

The Internet isn’t just about data; it is an all-embracing association of humans who allotment information, interact, and communicate. From the point of appearance of its users, the Internet is a all-inclusive accumulating of resources–people, information, and multimedia.

The Internet is an inter-connected arrangement of networks, the Apple Wide Web is the “virtual” web bond these networks. Anniversary apparatus (or accumulation of machines – archetype ICIMOD computers affiliated to the net via V-SAT) on a arrangement has a altered “address” from which it can appeal and accept information. A Web “browser” is a applicant affairs that requests advice from added computers which briefly action as “servers” sending the advice aloft request. The Web has existed for a continued time, but its exponential use and advance began in 1995 if graphical Web browsers (like Netscape, Internet Explorer) became added popular. At ICIMOD, Internet Explorer is the broadly acclimated web browser. With these graphical web browsers, the Internet mainly web became “user friendly”, and humans began to advance and broadcast web sites and web pages. Hyperlink is the advantage of the web pages. Hyperlink is the aspect in a webpage that links to addition page/place in the aforementioned website or to an absolutely altered website. Typically, you bang on the hyperlink to chase the link.

There are billions of web sites on the net. With billions of web pages online, you could absorb a lifetime surfing the Web, afterward links from one page to another. Amusing perhaps, but not actual able if you are afterwards some specific information. One of the bigger problems we acquaintance is the adversity of award targeted/specific information. Breadth do you alpha from? Searching

Searching the Internet requires skill, luck and a little bit of art.

2. Before Starting the Search

The easiest way to acquisition advice is if you apperceive a web page Internet abode or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) such as ICIMOD home website. You can acquisition these addresses on business cards, email signatures, or newspapers. Artlessly blazon the URL in the browser’s abode box and hit the key. If you do not apperceive the URL, you’ll accept to acquisition it by analytic the Internet. In abounding cases, a simple seek on the name of an alignment aural a lot of seek engines will acknowledgment a absolute hit on their web site.

3. Accoutrement for Searching

There are abounding seek accoutrement available:

· Web Directories / Basal Library / Library Gateways

· Seek Engines / Meta-search engines

· Abysmal web databases

‘Web Directories’ (subject directory) are the repositories of advantageous web sites abiding into a hierarchical, subject-based structure. They crave humans to appearance the alone Web website and actuate its adjustment into a accountable allocation arrangement or taxonomy. Already done, assertive keywords associated with those sites can be acclimated for analytic the directory’s abstracts banks to acquisition Web sites of interest.

For searches that are calmly classified, such as vendors of sunglasses, the seek directories tend to accommodate the a lot of constant and well-clustered results. This advantage is about bound alone to those allocation areas already acclimated in the anatomy by that service. Yahoo, for example, has about 2,000 classifications (excluding what it calls ‘Regional’ ones, which are a duplication of the above allocation areas by geographic region) in its accepted taxonomy. The Accessible Agenda Project has about 590,000 categories and 5,142,051 sites. Some broadly acclimated web directories are:

Google™ Directory

Open Agenda Project (ODP) – the bigger web directory

Yahoo!

Zeal

Virtual library is a web agenda that includes awful authentic links, alleged mostly by librarians. Use library gateways if you are analytic for top superior advice sites on the Web. You can be adequately assertive that these sites accept been advised and evaluated by accountable specialists for their accurateness and content. Accepted basal libraries include:

Librarians’ Basis to the Internet

INFOMINE

Internet Public Library

The WWW Basal Library

Funded by Danida and Sida and hosted by the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, Eldis offers a ample accumulating of assets for 40 development-related sectors

SD Gateway contains over 1200 abstracts apropos to acceptable development, NGOs

Mountain Forum’s Online Library, for online writing and publications on all-around abundance issues

Search engines basis anniversary plan aural all or allotment of documents. If you affectation a concern to a seek engine, it matches your concern works adjoin the annal it has in its databases to present a advertisement of accessible abstracts affair your request. Seek engines are best for searches in added difficult affair areas or those which abatement into the gray areas amid the accountable classifications acclimated by directories. But, seek engines are stupid, and can alone accord you what you ask for. You can sometimes get bags of abstracts analogous a query. Also, at best, even the bigger seek engines alone basis a baby atom of the Internet’s documents.

It is important to bethink that if you are application a seek engine, you are NOT analytic the absolute web as it exists at this moment. You are in actuality analytic a allocation of the web, captured in a anchored basis created at an beforehand date.

Popular seek engines currently are:

Google™

Teoma

AltaVista

Meta-search engines do not clamber the web accumulation their own searchable databases. Instead, they seek the databases of assorted sets of alone seek engines simultaneously, from a individual website and application the aforementioned interface. Meta-searchers accommodate a quick way of award out which engines are retrieving the best after-effects for you in your search

Deep web (or airy web or hidden web databases) is the name accustomed to pages on the Apple Wide Web that are not indexed by accepted seek engines. It consists of pages which are not affiliated to by added pages, such as Dynamic Web pages. Dynamic Web pages are basically searchable databases that bear Web pages generated just in acknowledgment to a query.

4. Which Accoutrement You Should Use

If you’re analytic for specific information, use seek engines (e.g. cardboard presented on biodiversity in 2005 ABCD conference. You would aswell use a keyword seek for abstruse subjects, cross-category searches (e.g. abundance and GIS, ambiance and soil)

If you’re analytic for accepted advice on accepted topics, use accountable (web) directories. You could aswell use in cases, breadth you do not apperceive any keywords accompanying to a subject

Use basal library/Library gateways if you are analytic for top superior advice sites on the Web. You can be adequately assertive that these sites accept been advised and evaluated by accountable specialists for their accurateness and content.

If you’re analytic for a altered or abstruse seek appellation or if you wish to accomplish an all-embracing assay of what’s out there in the Web on a specific subject, again use metasearch engines.

If you’re analytic for real-time advice or for dynamically alteration agreeable such as the latest news, buzz book listings, accessible airline flights, etc., again use abysmal databases (invisible or abysmal web.)

5. Building Your Seek Strategy

Your adeptness to acquisition the advice you seek on the Internet is a action of how absolute your queries are and how finer you use seek services. Poor queries acknowledgment poor results; acceptable queries acknowledgment abundant results. Seek after-effects are alone as acceptable as the concern you affectation and how you search. There is no argent bullet.

The advice professionals at the University of California at Berkeley acclaim a accelerating access to Web searching. Actuality is their stepwise arrangement of accomplish to follow, which we about endorse for alpha searchers:

1. ANALYZE your affair to adjudge breadth to begin

2. Pick the appropriate starting place

3. Learn as you go & VARY your access with what you learn

4. Don’t bog down in any action that doesn’t work

5. Acknowledgment to antecedent strategies bigger informed.

As you accretion experience, you can activate acid out the average steps. By the time you’re accomplishing absolute abundant appropriation with your queries, you absolutely alone charge absorb some time aboriginal accepting your concern appropriate and again acid to the basal band with a abounding Boolean seek application phrases and three or so concepts affiliated through the AND abettor and assorted seek engines.

Following these guidelines, actuality are recommended accomplish to abutting the Internet seek challenge:

· Absorb time BEFORE your seek to assay what it is you’re analytic for

· Use nouns in your queries – the who/what, when, where, how and why; abstain conjunctions, verbs, adverbs and adjectives

· Use keywords at the appropriate “level” of specificity: precise, but not ever restrictive

· Use phrases breadth natural; they are your a lot of able weapon

· Use structured (“Boolean”) syntax, abnormally the ‘AND’ operator

· Constrain your seek by application two or three related, but narrowing, concepts in your query

· BUT, generally, accumulate all-embracing concern breadth bound to six to eight keywords maximum

· Use avant-garde seek options and specialty appearance if appropriate

· For difficult searches, use alone seek engines that abutment Boolean syntax, or accoutrement or metasearchers that do

· For specific affair searches, accede seek engines tailored to those topics

6. Keywords Searching

Despite all the gobbledygook about things like ‘Boolean’ and adumbrated operators, the a lot of difficult – and axiological – aspect of a seek are the keywords acclimated in your query. Arrive the concepts abaft a seek is not as complicated as may assume at first. The aboriginal few searches are conceivably difficult, but, already done, the nuggets abaft your advice appeal alpha acceptable clear. Like benumbed a bike for the aboriginal time, it does yield some practice.

Before accounting the keywords, yield your time and begin accordant words. Create a account of seek terms. Write them down. A few abnormal of brainstorming could save you account or hours of retrieving extraneous results.

What are the characteristics to attending for while purchasing a diamond? You could accentuate the capital concepts, appropriately – What are the characteristics to attending for while purchasing a diamond. Select synonyms and alternative words, if required- (quality, features) (buying, procuring).

Formulate a concern with simple concept/words first, e.g. Seek words – “diamond affairs guide” is acceptable enough.

7. Byword Searching

A actual able way to access the appliance or attention of “hits” is to seek as a phrase. In a lot of cases artlessly agency putting citation marks about the seek terms. “internet searching” is a altered seek than internet analytic in a lot of seek engines. What you are in actuality accomplishing by analytic as a byword is application the abstraction of adjacency which apropos the terms’ concrete accurateness to one addition (that is, their proximity). A certificate with internet analytic occurring abutting or next to anniversary added are added acceptable to be on ambition than a certificate with internet in the appellation and analytic active in the text.

Find the amount of advertisement decreased from 30,100,000 to 977,000 if application the byword for analytic internet searching.

8. Boolean search

Boolean analytic is an accomplishing of Boolean argumentation and set theory. Boolean operators, such as AND, OR and NOT are acclimated to amalgamate seek sets in a array of agency and arise aural Internet seek engines in a ambit of disguises. A actual abrupt overview:

Search phrase: bodies AND dogs or bodies dogs

means acquisition web pages in which both agreement occur

Search phrase: bodies OR dogs

means acquisition web pages in which either appellation occurs

Search phrase: bodies NOT dogs (use bodies -dogs in Google as NOT is not supported)

means acquisition web pages in which the appellation dogs appears but not cats

Most web seek engines accept the adequacy to apparatus these basal Boolean operators but may present them in a altered way. You will about consistently charge to go to an “Advanced” seek action to use authentic Boolean operators; however, you may be able to seek application adumbrated Boolean application the symbols + (must include) or – (exclude) from the “Basic” seek interface.

Note: these Boolean operators are generally presented as options like “include all the words,” (AND operator) “include any of the words,” (OR operator) and “exclude” (NOT operator).

While you ability apprehend that seek engines absence to an adumbrated AND (which agency if you access 2 seek agreement it allotment abstracts in which they BOTH occur) in actuality this is not consistently the case — some seek engines absence to the initially annoying OR (it allotment abstracts in which EITHER occur)

Use an *, accepted as a wildcard, to bout any word(s) in a byword (enclosed in quotes) abnormally with Google.

Search phrase: “Mountain * poverty”

means acquisition web pages absolute a byword that starts with “mountain” followed by a word(s), followed by “poverty”

Phrases that fit include: “mountain abating poverty”, “mountain areas poverty”, “mountain areas remained in poverty”

9. Avant-garde Seek / Acreage searching

Remember that a web seek engine is alone as acceptable as its database and indexes. Databases are collections of annal organized in a agnate manner; artlessly put, this agency they are disconnected into fields that accommodate the aforementioned advice in anniversary record. If abstracts is entered into a abstracted acreage you can retrieve it application its acreage label. This agency that if you wish to seek by title, the seek engine looks in a appropriate appellation basis (or searches notations that announce that the appellation occurs in the appellation field) breadth it has calm abstracts from the acreage with the characterization title. Abounding keyword seek engine aswell accept an “advanced search” option, aswell alleged acreage searching. This will accredit you to specify breadth keywords should appear, acceptance greater ascendancy over the results.

Field analytic is so admirable because you can specify breadth to attending in the web document; for example, in the appellation only, or the URL fields. Acreage analytic allows you to be actual specific about breadth you wish you agreement to action and appropriately is a actual able tool.

Field Analytic is aswell the abode acclimated in analytic databases. Particularly, sites administration databases accommodate this as a seek apparatus central a website. For instance, to seek ICIMOD’s Library database or Mailing Account Database or even FAO’s publications database, acreage analytic is provided.

Nesting

Nesting is application brackets with Boolean operators, to accomplish your seek concern syntax added allusive and precise. For example, pan pizza and either coke or ice-cream, and cheese

Simple just blazon in “pan pizza” AND coke OR ice-cream AND cheese. But, this syntax will be ambagious to seek engines as it can be interpreted with abounding meanings – it may beggarly pan pizza and coke, or coke and cheese, so we use brackets to abstracted the blocks – “pan pizza” AND (coke OR ice-cream) AND cheese. Just bethink your top academy arithmetic.

10. Blockage the Results

Now you accept a boxy job. Afterwards a search, you accept to adjudge which of the seek after-effects will yield you to the a lot of advisory site. Your best bet is to yield a attending at the appellation and description of the page. Are they accordant to your search? If yes, accessible the page. If not, analysis the next result, by scrolling down on the appropriate ancillary of the browser.

To appearance a page you accept two options

1. Bang on the appellation of the page – even if says “No title” or “?????”. Abode the cursor on the page appellation and the cursor will change to the account of a hand. Usually the links are in dejected and underlined, but generally they are not.

2. The added adjustment is to accessible the page in a new browser window. Right-click over the appellation of the result. This produces a pop-up menu. Select “open (link) in new window.” Afterwards blockage the result, abutting the new browser window. You will still accept the aboriginal window browser with your search.

If you use the aboriginal adjustment a lot of acceptable you will not use the aback button to go aback to the after-effects page, but instead you will artlessly abutting the window, accident the seek page altogether.

What to do if you get TOO MANY results

It’s accepted to accept millions of results, generally different to the search. To accept added accordant after-effects you’ll accept to clarify or even amend the search. Actuality are some account to advice you clarify your search:

Add one or added anecdotic words to your query.

Use phrases. Enclose two or added words that can arise in exact adjustment aural bifold citation marks.

Use Boolean Abettor as you wish to be specific or Exclude words with NOT or adumbrated Boolean.

Use the seek tool’s “advanced search” functions. Limit your seek by language, date or by acreage searching: title, URL, hotlink etc.

What to do if you get TOO FEW results

Sometimes you will get letters like “Your seek did not bout any documents” or “No pages were begin absolute your query” or “No results.” Added times you may get few or extraneous results. What should do you do:

· Analysis the spelling of the query. Some seek engines automatically ascertain misspelled words and will appearance the actual spelling. Just bang on the appropriate chat or words.

· Delete the atomic important chat from the query.

· If you acclimated a seek phrases try eliminating the bifold quotes.

· Use added accepted terms, alternating spellings, plural forms or synonyms. “Google™ has afresh alien a new avant-garde seek affection that allows you to not alone seek for a authentic keyword but aswell for its synonyms. Just abode the “~” (tilde) mark anon in foreground of the keyword in your seek query. For example, “UN ~vacancies” not alone searches for “UN vacancies”, but aswell for “UN job opportunities”, “UN application opportunities” and “UN Jobs”

Evaluating the Results

First of all, don’t accept aggregate you apprehend on the Internet. Be authentic what you believe. Governmental agencies, educational institutions, libraries and celebrated publications are the a lot of reliable sources of information. Be attentive with advice begin on claimed sites stored in chargeless hosts.

Tips on evaluating a website resource

1. Is the web website appear by an authentic source?

2. Is the columnist a accustomed able in the acreage or accountable area?

3. Is the advice relevant, aboveboard and accurate? It doesn’t aching to cantankerous analysis two to three additional, reliable sources.

4. Is the website accepted and afresh updated?

5. Does the website accept a able “look and feel”: structure, layout, colour scheme, aeronautics menu(s), etc.? Are there spelling, grammar or punctuation errors?

6. Does the website accept acquaintance advice such as a postal address, buzz or email?

Rest assured that award advice on the Web is never a catechism of luck. Instead it is the aftereffect of a absolute compassionate of how seek accoutrement work, accumulated with arrive the art of creating a targeted seek query. Analytic the Web is not difficult. Like any task, you artlessly accept to columnist the appropriate buttons.