Do you often search the web for the latest sports gear, that elusive vinyl record, or articles about Harley Davidson motorcycles?

You probably find things on the web using popular global search platforms like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Firefox, Yandex, and Baidu.

Did you know there are common search platforms designed for specific needs to make your web search easier?

Woman wearing light blue glasses; head moves back and forth as she looks at a screen and says, I'm gonna keep searching.

Learning the ins and outs of search platforms will help you find better results, faster!

Platform or Engine?

The term search platform is used interchangeably with search engine . It's a tool you use to search and find information, images, or other things on the internet.

🛠️ How does it work?

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  • web-based software program

  • accessed on the internet using computers, laptops, phones, etc.

  • users search and find content located on websites

💻 How do you use it?

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  • enter a basic search query, such as keywords and/or phrases into a search bar

  • it delivers a list of content results to match your search query

  • you'll get links to various websites, images, videos, and other data or media

Sample Google search showing results for The American Jobs Plan. You can find almost anything searching the internet if you know where to look!

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Search Parameter Tips

Get better results for your search parameters with these basic search engine strategies and techniques:

Identify search parameters

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  • Use precise keywords or phrases

  • Refine, filter, narrow, or broaden search results

  • Search a topic using different descriptions or a synonym

  • Filter search by type: files, news, images, articles, or videos

Use Booleanoperators

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  • Include symbols plus (+) or minus (-) within search parameters

  • Use the words "AND", "OR", and "NOT" to narrow results

  • Put quotation ("") marks around two or more words (e.g., "house hunting")

  • Add an asterisk (*) to root words for variations of the word (i.e., auto* automatic)

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Quiz

Which Boolean operator is best for your search parameters to find mountain bikes for trail riding?

Search for Images and Media

Look for search platforms solely dedicated to images, photos, or other types of multimedia content.

People in a photo gallery gazing at images while they are sitting or strolling by Photo by Aditya Candra on Unsplash

Pixabay— visit this multimedia sharing platform for free photos, images, music, and videos.

Search & Find:

  • stock photos, illustrations, graphics

  • video, music, sound effects

  • content type, orientation, and size

  • editor's choice, curated collections, and trending topics

Photo of a large purple. fluorescent ferris wheel against a blue sky with lights reflecting from buildings nearby Photo by Michael Skok on Unsplash

TinEye— browse this platform with reverse image identification and verification technologies to find photos.

Search & Find:

  • free image or photo search by category

  • photo comparisons with original image

  • reverse search query for an uploaded or pasted image

  • image location, verification, and tracking

Partial photo of a iPad and pen with an image from a web search engine page called Pinterest Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

Pinterestsearch this platform for creative inspiration, ideas, and current trends. It's a social network and visual pinboard collection of lifestyles and interests.

Search & Find:

  • pins on relevant topics, people, brands

  • pinboards, pins, or boards by creators

  • curated collections with videos

  • pinboards to follow or bookmark pins

A 3D photo rendering of video symbol in red, blue and white tones against a navy blue background Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Vimeo— explorefree and premium services for your video hosting, sharing, and content creation needs on this all-in-one solutions platform.

Search & Find:

  • videos to livestream and share

  • trending topics and staff picks

  • different categories and genres

  • videos for education, business, and community events

Search for Audio & Sound

Trying to find some background music or a snippet of sound for your presentation? Look no further than these search engines.

Photo of a sound engineer's electronic keyboard in colors of lilac and blue hues with some control switches in yellow tones Photo by Anthony Roberts on Unsplash

FindSounds— check out sound effects, musical instrument samples, and unique sounds on this free, child-safe, audio search engine.

Search & Find:

  • index of sounds and effects in formats MP3, WAV, AIF

  • sounds of nature, animals, and birds

  • sounds of people, sports, ringtones, chaos, and mayhem

  • sounds of vehicles, tools, and machinery

Partial image of a female wearing headphones sitting at a desk adjusting sound volume buttons on a keyboard Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Audioburst— browse short topical segments from podcasts, TV, and radio stations from multiple sources across the web.

Search & Find:

  • real-world daily updates of podcast and radio highlights

  • categories by author, tech, business, and trending topics

  • index lists and collections of curated content to create playlists

Photo of a microphone and stand against a black background with the words Podcast capitalized in florescent lights Photo by michal dziekonski on Unsplash

Listen Notes— look up your favorite podcast episodes and interviews curated on this search engine.

Search & Find:

  • aggregated results of podcast episodes

  • real-time hot topics and community playlists

  • podcast genres or podcast authors to create free playlists

Photo of a white iPod with an orange screen partially wrapped around with white ear buds on a wood-grained table Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

MP3 Juice— browse these popular free MP3 and MP4 audio music sources. Stream online or directly download files.

Search & Find:

  • categories of songs, music, tracks, and sounds

  • audio via keyword, URL, phrase, or title

  • track by video URL to convert to audio

  • copyright-free audio and video sounds

⚡ Knowledge Check

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Ahmed is editing a video. He wants to add some outdoor sound effects of birds and insects. He doesn't want to spend too much time searching the web for appropriate sounds. He has several search options to locate what he needs.

(A) Search a platform that contains different types of music and sounds and browse its contents until a specific match is found.

(B) Searchmultiple general search engines to locate different types of sounds and music and then compare results.

(D) Search an audio and sound platform, use key words and Boolean operators to define and narrow the search query for relevant sound effects.

(C) Searcha multimedia search engine with a search query for backyard sound effects and lawn mowing noise.

Quiz

Which search method would you recommend Ahmed perform to achieve best results?

Search for Jobs & Careers

Use these employment and recruitment platforms to focus your search for jobs and new career opportunities.

Photo of mature Caucasian male sitting at a desk in front of a laptop having a virtual meeting with a female Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Indeedstart yourjob search on this multi-service recruitment platform. Free for job seekers to access job listings, career paths, and trending occupations.

Search & Find:

  • jobs by industry and profession

  • sample resumes and cover letters

  • resources on career development

  • applicant hiring and onboarding

Photo of glass-windowed office, skyscraper buildings, against a backdrop of a light blue sky  Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Glassdoor — research potential employers on this free job search and company review platform. Find extensive company information for your job applications and interviews.

Search & Find:

  • job vacancies by various categories

  • salary and compensation comparison

  • company leadership approval ratings

  • other premium career services

Photo of a three young people, two males and a female, sitting around a table outdoors drinking coffee & working on a laptop

Monster— are you a new graduate? Start your job search here with a section dedicated to new graduates. There's a host of free job search tools, and job vacancies for all levels of experience.

Search & Find:

  • qualified candidate and job matching

  • salary data research and comparison

  • career resources for job applicants including interview preparation

  • premium employment services

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LinkedIn— search this multifaceted platform if you want to combine job searching, professional networking, learning, and connecting with recruiters.

Search & Find:

  • people and connections via user profiles

  • search by job, industry, people, company

  • courses for professional skills-based training

  • premium plans for career development, business, sales, and recruitment

Take Action

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This Byte has been authored by

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Mary Mills

eLearning Designer