Have you ever struggled to find the answer to a question online? Carefully choosing the right search words can help you find the answers you need.

Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

Steps to Better Searching

This Byte will teach you how to select search terms by following these steps:

  1. Use short, simplified phrases

  2. Be specific

  3. Order your search terms

  4. Break up your search

1. Use Short, Simple Phrases

  • Use short phrases or individual words rather than long sentences. Search engines use every word you type, so long questions with extra words may bog down the search.

For example: instead of asking "How tall is a giraffe?", search "giraffe height".

  • Simplify phrases when possible.

For example: instead of searching phrases like "like best" use "favourite".


If you wanted to know the most liked dog breeds for a family what would you search?

2. Be Specific

  • Be as precise as you can. Does the word you searched have several meanings? You may have to use additional words to provide context.

For example: you may want to search the name "Maya", but by searching Maya alone you may get results for the Mayan Civilization or Maya Software, instead - Search "Maya name" for more accurate results.

Byte Author Uploaded Image Byte Author Uploaded Image


If you are looking to find results for the question "How to sew a cross stitch?" what would you search?

3. Order Matters!

  • Check the order of your search.

    For example: you may want to search for the colour "sky blue", but searching "blue sky" will not give that result.

    Byte Author Uploaded Image

4. Break Up Your Search

  • Break up your search into several searches if you're not finding results. If you don't know a specific word or term, do a search to find the word, then use it in a second search.

    For example: if you want to search "swollen dangly thing in back of throat", first search "dangly thing in back of throat". Result = uvula. Then search "swollen uvula".

Take Action

You now know how to select search terms!

To summarize:

  1. Use simplified phrases rather than lengthy questions.

  2. Be specific.

  3. Check the word order.

  4. Use additional searches when necessary.

Now try searching the question "How to find accurate information online?" using the skills learned in this Byte.

Happy Searching!


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte