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".

Quiz

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

most liked family dog breeds

top dog breeds for a family

what are good family dog breeds

best family dog breeds

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 ImageByte Author Uploaded Image

Quiz

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

sewing cross stitch

sewing

how to sew a cross stitch

cross stitch

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".

Summary

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!

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This Byte has been authored by

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Alexandra Angelou

Intern at Rumie