IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Weeding out the Unwanted Sites

Use search tips and advanced search features

When you perform a search in a search engine, how often do you go beyond the first page of results? Even if your search finds 1,440,000 sites, are you content to just skim the first page of sites and select one? Be honest.

Students often feel warm and fuzzy about those first few results. With some search engines the first results can be amazingly on target, but keep in mind these three points:

  1. A program selected those Web sites to be added to the database.
  2. A mathematical program decided which one would be listed first, which would come second, etc.
  3. But get this: with some search engines, companies pay to have their sites listed first. How warm and fuzzy does that make you feel?

Here are some tips for using your favorite search engine effectively:

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