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Where to Search
Where to search is as important as what you want to search for. There are many search engines on the WWW and each catalogs pages in a diffent way. I will simplify the types of catalogs into two basic types:
Searchable Catagorized Listings
Search engines like Yahoo catagorize their listings. When a page is added to their collection, it is placed in one or more categories that describe it. I'll explain how this is done with an example...

I wanted to find information about the U.S Government, but I wasn't sure exactly what I should name what I was looking for. I chose to look for an address by using the Yahoo search engine. When asked for search text, I entered

government information

When the results page was displayed, I found many categories with government information in their titles. If I clicked on the of the titles, I would then recieve a listing of sites having to do with that title. I skimmed through the titles and selected

Government: Politics:General Information

When the listing loaded, I was happy to find a site that broadcasted what was happening in the Senate live.

The previous was a good example of a catagorized search. Catagorized searches are best when search for broad or topics which you may not be sure what to search for.

Full Text Searches
Search engines like AltaVista are full text searches. This type of search engine catalogs the entire text of the pages that it contains. When you search a full text search engine, you are performing a much more thurough search. Again, I will use an example...

I wanted to find information on Hydrogen Fuel Cell used in Automobiles. I decided that this was a pretty specific topic and so I decided to search AltaVista. When asked for search text, I entered:

Hydrogen +"Fuel Cell" +Automobile

When the results page displayed, I found 35 sites that mentioned Hydrogen and Fuel Cells having to do with Automobiles. After skimming through the pages, I found a page all about Hydrogen Cars - just what I was looking for.

The above is an example of a very specific search. Very specific searches produce the best results with full text search engines. Also, if you first try a catagorized search and find nothing, try the same search with a full text search engine - you may be pleasantly surprized.

If you had trouble understanding this lesson so far, don't worry. In time, when you gain experience using the WWW, you will be able to quickly choose which type of search engine would best suit your needs. The most important part of using the WWW is using the WWW. Remember, the Web was designed to be user friendly.

Hey! You're done with the Searching The Internet Section. Hopefully you now know how to find what you are looking for when you get on the World Wide Web. To test how much of this section you remember, use the Review Test.Congratulations!