Effective search methods

In a few words

Effective search methods on the internet can help you find the information you’re looking for more efficiently and accurately. Sometimes we feel frustrated since we type words on the search engine but the results are too generic and we can’t immediately find what we are actually looking for. Let’s make a practical example. I would like to have a pizza for dinner so I have to find a place close to my home and then I have to order my pizza. But simply typing pizza is not enough. Probably one of the first results will be advertisements. And then of course some basic definition of what pizza is (probably from Wikipedia).

And even typing I want to order pizza online is not the best solution. Still advertisement.

Maybe scrolling down my screen I could even find the right place, but probably the search will be long and annoying!

I have to do some changes in my research to better explain to the search engine what I am looking for. In addition to that, I can use some advanced options for better targeting my research. 

Let’s dive deeper

The ability to search for information online is one of the most important digital literacy skills you can have. It has a direct impact on your ordinary life considering how much time we can save by searching information online and how often we need to search information in a single day. Here are some tips for conducting effective searches:

Be as specific as possibleThe more relevant words you use in your search, the more successful your results will be. For instance: I would like to order a pizza salami for this evening in Rome, in the district of Trastevere
Use quotation marksTo find exact phrases, put them in quotation marks. For example, “ordering pizza salami in district Trastevere at Rome” will specifically search for that phrase
Include SynonymsIn case your initial search doesn’t give you good results, try synonyms or related terms. (pizzeria instead of pizzaneighbourhood instead of district).
Filter by DateMany search engines allow you to filter results by date to find the most recent information. This can be especially useful for news and current events. For instance if I am looking for a recent news about the best pizzeria awarded in Rome, I can select the option “last month” in order to get results only by the last 30 days.
Filter by date

Useful links

Top web search tricks

Google search tips

Search like a pro