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Internet Searching Strategies
Solutions for problems you may encounter when searching on the internet
Note: Many of these solutions are also available by using the advanced search feature of the search engine.
Problem 1: too many sales sites Problem 4: different terms for the subject -- you want all in one search  
Problem 2: sites on topics you don't want Problem 5: there are different forms of the word -- you want all in one search  
Problem 3: too many results Problem 6: search list doesn't have what you want  
  Problem 7: you typed more than one search word -- only one of the words in the results  
Problem 1:    too many sales sites
Suggested solution:
Eliminate the  .com (commercial site) domain.
You can do this in a standard search by adding a - (minus sign) to the beginning of the word you don't want.
Example: Before
Search for:  cell phones
The search results include too many sales sites.  You need a search result list without those sites.

New search:  cell phones without the .com domain
Example:  After
Search for: cell phones –.com
Your search results will not include .com sites.
Problem 2:    sites on topics you don't want
Suggested solution: 
Use search terms that make sure sites with particular words are not listed.
You can do this in standard search by "surrounding your phrase with quotes" and adding a - (minus sign) to the beginning of the word you don't want.
Example: Before
Search for:  expert witness
The search results include directories and registers (lists of people) that aren’t at all useful for a research project.There are many listed.  You need a search result list without those sites.
New search:  expert witness without the words directory register

Example: After
Search for:  "expert witness" -directories -registries
Your search results will not include directory or registery sites.
Problem 3:    too many results
Suggested solution:
limit your search.
Search again, but this time use an additional word or words to limit the search.
Example: Before
Search for:  discrimination
Search results:  1 - 10 of about 32,000,000 for discrimination (way too many hits)

New limited search:  discrimination with the word gender added
Example:  After
Search for: gender discrimination
Search results: 1 -10 of about 6,570,000 for gender discrimination (cut by close to 80%).
Problem 4:    different terms for the subject -- you want all in one search
Suggested solution:
Do one search with each word listed.
You can do this in standard search by typing OR between your alternate words.
Example: Before
Search for:  Originally 3 different searches:  car safety and automobile safety and auto safety
The problem is that this is too many searches to do.

New search:  with the word safety and with any one of the words car OR automobile OR auto
Example:  After
Search for: safety (car OR automobile OR auto)
You combine 3 searches into 1. Note that all 3 optional terms are inside parentheses and OR is between each term.
If you did not use the parentheses, automobile or auto might show up without safety.
Problem 5:   there are different forms of the word -- you want all in one search
Suggested solution:
Do one search with each form of the word listed.
You can do this in standard search by typing OR between your alternate words.
Example: Before
Search for:  Originally 3 different searches:  education privatize and education privitization and education privitizing
The problem is that this is too many searches to do.

New search:  with the word safety and with any one of the words car OR automobile OR auto
Example:  After
Search for: education (privatize OR privitizartion OR privitizing)
You combine 3 searches into 1. Note that all 3 optional terms are inside parentheses and OR is between each term.
If you did not use the parentheses, privatization or privatizing might show up without education.
Problem 6:    search list doesn't have what you want
Suggested solution:
Look through the sites listed in the search results for a different term to search by.
Example: Before
Search for:  scientifically changed food
The search results include too many sites that are not helpful. Look in the search result entries for other terms that mean the same thing.
Sample entry:
The approval procedure for Genetically Engineered/Modified foods ...
It is widely used. See "Liver changes from GE food". ... Table comparing substantial equivalence with a scientifically valid food assessment procedure ...
www.psrast.org/subeqow.htm - Cached - Similar

New search:  try the new term genetically engineered/modified foods
Example:  After
Search for: genetically engineered foods
Your search results will  include more useful results.
Problem 7:    you typed more than one search word -- sites only have one of the words in the results
Suggested solution:
Put the words in quotation marks.
When you type the phrase in the search box, put quotation marks around it so the search engine looks for the entire phrase. 
Example: Before
Search for:  school chemistry products
The problem is that none of the sites list together all 3 of the words that were searched.

New search:  with all three words listed in quotation marks
Example:  After
Search for: "school chemistry products"
Now sites listed in the search results have all 3 words together as a phrase.  
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