Dear Amy: Search engines are great, but sometimes I can’t find what I want. Do you have any tips for getting good search results? — Chase, Norfolk, Va.
Dear Chase: Finding exactly what you want online isn’t always easy. When I’m having trouble finding a site, I try to remember to “think like a search engine.” Search engines use keywords to describe each site listing, so the trick is to figure out which keywords best describe the website you’re looking for. If I wanted to learn to make pizza at home, I would search for “pizza dough recipe.” Searching for “pizza” wouldn’t be as helpful, because most of the search results would be for restaurants that serve pizza.
For more help on basic searches, visit support.google.com/websearch/bin/
answer.py?answer=134479. This page has information about Google searches, but the tips also apply to other search engines.
Many search engines include an Advanced Search feature that allows you to search for exact phrases, search within a specific site, choose which country the search results come from and more. Just use the options you need and leave the rest blank. You’ll be searching like a pro before you know it!
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