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Are You Finding What You REALLY Need?
by: Janet L. Hall
Are You Finding What You REALLY Need?:
Internet Searching Techniques
By: Janet L. Hall

Remember the game Hide & Seek? Just like the game,
websites can be hiding from you on the Internet while you try
to seek out particular information, services, or products.
How do you find what you are seeking?

The Internet is like the KING of all Libraries. Among the
stacks you seek. Among the librarians (search engines and
directories) you perform a query. But if you don't know the
language, the search criteria, or your way around, you can
get lost playing endless hours of hide & seek.

In order for you to locate the information or site you're
seeking, several things must have happened:

>> The site owner must register or submit their site with the
directory in which you are doing a search. Then a real
person goes and checks out their site and decides if the site
is worthy of getting listed in their directory.

>> The site owner must register or submit their site with the
search engine in which you are doing a search OR the
search engine's robots or spiders must have * crawled
through * their websites which will rank them by many
different factors. The most important factor is the use and
weight of the site owner's use of keywords.

When you do a search or a query, you type in a word or
phrase of words, right? Here is where you might not find
what you are looking for because the site owner or
webmaster didn't put in the keywords you are typing in the
search window.

Therefore, the site owner or webmaster must determine
what keywords are important for each page on their website
and what word(s) you will type in a search window to find
their site. The words you type in might not be the
webmasters keywords, so you don't find what you are
looking for.

To make matters worse, each search engine and directory
can have their own search criteria; however, most are very

Using particular search strategies can help narrow your
search and hopefully find the stuff more relevant to what you
are seeking.

Seven Searching Techniques to try:

>> Read the help section of the search engine or directory

>> Put word(s) in quotation marks; tells most search engines
you're looking for that exact term

>> Type in lowercase letters; many search engines are

>> Be specific - instead of typing in organizers, type in professional

>> Type in the plural form of the word

>> Type in the word(s) misspelled, such as organizers or
organisers or orgnaizers

>> Type in a longer variation of the word, instead of
organize, type in organizing.

Anthony Muller, President of Web Mercs, said in his article,
* How to Avoid the Most Common Myths and Blunders of Search Engine
Optimization *:

* There are hundreds of search engines, but only 20-30 main
ones, and just four-five of them account for 60-75% of the
total search engine traffic. For example, Altavista gets about
17% of the total engine market and it equals roughly 40
million searches a day; as opposed to Lycos or HotBot which
each get 2-3% of the market. It would shock you to know
Yahoo only gets about 24%! *

My two favorite search engines to locate what I'm looking for
is and allows you to search through 14 search engines
at the same time! Type in your word(s), click on FETCH,
and WaLA! You've just worked a little smarter, not harder.
At you can choose to search through images,
audio, auctions, news, FTP, Discussion, and Small Biz.

At dogpile you can use advanced searching techniques, by
using additional syntax, that will help * you gain added
control over your search and weed out any unwanted
results. *

Additional Syntax for Searching Techniques:

>> Type AND between words or the symbol + before a word
thus allowing a specific combination of words to be present
in all search results.
Example: Home AND Clutter or Home + Clutter will result in
different search results.

>> Type NOT between words or the symbol - before a word
Example: Dogs NOT Cats or Dogs - Cats will result in sites
when only dogs appear but not cats.

>> Type OR to include both words.
Example: Office OR Clutter

Not all search engines support these syntaxes in dogpile;
therefore, dogpile will only search the engines that support
the syntax you use, allowing a more tailored result. searches for documents on the Internet that
contain your search word(s). They offer a pull down menu to
the left of the search window where you can choose from
different syntaxes. They also offer an advanced search
where you can perform word filters, word(s) that should be
included or excluded from your search.

Here's to finding what you are looking for!

Smiles, not Piles,
Janet L. Hall is the owner of OverHall Consulting, an
organizing firm for office, home, computer clutter, and your
life. Visit her website at
Phone consultations and coaching are available.

Copyright (c) 2001 by OverHall Consulting
P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676
All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce,
copy, or distribute this article so long as article is kept intact,
this copyright notice, and full information about the author is

About the Author

Janet L. Hall is a Professional Organizer, Speaker, and
Author. She is the owner of OverHall Consulting, and
Organizing By Phone. Subscribe to her FREE organizing
newsletter at or visit
her web site at


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