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How to Effectively Search the Web for What You Need


Popular Search Spots
Also called FAST 

Blog Search: 

Directory Databases:

The Open Directory Project aka DMOZ


Things to Keep in Mind

You can get entirely different search results by using quotation marks around a group of words that form a phrase than if you do not use them.

Notice too that generally you have a choice
thru either tabs or radio click buttons at the top of the search page to choose either
depending on which search engine page you are using. If you are having trouble finding what you need, try searching for an image then locate a website with the info you need that way. You will find different stuff.

If it is late-breaking info you need, try searching the NEWS tab or button or BLOGS.

If it is technical info you need, try searching the GROUPS tab or button--which in Google's case, searches the archived Usenet discussion groups which include many techie discussions.

Avoid the search results at the top of search results that are in a colored background and labeled 'sponsored listings' unless you are looking for COMMERCIAL stuff.

If you click on a website link and it doesn't seem to be working, then click the link to Google's cache of that page to see what it looked like the last time the Googlebot visited it. Look for the 'CACHE' link right after the description on the search results.

Multi database search:
Now called HighBeam and not free anymore
requires free registration but is very cool if you are using your home computer


Use specific terms. Use + signs as in ancient+mosaic+floors
Try both with and without quotation marks for different results
Try both plural and singular forms--some search engines handle then differently

If you are not sure of the spelling, use Google will try to spell it correctly for you.

If it is a person, place, book or song's name,
always use quotation marks like "Mick Jagger" or "Salt Lake City"

you can enter into Google define:my word
and Google will find any site that defines that term for you.

Search Services: search tool that you customize to provide results from numerous sources of your own choosing. I suppose the name implies ..."roll your own"... The Congoo NetPass allows you to see behind the scenes web stuff that is usually password protected. This info comes from paid-content sites like certain newspapers online, magazines like Billboard, Wall Street Journal, Encyclopedia Britannica. a mash-up of social networking and search. It hopes to made money thru ad revenue and share it with users. They offer standard Google listings also. 


You can go to to download the free Congo NetPass Toolbar which installs in your browser and works like any other toolbar to allow you to do Congo searches directly. 

If you wish to come to a complete understanding of  the relationship between the search engines, directories, portals and pay-per-click listing services have a look at the comprehensive Bruce Clay's excellent chart. You will see who furnishes data to who,etc..

To search for a person or business address or phone number go to

To search for a domain name or IP # owner go to also try

To get information by asking a question:

Amazon Question/ Answer site, free but sometimes full of stupid stuff. I have gotten some good, detailed, technical answers there tho. 

The Amazon owned NowNow will email you the 3 best answers ! can be full of a lot of junk as people try to build up their credits, but you can get good advice there too, if you don't mind wading thru the mire.  is free, but mostly about teen music, etc..  will have someone answer your question for a fee or submit proposals.  is mostly for lawyers or expert witnesses.

How To Info: has commissioned thousands of answerers to reply to people. is a very useful site, esp for parents of small children.  has first person reviews on stuff.  all info added by different people. Might be accurate, or off a little.





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