Because Searching Smarter is What It's 4!

How to Search Smarter

To search effectively you first need to understand how search engines work. Search engines aren't the all-knowing oracle's they appear to be. The fact is, they can only search as well as you can explain what you are searching for. If you don't explain something clearly, the search engine has to make an educated guess based on other information, like your search history, cookies, geographical location and what other people have searched for and clicked on amongst other factors. Guesses are generally inaccurate no matter how educated they are. You don't want the results of your search being based on an "educated guess" when you can base them on good searching practices. This tutorial is going to explain a few quick things you can do to become a more effective searcher.

Write Your Search in Detail

The most important thing you can do to get better results is to write a few extra words that explain what you are looking for as clearly as possible. A quick way to do this is to think of the search engine as a child or someone who knows nothing of the subject or anything like the subject (like a child.) We all know that children don't have the experience to "fill in the blanks" when we explain things to them and therefore we tend to be much more detailed when we are giving them instructions than we do with adults. Like children, search engines can't "fill in the blanks" without guessing. The search engine has no understanding of your situation and no understanding of the human experience. Therefore, you have to "fill in the blanks" for the search engine. Entering longer search strings (four words or more) will dramatically improve your search results.

Know Something about the Topic Before you Search

This is the hardest part of good searching and is why the interface is more detailed than your average search engine. How do you know what to search for before you search if the reason you are searching in the first place is because you don't know? It is this catch 22 that is the reason the 4Internet Search Network was created. Other than going directly to a 4Internet Search Site which will have a tutorial and detailed search options, your only choice is to start with a wide search and then refine it to a more narrow search.

Understand How Search Engines Examine and Select Page Results

The next key to good searching is to understand how search engines examine the pages to be shown in the results. Search engines execute searches by looking for the text you have entered on the pages it examines in what is known as a boolean "OR" query. Simply put, every word that you are entering into the search string is searched for separately on the page. For example, the search "Small dogs in the park" would look to find a page that has the words "Small" or "dogs" or "park" in them. It would disregard the "in" and the "the" as common words. Pages that have the most of those words are selected into a set and then displayed in an order determined by how often those words appear and the internal quality score assigned to that page or the website of that page. This is where things start to get complicated, because quality score is highly subjective and what may be considered high quality to a search engine is not the same thing as what you may consider quality.

** is part of the Search Network. With a network of over 5,000 search websites, each covering a separate topic, 4Internet is a new way to search.