How to Search the Web and Find What you Want
How to Search the Web...
Whether you're doing a report for school or just trying to find the
answer to something you've always wondered about, chances are there's
something on the web with the information you need. Chances are also
good you are going to have a hard time finding it. There's so much
information available that you can spend hours looking and find nothing
but irrelevant drivel. Search engines are your most useful tool here,
but only if you know how to use them. Otherwise, you'll end up with
thousands or even millions of hits. They may be interesting, but they're
not what you're looking for and who has time to go through all of that
(and Actually Find What You Want)
So, instead of entering black holes, try entering "black holes" or black+holes.
Learn how to enter multiple words - The more specific you are, the more likely you are to find exactly what you are looking for. If you are trying to find out how we see black holes, but type only black holes into Google, you get 940,000 hits. But if you type "How do we see black holes?" into Google, you get 28 hits, the first of which is a page entitled "How do we see Black Holes?". You might not always be this lucky, but most times the results a multiple word search gives are pretty good. Don't forget, when entering multiple words, use quotes!
Try an "Advanced Search" - Many of the search engines have pages set up where you can choose to do an advanced search. This just means that you can specify how you want the engine to search for your information. Often the options allowed will help to narrow down your search. For example, a search with Yahoo's general engine for diameter of Mercury's orbit yielded 281,400 pages, while an advanced search for the exact phrase "diameter of Mercury's orbit" yielded just one, which had the value for Mercury's orbital diameter in it!