Begin your search by considering the most credible source for what you're looking for and where you might find it. Consider potential viewpoints and consult a variety of sources. For example:
- Seeking advice? Choosing someone to ask who has the "authority" and/or the necessary experience, is a smart information seeking strategy. Consider consulting more than one authoritative source in order to reach an even more intelligent decision.
- Looking for a tutorial on how to use a newly purchased tech tool? Start with the company's website, blog or FAQ page, because they are most likely experts in using a product which they produced.
- Looking for an affordable but respectable hotel? Review a few reputable travel publication and/or consumer opinion driven sites, in addition to the hotel's website for current room rates and photos.
- Wanting the latest news about a local or national issue? Because it has become increasingly difficult to find honest and accurate news reporting, intelligent information consumers must consider the possible "bias" of both the news reporter and the news organization as a whole. Consider issue stakeholders and consult a variety of resources covering the same issue in order to get a well rounded perspective. In addition, Fake News has become viral and often unrecognizeable on the internet. See information under Fake News Title below.
- Break down your question until it's answerable.
- By creating a search plan before searching, you'll be saving yourself a lot of work in the long run. See Search Plan Cheat Sheet above.
- We've grown accustomed to using google for all of our search needs, however there often are better choices, especially for academic purposes. See Databases & Reference E-books, Current News Sources, Primary Source Portals, General Reference and Statistical Data or the Library's Catalog
- Also consider Web Search Alternatives and Curation Portals.
- More is not better. The goal is to get exactly what you're looking for.
- Use Advanced Search options when available.
- Keyword searching means use KEYWORDS....only. Search engines search their indexed resources for the terms you enter; small unnecessary words may bring back unwanted or limited results. (If you're looking for an exact title or quote, add quotation marks before the first word and after the last.
- Individual web search engines and database & catalog searches have their own set of search parameters. It's always best to use advanced search when available.
- Enter the likely TITLE for the result you're looking for, rather than the question you're asking.
- Consider all possible synonyms, and discipline based terminology, the author may use.
- Refine your results by adding additional keywords:
Longer search string=More results.
Tools for refining keywords
How search Works
How Google Works
mGoogle's aim is to index the entire free web and does not rank its results according to purpose or credibility. In addition, it does not index the hidden web, which includes many of the articles found in pay for databases. Therefore, google is best used for academic purposes when you know exactly what you're looking for, for example a particular organization's website. However, knowing how google works and how to use its advanced search features, will help you become a more effective google user, no matter your information need.
In addition, Google also uses your Search History and Location (IP Adress) to determine rank order of results.
Google Search Tricks
How to Refine Google Searches by Date
How to Search for Publicly Shared Google Docs & Slides