Internet Searching Tips
Website Evaluation Tips

- (guide created by Sanborn Regional High School Librarian, Pam Harland)

Click here for a list of websites with Copyright Friendly material.


General Search Engines

Directories

Search for Images

Search for Similar Images


Search for Videos

*

MetaSearch Engines

Miscellaneous Search Engines

  • Trademarkia( Search US Trademarks filed since the year 1870)
  • Rhymeit (Online dictionary of rhyming words)


Search Tips (from Google)

  • Phrase search ("")
    By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to search for the exact words in that exact order without any change. Keep in mind though, that by insisting on phrase search you might be missing good results accidentally. For example, a search for ["Alexander Bell"] (with quotes) will miss the pages that refer to Alexander G. Bell or Alexander Graham Bell.
  • Search within a specific website (site:)
    Google allows you to specify that your search results must come from a given website. For example, the query [ iraq site:nytimes.com ] will return pages about Iraq but only from nytimes.com. You can also specify a whole class of sites, for example [ iraq site:.gov ] will return results only from a .gov domain and [ iraq site:.iq ] will return results only from Iraqi sites.
  • Terms you want to exclude (-)
    Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. For example, in the query [ anti-virus software ], the minus sign is used as a hyphen but the query [ anti-virus -software ] will search for the words 'anti-virus' but exclude any results with the word software. You can exclude as many words as you want by using the - sign in front of all of them, for example [ jaguar -cars -football -os ]. The - sign can be used to exclude more than just words. For example, place a hyphen before the 'site:' operator (without a space) to exclude a specific site from your search results.
  • Fill in the blanks (*)
    The *, or wildcard, is a little-known feature that can be very powerful. If you include * within a query, it tells Google to try to treat the star as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches. For example, the search [ Google * ] will give you results about many of Google's products (go to next page and next page -- we have many products). The query [ Obama voted * on the * bill ] will give you stories about different votes on different bills. Note that the * operator works only on whole words, not parts of words.
  • Search exactly as is (+)
    Google employs synonyms automatically, so that it finds pages that mention, for example, childcare for the query [ child care ] (with a space), or California history for the query [ ca history ]. But sometimes Google helps out a little too much and gives you a synonym when you don't really want it. By attaching a + immediately before a word (remember, don't add a space after the +), you are telling Google to match that word precisely as you typed it. Putting double quotes around a single word will do the same thing.

Evaluating Tools

URL Clues

You can use the end, or suffix of a domain name, to help you judge the validity of the information and the potential bias of a website.
Remember though, anyone can easily purchase a domain that does not reflect the actual purpose of the site.
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.com = commercial sites (vary in their credibility)

.gov = U.S. government site

.org = organization, often nonprofit. (Some .orgs have strong bias and agendas)

.edu = school or university site (Was it created by a K–12 class? By a college student? By a university department? By a scholar?)

.mil = U.S. military site

.net = networked service provider, Internet administrative site

.biz = a business

.pro = professional’s site

~ = personal site (Be a little suspicious of personal sites as they are not endorsed by the parent site. For example, many college students have personal websites posted on their college’s site.


Other tips:
⁃ Truncate (or cut back) the URL to each of the next slash marks to see where the site originates.
⁃ Be on the lookout for sponsored, or paid results. The creators of these sites pay to have their sites listed more prominently in search engine results.
⁃ Be wary of documents from free hosting sites: Geocities, AOL Members, and Tripod. Professionals tend to pay for their Web hosting services.


Somersworth High School & Career Technical Center
Library Media Center
11 Memorial Drive, Somersworth, NH 03878
Phone: (603) 692-9119 or (603) 692-2431
Hours: 7:15 am - 2:45 pm Monday-Friday