Topic 4: Searching and Evaluating Web Resources


Advanced Searching Tips and Techniques

Search Engines:
  • Search Engines are Web sites that contain a searchable data base of Web sites. They use "spiders" or robots to search the Web regularly for new sites. Some of these "spiders" are programmed to look for a key word anywhere on a web page, others are programmed to look just for key words words in the Web address (URL) or title of the page.
  • You may already be familiar with and use several common search engines. You may also have been frustrated by finding several thousand search results to choose from when you've performed a search for information on the Internet. At the same time, you may also have searched for resources and come up with the  message that zero resources are available. To some extent the key words you have chosen and how you choose to put them together will alter the results of your search. Although you may still come up with irrelevant sites, narrowing your search using advanced searching techniques will help you better find the resources you are looking for.
  • Try this:
    1. Go to
    2. Click on Advanced Search
    3. Fill out their advanced search form with your key words and see what kind of results you get.
    Next go to Google's Search Tips and explore ways you can more effectively use the Google search engine. Be sure to click on the Special Features link. Read the information on downloading PDF files. If you have a personal or project Web site posted, or if you want to find out who is linked to your favorite Web site click on the Find Out Who Links to You link. Try this feature and see what results you get. You might be surprised.

    Some Commonly Used Search Engines

    The InFoPeople Search Tools Chart gives an excellent overview of serveral search engines and the best way to narrow your search for each.

    The following Web sites will help you narrow your searches so that you will acheive more useable results. Read  through each and choose the one you like best to help you narrow your searches. Then, use the above search engines to try your key words and the techniques you've learned from the following searching tutorials and searching guides. If necessary adjust or change your key words as you search.

    Go to the assignment section and respond to assignment 1.

    Evaluating Web Resources

  • Just because something is published does not mean that it is a valid resource. How can you be sure the information you and your students  find represents factual information? How can you find sites that will hold your students' atttention long enough for them to gather the information they need? The following Web sites offer guidelines, rubrics and check lists for evaluating Web resources. Explore these resources, then choose the one you like the best. Go to the assignment section and respond to assignment 2.