On the Internet, searching is just trying to find the information you need. There are three basic approaches:
- The subject directory. These can be general and cover all subjects (as Yahoo does) or specialized (like the information technology sites at searchWindowsManageability and other TechTarget sites).
- The search engine. These can be general and attempt to index all or most of the Web's pages (like Google or FAST), or specialized and search within a narrow range of subjects.
- The so-called deep Web - that is, the Web sites that have information that can't be indexed by the search engines but can in many cases by searched directly at the individual Web site.
At whatis.com and other TechTarget sites, we spend a lot of time searching and the in-house expert we consult is Laura Hunt. Her best sources about how and where to search are listed here:
This up-to-date summary describes the latest search engines, including what they refer to as "second-generation" search engines.
The SUNY Albany Library site also recommends sites and search techniques.
Called "Sink or swim: Internet search tools and techniques," this page by Ross Tyner is concise, loaded with examples, and "has those cute Boolean circles that are used to illustrate search logic," according to Laura, who is referring to some Venn diagrams.
"Caught in the Web: A journalist's guide to the Internet" suggests search approaches and information sources for journalists.
Suggestions from the overall best cybrarians we are aware of and our favorite subject index.