HOW TO SEARCH
Finding and Evaluating Electronic Healthcare Information Sources
ABOUT SEARCH ENGINES
A search engine is a computer program that searches documents on the World Wide Web for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the key words were found. It uses robots or "spiders" that "crawl" from Website to Website and record information to include in a database. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document.
- Different search engines use different algorithms or methods to search, so trying different search engines will yield different results.
- Meta search engines explore several search engines at the same time.
- Subject directories retrieve WebPages that are then selected by a human intermediary and placed in pre-existing categories. (Better chance of a match. Robots merely find your search word, and the results may have nothing to do with your search.)
THINGS TO TRY:
Pick two different meta-search engines (use Table I, "Search Engine sites" page), and search for the same topic. Did they give you results from different simple search engines?
Now use that same topic and search simple engines. What are your results?
Is the response faster if you tell the search engine a certain area to search (e.g. going to Health before you type in Cystic Fibrosis)?
Remember to BOOKMARK the URLs or pages you want to find again