The "right" search engine
- On the internet we find information on a wide variety of topics
- Searching by search engine helps to search the Internet in a targeted way
- The best-known search engine is "google" (approx. 95% of all users use Google).
- "Googling" is now synonymous with using a search engine
As concrete as possible
To avoid irrelevant hits...
- you should think carefully about what you are looking for and also ...
- whether what you are looking for can be described better or differently
- Also, try not to name your request too generally but concretely, so instead of e.g. "pain" better "headache when waking up".
If you enter the term "pain" in Google, more than 55 million hits are obtained within half a second. This shows how important it is to formulate the question as precisely as possible.
Designing an efficient search - 7 tips
|Tip #1 The simple first
No matter what you are looking for: Start the search with a simple query like "Where is the nearest bakery?". Later, you can always add more descriptive words such as "cake". If, for example, you are looking for an institution, a shop or a product, or for a specific location and location sharing is not activated, add the location straight away. For example: Bakery Munich.
|Tip #2 Use the voice search
Typing is too cumbersome? Or you don't know how to spell a word but can pronounce it? To use voice search, simply tap the microphone icon. If you are using a device with Google Assistant installed, you can also simply say "OK Google" to start the search.
|Tip #3 Select words specifically
Select words that are likely to appear on the website you are looking for. So, for example, do not write "my head hurts", but "headache", as this is the word that would most likely appear on a medical website.
Tip #4 Disregard minor details (e.g. spelling, upper and lower case)
Don't waste time trying to figure out how to spell a word correctly. The spell checker automatically ensures that the most common spelling of a word is used. Therefore, it also corrects words if you mistype them. You can also neglect upper and lower case in Google Search.
Tip #5 Do not include the answer in the search query
Sometimes you may be searching for something you think you already know the answer to. However, including this answer in your query may influence the search results and limit them too much. For example, if you search for "golden retriever weigh 35 kilograms?" you may come across websites that describe exactly that as the answer. Instead, search for "weight golden retriever ". Here you will get a variety of results. From there, you can further narrow down the correct answer.
Tip #6 Search not only for text (e.g. also image search)
Sometimes it is advisable to use the many other features of Google Search - especially if you are looking for content that is visual in nature. Example: You want to design a CV for a job application. Google Image Search is perfect for this. At a glance, you'll get images of CVs and can then navigate further to the website where that image and possibly other tips for a successful application can be found. For other things, videos may be more appropriate sources.
Tip #7 Use the many functions of Google Search
For many search queries, Google does the work for you and already shows answers to your question in the search results. Here are a few examples:
- Weather: By entering any location in connection with the term weather, Google Search provides the current weather situation.
- Events/ cinema programme: Current events or the cinema programme can be displayed in no time at all. With "Events Hamburg" there is an overview of the cultural events of the next few days, while "Kinoprogramm Hamburg" provides an overview of the current film highlights.
Hints for research using the example: Health
The search engines provide a wealth of health information. However, it is often not easy to assess whether this information is correct, balanced and serious.
The following 10 tips for health research on the internet can help:
1. Select a suitable portal
While general health portals sometimes provide information on a very broad spectrum of diseases, there are also specialised websites for specific diseases. As a rule of thumb, the more specialised a portal, the more detailed and well-founded the information.
2. Check originator
In order to be able to assess the quality of health information, one should know who the author is. At best, the operator of a page should already be clearly identifiable on the homepage or under "Contact", but at the latest with a look at the imprint.
3. Quality seal
Some websites are checked by independent experts and can show a corresponding quality seal.
4. Consult several sources
A comparison of different sites can help to assess whether the respective information is credible or not. For example, if a therapy is recommended in a lay forum, it is worthwhile to check this suggestion against an expert website.
5. Balance of information
There is hardly a therapy without risks, hardly a drug without side effects. Therefore: If medicines or treatment methods are presented in a consistently positive light on a website, one should become suspicious. The possible consequences of not receiving treatment should also be mentioned.
6. Supporting documents for information
Professional and serious authors support their statements with evidence and sources. For example, anyone promoting the efficacy of a preparation should name or link the relevant studies.
7. Timeliness of the information
The number of drugs and therapeutic approaches is constantly increasing. Even experts sometimes find it difficult to keep up with the latest research. If a piece of information on the internet has not been updated for years, it is quite possible, depending on the topic, that it is out of date.
8. Beware of advertising
Content and advertising should be clearly separated on serious sites. If, for example, product images are placed on the website to match the respective information, one may doubt the independence of the article.
9. General impression
For anyone who is regularly on the Internet, a glance at a website is often enough to assess the seriousness of an offer. Does the website make a tidy impression overall? Or is it confusing and teeming with spelling mistakes? Are fear and panic even being stirred up? In such cases: Hands off.
10. Not a doctor substitute
Information from the internet cannot replace a trained medical doctor. If symptoms become more severe or last longer, you should definitely see a doctor. However, the information from the portals can help you find a good doctor and prepare for the visit.