Search engines

The internet has radically changed the way people communicate and share information. People are using the Internet, and more specifically, search engines to find the information they need. While search engines are, for the most part, extremely useful, there are some points to be aware of when using them.

Popular search engines include Google and Yahoo. These services are basically indexes of information retrieved from websites searched by a 'web crawler'. When a person enters a search term in the search box, the search engine retrieves every page on the web that contains that word.

    Advantages of search engines:
  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Search a vast amount of information
  • Results are generally very useful
  • Searches can be refined using tools such as advanced search, Google Books, Google Scholar and Yahoo Image Search.
    Be aware that:
  • Anyone can publish on the web, so it can be hard to judge whether the information is reliable and credible
  • Search engines provide a lot of information
  • Results may include material that is not directly relevant to your search
  • On occasion, search engines will only provide a reference to an article and not the full text.