The Skill of Online Searching

Technology is a great blessing in our lives and an even bigger blessing in the lives of those researching their ancestors. With internet and search engines right at our finger tips there is no limit to the amount of information we can find within the walls of our own homes. But as with any blessing there are also a number of frustrations that can come along with it.

With a clear understanding of how searching works, the task of finding the best information can be made so much simpler. Here are a couple of suggestions to make searching easier:

First: Narrow your search results by using more specific words.

Google results

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In the example above notice that searching for the word “genealogy” turned up nearly 300 million possible results.

Google results 2

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By narrowing the search to be more specific “free genealogy search” the results came down significantly to around 91 million.

Second: Include words in your search such as NOT, AND, & OR. These are called boolean phrases that will limit or increase the search results. To learn more about boolean phrases click here.

Google results 3

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As you can see, by adding the boolean word NOT to my search with the word “paid”, meaning “not a paid site”, now my search results have come down an incredible amount.

When results from your search turn up so much information you could spend hours going page by page trying to find what you really want. So, remember to be specific and use key words to limit or add to your results. By just having a little bit of understanding of how search engines work you can now get the results you are looking for.

Happy Hunting!

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