BIO150Y Optimal Information Foraging  

Advanced Web Searching

Focusing the Google


Time-saving search tips

Web searching
  1. Use vocabulary that is specific to your topic e.g. biological invasions instead of alien invaders

  2. Put quotations around words to keep them together as a phrase

Using two phrases "biological invasions" and "great lakes" will halve the number of web pages.

See it in Google!

Most engines have an Advanced Search which allows you to:

  • limit to English (or another language)
  • narrow the search to specific parts of a Web page such as title, first page level, etc.
  • exclude .com sites
  • use a wildcard such as * for alternate endings e.g. lake or lakes

See it in Google!

You'll get less than 50 sites that are:

  • Non commercial
  • In English
  • Use the phrases biological invaders or biological invasions
  • Contain either the words Great Lakes or the name of a Great Lake e.g. Lake Ontario
  • Do not have the word games in them

Download this PDF file, print it out and keep it handy when searching for Web sites.
Ten Tips for Improving Your Internet Search (7KB PDF)


Why exclude .com sites?

Commercial web These are a major source of bias and advertising as opposed to scholarly balanced information. Remember anyone can publish anything on the Web. Buyer beware!

Read more


Recommended search engines

My Biology Library

Which of the following is the recommended Web search strategy?

Who publishes on the web?


Let's look at subject directories...  Next

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