e-business toolbox

Having trouble finding what you want on the Internet? Then honing your search techniques is your first step to seeking out the right site.

1 If you want UK sites, make sure you’re on the UK version of a particular search engine (excite.co.uk not excite.com and yahoo.co.uk not yahoo.com) and that you have clicked the “UK sites” option. You’ll find a world of difference searching “psychometric testing” on a US search engine and a UK one.

2 Try to use a search engine that suits your needs. www.searchenginesgalore.com will give you some idea of what’s available. If you think what you’re after is likely to have been mentioned in a newsgroup, use www.deja.com, which specialises in searching newsgroups.

3 If possible, be specific, not general. The more precise you can be with the wording of your search the better – particularly if it features an unusual name or noun. If you’re after management articles by Peter Drucker, for instance, key in “Peter Drucker”, not “management”.

4 Use asterisks to extend your search – for instance, “manage” will also search for managing, managers etc.

5 Use capital letters if appropriate. Most search engines are case sensitive so if you search (eg for China you will get the country rather than china). Similarly, use a phrase enclosed in inverted commas if appropriate, such as “performance measurement” or “360-degree feedback”.

6 Boolean searches are possible on the Internet so try using words like “NOT”, “OR” and “AND”. For instance, Peter Drucker AND reengineering NOT privatisation

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