Searching Techniques and Strategies
A wildcard is a special character that can be added to a phrase
while searching and the search engine or subject directory looks for all possible
endings. The results will provide all possible documents in their
database that have those letters.
"autom*" results: automatize, automobile, automatic or automotive
"educat*" results: educator, educators, education or educational
"profess*" results: profess, professor, profession, professional or
Plus and Minus Signs
The Plus sign used before a keyword or phrase should retrieve results that include those specific keyword or phrase.
The minus sign used before a keyword or phrase should retrieve results that exclude those specific keyword or phrase.
When using Alta Vista, Infoseek, and Excite there are no spaces between the keyword and the plus and minus signs.
HotBot, Lycos, Goto, and Webcrawler doesn't specific one way or the other
- For example: (+ Technology + lesson plans)
Results: locate all documents in the databases that have both of
(similar to using the AND phrase)
- For example: (+ Technology - Computers)
Results: will provide a list of links that has the word "technology" in
the document but will not include any documents that has the word "computers" in
(similar to using the NOT phrase)
- For example: (+ Technology + Computers - Internet)
Results: sites that have "technology" and "computers"
but not "Internet"
Quote Marks and Brackets
Quotation marks and brackets assist with narrowing the search results from the search tools.
When the user uses the quotation marks or brackets the search engine will only retrieve documents that have those key
terms appearing together.
"Technology and lesson plans" or [Technology and lesson plans]
Results: words will be treated as exact phrase
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