My first job working online was as an Internet researcher. I found sites with educational content and reviewed them. I was very new to using the Internet back then: Until my editor mentioned it, I didn’t even know what Google was! It’s hard to think that I wasn’t familiar with one of the Big Three search engines (Yahoo and MSN round out the list), but it’s true.
Now, Google is a great SE and I do use it regularly. But even the largest one can’t possibly index all the web sites out there. I want to suggest that you consider using other search engines other than Google, Yahoo, and MSN the next time you need to find information online.
Since each search engine has different criteria for ranking sites, you may find the piece of information you need in the search results you get by using an alternate SE. I would like to recommend a couple for your consideration:
Dogpile is a metasearch engine that will give you results from a number of SE’s. I use this one when I’m having trouble getting the right bit of information for something I’m working on. Not only do I get results based on the search terms I have used, but a list of alternate search terms pops up at the top, right-hand side of the screen.
Another SE that I think is often overlooked is Ask.com. When you search for information here, you have the option of narrowing or expanding your search by clicking on a list of suggested search terms. I’ve found it very helpful when I’m trying to find additional information on a topic and I’m not really sure how to frame the search terms.
Which search engines do you use most often? Are you happy with the results you get from them?