Google Searching

Using A Search Engine

A search engine is a piece of software that journeys around the internet, recording information about web pages and providing you with a way to search through them. For example, if you wanted to learn how to bake an apple pie you could use a search engine to find that information from its store of web pages about baking apple pies. Or, if you wanted to book a cheap holiday, again you could use a search engine to find websites that offered deals on holidays.

There are many search engines out there but there are only three major ones: Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Google is the biggest by far, and the one most widely used so for that reason, we'll focus on searching Google.

Searching Google

Of all the search engines, Google's home page is the simplest to use. Basically, it consists of a search box and a search button. That's all you really need for a search engine, isn't it? To get to Google, the quickest way is to type into the address bar of your browser, or you can click here: Google.

To get started, start typing in "apple pie" in the search box. As you start typing, Google guesses at what you might be interested in and offers suggestions. I got as far as typing "apple p" before Google suggested, among other things, "apple pie recipes"

Google Suggest

Now you don't need to waste time typing the whole phrase; instead you can click on the phrase you want and then Google will search its database for web pages about your search phrase. Alternatively, you can type out the whole phrase (yawn!) and then either press Enter or click Google Search. You are then presented with a list of links to pages that Google thinks are a good match. If you click on a link, you'll be taken to that web page where you can get cooking!

But from that list of links to apple pie recipes, how do we decide which one is best for us? Well, beneath each link is a small description (a snippet) that describes what the page is about. The link is actually taken from the title of the web page and the snippet is usually taken from a portion of text on the page. Once you've read one recipe, you can always hit the back button and read another.

You'll notice that any links to pages you've already visited will display in a different colour. This is an excellent way to keep tabs on what you've already read, to stop you from wasting time visiting the sane pages over and over again.

Google - I'm Feeling Lucky

Next to the Google Search button on the home page is the I'm Feeling Lucky button. Clicking on this button will take you straight to the page that appears at the top of the search list, without you having to see the list. As you can see, this is a timesaver if you know the web page you're interested in will be in the number 1 spot, but there's always the risk that it will take you to a page that you detest. Boo!/p>