Applied Searching  «Prev  Next»

Lesson 1

Introduction to Applied Searching

In the last module, you were introduced to directories and search engines and how they are constructed. You performed searches through category selection and a simple keyword search.
This module illustrates more advanced searching techniques by refining your queries. By adding symbols and operators to your search queries, you can screen out many of the irrelevant results that match a keyword-only search query.
Searching services offer many of the same options for advanced searching (although some support more than others) and will let you select an Advanced Search or Power Search interface with many more choices.

After completing this module, you will be able to:
  1. Explain how different search engines interpret simple search queries
  2. Use Boolean operators in search queries
  3. Use advanced searching techniques to narrow or widen the search scope
  4. List other restrictions you can put on search results
  5. Find out what searches and queries a search site supports
  6. Explain how Search Engine results are ranked

One problem in search is that when most searchers formulate their search queries, their input is limited to just a handful of words. Because most people do not have a keen understanding of how search engines work, they often provide queries that are too general or that are presented in a way that does not provide the search engine (or the marketer) with what it needs to determine, with 100% accuracy all of the time, their specific intent.
Additionally, search engine users may not have a specific intent for an individual search query beyond curiosity about a general trending topic, or subject matter. While this poses potential difficulty in delivering relevant results, it also poses great opportunity to capture the mind of someone who may not know what he is looking for, specifically, but who takes an interest in the subsequent variety of results the search engine (and search marketers) deliver in response.
These types of general queries are important to most businesses because they often get the brand and website on in the mind of the searcher, and this initiates the process of building trust with the user. Over time, the user will move on to more specific searches that are more transactional or navigational in nature.

Search algorithms

All of the parts of the search engine are important, but the search algorithm is the component that enables accurate search results. It might be more accurate to say that the search algorithm is the foundation on which everything else is built. How a search engine works is based on the search algorithm, or the way that data is discovered by the user.
In very general terms, a search algorithm is a problem-solving procedure that takes a problem, evaluates a number of possible answers, and then returns the solution to that problem. A search algorithm for a search engine takes the problem (the word or phrase being searched for), sifts through a database that contains cataloged keywords and the URLs those words are related to, and then returns pages that contain the word or phrase that was searched for, either in the body of the page or in a URL that points to the page.

Click the on the link below to consider what you would tell your keyword query to make it better.
Improving Search Results