The Internet has been described as a global computer network that provides a variety of information and communication facilities consisting of interconnected networks that uses standardized communication protocols.
Searching the Internet may be easy, however finding what you are looking for may be difficult. There is a way to maximize a search. This can be accomplished by understanding the search engines as well as how they operate. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services and so to make the most of your search on the Internet effective, it is best to take advantage of the power built into search engines.

Search Engine is a term used to describe any tool that lets you search the Internet or the Web. Examples of these search engines include,, To use the search engine tool, enter words or phrases related to what you want to find, and the search engine will display a list of websites that include that information.

To further narrow your search to get specific and relevant results;
Use natural, specific terms: Enter one or two words to show what you want to find, such as name of a eatery nearest to you or simply enter the name of book or title of a movie and you’ll find a wealth of information. To reduce the number of pages returned use terms that are specific to the subject you are searching.
Use phrases in quotes: Search engines will look for the intact phrase, rather than individual words. Example: “good manufacturing practices” will search for sites containing the exact phrase inside the quotes.
Use the plus sign (+): The plus sign tells the search engine to include those words in the result set. Example: tall+and short will return results that include the word and.
Use the minus sign (-) to narrow the search: Terms with multiple meanings can return a lot of unwanted results. The minus sign (-), equivalent to a Boolean NOT, can remove many unwanted results. For example, when searching for the insect caterpillar, references to the company Caterpillar, Inc. will also be returned. Use Caterpillar -Inc to exclude references to the company or Caterpillar -Inc -Cat to further refine the search.
Don’t use common words and punctuation: Common words or terms like a and the are called stop words and are usually ignored by search engines. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like the are significant. For instance, Eden and The Eden will show entirely different results.
Capitalization: Most search engines do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase, even within quotation marks. The following are all equivalent:
i. Marketing
ii. marketing
iv. “Marketing”
v. “marketing”
Use the tilde operator (~): Include a tilde in front of a word to return results that include synonyms. Examples: ~HTML to get results for HTML with synonyms; ~HTML -HTML to get synonyms only for HTML.
The wildcard symbol (*): the wildcard symbol is very useful when you’re not sure of word you want to search for. For example: hydroph* will bring out results on hydrophilic, hydrophobia, hydrophanes and so on.
The OR operator (OR) or (|): Use this operator to return results with either of two terms. For example merry dance will return pages with both merry and dance while merry|dance will return pages with either merry or dance.
Use the Advanced searches: Clicking the Advanced Search button by the search box on the Google start or results page helps to further refine your search by specifying date, language, country, amount, file formats, and other parameters.

Author: Christiana Olabinke
Christiana Olabinke, lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria. Christiana, presently works as the Assistant Program Manager of the Team7Project - Youth Technology Development Centre that seeks to empower creativity via Technology.