Search Smarter

Abstract: Rubenking aims to demonstrate how to form your initial searches to get the best results on the web, fast.

She notes that, as no single engine indexes the web completely, you should try and learn multiple engines.

Tips include:

  • use directories for general and search engines for specific searches;
  • use precise terms, putting most important words on the left and consider adding synonyms;
  • use truncating and wildcard characters;
  • use boolean operators; and
  • put exact phrases in quotation marks.


Rubenking, as is appropriate to the wonderfully popular PC Magazine, gives very straightforward and implementable tips for searching the web.

Her recommendation to "Read the manual!" rings similarly to that recommendation from our course lectures. I agree with the usefulness, but am unconvinced that users will do so (or that I will do so).

I wonder if we aren’t moving in more of a user-centered direction as far as interfaces go, wherein they will retain much of the advanced functionality, but in a more palatable form.

Rubenking, J. (2003). Search Smarter. PC Magazine, 22(2), 66. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from EBSCOHost - Academic Search Complete.