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KEYWORD AND KEY PHRASE SEARCH TECHNIQUES

A keyword is a word used in by search engine to find web documents relating to a particular subject. A key phrase is a group of words used by a search engine to do the same function.

We actually have been using keywords to search for images, sounds and movies. On television you will hear, "AOL keyword is...", during commercials.

A key phrase is a group of keywords within a set of quotation marks. This allows you to search for a topic with more than one criteria, to narrow your search. An example of this is the keyword cake. When I typed the keyword cake into Google's search bar, I find 3,340,000 web documents containing this keyword cake. When I type "chocolate cake" into Google's search bar, I find 156,00 web documents containing this key phrase . When I type "chocolate cake with nuts", I now have narrowed my search results to 29 web documents that contain this key phrase .

When searching for fragments of a keyword or key phrase , you can use a wildcard character. In most search engines, the asterick * is the wildcard. For example, teach* will tell the search engine to find web documents that contain the keyword teach or the keyword teaching or the keyword teacher, etc. For AOL, instead of using the asterick, you use the question mark "?" to do the same function.

If you are searching for a name of a company or person, capitalize the first letter of each name. This will let the search engine know you are searching for Apple Computer, not the apple that is a fruit, and not just web documents containing the keyword computer. In this case, you should not have to use the quotation marks before and after the name.

When searching for more than one name, use commas between each name to narrow your search. An example of this would be Val Haring, Randy Kramer, and Bugs Bunny. This will find all web documents containing the keywords Val Haring or the keywords Randy Kramer, or the keywords Bugs Bunny.

If you enclose two keywords in brackets [], this is telling the search engine to find web documents that contain these two keywords within 100 words of each other. An example of this would be [Methodist minister] whereas the "Methodist minister" key phrase would give you web documents where the word minister immediately follows the word Methodist.

Please note again these are general keyword and key phrase search techniques that usually work with most search engines. Again, the more you use search engines to find information on topics, the more familiar you will be with which search techniques work best with each search engines.

Resources

See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.

Contributors

  • () ValHaring - 27 Aug 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.ValHaring#27 Aug 2002][]]

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Topic revision: r2 - 2002-10-20 - ValHaring
 
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