Many people mistakenly believe that search engines - which are basically extremely complicated database, search, and retrieval programs - can intuitively answer any question you put to them. Unfortunately, this is not true. You can't just type in a question when prompted by the ubiquitous "type your search here" and expect to get a reasonable answer.
While Web search has come a long way in the past decade, it's not quite up to reading minds (yet). Instead of typing in a long question for your next search engine query, try these tips instead:
- Use keywords or keyphrases. Be as specific as possible.
- Eliminate unnecessary words or punctuation. Most search engines don't even bother to recognize common words such as "and" or "the" anymore.
- Use quotes. If you are looking for a specific phrase, use quotes so the phrase will be searched for as one entity instead of separate words. For example, "boston red sox" instead of boston red sox.
- Wolfram Alpha: Wolfram Alpha endeavors to pull facts from web pages or online encyclopedias and presents them in your search results.
- Duck Duck Go: This search engine offers instant answers to many queries.