Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How to search the web

I, like many other bloggers, have a bit of code in my blog that tracks how people get to my blog. There are a lot of crazy web searchers out there so I thought I would do my part to help the poor misguided people that end up at my blog.

When you are searching for something keep your search simple. Pick out a few key terms and go from there. Less is more in this case. Often i will use only one or two words to find the information that I need. If I get overwhelmed with irrelevant results I will slowly become more and more specific. Example: is normal birth kids are less smarter than cesarean birth kids? This is far too wordy, not to mention that it is grammatically incorrect. Pick out a few words such as "intelligence cesarean" and you will come up with websites like this which has a research study on this very subject.

Next you will want to evaluate the website that you get your information from. Is this website an official website. The article I linked to is in a database of peer reviewed medical studies. It should hold a lot more weight than a personal website like a blog where there is no need for the writer to actually be correct. I can write that the moon is made of cheese but that does not mean anything. I would believe a person that has been to the moon and says that it is made of rock over me who has never even been to the moon.

Scan the blurb where it shows your search terms coming up. If you can't tell if the website has anything to do with what you are searching for then the information is unlikely to be there. Also watch out for sponsored results. The can often have nothing if anything to do with what you are actually looking for.

You also need to see how old the information is. If the article is from 1906 rather than 2006 then you know that things will be out of date. Things change and sometimes even change back so you need to be careful about what you are reading and take it into consideration.

Finally my biggest tip is this: do not go beyond the first two pages of search results. You are wasting your time. The further you go the less relevant the page is to your search. That means quit clicking on my web page hoping to see a picture of Brittany Spear's hooha because it ain't here! I just wrote about a silly dream I had about her.

8 comments:

Knitting Maniac said...

Do you know how many times I used to go to the third and fourth pages of searches, only to question why in the world I did that.

Dr. A said...

I'm also surprised the see the searches that people do when they end up on my blog.

BTW, I like the new color scheme. Someday I'll figure out to do that. I'm always afraid that I'm going to delete everything if I start messing with my template too much. Oh well...

Gina said...

Yup, people get to our blogs in the very weirdest of ways.

chelle said...

I never look. Call me crazy but not knowing gives me a little piece of mind!

lauranen said...

Every now and again I discover that people end up in my blog by searching for something really weird and breastfeeding-related, and it makes me want to take the whole blog down... I was also worried about someone searching "mothers who hold their babies over toilet", until I found out about Elimination Communication :)

The relevancy of the search results past the 2nd page depends on how good your search query is. If you include a lot of ineffectual words, you might get many useless results at the start.

Brittney said...

I'm more afriad of what blog they came off of after they hit "next blog." Some of the ones I've seen ain't pretty. :-) I usually just tell myself they got that blog via the same method.

Or so I hope.

Brittney

happy mommy said...

So, for the barely computer-literate, how do you find this out?

Awesome Mom said...

Happy mommy, on my sidebar there is a stat counter button. If you click on it and set up an account (it is free) they will give you a bit of code at the end of the process. You then copy that code and put it in your template somewhere. If you don't want to use a button then you can place the code anywhere you want and it will not affect the look of your blog. Email me if you need clarification of this.