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Publishing Guidelines: This article may be freely published and distributed as long as the article, bylines, copyright notice, and resource box remain unchanged. If you publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, on your Web site, or elsewhere, please notify Carl at email@example.com.
Specific In Specific Out By Carl Semmelroth Copyright Ó 2002
Most of us grew up using libraries and reference rooms and when we search the WWW we take our library habits with us. If we are searching for a date of death for a famous person, say Shakespeare, we proceed like we are in a library. We search for a biography of Shakespeare and proceed to look for his dates. If we are seeking some specific information about Robins, say their life span, we start by looking for information about Robbins.
Here's an alternative method for finding specific information. Try typing in Google's search window "Shakespeare died on" or "Robins die" each in quotes. The WWW is now so large that the major search engines have stored billions of pages of text. Chances are very good that you will get your answer to a specific question right at the top of your search result when you construct a phase that might appear in the answer to your question. BTW, Robins live five or six years if they survive the first one and Shakespeare died April 23, 1616.
Here are some searches that resulted from dinner table conversations at our home. (We are a fairly strange family.)
Question: What's the melting point of stainless steel? Query form: "The melting point of stainless steel is" Search engine second place: "The melting point of stainless steel is around 1400 deg. C."
Question: Is Orson Welles dead? Query form: "Orson Welles died on" Search engine result: Five results were returned. Two say 10/9/1985 and one says 10/10/1985. Anyway, he is dead.
Question: We couldn't remember who was in To Have and Have Not with Bogart. Query form: "starred in To Have and Have Not" Search engine result: Of course, Lauren Becall, at eighteen, and then married Bogart.
And one more I can't resist including. Question: What is the anger habit? Query form: "The Anger Habit is" Search engine result: The Anger Habit is a powerful, thought provoking and readable book.
So remember, when you are looking for information on the WWW, think of a specific phrase that might appear in the answer to your question. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is.