On thing that I have seen a lot in user-observation studies is that many people don’t understand how search engines work and thus don’t know how to enter search terms that are the most likely to get them the results that they want. This problem is compounded by the fact that when users get a long list of unhelpful search results, they start getting the impression that the info they need is so buried in the mire of the internet that they will never find it.
This post at LifeHacker should be helpful to many people who would like to understand how to get better results from their searches.The post contains a 3-minute video tutorial.
Some of the main points:
- use fewer words (don’t use natural language)
- try to be as specific as possible
- use quotes to indicate an exact phrase you are looking for.
I hope some of you find it helpful.