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Research Online: A Practical Guide 
Choose a Section:
Intro | Web Basics | Searching | Links | Citing Sources | Conclusion

Web Basics
What is the Internet?
What is the World Wide Web?
What is a Web browser?
What are Domain Names and URLs?
What is a Bookmark?
What is Email?
What is a Newsgroup?
What is a Discussion List (or Listserv)
What is "Netiquette?"
What is a Search Engine?

What is a Search Engine?

As the Web has grown and become increasingly unruly, search engines like AltaVista and Webcrawler have been created to meet the demand for finding specific information quickly. Using a search engine, you can type in a keyword or phrase, and within seconds the engine will search its database to find relevant sites. You can also browse through a search engine's subject directory, narrowing categories with each click. As you will learn, this is not always the best form of searching. In the next section, we show you a few pointers to improve your search results dramatically.

Figure 2 displays a page of the popular search engine, AltaVista. Notice the keyword function and the subject categories provided for easy searching and browsing.

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