Using a Search Engine

The World Wide Web (WWW) consists of millions of web pages. Finding relevant information amongst them would be impossible without use of a Search Engine. A Search Engine is a special sort of website which you use to search the WWW for topics of interest. For example, if you want to find flights to Lanzarote from Bristol Airport, you could search for the words "flight" "lanzarote" and "bristol" in a Search Engine.

A number of Search Engines are available. They will give similar results but the presentation will be slightly different. The most commonly used Search Engines are:

You could visit the website for that Search Engine. You can do this by typing the address in the address bar (eg or, for the purposes of this exercise, clicking on one of the links above. Modern browsers also allow you to type searches into the Address Bar at the top of the screen.

The Search Engine will search the WWW for websites which match the words you enter and display them in a list for you. You can then click on the ones which you wish to look at in detail. Note that the Search Engine will usually return many thousands of results but the ones most likely to satisfy your search criteria will be near the top of the list.

Note also that Search Engines make their money through advertising so often the first few websites shown will be paid-for advertisements. This may not be important but if you are searching for the best deals it may be better to look for sites which compare prices from a number of companies.

As an exercise, think about something which is of interest to you (eg sports, shopping, recipes) and practice using a Search Engine to find information about it. Click on one of the Search Engine links above and start searching!

For more information about search techniques see Basic Search Help from Google.