Whether you're searching your computer for a file or the Internet for a document or website, here are some tips that can help you get appropriate results faster. (However, note that some search engines use slightly different approaches.)

  • Avoid search terms that are too general. The term golden retriever would get you more specific results than dog, for example.

  • By default, if you type two keywords such as Vacation Italy, search engines generally look first for sites that contain both words.

  • Most search engines generally don't take into account small, common words such as and, or, and a.

  • Some search engines, such as Ask.com, allow you to type in questions as sentences rather than using keywords.

  • If you want to find an exact phrase, such as "To be or not to be," put it in quotes.

  • Add a + to the end of search keywords to get results that not only match but only include those words.