Savvy Searching

Using The URL

Each web page on the internet has a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator), that can be used to identify it. If you know what the URL is for a page, you can type it directly into your browsers address bar and the page will load. If it's a web address you've visited before, your browser will try to auto complete it for you.

Often websites use a scheme of structuring a URL so that its composition is intuitive. For example, if a web page has the URL that displays all Gibson guitars, it's a good bet that there will also be a URL that displays all electric guitars, regardless of brand. There might even be a URL that displays Fender guitars.

Using A Search Engine

If you don't know the URL of the web page you want to visit, or if you want to search for an answer to a question you have, you can type search terms into a search engine. The search engine will query its database of web pages, looking for a match between what you searched for and the web page. A selection of pages that match will be displayed, in the order (hopefully) of relevance.

The most popular search engine is Google, but there are actually search engines in places you wouldn't expect. Social media sites use their own in house search engines when you search for a user's name, or a topic of interest. Websites that provide listings for houses for sale use their own bespoke search engines that are tailored to terms that are specific to house sales.

Using a search engine like Google sometimes requires a certain amount of skill and experience. It's often hard to find search terms that are specific enough to return a small enough set of matching pages, but also not so specific that no web pages are returned.