Judge: web sites for health

September 19, 2007 0 Comments

Give a few hints about how to use search engines more effectively.

  • Unless your search is very simple, always use the ‘advanced search’ option provided by the search engine (normally a link near to the search box on the home page). ‘Advanced search’ allows you to do things like: (a) find results with all of the words you type in your query. This makes it much more likely to find relevant sites and cuts down on the number of results; (b) find results with the exact phrase, by putting the words in quote marks “…”. This is very useful when looking for names of diseases, organisations, people; (c) choose the language, for example, English.
  • The Help pages will give you details about how to use the search engine and how to search more efficiently.
  • If you only use one or two search engines then time spent reading their Help pages will be well worth it.
  • When using other search tools like gateways and directories look at their Help pages too.
  • A summary leaflet of the “How to search” section of the consumer guidelines is available on the Print or download the guidelines page. You can make copies to handout to other people.

Confidence building

A person’s confidence in searching the Internet for information can be increased if they learn more about how to search.

  • Suggest that people take taster sessions or short courses at local organisations like the public library, the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association), further education colleges or universities. There may be a small fee for courses.
  • Recommend the local public library as a place where they can get free access to the Internet

There are Web sites that provide free online tutorials so you could think of placing links to these on your site. Here are some examples.

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