Oh no, a crisis is upon you! An unrelated conversation has led to you wondering just how many elephants were in Hannibal’s army when they crossed the Alps and invaded Rome. Obviously nobody knows the answer to this, so now it’s time to hit up the expert; Google.
But when you take a seat in front of your computer and open up the browser, you’re not really sure how to find the correct answer.
When you search for a subject you always want to think about what keywords might be in a target article. In the mentioned scenario you would want to use keywords such as “Rome”, “Carthage”, “Hannibal”, “Alps”, “Elephants”, and “Number”. This should bring you the search results you are seeking.
You can also use phrases too. Sometimes they can be very helpful. If you put quotation marks around a phrase, chances are very high you will quickly find exactly what you are looking for. The thought process would be the same as with the keywords. What phrase or phrases do you think the author would have in the article that will help you find your answer? So if you are searching for the scenario mentioned here, you would want to use something along the lines of: Hannibal, “Number of elephants”.
When you use quotation marks on a search engine it will treat the entire phrase as if it were only one key word. So the results you get from your search would be only those web pages that have those words in that order. Adding another keyword will also narrow down the search for you. In this case by adding the keyword “Hannibal”, you will only get results of web pages that contain your phrase that are associated with the word Hannibal.
Adding a location to your keywords will help narrow down the results even further. Whether you are looking for a local computer store or trying to find out the number of Hannibal’s elephants. In a lot of cases if you are searching for a business, the search will return results with addresses and phone numbers for you. In the above mentioned case you would be fine if you added a keyword of “The Alps”, “Italy”, or “Rome”.
So a good approach would be to take a moment to think about what your keywords should be. Think about what you are seeking, what information might be out there on it, and what an author might have used in their article. A good strategy in entering your keywords will often bring back the results you seek very quickly. Use quotation marks to narrow down the search, and don’t forget to enter a location to narrow down the results even further. On a side note if you are wondering, Hannibal started his journey with 37 elephants and had 30 remaining when he reached the other side.