Internet Browsing and Searching

Internet Browsing and Searching: Searching or browsing in Internet environment is nothing but retrieving of relevant results from the Internet.

a) Browsing: In Internet environment, browsing refers to opening a website through the web browser that contains hyperlink and with the help of these hyperlinks, jumping to a new web document in the same or a new window. It is also known as navigating or surfing the web.

i) Working with Address box of the Browser: In the online mode one can use web browser for arriving at a particular address. In the “Address” box of the browser, typing the web site’s address (URL) and pressing the “Enter” button of the keyboard or by pressing “Go” button, the browser will open a particular website. When the web site opens, its home page is displayed. The keying appropriate URL in the address box of the browser is obligatory. The website or home page will contain links to other website or hyperlinks. By clicking on the highlighted words or links one can access other files of the same website or entirely a different website.

ii) Working with Mouse: While we are on a webpage, we can use the vertical or horizontal scroll bars to move around or through a document.

iii) Working with Keyboard Keys: We can use “Up” (↑) and “Down” (↓) arrow keys to move up or down one line. Pressing the “Page Up” (PgUp) key moves up one window length, and pressing “Page Down” (PgDn) moves down one window length. Pressing “Ctrl+Home” takes us to the beginning of the document and pressing “Ctrl+End” take us to the end of the document.

iv) Working with Hyperlink in the Document: A webpage contains many hyperlinks in the form of text as well as images. When you move your mouse cursor over the hyperlink it will take the form of a hand with a pointing index finger (). You can open the hyperlink by just clicking on it. You can also open a hyperlink by right clicking it and selecting the “Open” option from the shortcut menu, or by selecting the “Open in a New Window” option to open the link in a new window.

v) Working with Back, Forward button of the Browser: If you browse through several pages in a window, you can move backward and forward by clicking the “Back” (←) and “Forward” (→) button in the standard toolbar. These two options will only back or forward one page at a time. But, you can also select from the list of pages by placing the mouse pointer over the “Back” button and then by clicking on the down arrow (↓) besides the button, and then clicking on any site from the list of previously visited sites.

            Clicking on the “Stop” button stops whatever the browser is doing, and will wait for your next instruction. It is particularly useful for undoing mistakes.

b) Searching the Internet: Internet is a huge collection of information so it needs the search query to be specific; otherwise, it will retrieve some irrelevant results. Searching means finding or locating information through some search engines, directories, databases, etc. Generally all searching tools provide you an option in the form of search box to conduct a search. The search over Internet is interactive, provides post co-ordinate search facilities and produces more results at a higher speed at a reduced cost.

Some of the well known search engines are Google (, Bing (, and Ask/Aj/Ask Jeeves ( Most search tools have a similar structure. All will include in some form i) form for you to enter your keywords, ii) a button which will begin your search, iii) links to help pages and advanced search tools, normally located near the search form, iv) special features and options, and v) subject categories (most).

i) Keyword Search: This is most generally used over the web. In this technique, the document available in the WWW is generally searched by using keywords in the search box of a search engine; use of preposition, articles and such other words are avoided in this type of search. E.g. searching for Mahatma Gandhi, India in Google ( Results from this method are often mixed and you may have to go through many results to find the site most useful to you. For keyword based search, the search strategy may include identifying keywords by breaking down the topic into key concepts.

ii) Phrase Search: When a user is quite aware of all the words that occur in the same sequence in the relevant digital document, then he/she can use phrase (or proximity) search techniques. In such cases the search terms were down the search results considerably. Surrounding a group of words with double quotes tells the search engine to only retrieve documents in which those words appear side-by-side; e.g. “God of Small Things”, “Five Laws of Library Science”, (Five Laws of Library Science), etc.

iii) Wild Card / Truncation Search: When a user is aware only of some of the letters that are contained in the keywords then he / she can use wild card search technique to retrieve all the documents containing the words which again contain the particular letters stated by the user. In wild card search techniques the known letters are followed by an asterisk “*” or sometimes by a “?” mark. The asterisk or question mark may be given in the left, right or in both sides of the known letters as the case or need may be; e.g. Cata*, to retrieve document containing the word “cataloguing”, “cataloguer”, “catalogues”, etc. i.e the search engine will find all the words that contain keying letters as prefix letter of a particular word. Wildcard features allow variations in spelling or word forms.

iii) Boolean Search: Most of the search engines use “and” “or” and “not” as boolean search query, some uses “*”, “+” and “-” for the same purpose. Eg: Five laws of library science * S. R. Ranganathan, to retrieve all documents containing the words “Five laws of library science” and “S. R. Ranganathan”. In most cases the Boolean operators “and” “or” and “not” are used to connect the key concepts.

iv) Natural Language Search: Some search engine uses natural language search queries i.e the user is free to use natural language query to retrieve the relevant result. The system will automatically ignore the unnecessary words. This is true in http://www.altavista;, etc. Eg.: Who is the Prime Minister of India, to retrieve the name of the Prime Minister of India or to retrieve thousands of pages not containing the word “Who”.

v) Complex Search: In this type, combinations of the above search techniques are used to retrieve more relevant results. For example, one can combine phrase searching with implied Boolean operator. E.g.: “Classified catalogue code” * “S. R. Ranganathan”.

vi) Field Search: A web page is composed of a number of fields, such as title, domain, host, URL, and link. So, field searching is one of the most effective techniques for narrowing results and getting the most relevant websites listed at the top of the result page.

vii) Meta Search: The content of search engines, indexes and databases generally vary. So, if the same search query is typed into several search engines then it is likely to produce different results. So, a user may often want to know to see the results from various search engines. In such cases he/she can use the Meta search engine to get single input or query and to retrieve results from different search engines. Some example of Meta search engines are,, etc.

viii) Database Searching: Searching the directory or database is entirely a new experience. One can search the directory or databases by the specific entry point, which the particular directory or database is using to search its records. In case of a database of books the access point can be the title of the article/document/author/editor/accession no, etc. In the database searching, one can also save his/her result in accordance to his/her requirement. Some common examples of databases are,, etc.