Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Anyone can throw terms at Google and press "Search". Web Search Garage takes you beyond just throwing words on the virtual wall and seeing what sticks.

In short: buy this book if you want your search results to be quicker and more useful.

Web Search Garage
Web Search Garage
by Tara Calishain

The book's first section is an overview of search engines, the differences between them, and then additional tools and gizmos that can aid you in your search. As Tara herself points out, the web landscape is something that's constantly changing, so while rooting the discussion with specific examples like Google and Yahoo, the text presents the underlying concepts that make the example sites and tools valuable, each in their own right.

The second section of Web Search Garage covers something I've not seen covered elsewhere. As far as I'm concerned this section is the real value and meat of the book: what to search for. Presented as "Principals of Web Searching", Tara covers how to search effectively. In short:

  • How to select terms to search for.
  • Where to search.
  • How to narrow down search results.
  • How to start with too narrow results and expand.
  • How to find off-line resources.
  • How to use the search engine's unique tools and abilities.
  • How to evaluate search results.

Each is presented in clear language with both specific examples and related reference sites .

Subsequent sections of the book look at more specific types of common searches including News, Job, Local and International searching. Finding people is covered as well as genealogy research, and an interesting section on finding "multimedia" such as images, video and audio files. A section on Consumer searching includes general consumer help, medical information and kid-safe searching. A section is devoted to Technical Support, which as you can imagine is near and dear to my heart. And naturally there's a section on finding general reference information on the web as well.

As with Principals of Web Searching, all these sections include both general conceptual information that will help you be a more effective web searcher regardless of where you search, as well as specific examples and sites to get you started.

I consider myself a reasonably proficient web searcher, yet as I was reading this book I found myself making notes of new techniques to try that I hadn't thought of.

If you're at all interested in making your web search time more effective, investing in a copy of Web Search Garage is a great place to start.

Google Hacks

While you're thinking about it, I do also recommend Tara's other book, Google Hacks. Google's an amazingly powerful search engine, but also much much more. Google Hacks will help you not only use Google more effectively, but introduce you to tools you never even realized were there.

Article C2418 - September 4, 2005 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 30, 2009 12:35 PM

im bothered about having to read such an important topic as how to properly use a search engine ( and yet its an article getting me to spend money on your friend s book pertaining to the topic. i dont know, i find that well, not right.
sorry, i know its a great topic and yet u offer free advice suggestions for everthing else, i just find this one bothersome! sorry, just felt like venting i guess.

No problem. I just honestly find this book worthwhile (even though I've since fallen out of frequent contact with said freind :-).
- Leo

July 6, 2009 10:46 PM

Hi Leo
This looks like a handy book, but i'm struggling to feed the family at the moment. Can you recommend some free reading on this topic?
Thanks mate, you're a champion

Tony Serra
July 16, 2009 7:18 PM

So, if Leo finds a really good book that happens to be written by a friend, he should not let us know about it? By the way, Amazon has new & used copies that start at less than a dollar(not including shipping) when I checked today.

July 16, 2010 5:08 PM

Try your local library. Chances are they have copy. Mine does. I think I'll check it out.

January 25, 2011 3:30 PM

I see no harm in Leo, or anyone else providing free assistance on better computing, in mentioning a good text/tech. book whether it's written or produced by a friend or not.
Thanks Leo, I've been looking for a good book on "Googling" I have 'Google.pedia, The ultimate Google Resource' book but it provides much more than I really need. I may purchase a copy of Google Hacks too.
Please take note: I am not associated with the Author or Publishers of the book I mentioned and care less if someone buys it or not.

Steven Bartlett
January 26, 2011 1:16 PM

Reviews look good so just bought the book....thx Leo

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