Liberation: Using the Web (Intermediate)

Phrase Searching

If a basic search using only one search term has returned too many documents, there are ways of narrowing or focusing your search.

The simplest way to narrow your search is to look for a phrase instead of an individual word. A phrase is useful for providing your search with a context.

For example, "popular culture" is more focused than popular on its own.

Like many search engines, Bing expects you to indentify a phrase by enclosing it in quotation marks. Otherwise it will simply look for the individual words anywhere in a document.

For example, if you enter the search popular culture, the search engine may find the sentence "The idea of using live bacterial culture in yogurts, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, has proved surprisingly popular with the public." and retrieve it as a hit. Searching for "popular culture" with speech marks will only find sources containing the words together and in order.


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