Well, now it’s time to find out if that’s true. How quickly can you find information from all across the Internet? You’re an ace at tracking down statistics, but what about historical information? Geography? Can you find the latest scoop on today’s biggest celebrities or tell me what their very first role was? The Internet is vast and contains too much information for anyone to keep track of it all. Instead, you need to rely on your search skills.
So let’s see how skilled you really are. The following questions will test your ability to track down information on a variety of subjects and from a variety of sources. Choose your search terms carefully, because the clock is ticking.
It's not what you know, but knowing how to find the information you need. Use the Search Box below to help find the answers. But you'd better hurry!
Time: 5 minutes
How Did You Do?
If you didn’t do as well as you hoped, don’t fret. There are plenty of resources available here to help you become a master web searcher. Go back and review the information in our Search the Web article, and then go through the tips provided in Advanced Web Searching. When you feel you’re ready, come back and take the test again.
If you passed, consider yourself a skilled searcher. The next time your boss asked you to track down a random fact for this week’s stockholder presentation, you should have no problem pulling up Google and finding what she needs. But don’t get overconfident. There is plenty more to learn about web research.
If you haven’t reviewed Advanced Web Searching, check it out and see if you can shave some time off your searches. Then move up to our Online Research page, where you’ll find more in-depth discussions on the many avenues available for finding quality information online. And, of course, these days the internet is more than just something you search on your computer. Mobile is changing how we search and view information, so make sure understand the mobile web as well.
Once you’ve mastered all of those topics, it’s time to go beyond just searching and test the rest of your Internet knowledge.
The online world is constantly changing, so your search strategies should evolve over time. If you used the same search engine for all of these questions, you have proven your ability to carefully choose your search terms and find the answers you're looking for among the frequently overcrowded results.
But Google and Bing are not the only places to find information on the internet. For more advanced research, you may need to use specialized database search tools or look up scholarly sources. Our guide on Online Research can help you identify the best tools to use.
It’s also important to understand how web pages work. Sure, you can find the home page for your local dentist, but do you know where to look to find their business hours or contact information? Our Anatomy of a Webpage article can help you navigate specific sites to find just information you’re looking for.
If you’re researching a specialized topic, it may be faster to use a specific service instead of a search engine. Some of those include:
- Job Hunting – Traditional search engines aren’t great for job hunting. This page includes links to some of the most popular job search sites, as well as tips for narrowing your job search and making business connections.
- Google Scholar – If you’re looking for scholastic research or peer-reviewed journals, this is the place to start. You can find article abstracts and in many cases complete articles here that your professor will be happy to see in your next research paper. In some cases, you may need additional access to view articles; if you do, contact your local librarian.
- Dictionary.com – If you’re looking for the meaning a word, don’t waste time with a search engine. There are several online dictionaries available, and all of them will provide complete definitions, related words, translations, and even audio files so you can hear the word spoken aloud.
- IMDB – The Internet Movie Database is the go-to reference for movie and television trivia. You can find out which movies are coming out this week, what movies your favorite actress has been in, and just how many people have played James Bond.
- Wikipedia.com – If you’re working on a college paper, stick with Google Scholar. But for general information, Wikipedia has become the go-to resource. This free, community-created encyclopedia is one of the most popular sites in the world, and by far the largest reference site on the Internet. Anyone can create and edit nearly any content on Wikipedia, so use caution when evaluating the articles. But for quick, general research, it can be a valuable resource.