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The most popular search tools for finding information on the internet include We b search engines, metasearch engines,

Web directories, and specialty search serv ices. A Web search engine uses software known as a Web crawler to follow the hyp erlinks connecting the pages on the World Wide Web. The information on these Web pages is indexed and stored by the search engine. A variety of tools exist to facilitate searching for information and resources ov er the World Wide Web. Global search engines are the overall key to success. With a basic knowledge of the structure of Web addresses, it becomes easy to unde rstand and even guess them. Information about people, bibliographical information, subject resources, softwar e and electronic mail lists can easily be found on the Web. Familiarity with Web sites and their help facilities, and following a simple sear ch schematic will improve your ability to search the Web effectively. The Web ca n rapidly become an invaluable desktop reference tool. To access a Web site, just type the address (or Universal Resource Locator, URL) into your browser. It will download and display the relevant page. Jump from on e page to another by clicking on hyperlinks, usually underlined and displayed in a different colour to the body text, or represented graphically as buttons. Rem ember that few URLs have capital letters in them, particularly those of corporat e home pages, but if you see them advertised with capitals, then make a note of these as Web addresses are case sensitive.

Guessing the URL of a Web site can be fairly straightforward once you know a lit tle about Web addressing. Web addresses will always start with the hypertext tran sfer protocol specification, http://. This will usually be followed by www and th en a company or service name. This in turn is followed by domain details which inc lude a classification and a country code. Web sites based in the USA do not usua lly have a country code, but most other sites do; examples are uk , au , ie , de and fr he United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Germany and France respectively. Classifi cations include edu (or ac in the UK) for academic sites; co (or com in the USA) for mercial or corporate sites; org for non-profit sites and gov for official government sites. The keys to finding information on the Web are search engines. These exist at di fferent levels and for different purposes. At one end, all Web browsers (such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer) have a find or search facility which allo ws you to search the document being browsed for a particular string. Choose searc h from the menu, or click on the search button, and enter part of a word. Click fi nd and your browser will take you to the first occurrence of that string in the d ocument. At the other extreme are the many global search engines.