How do you look for partners effectively

How you not only search the Internet, but also find it

Let us look at the structure of the Internet: According to estimates, there are “several hundred billion, possibly even several trillion, freely accessible Internet sites” (What Google cannot find. Tutorial from Bielefeld University, accessed on January 18, 2016). However, this estimate only applies to the so-called visible Internet. In addition, there is a much larger number of “invisible” websites that cannot be found by search engines from the outset. This means that not everything that can be found on the Internet can actually be traced using a search engine. And the same applies to the visible network: Not all content is recognized by all search engines.

In order to still find what you are looking for, we have put together twelve tips:

  1. Think about which search engine is right for your search. In principle, you can assume that you will find most general information, facts and products through Google, currently the largest search engine in the world.
  2. If you have a special search query, you should use a special search engine. On Google Scholar or Base-Search, for example, you will mainly find scientific websites and excerpts from scientific texts. Here you will find an overview of special search engine directories.
  3. Special directories may also be able to help you, for example if you are looking for a blog on a certain topic or something similar. Good directories are for example: blogging for blogs, listening soup for German-language podcasts, pixabay for pictures. You can find further contact points in the wb-web link list “Where can I find free pictures?”.
  4. If you are looking for instructions on how to do something, take a look at the video platform Youtube, because there are loads of tutorials, i.e. video instructions, to be found here. From inflating a bicycle tire with a Sclaverand valve to dismantling a suckling pig, you will find instructions and tips from A to Z.
  5. Ask yourself which key terms are important for your search and combine them with one another. For example, if you are looking for OER, you could add the terms “adult education”, “teaching material”, “language lessons” or something similar to narrow your search results. Conversely, a good website has as many relevant key terms as possible stored so that it is easy to find. This explains how content is tagged on the Internet - also interesting for clever searches.
  6. Ask precise questions to get precise answers: If you are looking for the life data of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, for example, enter that into the search engine. If you only search for “Goethe”, Google will give you e.g. the website of the Goethe Institute, the current relationship status of “Fuck ju Göhte” actor Elyas M’Barek and similar things that are irrelevant for you.
  7. The more detailed the search text, the fewer the results: for example, the addition of “date of birth” to the keyword “Goethe” limits the aforementioned search for Goethe's life data from several million results to almost 100,000 results.
  8. Use hashtags: on Twitter, for example, put the pound sign # in front of the term you are looking for, e.g. #oer or #erwachsenenbildung. In this way you will receive all entries that have been marked with this hashtag.
  9. Use search commands such as the phrase search: Put the words you are looking for in quotation marks so that only the terms you are looking for are searched for in the exact order given. Further information can be found in the wb-web manual 10 useful search and tool functions from Google
  10. Do not rely on just one source and always check: Who is behind an offer on the Internet? Here you can use the rule of thumb as a guide: Institutional sites tend to be more trustworthy than private blogs. And “google” the provider yourself if you are unsure.
  11. Network yourself: You can also ask questions on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Co. - and you actually often get targeted answers! Especially with technical questions it is helpful to use appropriate forums, to join groups or to like. You can find such groups by entering the relevant key terms (e.g. OER) in the corresponding search fields, e.g. on Facebook or Google+.
  12. Stay tuned: Once you have found an appealing website, use what is known as an RSS feed, which will always notify you when there is news. Blogs in particular offer this service, which is relevant to you if you keep dealing with a certain topic.

And finally: don't be afraid of overlooking something! With the gigantic variety, you have no chance of discovering every little detail. However, do not close your eyes under any circumstances, but keep the image of surfing in mind: The wave can roll over you - or it can carry you on and on ...

CC BY SA 3.0 by Alexandra Hessler for wb-web