You may be tasked with gathering information for stories you will create. You may use MU licensed databases such as Factiva for news and business information and to locate some other information, but most information will be retrieved through internet searches.
Understand how search engines work and evaluate the information they retrieve.
You probably have a "favorite" search engine, one that allows you to gather information more efficiently and effectively than others. It is important to know that there are several search engines and each one gathers and displays retrieved information differently.
Search strategically by placing key concept terms in order of their importance, and to learn to exploit the features of each search engine. Exploit advanced search features and tools.
Google Search Results and PageRank System
An important feature of Google's algorithm is its PageRank System which assigns a score to every search result. The higher the score, the further up the results will appear.
PageRank scores are determined by:
Web personalization and the "Filter Bubble" - a term coined by Internet activist Eli Pariser in his book by the same name:
Describes a phenomenon in which search engines use algorithms to selectively guess what information a user would like to see, based on information about the user (such as location, past click behavior and search history).
The search engine results page (SERP) tends to present links to information agreeing with the user's past viewpoint, effectively isolating the user in a "bubble" that tends to exclude contrary information.
Google Advanced Search Tools
Specialized and Alternative Search Engines
Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge base that retrieves dynamically computed results with source citations.
Search Engines Without Personalization Features (They do not track you)
DuckDuckGo claims that their search engine does not track or personalize and provides source icons next to search results.
Search Encrypt is a privacy based search engine.
Startpage (by Ixquick) does not collect personal information, is a metasearch engine with an international phone directory and video content.