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Lesson 2 Simple searching
Objective Explain how different search services interpret simple search queries.

Search Query

Some preliminary information about search queries in the last module has been learned. A search query is the combination of keywords you instruct a search engine or directory to use to locate documents containing the information you are looking for. You create a search query when you enter keywords in the text field of a search site and submit the query.
The combination of keywords that you enter is sent to the searching software, which then scans through a database looking for matches.
Different search services may vary slightly in the way they implement simple search options, but they typically interpret the query as searching for results that contain all of the keywords, results that contain any of the keywords, or rank the results in order by how many of the keywords they contain.


The keywords are matched literally.
A recent innovation is the use of natural language search queries that accept a query in the form of a question or a request. Another recent development is concept searching (also referred to as fuzzy searching or query-by-theme), as used in Northern Light. Because a searcher may not use the precise keywords that match all relevant information, concept searching expands the search beyond a literal match to related topics. Northern Light displays a list of topic folders that each contain references ranked on that particular topic.
Reading the help sections (discussed in an upcoming lesson) of the search service you are using will provide you with the clearest explanation on how a simple keyword search will be interpreted.

Simple Searching - Exercise

Click the exercise link below to perform a simple search using keywords, a natural language query, and concept searching.
Simple Searching - Exercise