28 September 2016
Duration: 2:32

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This video helps you find the things you're looking for online by using search engines, and explains how to understand your search results.

The internet hosts millions of websites which, in turn, are made of trillions of webpages. To find the website you're looking for you need a really good indexing system, and that's where a search engine comes in. A search engine is a special website that searches the internet for information based on the question you ask. They are so powerful they can perform a search of billions of web pages and then present the results for you in just a matter of seconds. Performing a search is easy. You just type key words or phrases into the search engine box, but we'll get to that in a moment.

A web browser is a program for browsing the web when you know the address of the website, and it comes free with your computer. There are several different web browsers, but probably the most common is Internet Explorer, and that comes with windows PCs, but with Apple Macs Safari is the browser that comes with the computer. Once your web browser is running you need to choose the search engine you want to use. The most popular search engine is Google, and you can visit it at www.google.com. To search simply type something into the empty box on Google's web page. You don't need to worry about punctuation or grammar when searching.

We'll try My Family History. This screen shows a list of all the websites that have information about family history. Some things you search for will show just a few results but this one shows hundreds of pages. You can see how Google gives a brief text preview of the webpage for each result. If none of these seem quite right, then you can try a different search. When you click on the blue link text of any of these results the web page will load and you can start reading. You can use search engines to look for anything you can think of, local weather, the price of medication, birthday present ideas, or just facts and figures. A search engine like Google is a great place to start browsing websites on the internet. It's a gateway to the entire virtual world.