Now, we all know that the Internet is a huge warehouse of information. There are search engines that throw up information that we seek within seconds and what a range of information it is! Thousands of hits and results; is it all confusing? Do you wonder how to find specific Information online? Well, maybe this will help.
If you know how search engines generally work, it helps in finding as specific information as possible. A search engine uses a set of algorithms to identify information that suit your search and lists it out on your screen. This could be subject-based search, keyword based search, etc. Here it is essential to provide the right keywords for your information, so that you receive the most accurate search results.
There is a myriad of information available online and sometimes it appears difficult to identify the accurate and updated information from the obsolete, inaccurate or false information. Such times, it is best to do some research into the person or organization hosting the information. If the website containing information is owned by a government agency, chances are that the information contained therein is reliable. In addition, if it is a well-known organization such as the United Nations and its various agencies, you can expect to receive reliable information; the same goes for information contained on well-known library sources or well-known online resources/databases. There are various ways to determine if a website or online resource/database is authentic. For example, look out for the ‘.gov' extension as part of the Uniform Resource Locator or URL; this is the website name, such as http://www.usa.gov/, which is the online home page of the Government of the United States of America.
Websites hosted by independent, non-profit efforts are next in line for seeking specific and reliable information. Also, there are efforts to collate information on an encyclopedic basis such as http://wikipedia.org/ that provide information. Some of these efforts are on a voluntary participative basis by the ordinary public across the globe and therefore, caution is advised in these cases for ascertaining the validity and authenticity. Most such websites indicate where the information has not been verified, or does not provide any reliable references, citations or sources.
Most online portal services also provide a forum where you can ask your question that is then received and responded to by subscribers. You will be surprised with the variety of responses that some enthusiastic responders send. There are various blogs, discussion forums, and mailing lists online and most of them are free. These could deal with general topics or be limited to specific subjects. Consider subscribing to one such service and seek information. Since these are individual or community based, you can rely on the information available. Some paid-for services by consulting or research agencies can be accessed and those sometimes come with a guarantee of information validity and specificity.
Lastly, apply common sense, stay alert and always crosscheck the information obtained and it should not be very difficult to find specific information online.