How do I search the internet for a specific subject without getting a million links (most of which have nothing to do with what I am looking for)?
First you might want to know how a Search Engine get's it's information and then we can figure out how to look through it's database...
A lot of Search Engines such as YAHOO get their information from "keywords". When I wrote this webpage I went to YAHOO and signed up with them. They asked me for some keywords about what is on my pages, then those keywords were added to their database. When someone like yourself does a search it will look throught their database and give a link to my page only if you entered one of the keywords that I gave them.
Places like AltaVista go about it in a different way. Instead of asking for keywords all they asked for was my web page address and they send out a "BOT". It takes a look at my pages and indexes every word that I have on my pages. Most of the time this will work better because it's not limited to a just few keywords. It has its drawbacks too, sometimes you will get back links that have nothing to do with the subject you are looking for just because that word happens to be mentioned at least once.
To narrow your search you need to enter more than one word.
But wait, I tried that... instead of 1000 links I got back 5000. That doesn't seem "narrowing it down" to me.
Here's an example:
Say you are looking for some Eagle Photos.
If you type in "Eagle Photos" (without the quotes), you will get back links to pages that contain either "Eagle"or "Photos".
To get pages that have both words you need to type in "Eagle&Photos". (if you are using WebCrawler you need to use AND instead of &, "EagleANDPhotos").
If you don't get any matches or you want some more pages you might also try different combinations of Eagle, Eagles, Photo, Photos, Photograph, Photographs, etc...
Well, that's about it. I hope this helps you out. If you are still not having any luck or have further questions please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.