Simple Searching by Clicking Categories

These days, all the major search sites accept search terms. But a few also supply a directory of categories, an index of sorts, that you can browse to locate links to pages related to a particular topic. Tools that feature such directories include Yahoo!, Excite, and Infoseek.


Directory browsing is something of a sideline for other search sites, but it's the bread and butter of Yahoo!. When you want to search in this way, Yahoo! is almost always your best starting point.

Why Use Categories Instead of a Search Term ?

When you're first becoming familiar with the Web, forgoing the search engines and clicking through a directory's categories is not only an effective way to find stuff but also a great way to become more familiar with what's available on the Web. As you browse through categories, you inevitably discover detours to interesting topics and pages that you didn't set out to find. Exploring directories is an important part of learning how the Web works and what's on it.

Also, the broader your topic of interest, the more useful categories are. When you use a search term to find information related to a broad topic ( cars , dogs, music, plants), the search site typically delivers to you a bewildering list containing hundreds or thousands of pages. Some of these pages will meet your needs, but many will be pages that merely mention the topic rather than being about the topic.

Some links that a search term delivers will match the term, but not your intentions; a search on "plant" will likely turn up not only botany and houseplant pages, but others about power plants, Robert Plant, and maybe the Plantagenet family of European lore. Categories, on the other hand, help you limit the results of your search to the right ballpark.

Using a Directory

Everything in a directory is a link; to find something in a directory, you follow those links in an organized way.

You begin by clicking a broad category heading to display a list of related subcategories (see Figure 12.4). Click a subcategory heading, and you display its list of sub- subcategories .

Figure 12.4. A subcategory list in Yahoo!.


You continue in this fashion, drilling down through the directory structure (usually through only two to five levels), until you eventually arrive at a targeted list of links to pages related to a particular topic. You can explore those page links one by one, and after finishing with each, use your Back button to return to the search site's list and try another link.

Here's how to explore categories:

  1. Go to Yahoo! at (see Figure 12.5).

    Figure 12.5. Step 1: Go to Yahoo!.


  2. In the list of categories, click Entertainment (see Figure 12.6).

    Figure 12.6. Step 2: Click Entertainment.


  3. In the list of subcategories that appears, click Amusement and Theme Parks (see Figure 12.7)

    Figure 12.7. Step 3: Click Amusement and Theme Parks.


  4. Scroll down to reveal links leading to pages about amusement parks. You can click one of the preceding subcategories to see more options, or visit one of the following pages (see Figure 12.8).

    Figure 12.8. Step 4: Choose a subcategory or visit a site.


  5. If you choose a site, such as Adventureland USA, you'll get to that home page (see Figure 12.9).

    Figure 12.9. Step 5: Visit a site, like Adventureland USA.


  6. Click Back until you return to the top Yahoo! page. Observe that you can try any path or page and then back out by as many levels as you want to so that you can try a different path .

  7. Explore on your own, clicking down through the directory and then back up again with Back.

Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
ISBN: 0672325330
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 350
Authors: Ned Snell © 2008-2017.
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