When a “traditional” search fails to turn up the documents you need, there are
plenty of other ways to get at the information you want. Knowing where to search
for information before resorting to a search engine is an important strategy to ef
ficient online research. This is particularly true because a search engine may take
weeks or months to locate online information and return URLs to its database.
To anticipate where information might be held requires a familiarity with do
main names, described later in this chapter. In addition, syntax searches allow
you to pinpoint sites by host organizations or by the pages that link to it. Thinking
ahead allows you to “skip the middleman, ” to pass up the search engine alto
gether and go straight to the sites that hold the information you want.