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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

How To Build A Successful Web Page: Part II, Research!
by Steve Siercks
November 24th

Hey there! Welcome to the second edition of Building a Successful Web page. If you didn't check out the first part on brainstorming, check it out today! In this article you'll learn how to research your topic that you chose for your web page. So, let's get started!

Step 2: Research

You may be asking yourself why you would need to research a topic that you already love and know a lot about. This is one of the most important steps to building a successful web page. Without researching your topic you may forget to include something that you should have. Just as bad is the other side of the equation, you could include too much information.

Another reason to research your topics is to find out what the competition is like on the World Wide Web. You want to make sure you are always in tune to other sites that focus on the same topic that is the focus of your web page. For example, if I was creating a web page on Rollerblading, I would want to search for other rollerblading sites. By doing this you will be able to get ideas of what to include or not include on your web page. This is where rule number one comes into play.

Rule #1: Make sure you have more content than any other web page on your topic. By "living by" this rule you will always be a step up from your competition and sometimes this is very vital to your web pages success. So, what you want to search for are web pages that are similar to what you want to create. Then you should base your web page on the other ideas that you got without plagiarizing or copying their ideas exactly. There will be more on this in the next edition.

Now that you know what you want to search for, you have to search for it in the right manner! You can't just go to any search engine and type in "rollerblading." You have to learn where to go for what purpose. Here are some easy tips for searching:

1) Be specific- Be sure to not search for topics that are too general. If you are creating a web page on different kinds of wheels for rollerblades, don't just type in rollerblades, try "rollerblade wheels" instead. Otherwise you will get far too many results.

2) Use the right search engine- Don't go to a graphics search engine when what you really want is text. This may seem to be a very simple concept, but many people mess up at this level.

3) Stay focused- Try not to fall for the search engine's ad campaigns. Be sure to stay focused on what you are doing and don't start to click on ad banners or other links that you know don't pertain to your subject. This is one of the hardest parts to control, but it is possible to fight off your urges to click on the Britney Spears ad banner or whatever it may be.

So now that you know some tips for good searching, you need some places to search! Here are my top 4 favorite search engines. The main thing to think about when picking a search engine is to remember that no search engine has everything you want and that you will have to attempt to search at least 5 search engines to get what you want.

1) Ask Jeeves ( Ask Jeeves is a great search engine if you want to get a broad amount of results. What happens is that you type in any question that you want and "Jeeves" hunts through 6-8 search engines to retrieve your results. The only problem with Ask Jeeves is that you can't get to specific and that its flooded with ad banners.

2) Yahoo! ( Yahoo is also a giant in the search engine world. I like this search engine because it provides its guests with a lot of services that are easy to use. Plus, everything is in a readable format and you can quickly find what you want to get to.

3) Lycos ( Lycos is another great place to search. It is in a different format than either Yahoo! or Ask Jeeves, but it is still good. If you are looking for a quick place to search, head over to Lycos (plus the little dog in the commercial is cute... hehe)

4) AOL Search ( Yes, I know. Many of you don't really like AOL, but I must admit the search engine they have set up works quite well. If you are just wanting to search for a quick little thing, AOL is a pretty good place to go.

Hopefully these tips will help you to both search better and also get some research done for your new web site! Try to spend at least three days researching for your new web site and always remember- The more time you spend on your site now, the more fun you will have later on.

See you next time when we'll discuss planning out your site on paper!

Until then,

Steve Siercks
iTeen Online

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