You've grown up with the internet and you know how to type things into a bar to get information. That's all there is to Google, right? Wrong. There is so much more to learn. This guide aims give you tips and tricks that will help you to become a more savvy searcher and save you time when researching.
It might seem silly to you to look at a URL for information other than where to find a web page, however, these are filled with useful tidbits about the webpage, and overall website, itself.
So, what type of information can you get from reading a URL? You can find out what type of website it is, who made it, who the intended audience is, and what its purpose is.
In order to accurately read a URL, you must first understand what the pieces of it are. All URLs have a domain name and an extension. A domain name is, in most instances, the name of the website itself. The extension tells you what type of organization the website is linked to. Put together this would look like https://www.domainname.extension.
Now, let's look at a few real websites and break down their URLs.
The extension of a website is the text immediately following the . after the domain name (http://www.domaninname.extension).
|.com||Commercial websites (such as amazon.com). Many of these types of websites are selling you some type of product.|
|.edu||Educational institutions. These are used by schools from Kindergarten through doctoral degrees. In addition to the information about the school, you will also find pages written by students, faculty, and staff.|
|.gov||Local, state, or federal government websites (such as www.irs.gov). The government produces a great amount of information, but viewpoints are often changing for a variety of reasons. Be sure to check the posting date for currency of the information.|
|.org||Nonprofit organizations (such as www.redcross.org). Be sure to look at the organization and their mission/viewpoints. Just because an organization is nonprofit does not mean that they are non-biased.|