When it comes to searching online, a lot of us taught ourselves how to do it by trial and error. We could all stand to improve! Here are some more resources on searching better, including search industry sites that can give you more insight into the “secret ingredients” in search algorithm “recipes.”
Google has a number of resources developed by Dan Russell’s team. Dan calls himself Google’s “search anthropologist” (and I worked with him briefly while I was doing post-doctoral research.) Dan and his colleagues have developed a free online course on “power searching” to help boost your search techniques.
Dan also has a book, The Joy Of Search, which provides the ins and outs of more expert searching.
For the very very young, here’s a Ruff Ruffman video and supplementary material from PBS Kids.
The Newseum also has some excellent resources on understanding the top search hits, picking the right search strategy, and how content creators may play games with search results.
I made heavy use of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy For Higher Education in writing Keep Calm and Log On. I highly recommend giving it a look if you’re trying to sketch out a curriculum for helping students navigate information both online and in the library.
You might want to start with resources from Google, Bing, or Moz. Once you’ve got a feel for the vocabulary of search, you might graduate to SE Roundtable or Search Engine Land, well-recognized industry discussions of the ins and outs of search. You might start with Search Engine Land’s guides to Bing and Google.
For more about what search engines do behind the scenes, as well as tips on privacy and security, grab a copy of Keep Calm and Log On.