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How To Search the Internet

Note: this FAQ was written as an adjunct to the Mah-Jongg FAQs, but the principles described herein apply equally well to ANY internet information search. Just plug in different key words when performing your search.

I Don't Want To Do A Search Myself! It's Too Hard! Just Spoonfeed Me, Please!

When I'm asked the question "where are some good websites about [whatever]," I can only assume (from the wording of the question) that the asker:

Moreover, when someone posts the question "hi, tell me where to find websites about [whatever]," that person is causing him/herself more trouble than s/he knows:

All of these things can be avoided by simply doing the search yourself!

Here's how to search the Internet:

Open your browser and press the Search button. Wait for the search screen to come up -- there's a text-entry box there. Type in the subject you want to search, and press the Go button (or whatever it's labeled). Voila, you find all kinds of sites related to the info you seek! Just click on a link that looks promising -- if it's not what you wanted, hit the Back icon and return to the search list, and try a different link. At the bottom of the search list there is a way to go to another page full of more links to try! Fiddle with it a while -- it's pretty easy to figure out. (I'd be more specific, but each search engine works differently.)

If your browser does not have a Search button, and if you do not already have a bookmark for a search engine, here are a few search sites...

Here's how to improve your search technique, if you already tried a search but didn't find what you need:

1. Because inputting the same search string on various search engines can get you different results, if you don't find what you look for with one search engine, try another.

2GD. For those of you searching for information about a career in game design, type very specific information into your Google search (sorry, you other search engines). Like for instance "what college is best for game design" - but be advised that you'll get the best information about that particular topic on the IGDA site and at

2MJ. For those of you searching for information about the game of mah-jongg, there's a complication. Because different game authors spell "Mah-Jongg" in different ways, you should try multiple searches, spelling "Mah-Jongg" in various different ways:

Note: This principle (using different spellings and different search keywords) applies to ANY internet search. This FAQ was written as an adjunct to the Mah-Jongg FAQs, but the principles described herein apply equally well to ANY internet information search. Just plug in different key words when performing your search.

mahjong mahjongg mah-jong
mah-jongg mah jong mah jongg
majiang majan mah cheuk
mahcheuk macheuk majong
majongg ma jong ma jongg
marchong mar chong mar-chong

It is unfortunate that there is no universal agreement on how to spell mah-jongg. I use Babcock's spelling when writing about the game; I use various spellings when researching on the internet. See FAQ 11 to learn about the history of the game, which contributes to the spelling confusion.

3. Important: You should refine your search by adding modifying words so that you find sites about the aspect of whatever it is that you are researching. If you want to download a downloadable mah-jongg game program (for instance), don't just type "mah jong," type "mah jong download." If you wanted books, you would type "mah jong books." And so on.

4. One pitfall to be aware of for those researching mah-jongg: in the course of searching about "Mah Jongg," you may occasionally find yourself looking at sites that (although purportedly purveying "Mah-Jongg") are not about Mah-Jongg at all, but are instead about computer games inspired by Shanghai (Activision's line of solitaire tile-matching games). Don't waste time getting mad at the misleading name, just keep on searching!

5. To reiterate, spelling is important. You will never find the tile-matching game "Taipei" if you spell it "Taipai," for instance. Some website authors may have misspelled, so you should try common misspellings of whatever it is you're searching for.

Here's another article on how to search the Internet, if the above wasn't helpful enough for you:

Got a question?
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Or visit to get answers about game design.

Last updated 2013 (deleted dead links).

Copyright 2001-2004, Tom Sloper. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.