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Beyond Google: Searching the Web Effectively

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Genevieve Hawtree

on 29 August 2012

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Transcript of Beyond Google: Searching the Web Effectively

Beyond Google: Getting the most out
of your time on the internet. Introduction Did you know?

Most search engines access only between 1%-16%
of all available resources online? Who am I? Who are you? What are we going to do today? Making the most of Google The trick is to find a way to go from this: To this: * Without doing this: Before You Search: Ask yourself: What information am I searching for exactly? What key words fit my topic? Does the date of the resources matter? Am I looking for a specific document type? What Search Engine should I use? Do I know the lingo? (Use encyclopedia or wiki to gain background knowledge)
Am I confused about the topic? (Read Wikipedia article or other article on topic first)
Is my topic too broad? (Use “Clusty, Carrot or Surf Wax)
Do I want to answer a factual question?
Do I need information about a person or place?
Am I looking for resources?
Am I looking for academic information or general information? What information am I searching for exactly? Do any of my key words have multiple meanings? (Consider using Duck, Duck, Go)
Use a Thesaurus!
Which words are the most important? Word order makes a difference!!.
What words MUST be on the page I am looking for? (use +, AND, “” )
What words WOULD NOT be on the page I am looking for? (use NOT, -) What key words fit my topic? Am I looking for current information? (use advanced search, specify date)
Am I looking for older information? (Wayback Machine or archive?) Does the date of the resources matter? PDF, DOC, SPREADSHEET etc. (use advanced search, filetype:)
Images, clip art, photos (use Google Images, etc) Am I looking for a specific type of document? Pick the search engine that will get you the information you need. If the information you are looking for is very specific or specialized, consider searching for database on the subject and then performing your search on the database website. What Search Engine Should I use? Search Engines: Image Searching Boolean Search: Thinking while you search: Ignore Sponsor Links Use F3 or Ctrl +F Use On-site search Truncate results Find similar pages Pay attention to vocabulary! Use a Thesaurus Using common words Switch search engines! Ignore Sponsor Links:
The first few links in many search engines are commercial links. Skip these and avoid wasting your time on these websites. Use Ctrl + F

To quickly determine if a website is useful press Ctrl + F on your keyboard. You will then be able to search for your term on the page. Use On-site search

Find something promising on a website? Try using the website's search to look for other resources that might be useful. Truncate the URL

Delete parts of the end of the URL (web address) and see where it leads you. For example:
By removing the text after each slash you will change the information you see.

Note: Some websites protect their data so this will not work but it doesn't hurt to try Pay Attention to Vocabulary.

If you find a website you like for your topic pay attention to the words they are using to describe your topic. You might have been searching for “reading instruction” but the website uses “literacy instruction”. Try your search again with these terms and see what results you get. Find Similar Pages

Find something you like? Use related:www.websiteurl.com to get similar results.

For example... related:www.teachertools.com or click on “similar” button under search results in google. Use a Thesaurus:

Not getting the results you want? Try using ~ in front on a word to get the synonyms of that word included in your search or use an online thesaurus to find words that might yield better results.

Try http://www.visualthesaurus.com or http://www.thesaurus.com Don't be afraid to switch search engines.

If you don't find what you are looking for with your first attempt try a different search engine. You may get better results. Using common words.

Most search engines will ignore words like when, where, and it, etc. If you need these words in order to get the results you need ensure that you use + or quotations.
“I am over here” or +I +am+over+here. Using Databases: Learning More: http://quicksearch.wikispaces.com/ Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need

Creating a custom search engine:

Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources

Beyond Google: The Invisible Web

http://www.deepwebresearch.com/ Think search modify http://quicksearch.wikispaces.com/ Word order matters Work Order Matters

You will get different results if you search "cats and dogs" then you will if you search for "dogs and cats". Pay attention to your word order...as a rule use most important terms first. Yippy:
What it is good for: Brainstorming topics, Narrowing down your search topics
When to use it: When dealing with broad topics. When you need help narrowing down your search terms.

Complete Planet:
What it is good for: Database searches and research.
What is is: A comprehensive listing of dynamic searchable databases.
Find databases with highly relevant documents that cannot be crawled or indexed by surface web search engines.
When to use it: To find new pages to access resources. Use education section to find materials.

What it is good for: Finding answers to common questions.
When to use it: When you want quick answers. "Who is the richest man in the world?" Wolframalpha
What it is good for: Data, time-lines, calculations... objective information.
When to use it: To find the birth, death and full name of famous people.
For FACTUAL objective information about people, places or things.

What is is good for: Narrowing down your search. Giving you subcategories for your search.
When to use it: When you need help narrowing down your search terms.

Wayback Machine
What it is good for: Finding information from old websites.
When to use it: When you favorite website goes missing. When you reach an internet “dead end” (Links to information that no longer work). Duck Duck Go
What it is good for: Helping point out alternate meaning for words. Helping you narrow your search.
When to use it: You are looking for information.
Uses: Google, yahoo

What it is good for: Finding sounds.
When to use it: To find sounds effects and musical instrument samples on the internet.

What it is good for: Academic research.
When to use it: When you want to limit your search to .edu and academic sources. When doing research on academic topics. Google.com
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