Electricity – adds context to explain the type of smart meter.Electromagnetic is the technical term – could use that instead of electricity – would add contextDon’t use EMF instead of electromagnetic because could mean something else. But could bump up importance of electromagnetic by using both.Keep health hazards / health effects natural.
Takes a couple of searches to find the phrase bicycle ridershipGoogle will take care of variants for bicycle, bike.Need to capture the implied third concept of cause and effect.Primary depends on what you most care about – is it to find ways to increase ridership, or to promote bike paths?
The * at end of series of words also good for forcing proximityMake sure there is a space before and after.
Select from side panel – more search options.
Google searches for results with climate change in title, and Ontario anywhere, but it will rank those that also have Ontario in the title higher.Note: third results does not have Ontario in the title but is about Ontario.
Eg – see features with -- intitle:"climate change" ontario preparedness
Eg – to see slash tags available for a search – put / at end – eg - "climate change" ontario /
WORDS MATTER Order of words makes a difference in results ranking. Natural phrasing is better because ... A rare term finds rare items, scientific terms find scientific papers, medical … legal ... Context words will disambiguate the meaning. Stock terms identify the type of document you want. What do you expect from the words you use?
CONCEPTS MATTER Primary / dominant concept – what is your core topic? Secondary concept – what modifies or supports the core topic? What do you want to know about it? Does anything connect these concepts? Work outwards – flex one concept at a time – add another concept to refine.
EXAMPLE 1 – SMART METERS Question: Is the electromagnetic field (EMF) from smart meters hazardous to health? Primary: “smart meters” electricity Secondary: health hazards, effects electromagnetic
EXAMPLE 1 - QUERIES Most important first: “smart meters” electricity health hazards Natural phrasing: health hazards of “smart meters” for electricity First 10 results: top 2 are the same, 2 are unique for each set, and ranking is different.
EXAMPLE 2 – BICYCLE PATHS Question: Do bicycle paths or lanes have any influence on cycling rates? Primary: bicycle Secondary: ridership, cycling bicycle/bike paths rate, cycling growth and lanes Increase
EXAMPLE 2 - QUERIES Capture concepts: increase bicycle ridership using bike lanes and paths Add stock term: statistics bicycle ridership using bike lanes and paths
QUOTING A STUDENT Once you have identified (at least provisionally) the primary and secondary concepts involved in a search you are in a position to do two things: you can manipulate the words you are using to search for the concepts and you can apply other strategies to focus on particular instances of the concepts.
TIPS ON USING RELATED WORDS All search engines do word variants to some degree. But Google is best at it. Engine retrieves and ranks results with the expanded word set. Watch for bolded words – you may not want some. Think about the words – there may be another you want to use – eg preparedness.
TURN RELATED WORDS OFF Google – put word inside quotation marks. Eg “preparation” Google – use Verbatim Bing and Yahoo – put + in front. Eg +preparation
5 UNIQUE FEATURES TO GOOGLE1. Highly semantic – as we have seen2. Tilde ~ the synonym operator3. * as wildcard and proximity operator4. Number range5. Judge a page by its images
USING OR Why: to expand a concept. When: after you have a sense of the search results and have identified important words to express the concept. How: one concept at a time, and just 2 or 3 terms that pertain to that concept.
ALTERNATIVE ENGINES Duckduckgo – ensures privacy, no spam Blekko – slashtag, no spam Carrot2.org – metasearch and clusters results Allplus.com – metasearch and clusters results Topsy – social media
DUCKDUCKGO Full privacy – no Smaller database – tracking or sharing uses own Has Canadian crawl, Blekko, Bing content. Generally higher quality – blocks spam. Duckduckgo.com Syntax for intitle, site, filetype. Search suggestions
BLEKKO Avoids content farms Smaller – 3 billion – no span Bans some good Sites handpicked and sites categorized Weak on Canadian Slashtags signify the content. category Takes time to learn Create your own Less syntax – does topics have site: Blekko.com
CARROT2.ORG Meta-search of Only brings back 100 Google, Bing, Yahoo, results. Ask Clusters results – can see aspects of topic Visual display - maps Carrot2.org Good for first search, broad sweep.
ALLPLUS Metasearch – Clusters derived from Google, Bing frequently occurring Clusters – more phrase. granular Small number of Universal – images, results video, news, twitter, blogs Good for first sweep. Allplus.com
TOPSY.COM Indexes social media As with all social Feeds from media, reader Twitter, Facebook, Go beware. ogle-Plus, Youtube etc. Uses influence algorithms to identify Topsy.com importance Provides buzz
THANK YOU Questions? Internet News Blog http://www.websearchguide.ca/netblog/ Web Search Courses at iSchool Institute – 1-day classroom, and 6-week online Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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