Google and Beyond: just Google


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Slides for a workshop held for NHS South West in Exeter and Bristol. This session was on Google

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Google and Beyond: just Google

  1. 1. Google and Beyond: Just Google NHS South West Monday, 11th November 2013, Exeter Thursday, 14th November 2013, Bristol Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services,,, Slides will be available on and Also available temporarily at 17/11/13 1 This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
  2. 2. Google for search? 17/11/13 2
  3. 3. Problems? Why do we use Google? Often gives 'good enough' results with minimal effort from the searcher Google thinks it knows best when it comes to the search strategy Great coverage Too much information Personalisation Personalisation 17/11/13 3
  4. 4. Five things you need to know about Google search 1. Google personalises your search Personalises search based on – – – – – location past search history past browsing activity activity in other areas of Google e.g. YouTube, blogs, images content from contacts in your personal networks may be given priority – what you and others have ‘liked’, g+1 17/11/13 4
  5. 5. Five things you need to know about Google search 1. Google personalises your search Non-personalised search 17/11/13 Personalised search 5
  6. 6. Google's Privacy Policy "Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience." "we're more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google" Toward a simpler, more beautiful Google 17/11/13 6
  7. 7. How to “Un-personalise” your search Switch off web/search history Log out of your Google account Clear cookies Use private/incognito browsing 17/11/13 7
  8. 8. Private browsing - quickest way “un-personalise”search Chrome - New Incognito window - Ctrl+Shift+N FireFox - File, New Private Window - Ctrl+Shift+P Internet Explorer – Tools, InPrivate Browsing [location varies depending on which version you have] - Ctrl+Shift+P Opera – File, New Private Window - Ctrl+Shift+N Safari – click on Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menu bar, select Private Browsing and then click on OK. Will not remove country personalisation
  9. 9. Five things you need to know about Google search 2. Google automatically looks for variations on your search terms and sometimes drops terms from your search – Google does not tell you it has ignored some of your terms – “..” around terms, phrases, names, titles of documents does not always work – To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search, prefix it with ‘intext:’ incidence occupational asthma intext:agriculture UK – Use Verbatim for an exact match for the whole search
  10. 10. Google Verbatim
  11. 11. Five things you need to know about Google search 3. Google web search does not search everything it has in its database – two indexes: main, default index and the supplemental index – supplemental index may contain less popular, unusual, specialist material – supplemental index comes into play when Google thinks your search has returned too few results – Verbatim and some advanced search commands seems to trigger a search in the supplemental index
  12. 12. “Normal search” 91,600 17/11/13 Search after Verbatim is applied 391,000 12
  13. 13. Five things you need to know about Google search 4. Google changes its algorithms several hundred times a year How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm - YouTube
  14. 14. Hummingbird Not just an update but a completely new algorithm Tries to make “sense” of your query and put it into context, natural language queries Not just search history but also your location, device being used Announced September 26th 2013 but had already been in use for about a month Many aspects had been tested over the previous months and past year 17/11/13 14
  15. 15. Five things you need to know about Google search 5. We are all Google’s lab rats Just Testing: Google Users May See Up To A Dozen Experiments Mostly minor effects on search but sometimes totally bizarre results Google decides that coots are really lions Update on coots vs. lions
  16. 16. What I see on my screen will not be what you see on your screen, will not be what your colleagues see on theirs, will not be what your users see. Google Scholar more consistent – stuck in a time warp? 17/11/13 16
  17. 17. What does Google know about you Sign in to your Google account and go to Check your ad preferences at If you do not have a Google account there will only be information about you in the right hand column 17/11/13 17
  18. 18. Changes to T&Cs 11th November 2013 17/11/13 18
  19. 19. Choosing your search terms Google automatically looks for synonyms and variations on your terms – abdominal pain will find stomach ache, stomach cramps etc. – but you don’t get the same results if you use stomach ache instead of abdominal pain – run separate searches using alternative terms/phrases – no information on how the synonyms are identified or implemented The terms you use can radically change the emphasis of your results 17/11/13 19
  20. 20. Choosing your search terms 17/11/13 20
  21. 21. Google Reading level Changes the type of material that is returned Nothing to do with publishers assigned reading age Run the search and from the menu above the results select Search tools, All results, Reading level 17/11/13 21
  22. 22. Google Reading level Basic 17/11/13 Advanced 22
  23. 23. Nutrition facts Information from Wikipedia and USDA 17/11/13 23
  24. 24. Compare compare spinach with cabbage Do not always need ‘with’ Can only compare two similar entities 17/11/13 24
  25. 25. "" - around phrases “No, Google Scholar Shouldn’t be Used Alone for Systematic Review Searching” to exclude a term occupational asthma agriculture -aspergillosis OR to specify alternatives but often better to run separate searches on each term * 17/11/13 to stand in for one or more words macular * degeneration Picks up macular myopic degeneration, macular disciform degeneration, macular cone degeneration etc. 25
  26. 26. filetype: Think file format – PDF for research documents, government reports, industry papers, company reports – ppt or pptx for presentations, tracking down an expert on a topic – xls or xlsx for spreadsheets containing data Use the advanced search screen or the filetype: command occupational occupational occupational occupational occupational 17/11/13 asthma asthma asthma asthma asthma agriculture agriculture agriculture agriculture agriculture UK UK UK UK UK filetype:pdf filetype:ppt filetype:pptx filetype:xls filetype:xlsx 26
  27. 27. site: For searching large websites, or groups of sites by type for example government, NHS, academic Can exclude sites using -site: Use advanced search screen or site: command organ donation statistics Wales organ donation statistics Wales organ donation statistics organ donation statistics Wales -site:au 17/11/13 27
  28. 28. Numeric range search Anything to do with numbers and quantities: years, temperatures, weights, distances, prices etc Use the advanced search screen or type in your two numbers separated by two full stops as part of your search UK alzheimers forecast 2014..2030 17/11/13 28
  29. 29. intitle: inurl: Words in the title – can be single words or phrases Ensures subject is the main focus of the article Use advanced search screen or intitle: intitle:”diabetic retinopathy” Words in the URL – can be single words or phrases Use advanced search screen or inurl: inurl:”diabetic retinopathy” 17/11/13 29
  30. 30. Date Restrict your results to information that has been published within the last hour, day, week, month, year or your own date range Search tools, Any time and select an option 17/11/13 30
  31. 31. daterange: Date restriction does not work with Verbatim Use daterange: command instead Uses Julian date format (fractions omitted) Julian Date Converter Syntax – for example reports on NHS waiting times between1st September 2012 and 30 November 2013 NHS waiting times daterange:2456171-2456261 17/11/13 31
  32. 32. daterange: the easy way Third party tools for the daterange: search for example then apply Verbatim 17/11/13 32
  33. 33. Google Public Data Explorer One of Google's best kept secrets! 17/11/13 33
  34. 34. Images - copyright Always, always check and double check the copyright - images may have a digital watermark and be tracked e.g. Digimarc Creative Commons does not mean you can do what you like with an image – “Open-licencing your images. What it means and how to do it.” Andy Mabbett aka pigsonthewing – Karen Blakeman's Blog “Free-to-use images might not be” – 17/11/13 34
  35. 35. Images – “free to use....” Google advanced image search Use the usage rights, but always double check the licence on the website 17/11/13 35
  36. 36. 17/11/13 36
  37. 37. 17/11/13 37
  38. 38. Looking for an expert on a topic? Academics – use keywords with or with site:edu Presentations at conferences, lectures, seminars – use keywords with filetype:ppt or with filetype:pptx – use keywords with filetype:pdf Google Scholar – 17/11/13 38
  39. 39. Google Scholar “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research”. • Search all scholarly literature from one convenient place • Explore related works, citations, authors, and publications • Locate the complete document through your library or on the web • Keep up with recent developments in any area of research • Check who's citing your publications, create a public author profile 17/11/13 39
  40. 40. Thomson Reuters-Google Scholar Linkage Offers Big Win for STM Users and Publishers 17/11/13 40
  41. 41. Google Scholar Does not cover all key journals in all subjects – no source list Top publications for subjects and languages under Metrics link on home page or Scholar indexes the full text but you may have to pay to view the whole article Groups different versions of an article together 17/11/13 41
  42. 42. Google Scholar Includes open access material, pre-prints, institutional repositories (but not necessarily author self archived repositories) Includes material that is NOT peer reviewed but is structured and looks like an academic article (title in large font, authors, affiliations, abstract, keywords, citations) Pre-prints and IR copies may differ from final published version – charts and images may be redacted because of copyright restrictions 17/11/13 42
  43. 43. Google Scholar Does NOT use the publishers’ metadata Date and author search looks in the area of the document where those elements are usually found Page numbers, part of an address, data item may be mistaken for publication year 17/11/13 43
  44. 44. Jacsó, Péter. “Metadata mega mess in Google Scholar.” Online Information Review 34.1 (2010): 175-191. Jacsó, Péter. Newswire Analysis: Google Scholar’s Ghost Authors, Lost Authors, and Other Problems Jacsó, Péter. “Google Scholar Author Citation Tracker: is it too little, too late? “Online Information Review 36.1 (2012): 126-141. Jacsó, Péter. “Using Google Scholar for journal impact factors and the h-index in nationwide publishing assessments in academia–siren songs and air-raid sirens.” Online Information Review 36.3 (2012): 462-478. Jacso – Savvy Searching Columns, Online Information Review 17/11/13 44
  45. 45. Bad Google Scholar Results | Academic Librarian Gray, Jerry E., et al. Scholarish: Google Scholar and its Value to the Sciences. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. Summer 2012 Hamilton, Michelle C, Janz, Margaret M and Hauser, Alexandra. Can librarians trust resources found on Google Scholar? Yes… and no. Impact of Social Sciences: Maximizing the impact of academic research .17 September 2012. Kramer, Bianca and Sieverts, Eric. Beyond coverage #ili2012. Slideshare. 27 October 2012. HLWIKI International. Google scholar bibliography. UBC HealthLib Wiki - A Knowledge-Base for Health Librarians. 17/11/13 45
  46. 46. Google Scholar advanced search commands Use advanced search screen or commands as follows: + sign before a search term to force an exact match, for example +norne “....” around phrases for example “environmental remediation” intitle: to search for a single word in the title, for example intitle:zeolites environmental remediation allintitle: to search for all of your terms in the title, for example allintitle:zeolites environmental remediation author: to search on an author’s name, for example zeolites environmental remediation author:rhodes site: to limit your search to specific institution for example marcellus shale Commands can be combined for a precise search, for example author:wolford allintitle:marcellus shale 17/11/13 46
  47. 47. Create your own Google custom search engine For – regularly searched sites – selected sites on a subject or type of organisation Cannot include password protected sources or sites where you have to fill in a form to access the information Google's blog on custom search 17 November 2013 Karen Blakeman 47
  48. 48. Keeping up to date Inside Search Official Google Blog Google Scholar Blog SearchReSearch : Search Engine Land Search Engine Watch Karen Blakeman’s Blog Phil Bradley's weblog 17/11/13 48
  49. 49. Fact sheets The fact sheets are available at Search Strategies - Top Search Tips – Search Strategies - Selected Google Commands – Search Strategies - Google Search Tips – Search Strategies - Search Tools Summary and Comparison – 17/11/13 49