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Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips & Tricks<br />NGS FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE, 2009<br />Raleigh, NC<br />JORDA...
ONE MUST START WITH A DISCUSSION OF ACCESS …<br />1 – Access: Search and Navigation<br />
The Librarian’s Definition<br />“The availability of or permission to use records.” <br />– Archives & Records Management ...
The Web Technologist’s Definition<br /><ul><li>For web sites, access similarly describes the permission and ability for pe...
In July 2008, Google’s search bots had reached 1 trillion unique URLs (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-...
Web Access<br />Navigation – That is, clicking through a pre-defined path in a website to find the information you need.  ...
Design for Access<br />	A good web designer will focus on improving customer success through both paths (search and naviga...
How search Engines work, <br />and kinds of searches<br />2 – Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />7<br />
How Search Engines Work<br /><ul><li>Web-Crawling “Spiders”The search engine has computer programs “crawl” through all the...
CachingSome web search applications (such as Google) store (cache) all the pages they crawl
IndexingThe search engine creates and manages an index of all the words found on the pages crawled
RankingLinks delivered are ranked in terms of relevance, popularity, authoritativeness and other criteria: The Secret Sauc...
The Search Cycle<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />9<br />
Word Searches<br /><ul><li>Word (Implicit AND)If you list two words, such as Jane Graham, find pages that include “Jane” a...
Word (Explicit Inclusion) Google includes plurals and synonyms in searches; both Google and Yahoo ignore common words.
To instead ignore plurals and synonyms on Google
To include common words on both Yahoo and Google, preface a term with a plus (+) sign.</li></ul>Google: Jane Graham +genea...
Phrase and Boolean Searches<br /><ul><li>Phrase Find pages that include “Jane Graham”Google/Yahoo: “Jane Graham” Often, yo...
Boolean ORFor both Google and Yahoo, OR must be in all caps.Google/Yahoo: “Jane Graham” OR “Graham Jane”</li></ul>© 2008 G...
Proximity Searches<br /><ul><li>Proximity / WildcardFind pages where “Jane” is near “Graham”.Google: Jane * Graham OR Grah...
Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br />Yahoo Shortcuts are pre-coded quick ways to get specific kinds of information:    <br...
Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br /><ul><li>defineGet a dictionary definition of a termYahoo/Google: define genea...
factsProvides the Columbia Encyclopedia entry along with other search resultsYahoo: Sir Walter Raleigh facts
convertConverts one unit of measure (weight, measures, temperatures) to anotherYahoo/Google: convert 28 lbs to stones or 1...
Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br /><ul><li>area codeFind an area code for a localeYahoo: Raleigh area code Yahoo...
zip codeProvides the Zip Code or Codes for an areasYahoo: Raleigh zip code
Local search Yahoo/Google: cemetery Raleigh or cemetery 27601	</li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />15<br />
Advanced Searches<br />Synonym or “like”Limit results to pages including synonyms of your search term or phrase. Google: “...
Site- and Domain-Class-Specific Searches<br />Site-specific Limit results to pages on a specific site Google/Yahoo: site:u...
Exclude Sites / Soundex<br />Exclude Specific Site Find pages, but exclude a specific site.Google/Yahoo: Gregg –site:www.u...
Exclude Words and Phrases <br />Exclude WordLimit results by excluding pages that include a particular word. Google: –murd...
Most Sites Have Search Tips<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />20<br />Read the Tips<br />
Follow a predictable path for Predictable Results<br />3 – Search Methodology<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />21<br />
Search Methodology<br />Look for advanced search pages Yahoo: http://search.yahoo.com/web/advancedGoogle: http://www.googl...
Google Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />23<br />
Google Advanced Search Additional Items<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />24<br />
Yahoo Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />25<br />
Google Alerts<br />You can have Google search in the background and send results on a regular basis: <br />http://www.goog...
Google Alerts<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />27<br />
Using a search engine to its Potential<br />4 – A Sample Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />28<br />
Finding Jane Graham<br />	Facts: Jane Graham, was born in 1811 and died unmarried in 1854. She lived her life in Monroe Co...
Jane Graham (1.45 Million)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />30<br />
“Jane Graham” (50,600)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />31<br />
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” (287)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />32<br />
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1854 (193)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />33<br />
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 (1o5)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />34<br />
Google Page Date Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />35<br />Expandable Portion of Advanced Search Window for Page...
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 This Year (28)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />36<br />
A Caveat About “Page Date” Searches on Google<br />Stephen Morse points out that Google is really tracking when they index...
Site-specific search on Google and Yahoo and searches at Newspaperarchive.com and footnote<br />4 – Additional Search Exam...
Searching a Specific Site<br />Say I want to know all of the mentions of the surname “Gregg” on the US GenNet site for Nan...
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Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips and Tricks

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15 May 2009, "Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips and Tricks," NGS Family History Conference, Raleigh, NC, Session F-309

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Transcript of "Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips and Tricks"

  1. 1. Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips & Tricks<br />NGS FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE, 2009<br />Raleigh, NC<br />JORDAN JONES<br />E-mail: jordan@genealogymedia.com<br />Web: genealogymedia.com<br />Blog: genealogymedia.com/blog/<br />
  2. 2. ONE MUST START WITH A DISCUSSION OF ACCESS …<br />1 – Access: Search and Navigation<br />
  3. 3. The Librarian’s Definition<br />“The availability of or permission to use records.” <br />– Archives & Records Management Handbook, Oregon State U., http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives/handbook/definitions/<br />“… the purpose of librarianship – enabling people to identify, locate, and use the information that will meet their … needs.”<br />– The Information Professional’s Glossary, SIRLS, Arizona State U., http://www.sir.arizona.edu/resources/glossary.html<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />3<br />
  4. 4. The Web Technologist’s Definition<br /><ul><li>For web sites, access similarly describes the permission and ability for people to “identify, locate, and use information.”
  5. 5. In July 2008, Google’s search bots had reached 1 trillion unique URLs (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/we-knew-web-was-big.html).</li></ul> So with this much content, how do you access the genealogical information you’re looking for?<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />4<br />
  6. 6. Web Access<br />Navigation – That is, clicking through a pre-defined path in a website to find the information you need. <br /> A good navigation path is like a searchlight in fog.<br />Search – Search is especially helpful: <br />If you do not even know what website to use, or <br />If you need to find information on a website and do not know how to navigate to the information.<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />5<br />
  7. 7. Design for Access<br /> A good web designer will focus on improving customer success through both paths (search and navigation) to the information<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />6<br />
  8. 8. How search Engines work, <br />and kinds of searches<br />2 – Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />7<br />
  9. 9. How Search Engines Work<br /><ul><li>Web-Crawling “Spiders”The search engine has computer programs “crawl” through all the links on the web
  10. 10. CachingSome web search applications (such as Google) store (cache) all the pages they crawl
  11. 11. IndexingThe search engine creates and manages an index of all the words found on the pages crawled
  12. 12. RankingLinks delivered are ranked in terms of relevance, popularity, authoritativeness and other criteria: The Secret Sauce.</li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />8<br />
  13. 13. The Search Cycle<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />9<br />
  14. 14. Word Searches<br /><ul><li>Word (Implicit AND)If you list two words, such as Jane Graham, find pages that include “Jane” and “Graham”.Google/Yahoo: Jane Graham
  15. 15. Word (Explicit Inclusion) Google includes plurals and synonyms in searches; both Google and Yahoo ignore common words.
  16. 16. To instead ignore plurals and synonyms on Google
  17. 17. To include common words on both Yahoo and Google, preface a term with a plus (+) sign.</li></ul>Google: Jane Graham +genealogy <br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />10<br />
  18. 18. Phrase and Boolean Searches<br /><ul><li>Phrase Find pages that include “Jane Graham”Google/Yahoo: “Jane Graham” Often, you would use this with the Boolean OR command
  19. 19. Boolean ORFor both Google and Yahoo, OR must be in all caps.Google/Yahoo: “Jane Graham” OR “Graham Jane”</li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />11<br />
  20. 20. Proximity Searches<br /><ul><li>Proximity / WildcardFind pages where “Jane” is near “Graham”.Google: Jane * Graham OR Graham * Jane [where * = up to 2 words]</li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />12<br />
  21. 21. Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br />Yahoo Shortcuts are pre-coded quick ways to get specific kinds of information: <br />http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/<br />Google Search Features operate in a similar way: <br />http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />13<br />
  22. 22. Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br /><ul><li>defineGet a dictionary definition of a termYahoo/Google: define genealogy
  23. 23. factsProvides the Columbia Encyclopedia entry along with other search resultsYahoo: Sir Walter Raleigh facts
  24. 24. convertConverts one unit of measure (weight, measures, temperatures) to anotherYahoo/Google: convert 28 lbs to stones or 150 USD in EUR</li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />14<br />
  25. 25. Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts<br /><ul><li>area codeFind an area code for a localeYahoo: Raleigh area code Yahoo/Google: 919
  26. 26. zip codeProvides the Zip Code or Codes for an areasYahoo: Raleigh zip code
  27. 27. Local search Yahoo/Google: cemetery Raleigh or cemetery 27601 </li></ul>© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />15<br />
  28. 28. Advanced Searches<br />Synonym or “like”Limit results to pages including synonyms of your search term or phrase. Google: “Jane Graham” OR “Graham Jane” ~genealogy<br />WildcardsExpand results to allow wildcards (*_?) to replace one or more characters or words. The use of wildcards varies widely from site to site. Google: * stands for up to two words<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />16<br />
  29. 29. Site- and Domain-Class-Specific Searches<br />Site-specific Limit results to pages on a specific site Google/Yahoo: site:usgenweb.org<br />Site-class specificLimit results to pages in a certain domain class, such as .org or .govGoogle/Yahoo: site:.org<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />17<br />
  30. 30. Exclude Sites / Soundex<br />Exclude Specific Site Find pages, but exclude a specific site.Google/Yahoo: Gregg –site:www.usgennet.org <br />Soundex – Available on many genealogy websites, and not only for census records.<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />18<br />
  31. 31. Exclude Words and Phrases <br />Exclude WordLimit results by excluding pages that include a particular word. Google: –murder<br />Exclude PhraseLimit results by excluding pages that include a particular phrase. Google: –“Jane Graham” <br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />19<br />
  32. 32. Most Sites Have Search Tips<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />20<br />Read the Tips<br />
  33. 33. Follow a predictable path for Predictable Results<br />3 – Search Methodology<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />21<br />
  34. 34. Search Methodology<br />Look for advanced search pages Yahoo: http://search.yahoo.com/web/advancedGoogle: http://www.google.com/advanced_search<br />Read the site’s search guidelines<br />Yahoo: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/Google: http://www.google.com/support/websearch/<br />Experiment!<br />If your search fails to yield results, map out strategies to refine searches to be either more or less specific<br /> Plan your more complex Internet searches the way you would plan a trip to a major repository<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />22<br />
  35. 35. Google Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />23<br />
  36. 36. Google Advanced Search Additional Items<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />24<br />
  37. 37. Yahoo Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />25<br />
  38. 38. Google Alerts<br />You can have Google search in the background and send results on a regular basis: <br />http://www.google.com/alerts/<br />Search News, Blogs, Web, Video, Groups or Comprehesive<br />Get results when Google finds them (“as-it-happens”), daily or weekly<br />Results are delivered to your e-mail<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />26<br />
  39. 39. Google Alerts<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />27<br />
  40. 40. Using a search engine to its Potential<br />4 – A Sample Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />28<br />
  41. 41. Finding Jane Graham<br /> Facts: Jane Graham, was born in 1811 and died unmarried in 1854. She lived her life in Monroe County, VA (now WV).<br /> Q: How do I search for her?<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />29<br />A: By increasing the specificity of my search.<br />
  42. 42. Jane Graham (1.45 Million)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />30<br />
  43. 43. “Jane Graham” (50,600)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />31<br />
  44. 44. “Jane Graham” “Monroe County” (287)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />32<br />
  45. 45. “Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1854 (193)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />33<br />
  46. 46. “Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 (1o5)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />34<br />
  47. 47. Google Page Date Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />35<br />Expandable Portion of Advanced Search Window for Page Date, Numeric Range and other settings<br />
  48. 48. “Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 This Year (28)<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />36<br />
  49. 49. A Caveat About “Page Date” Searches on Google<br />Stephen Morse points out that Google is really tracking when they indexed a page, not when the page was last modified. <br />Probably a better search for the age of a web page is Stephen Morse’s: <br />http://stevemorse.org/google/googledate.html<br />But, even this can be deceptive, as any changes on a page would cause it to appear modified, and this will not apply to database-driven pages.<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />37<br />
  50. 50. Site-specific search on Google and Yahoo and searches at Newspaperarchive.com and footnote<br />4 – Additional Search Examples<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />38<br />
  51. 51. Searching a Specific Site<br />Say I want to know all of the mentions of the surname “Gregg” on the US GenNet site for Nance County, NE<br />http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/county/nance/<br /><ul><li>Google/Yahoo:</li></ul>Gregg site:www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/county/nance/ <br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />39<br />
  52. 52. Results of the Site-Specific Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />40<br />
  53. 53. NewspaperArchive.com Basic Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />41<br />Jane Graham<br />
  54. 54. NewspaperArchive.com Basic Search Results<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />42<br />3,251 hits<br />
  55. 55. NewspaperArchive.com Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />43<br />Jane Graham 1853-1855<br />
  56. 56. NewspaperArchive.com Advanced Search Results<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />44<br />
  57. 57. F00tnote.com Basic Search Results<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />45<br />36,602 Hits<br />
  58. 58. Footnote Advanced Search<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />46<br />Name, Date Range, and Specific Collection<br />
  59. 59. Footnote Advanced Search Results<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />47<br />
  60. 60. Stephen P. Morse’s One-Step Web Pages<br />No discussion of Internet search for genealogists would be complete without a discussion of Stephen Morse’s One-Step Web Pages at: <br />http://www.stevemorse.org/<br />Morse uses “deep linking” to skip past multiple search pages and get directly to the content.<br />One great example is that the One-Step site allows you to search Ancestry (if you have an account) with surnames of fewer than 3 letters. It does this by sending 26 searches for each letter you don’t specify.<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />48<br />
  61. 61. Responses to questions received in advance …<br />Questions<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />49<br />
  62. 62. Other Search Sites of Note<br />Microsoft Live Search – http://www.live.com/<br />Dogpile – http://www.dogpile.com/<br />Google Book Search – http://books.google.com/<br />Google Scholar – http://scholar.google.com/<br />Google Patent Search – http://www.google.com/patents?hl=en<br />Internet Archive (Way Back Machine) – http://www.archive.org/web/web.php<br />Live Roots – http://www.liveroots.com/<br />WorldCat– http://www.worldcat.org/<br />© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com <br />50<br />
  63. 63. Contact<br />Jordan Jones<br />jordan@genealogymedia.com<br />These slides, and the handout, are available at: http://www.genealogymedia.com/talks/<br />

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