Searching without Google


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Alternatives to Google for locating information. Presentation given at Internet Librarian International, 28th October 2011, London.

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  • 29/10/11 (c) Karen Blakeman 2011
  • 29/10/11 (c) Karen Blakeman 2011
  • Searching without Google

    1. 1. Searching without Internet Librarian International, 2011 Karen Blakeman Twitter: @karenblakeman This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
    2. 2. How Google works <ul><li>“ Dear Bing, We Have 10,000 Ranking Signals To Your 1,000. Love, Google” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>over 200 hundred “signals” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>many have over 50 variations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2010 Revenues $29 billion (net income $8.5 billion) </li></ul><ul><li>2011 Q1+Q2+Q3=$27 billion (net income $7) (unaudited) </li></ul><ul><li>/ </li></ul>29/10/11
    3. 3. Google can seriously damage your news <ul><li>Experiment by Mary Ellen Bates </li></ul><ul><li>Is Google really filtering my news? - Librarian of Fortune </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Highlights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than a quarter of the stories showed up in only one searcher’s results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost one in five searchers saw a story that no one else saw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 12% of searchers saw the same three stories in the same order </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And it’s about to get worse - Google News Launches &quot;Standout&quot; Tag for Featured Content </li></ul>29/10/11
    4. 4. Google knows us so well 29/10/11 Google personalises and tailors your results depending on your location, computer, browser, past searches, what you have looked at in the past, your +1s, your blocked sites, Google experiments, your Google+ account, your other social networks, what you do on your android phone, what you had for breakfast...and anything else it can find by rummaging around in your Google dashboard. Check your dashboard at
    5. 5. Google knows best 29/10/11 Hewish mild Google decided to change my search to Jewish mild = Google decides that coots are lions – changed a search for coots mating behaviour to lions mating behaviour
    6. 6. <ul><li>Google is doing its own thing: </li></ul><ul><li>assuming typos without giving you the option to refuse the so-called “correction” </li></ul><ul><li>looking for obscure variations and synonyms </li></ul><ul><li>‘ +’ sign to enforce exact match has been removed </li></ul><ul><li>sometimes ignores quotation marks around phrases </li></ul><ul><li>not including all of your terms in the search </li></ul><ul><li>What I see on my screen for a search is not what you’ll see on yours for the same search </li></ul>29/10/11 Time to REBEL!
    7. 7. Yahoo!? <ul><li>Now uses Bing’s web and image databases and generates the same results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>except in Japan and Korea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Losing its unique commands </li></ul><ul><li>Up for sale? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there any point in using it for general searching? </li></ul>29/10/11
    8. 8. <ul><li>Often more up to date and some unique content </li></ul><ul><li>Results tend to be more consumer/retail oriented </li></ul><ul><li>But Bing advanced search screen minimalist - need to use commands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>detailed list at Advanced Operator Reference (some no longer work) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bing Adds Adaptive Search, Customized by Your Search History - Search Engine Watch </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>29/10/11
    9. 9. Bing Maps <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Classic” </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>uses Sliverlight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more interactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>automatically changes type of view as you zoom in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multimap, Birdseye, Aerial, Streetside (not available for all towns or countries), Ordnance Survey Map view </li></ul><ul><li>“ After Little Resistance in Germany, Bing Expands Streetside Photos Across Europe” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Often has problems finding correct location </li></ul>29/10/11
    10. 10. Bing Maps 29/10/11 ??
    11. 11. DuckDuckGo <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>No tracking, no “filter bubble” </li></ul><ul><li>site: inbody: intitle: filetype: </li></ul><ul><li>sort:date to sort by date (uses results from Blekko) </li></ul><ul><li>region:cc (e.g. de) to boost a country </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax and keyboard shortcuts at </li></ul><ul><li>Maths, conversions, programming syntax and shortcuts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>answer at top of results usually from Wolfram Alpha </li></ul></ul><ul><li>!bang commands </li></ul>29/10/11
    12. 12. Blekko <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>slashtags for sorting by date (/date), searching for images (/images) and videos (/videos) </li></ul><ul><li>Use public slashtags to search a group of web sites covering a particular topic or type of site e.g. /library </li></ul><ul><li>Or create your own to search your specified list of sites (similar to Google Custom Search Engines) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wind turbine electricity generation /karenblakeman/renewable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Musings about librarianship: Using Blekko to search across thousands of library sites” </li></ul>29/10/11
    13. 13. Blekko <ul><li>Does not always search for all of your terms </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot do filetype, inurl, intitle searches </li></ul><ul><li>Drop down menu next to page in results list for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>site search (or use /site) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>similar pages (or use /similar) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inbound links to the page (or use /links) </li></ul></ul>29/10/11
    14. 14. Wolfram Alpha <ul><li>“ Computational Knowledge Engine” </li></ul><ul><li>Very good for calculations and conversions </li></ul><ul><li>Curated information </li></ul><ul><li>Can be very out of date </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes very wrong </li></ul><ul><li>No references to original source </li></ul><ul><li>Have to ask the question in the right way </li></ul>29/10/11
    15. 15. Zanran <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Zanran – a new data search engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>29/10/11
    16. 16. Microsoft Academic Search <ul><li> </li></ul>29/10/11
    17. 17. Microsoft Academic Search <ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sometimes gets the author completely wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Will the Real Scott Wilson Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up” </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>29/10/11 M Edwards should be Martin Edwards not Maria-Benedicta Edwards
    18. 18. News - 29/10/11
    19. 19. Selected specialist tools - URLs <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>29/10/11
    20. 20. A few specialist tools 29/10/11
    21. 21. A few more specialist tools 29/10/11
    22. 22. Statistics 29/10/11
    23. 23. The Guardian <ul><li>Guardian data store - data journalism and data visualization h ttp:// </li></ul><ul><li>Data and analysis on topics that are in the news, links to the original datasets are provided </li></ul><ul><li>Guardian World Government Data </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>29/10/11
    24. 24. 29/10/11
    25. 25. 29/10/11
    26. 26. – ‘Trend this’ 29/10/11
    27. 27. Create your own search engine <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a slashtag </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musings about librarianship: Using Blekko to search across thousands of library sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gigablast Custom Topic Search </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>up to 500 sites </li></ul></ul>29/10/11
    28. 28. Want to explore other stuff? <ul><li>Type in your search once and work your way through the search tools </li></ul><ul><li>Can edit the order of the search tools and remove unwanted ones </li></ul>29/10/11