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Searching without Google


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Online Information 2011 pre-conference workshop delivered on 28th November 2011, Olympia, London

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Searching without Google

  1. Searching without Google Online Information, 2011 #online11 Karen Blakeman Twitter: @karenblakeman This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License X X X X
  2. Outline for the day <ul><li>Overview of how Google (possibly) works, current issues and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative general search tools </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist search tools, including social media </li></ul><ul><li>Your strategies for the future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please note: the printed slides were created over a week ago and there may have been new developments since then. This means that in the live workshop we may cover additional tools and techniques or that some may no longer be available. </li></ul></ul>27/11/11
  3. Google knows best 27/11/11 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
  4. No plus sign any more and Google ignores “...” <ul><li>Dear Google, stop messing with my search : </li></ul>27/11/11
  5. 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>27/11/11
  6. Google's Collateral Damage: SEO Cat & Mouse Game 27/11/11 <ul><li>Google revenues </li></ul><ul><li>- $29.321 billion ($8.505 billion net) </li></ul><ul><li>- Q1+Q2+Q3=$27.301 billion ($7.032 billion net) </li></ul>2011 Financial Tables - Google Investor Relations
  7. 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>Each may have over 50 variations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>/ </li></ul>27/11/11
  8. Google knows us so well 27/11/11 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
  9. <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>Looks 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>BUT we do now have Verbatim search – exact match search and removes personalisation </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>27/11/11
  10. Google Verbatim search <ul><li>Run your search first and then select Verbatim from the left hand menu on your results page </li></ul><ul><li>Appears that you can include advanced search commands in your strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Google: Verbatim for exact match search </li></ul>27/11/11
  11. Google searches – zeolites environmental remediation 27/11/11 “ Normal” search Verbatim (identical to &pws=0) Chrome Incognito
  12. Google is good at.... <ul><li>Localisation </li></ul><ul><li>Country versions give priority to local content </li></ul><ul><li>Localisation at town/city level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may have to tell Google where you are based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>don’t have to tell Google my town if I am looking a local restaurant, taxi or plumber </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>especially useful when using a mobile device </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personalisation? Varies from person to person as to whether it is useful </li></ul><ul><li>Image search </li></ul><ul><li>Maps (better than Bing for many countries) </li></ul><ul><li>Google Finance </li></ul><ul><li>Overall coverage and rolling out features worldwide </li></ul>27/11/11
  13. 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>Site Explorer gone (along with link and linkdomain commands?) </li></ul><ul><li>Up for sale? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there any point recommending it for general searching? </li></ul>27/11/11
  14. <ul><li>Sometimes more up to date than Google and some unique content </li></ul><ul><li>Results tend to be more consumer/retail oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the interesting developments and features are only ever available in the US version </li></ul><ul><li>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>27/11/11
  15. Bing 27/11/11 Bing starting to behave like Google and automatically correcting “mistakes” Need to prefix terms with + signs or use “..” around terms to force exact match
  16. 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 for UK </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>27/11/11
  17. Bing Maps 27/11/11 ??
  18. 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><ul><li>DuckDuckGo – silly name but a neat little search tool </li></ul>27/11/11
  19. DuckDuckGo 27/11/11
  20. 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. /energy </li></ul><ul><li>Or create your own slashtag 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>27/11/11
  21. 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>27/11/11
  22. Blekko link commands <ul><li>Find pages that link to a page or website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pages with similar content, what people are saying about a page, following up a story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use slashtags ‘/links’ and ‘/domainlinks’ with a URL or domain me.  </li></ul><ul><ul><li> /links will find pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> /domainlinks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yahoo Site Explorer closes – try Blekko instead </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>27/11/11
  23. – seo option for links to a page 27/11/11
  24. iSeek - web <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Google as a source as well as Bing and its own crawler </li></ul>27/11/11
  25. iSeek - education 27/11/11
  26. 27/11/11
  27. (uses Yahoo) 27/11/11
  28. Finding country specific search engines <ul><li>Difficult to find up to date listings </li></ul><ul><li>Country search engines and Regional Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Country versions of main search engines </li></ul><ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baidu </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Russia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yandex </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Czech Republic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seznam </li></ul></ul>
  29. 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>27/11/11
  30. Google Scholar <ul><li>A useful place to start your research or if you are looking for a specific paper but..... </li></ul><ul><li>No source list, not comprehensive and omits many key scientific publications </li></ul><ul><li>Does not use publishers’ meta data </li></ul><ul><li>Author search unreliable, search on year of publication unreliable </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes does weird things with your search terms </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Jasco - Google Scholar's Ghost Authors, Lost Authors, and Other Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Even so, better in some ways than the free competition </li></ul>27/11/11
  31. Microsoft Academic Search <ul><li> </li></ul>27/11/11
  32. 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>27/11/11 M Edwards should be Martin Edwards not Maria-Benedicta Edwards
  33. <ul><li>Desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers </li></ul>27/11/11
  34. News - 27/11/11
  35. Silobreaker - networks 27/11/11 Can change the emphasis using the slider bars
  36. Stock markets and company financials <ul><li>Yahoo Finance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Started long before Google Finance, but how much longer will it last? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More information provided by Google Finance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both use Thomson Reuters, SEC Edgar </li></ul></ul>27/11/11
  37. Yahoo Finance 27/11/11
  38. Stock markets and company financials <ul><li>Share Price and Stock Market Information </li></ul><ul><li>List of Stock Exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Official Company Registers </li></ul><ul><li>OpenCorporates: The Open Database Of The Corporate World (use with care) </li></ul>27/11/11
  39. Intute <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Closed in July 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Web site still available but not being updated. </li></ul>27/11/11
  40. 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><ul><li> </li></ul>27/11/11
  41. Chemspider <ul><li>Royal Society of Chemistry initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Information compiled from multiple sources </li></ul><ul><li>Do not need to know any chemistry to search it </li></ul>27/11/11
  42. Biznar <ul><li>Real-time federated search of selected business sources </li></ul><ul><li>Can narrow down by topic </li></ul><ul><li>Includes social media but you may want to remove at least Google Groups from the list – Advanced Search and uncheck the relevant boxes </li></ul>27/11/11
  43. TechXtra <ul><li>Engineering, mathematics and computing </li></ul><ul><li>Good for technical reports and specifications </li></ul>27/11/11
  44. PhilPapers <ul><li>“ PhilPapers is a comprehensive directory of online philosophical articles and books by academic philosophers.” </li></ul><ul><li>Human and editorial input - not just a “bot” </li></ul>27/11/11
  45. Mednar <ul><li>By the same people who created Biznar </li></ul>27/11/11
  46. Scirus <ul><li>Elsevier </li></ul><ul><li>Both journals and independent web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Good advanced search options </li></ul><ul><li>Full text of most journal articles priced </li></ul>27/11/11
  47. Pubmed 27/11/11
  48. Healthmash <ul><li>Pulls together information from a variety of health related web sites and social media </li></ul>27/11/11
  49. Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Veterinärmedizin 27/11/11
  50. COnnecting REpositories - CORE <ul><li> / </li></ul><ul><li>“ UK’s first open access full-text search engine to aid research JISC” </li></ul>27/11/11
  51. Yet more..... <ul><li>Institutional Repository Search </li></ul><ul><li>BioMed Central | The Open Access Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>DOAJ -- Directory of Open Access Journals </li></ul>27/11/11
  52. <ul><li>Where to find new scholarly research papers: 30 key, free websites Roddy Macleod's Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Selected resources from the blog and comments </li></ul><ul><li>Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology : </li></ul><ul><li>DRIVER Search Portal </li></ul><ul><li>NEP: New Economics Papers </li></ul><ul><li>CiteULike: Everyone's library </li></ul><ul><li>The DART-Europe E-theses Portal (DEEP) </li></ul><ul><li>HighWire (Stanford University) </li></ul>27/11/11
  53. Statistics 27/11/11
  54. 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>27/11/11
  55. Open Data Directory <ul><li> </li></ul>27/11/11
  56. Zanran <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Zanran – a new data search engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>27/11/11
  57. Market research <ul><li>Use aggregators as an index to identify likely publishers and go direct to those publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Research and Markets </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Report Buyer </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MindBranch </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>27/11/11
  58. Images - Bing 27/11/11
  59. Bing 27/11/11 Options in the left hand sidebar similar to Google “ More sizes” but no “similar” option
  60. Bing – Visual Search 27/11/11 Not available in all country versions – content varies
  61. Bing – Visual Search 27/11/11 Check accuracy of associated information - may be out of date
  62. Flickr <ul><li>Flickr Creative Commons or advanced search screen </li></ul><ul><li>Use Advanced Search for date options </li></ul>27/11/11
  63. Compfight – <ul><li>Search interface for Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Can select Creative Commons or photos that can be used commercially </li></ul>27/11/11
  64. Images - other sources for Creative Commons and public domain images <ul><li>Idee Inc Multicolr Search Lab </li></ul><ul><li>Wikimedia Commons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>check the licence information towards the bottom of the page e.g. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> - public domain </li></ul><ul><li>Geograph Creative Commons 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the images on US government web sites are public domain (but do check) </li></ul><ul><li>NASA - public domain </li></ul>27 November 2011 Karen Blakeman
  65. Multicolr Search Lab <ul><li>Search for up to 5 colours – can adjust proportions of colour </li></ul><ul><li>No key word searching of content </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr creative commons images – clicking on an image takes you to its Flickr page </li></ul>27 November 2011 Karen Blakeman
  66. Video <ul><li>YouTube, Google Video search (not the same as YouTube) </li></ul><ul><li>, </li></ul><ul><li>iTunes, iTunes U </li></ul><ul><li>Blinkx - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>good for catching up with news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zuula - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>click on the video tab </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Browsys Finder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>click on the video tab </li></ul></ul>27 November 2011 Karen Blakeman
  67. Bing Videos 27/11/11
  68. Social media as part of search <ul><li>Social and professional networks included in both Google’s and Bing’s results – degree of integration depends on whether you are signed in to an account </li></ul><ul><li>It is where many organisations and companies market and promote their services and products </li></ul><ul><li>It is where the conversations about companies, products and services are taking place </li></ul><ul><li>It is where people share information </li></ul><ul><li>People expect organisations to automatically pick up on their complaints and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Now an essential part of search </li></ul>27/11/11
  69. <ul><li>For companies as well as people </li></ul><ul><li>Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting </li></ul>27/11/11
  70. – ‘Trend this’ 27/11/11
  71. 27/11/11
  72. 27/11/11
  73. Icerocket 27/11/11
  74. 27/11/11
  75. - create your own newspaper 27/11/11
  76. – individual Twitterstream 27/11/11
  77. – keyword 27/11/11
  78. Suffering withdrawal symptoms? 27/11/11 Decide which sites you want to search and design your own Google custom search engine
  79. Create your own search engine using something else <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>27/11/11
  80. 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>27/11/11
  81. Keeping up to date <ul><li>Inside Search </li></ul><ul><li>Official Google Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Land </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Watch </li></ul><ul><li>Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting </li></ul><ul><li>Karen Blakeman’s Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Phil Bradley's weblog </li></ul>27/11/11