EDU 626 Integration of Educational Technology Spring 2013Lost in the net? Navigating Search Engines
2 Define “search engine”? What is a search engine?− Essentially, a search engine is a computer program. The biggest ones, such as Google, Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask, use giant clusters of computers to search the web. Others search only the owner’s site • http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/about-search-engines
3 A more scholarly definition search engine− Originally, a hardware device designed to search a text-based database for specific character strings (queries) typed as input by the user. More recently, computer software designed to help the user locate information available at sites on the World Wide Web by selecting categories from a hierarchical directory of subjects (example: Yahoo!) or by entering appropriate keywords or phrases (Google, Hotbot, etc.). Most Web search engines allow the searcher to use Boolean logic and truncation in search statements. • Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science
4 Huh? What’s the core of that definition?− “designed to help the user locate information available at sites on the World Wide Web”− Two methods involved to locate that information: 1. from a hierarchical directory of subjects 2. by entering appropriate keywords or phrases
6 Example of a web directory?This is the way it used to behistorically, thatis! But is Yahoo!a directory now?
7 Another example—that exists today!HotVsNot.com is a premium web directory focusedon providing high- quality, well-categorized listingsof business-related websites.http://www.hotvsnot. com/About/ http://www.hotvsnot.com/
8 Entering appropriate keywords or phrases What is a keyword?− A “keyword” or “keyword Phrase” is the word or words a person types into the search box on a search engine to look up subject matter on the Internet. If you are looking for a flag for your home or office, you might type in “American Flags”. • SEO Questions & Answers (FAQ)
9 How does a search engine work? 3 basic tasks of search engines:1. They search the Internet -- or select pieces of the Internet -- based on important words.2. They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them.3. They allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index. • How Internet Search Engines Work by Curt Franklin
11 What does this mean?1. You are not searching the Web directly, and not even a snapshot of the Web, either2. You are not even searching all of the Web, only the websites that have been crawled by the search engine’s bots3. The indexes do not distinguish the keywords by their meaning—they’re simply a collection of words with the links to where they occur [it’s not for nothing that one of the metasearch engines is called Dogpile!]
12 What about the order of appearance? How search engines rank web pages? Search engines can only rank a web site by the text information they read on a web page Search engines rank a web page by “a formula” [or “algorithm”] Search engines rank sites by user priority Search engines rank page titles Page names affect ranking results Search engines value the RIGHT Domain Name Search engines rank web pages by the words they contain How does Google rank websites?
13 Can you improve your site’s ranking? What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?− SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.
14 What does all this mean? Your mileage will vary!− When you compare your search across different search engines
15 Results vary for the same search engine, too! Google Now Personalizes Everyone’s Search Results− By watching what you click on in search results, Google can learn that you favor particular sites. For example, if you often search and click on links from Amazon that appear in Google’s results, over time, Google learns that you really like Amazon. In reaction, it gives Amazon a ranking boost. That means you start seeing more Amazon listings, perhaps for searches where Amazon wasn’t showing up before.− In particular, we now have two “flavors” of personalized search, or “Web History” as is the official Google name for it. There’s Signed-Out Web History and Signed-In Web History. • Dec 4, 2009 at 6:18pm ET by Danny Sullivan
16 Google’s justification Basics: Search history personalization− By personalizing your results based on your search history, we hope to deliver you the most useful, relevant content for your search. Search history personalization is just one of the ways that we show you more personalized search results. Learn more about personal results− When youre signed in, Google personalizes your search experience based on your Google Web History. • You can turn off Google Web History • You can also view and remove individual items • You can also turn off personal results− When youre not signed in, Google personalizes your search experience based on past search information linked to your browser, using a cookie. . . . If you dont want to see results personalized based on your search history while you are signed out, you can turn off search history personalization.
17 Limiting your search results Phrase search
18 Focusing your search queries Field Search− Field searching is an optional way to focus your search results. With general search engines, youre searching the full text of many millions of pages, and field searching can help you retrieve results that may be more manageable. For example, you can search for words that appear within a particular Web site, within the URL (Web address), in the page title, and so on. The exact technique for doing this can differ among search engines, so be sure to check out the Help pages before proceeding. • Basic Search Techniques
19 Field search commands Title field− Google allintitle:− Bing intitle:− Searches for keywords only in the title of a website− e. g. allintitle:hurricane caribbean deaths− intitle:hurricane caribbean deaths Limit to specific website− Both Google and Bing use site:− e. g. site:nasa.gov