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Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips & Tricks NGS FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE, 2009 Raleigh, NC JORDAN JONES E-mail: jordan@genealogymedia.com Web: genealogymedia.com Blog: genealogymedia.com/blog/
ONE MUST START WITH A DISCUSSION OF ACCESS … 1 – Access: Search and Navigation
The Librarian’s Definition “The availability of or permission to use records.”  – Archives & Records Management Handbook, Oregon State U., http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives/handbook/definitions/ “… the purpose of librarianship – enabling people to identify, locate, and use the information that will meet their … needs.” – The Information Professional’s Glossary, SIRLS, Arizona State U., http://www.sir.arizona.edu/resources/glossary.html © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  3
The Web Technologist’s Definition ,[object Object]
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).	So with this much content, how do you access the genealogical information you’re looking for? © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  4
Web Access Navigation – That is, clicking through a pre-defined path in a website to find the information you need.   	A good navigation path is like a searchlight in fog. Search – Search is especially helpful:  If you do not even know what website to use, or  If you need to find information on a website and do not know how to navigate to the information. © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  5
Design for Access 	A good web designer will focus on improving customer success through both paths (search and navigation) to the information © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  6
How search Engines work,  and kinds of searches 2 – Search © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  7
How Search Engines Work ,[object Object]
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 Sauce.© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  8
The Search Cycle © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  9
Word Searches ,[object Object]
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.Google: Jane Graham +genealogy  © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  10
Phrase and Boolean Searches ,[object Object]
Boolean ORFor both Google and Yahoo, OR must be in all caps.Google/Yahoo: “Jane Graham” OR “Graham Jane”© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  11
Proximity Searches ,[object Object],© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  12
Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts Yahoo Shortcuts are pre-coded quick ways to get specific kinds of information:     http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/ Google Search Features operate in a similar way:  http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features.html © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  13
Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts ,[object Object]
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 150 USD in EUR© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  14
Example Yahoo & Google Search Shortcuts ,[object Object]
zip codeProvides the Zip Code or Codes for an areasYahoo: Raleigh zip code
Local search Yahoo/Google: cemetery Raleigh or cemetery 27601	© 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  15
Advanced Searches Synonym or “like”Limit results to pages including synonyms of your search term or phrase. Google: “Jane Graham” OR “Graham Jane” ~genealogy 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 © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  16
Site- and Domain-Class-Specific Searches Site-specific Limit results to pages on a specific site Google/Yahoo: site:usgenweb.org Site-class specificLimit results to pages in a certain domain class, such as .org or .govGoogle/Yahoo: site:.org © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  17
Exclude Sites / Soundex Exclude Specific Site Find pages, but exclude a specific site.Google/Yahoo: Gregg –site:www.usgennet.org  Soundex – Available on many genealogy websites, and not only for census records. © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  18
Exclude Words and Phrases  Exclude WordLimit results by excluding pages that include a particular word. Google: –murder Exclude PhraseLimit results by excluding pages that include a particular phrase. Google: –“Jane Graham”  © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  19
Most Sites Have Search Tips © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  20 Read the Tips
Follow a predictable path for Predictable Results 3 – Search Methodology © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  21
Search Methodology Look for advanced search pages Yahoo: http://search.yahoo.com/web/advancedGoogle: http://www.google.com/advanced_search Read the site’s search guidelines Yahoo: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/Google: http://www.google.com/support/websearch/ Experiment! If your search fails to yield results, map out strategies to refine searches to be either more or less specific     Plan your more complex Internet searches the way you would plan a trip to a major repository © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  22
Google Advanced Search © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  23
Google Advanced Search Additional Items © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  24
Yahoo Advanced Search © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  25
Google Alerts You can have Google search in the background and send results on a regular basis:  http://www.google.com/alerts/ Search News, Blogs, Web, Video, Groups or Comprehesive Get results when Google finds them (“as-it-happens”), daily or weekly Results are delivered to your e-mail © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  26
Google Alerts © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  27
Using a search engine to its Potential 4 – A Sample Search © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  28
Finding Jane Graham 	Facts: Jane Graham, was born in 1811 and died unmarried in 1854. She lived her life in Monroe County, VA (now WV). 	Q: How do I search for her? © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  29 A: By increasing the specificity of my search.
Jane Graham (1.45 Million) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  30
“Jane Graham” (50,600) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  31
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” (287) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  32
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1854 (193) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  33
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 (1o5) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  34
Google Page Date Search © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  35 Expandable Portion of Advanced Search Window for Page Date, Numeric Range and other settings
“Jane Graham” “Monroe County” 1811..1854 This Year (28) © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  36
A Caveat About “Page Date” Searches on Google Stephen Morse points out that Google is really tracking when they indexed a page, not when the page was last modified.  Probably a better search for the age of a web page is Stephen Morse’s:  http://stevemorse.org/google/googledate.html 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. © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  37
Site-specific search on Google and Yahoo and searches at Newspaperarchive.com and footnote 4 – Additional Search Examples © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  38
Searching a Specific Site Say I want to know all of the mentions of the surname “Gregg” on the US GenNet site for Nance County, NE http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/county/nance/ ,[object Object],Gregg site:www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/county/nance/  © 2008 GenealogyMedia.com  39

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Beyond Google: Advanced Internet Search Tips and Tricks

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