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The Backward OX
10-03-2010, 04:05 AM
Iíve heard thereís more to accurate, in-depth ways of searching the internet than a simple Google search, but I haven't been told exactly what's involved.

Iíve heard that Google has designed-in limitations.

The only refinement I know is to use double quotation marks around the search term.

Can anyone add to this?

stitchingirl
10-03-2010, 05:59 AM
I don't know if I'm answering the question right or not. But I have found out, just from doing research for school essays, that it often depends on how you word things. There are lots of search engines out there, besides Google. I, myself, use Yahoo, and have been tinkering with Bing.

Jessianodel
10-03-2010, 06:28 AM
I stick with google, but i know you can also use kartoo, dogpile, yahoo, and cactisearch

Captcha
10-03-2010, 06:59 AM
Check out:

http://www.libraryspot.com/features/invisibleweb.htm

I don't know if it's the best resource on the topic, but it's worked for me.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-03-2010, 07:00 AM
Google has some alternative searches that only search academic sites.

http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&tab=ws

Specifically what are you trying to find?

The Backward OX
10-03-2010, 07:03 AM
Google has some alternative searches that only search academic sites.

http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en&tab=ws

Specifically what are you trying to find?
It was a general question.

Silver King
10-03-2010, 07:23 AM
Whatever the topic or search engine you use, unless you're specific with search parameters, you'll receive countless hits for just about any subject.


For example, while using Google just now, Backward Ox, in quotes, brought up more than six thousand results. Without quotes, over one million.

The Backward OX
10-03-2010, 07:46 AM
Whatever the topic or search engine you use, unless you're specific with search parameters, you'll receive countless hits for just about any subject.
What I was really wondering about was whether there are ways to search other sites that may not come up amongst, say, the first one hundred hits when using a conventional search engine search.

Silver King
10-03-2010, 08:02 AM
This is a perhaps a bit off-topic, but becoming creative with that search term brings up just fourteen hits, of which just two nail it precisely.
That's what I meant earlier in regards to honing search parameters. As you've seen, it works, as long as you narrow your search terms as much as possible.

The Backward OX
10-03-2010, 08:15 AM
Check out:

http://www.libraryspot.com/features/invisibleweb.htm

I don't know if it's the best resource on the topic, but it's worked for me.
I'll check it out. Thanks.

benbradley
10-03-2010, 08:31 AM
Yes, there's Yahoo and Dogpile, but I haven't used either of them in close to ten years. Google works for just about all of my general searches. But there can be more than meets the eye to using a search engine - for one thing, you have to check out the options and the "advanced" stuff.

Google has many options, as this page demonstrates:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

Also, the line across the top lets you search for, for example, the latest news on a topic or celebrity who's, for example, mentioned on the radio as being the latest jerk, or trending on Twitter and you want to know why. Under "more" there are other specialized searches. Groups, for what it's worth searches both "Google Groups" mailing lists/forums and Usenet newsgroups, conflating (?) them as if they were the same thing. If you don't know what Usenet or newsgroups are, that's okay...

IMHO, much of that "invisible web" isn't really hidden, it's invisible because most people only look at the first page of results or only look based on one or a very few keywords. Composing a good string for a search engine takes some finesse and thought. I often try several slightly different search strings if the earlier results don't show what I think is out there. Perhaps you've hear the term "google fu."

There ARE specialized search engines, sometimes called metasearch engines. One I've often used for buying books is:
http://bookfinder.com
It searches the most popular book selling sites and databases at once for a book title and/or author, including Amazon, Alibris, and Powell's, and returns the results sorted by price. I've located and bought many books by using it. Often Amazon's used sellers do NOT have the lowest price, and it finds books that aren't available on Amazon. There's a similar competing one at:
http://addall.com

There are other useful but very task-specific sites, such as - you're addressing a (snail-mail) letter or package to a US destination and you want to know the zip code. This webpage will tell you:
http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp

For finding bottom-dollar prices on computer parts, this site is good:
http://www.pricewatch.com/ (buyer beware, the lowest price probably doesn't have the best service)
I think Google has some "shopping" option or whatot, but I first saw Pricewatch probably over ten years ago and I like the interface. In recent years it has gotten into general merchandise.

I'm starting to think I should write some article or blogpost on this topic ... it looks like I just did.

kuwisdelu
10-03-2010, 08:44 AM
Well, there are certain sites Google doesn't search. If it's reported to Google that a certain site is known to exist for no other purpose than as a source of viruses, trojans, phishing, etc., it will likely be excluded from searches. Of course, these kinds of sites are ones you wouldn't want to show up in your search anyway.

As benbradley mentioned, the biggest alternative I can think of are alternative databases for specialized searches, like Google scholar. Many universities for instance offer access to databases like ScienceDirect, which searches academic journal articles, which won't show up on your ordinary search.

Linda Adams
10-03-2010, 03:36 PM
In Google, click Advanced Search. That gives you a lot of of other choices.

Otherwise, a lot of it is going to be the keywords you choose. You often have to be quite creative and come up with variations on them to get results. As an example, I've been searching for organization tips for right brained people:

Time Management Tips
Organization Tips
Right brained organization
Right brained time management
Right brained organization tips
Right brained time management tips
Pilers time management
pilers time management tips
Pilers organization
Pilers organization tips
Organization for Creative People
Time Management for Creative People

Even those these are similar, they sometimes yield different results. And sometimes you have to find different terminology to get the results you want.

Captcha
10-03-2010, 04:10 PM
The hidden internet is huge, and real.

Any serious researcher uses a wide variety of databases to search scholarly journals, primary documents, etc., and will find things that don't show up on Google. One reason they don't show up is that many of the best databases charge a fee for access to their documents. Libraries may or may not pay this fee in order to allow their users access.

If your character is just looking for general information, Google is fine. If your character is doing research, s/he needs to use the databases and other sources of information. In non-computer terms - think of Google as being the encyclopedia, and the databases as being the stacks (of non-fiction books).

dpaterso
10-03-2010, 04:22 PM
Other obvious options that you probably know, putting a hyphen or minus sign before a word, e.g. -backward means webpages containing this word should be ignored, or at least given less priority so the links appear further from the top of the results list. And the site: option, e.g. site:absolutewrite.com narrows the search to only the named website.

-Derek

Puma
10-03-2010, 05:08 PM
http://www.thesearchenginelist.com/

This website has a list of all the search engines. I used to use Lycos a lot because it came up with things I couldn't find anywhere else. I also used Excite and Alta Vista quite a bit (this was 10+ years ago). Since then, there have been a lot of new search engines added including BING. Anymore I pretty much stick to Google but do once in a while use Lycos.

If you don't bookmark this website, you can find it by doing a search for search engines in Google. Puma

Debbie V
10-05-2010, 06:16 AM
Sometimes local libraries allow access to other sites, more topic specific. Local universities can be a good resource too. Ask the librarian at your reference desk for help.

There are also sites for speakers bureaus so you can find someone to help with research on specific topics and pick there brains.

dclary
10-07-2010, 12:40 AM
I like to pull up a 3D-representation of the data environment around me, and then navigate it through "rooms" or "folders" representing the data I'm searching for clustered by type or subject.

At this point, little kids usually interject "This is a unix system! I know this!"

;)


The trick to google (or any search engine) is in knowing how to pick the words you're looking for, and how to eliminate chaff or chatter from your results. Each tool is different.

Many times Google will indicate that the items you're looking for are in specialized (i.e. pay/internal access only) sites, and you'll need a way in there (for instance, lexis-nexus, or one of the big premium search engines). There are a few federal judicial databases that I'm in, but other than seeing the case name, I can't see much beyond that without paying for a membership to that dataset.

mtrenteseau
10-07-2010, 04:27 PM
The only refinement I know is to use double quotation marks around the search term.

Some search engines allow Boolean searches, using symbols to represent AND, BUT, OR, and NOT.

I sometimes do an eBay search for items by Black, Starr, and Frost. To weed out listings for genealogy resources that put thousands of last names into the description, I add -genealogy to the search.

Double quotes will return search results with the words in the quotes exactly as written, which is useful if you're looking for Marshall Field (the department store founder) and don't want to sift through pages of stories about field marshalls.

Searches will sometimes find similar words and add those results; a + before the term will limit to just that spelling. +meyer, for example, won't give you mayer.

DrZoidberg
10-07-2010, 05:08 PM
Web Crawlers.

They're designed to ferret out specific types of information, especially information that is intended not to be searchable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_crawler