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Google and internet search Search strategies and techniques for better results PowerPoint Presentation
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Google and internet search Search strategies and techniques for better results

Google and internet search Search strategies and techniques for better results

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Google and internet search Search strategies and techniques for better results

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  1. Google and internet search Search strategies and techniques for better results Executive Research Association 15th October 2014, London Karen Blakeman RBA Information Services Slides available on authorSTREAM, Slideshare and This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlikeLicense.

  2. Agenda • EU ruling – “right to be forgotten”, current and future implications • Google – new developments and their impact on search • Alternatives to Google • Social media search options • Top tips – from you!

  3. EU so called “right to be forgotten” ruling Mario Costeja Gonzalez Edition of Monday, January 19, 1998, page 23 - Newspaper - EU Court of Justice ruled that Google is a “data controller” under Data Protection legislation and must remove, if requested, links to information that is “inadequate, irrelevant .... or excessive” from search results on a person’s name.

  4. EU so called “right to be forgotten” ruling • Information is NOT removed from the web • Not automatic – subject has to apply to have links in search results that point to specific information about themselves removed from the results • Request will be assessed to see if the information is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” • Not just Google – all search engines with an EU presence • Only applies to searches conducted in the EU + Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein

  5. EU so called “right to be forgotten” ruling Google now removing results (and also adding back in results!) from searches in European country versions of Google Google adds removal statement from all results for searches on personal names even if nothing has been removed. (Does not apply to famous people or celebrities!) Use non-European Google to see all results e.g.,


  7. Google and the Right to Be Forgotten BBC News - Thousands of Britons seek 'right to be forgotten'

  8. Search Engine Market Share June 2014

  9. 2014 Financial Tables – Investor Relations – Google

  10. Five things you need to know about Google search • Google personalises your search • Personalises search based on • location – country, town • past search history • past browsing activity • your activity in other areas of Google e.g. YouTube, blogs, images • your activity on all your devices linked to your Google account • what other people have clicked on for similar searches • the device you are using

  11. Private browsing - quickest way “un-personalise”search • Chrome - New Incognito window Ctrl+Shift+N • FireFoxCtrl+Shift+P • Internet Explorer Ctrl+Shift+P • Opera Ctrl+Shift+N • Will not remove country personalisation • Not search engine specific, built into the browser

  12. Five things you need to know about Google search • Google automatically looks for variations on your search terms and sometimes drops terms from your search • Google now tells you which terms it has ignored (some of the time) • “..” around terms, phrases, names, titles of documents does not always work • To force an exact match and inclusion of a term in a search prefix it with ‘intext:’ intext:agricultural occupational asthma • Use Verbatim for an exact match search

  13. Let’s throw it into the soup and see if the cat licks it up

  14. Google – missing terms

  15. Google Verbatim

  16. Choosing your search terms • Google automatically looks for synonyms and variations on your terms • biofuels will find biodiesel, biogas, bio-ethanol etc. • but do not get the same results if you use biodiesel instead of biofuels • run separate searches using alternative terms • no information on how the synonyms are identified or implemented • The terms you use can radically change results • copper mining north wales • copper extraction north wales

  17. Choosing your search terms

  18. Five things you need to know about Google search • Google web search does not search everything it has in its database • two indexes: main, default index and the supplemental index • supplemental index may contain less popular, unusual, specialist material • supplemental index comes into play when Google thinks your search has returned too few results • Verbatim and some advanced search commands seems to trigger a search in the supplemental index

  19. “Normal search” 1,555,500 Search after Verbatim is applied 35,500,000

  20. Five things you need to know about Google search • Google changes its algorithms several hundred times a year How Google makes improvements to its search algorithm - YouTube

  21. Five things you need to know about Google search • We are all Google’s lab rats Just Testing: Google Users May See Up To A Dozen Experiments Mostly minor effects on search but sometimes totally bizarre results Google decides that coots are really lions Update on coots vs. lions

  22. Hummingbird • Not just an update but a completely new algorithm • No longer concentrating on separate keywords • Tries to make “sense” of your search and put it into context, natural language queries • Announced 26th September 2013 but had already been implemented for about a month • Many aspects had been tested over the previous months and past year

  23. Menu options change depending on your search

  24. Google rewrites page titles Google's Matt Cutts: Why Google Will Ignore Your Page Title Tag & Write Its Own


  26. Google Knowledge Graph and carousel

  27. Google gets it wrong again

  28. Google gets it wrong yet again Google "Henry VIII wives": Jane Seymour reveals search engine's blind spots Image courtesy of Will Oremus

  29. Google Quick Answers • “Answers” appear at top of the results page and below the ads • Try • your favourite football club • flight times • symptoms of a medical condition • Some Of The Weird Issues When Google's Quick Answers Come From Random Sources




  33. And one very, very wrong quick answer There was no link to the source for this piece of information. About 24 hours after taking this screen shot Google had corrected the error.

  34. But Google’s basic factual data may be wrong!

  35. It's Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results

  36. Google Authorship Without Google Authorship

  37. Google doesn’t need Google Authorship? How Search Engines Discover Who You Are in the Semantic Web (and why this matters to your business)

  38. Google search.... • is personalised • can change minute by minute • does not assess the quality of the information • is aimed at the consumer market and not the serious, in-depth researcher • is mostly free text search • structured search is limited even in Scholar • does not do Boolean • will change your search unless you take steps to stop it

  39. Start simple.... • See what synonyms and variations on the terms are used by Google • Think of other alternative terms that are not highlighted in the results extracts • Sometimes better to run separate searches using different terms rather than use OR • wider range and variety of results • smaller sets easier to scan and review • cannot guarantee best results will be in the first 100, 200... • Repeat one or more search terms one or more times • Change the order of your terms

  40. Country versions • Use the appropriate country version of the search engine when applicable and available • Useful for people, companies or research based/active in a particular country • for expertise in deep sea drilling, arctic oil exploration • “Local” content given priority • Will probably need to search in a foreign language

  41. Google commands • Speech marks around phrases or titles of articles “Geochemical evaluation of flowback brine from Marcellus gas wells” • Note: if Google finds no documents, or very few documents, containing your phrase it will ignore the speech marks • Verbatim – runs your search exactly as you have typed it • Search tools, All results, Verbatim (see earlier slide) • intext: before your term – term must be present and exactly as you have typed it UK public transport intext:biodiesel

  42. Google commands • Think file format • PDF for research papers, lengthy documents, government reports, industry papers • ppt or pptx for presentations, tracking down an expert on a topic • xls, xlsx or csv for data and statistics • filetype: command zeolites environmental remediation filetype:pdf zeolites environmental remediation filetype:ppt zeolites environmental remediation filetype:pptx

  43. Google commands • Site search • For searching inside websites, or groups of sites by type for example government, academic • Can exclude sites using -site: zeolites environmental remediation zeolites environmental remediation zeolites environmental remediation zeolites environmental remediation

  44. Google commands • Numeric range search • Anything to do with numbers and quantities: years, temperatures, weights, distances, prices etc • Use the advanced search screen or type in your two numbers separated by two full stops as part of your search Rhodes zeolites environmental remediation 2005..2014 toblerone 1..6 kg

  45. Google commands • Words in the title – can be single words or phrases • Ensures subject is the main focus of the article • Use advanced search screen or intitle: zeolites environmental remediation intitle:professor • Words in the URL – can be single words or phrases • zeolites environmental remediation • inurl:professor

  46. Google search options • Date • Restrict your results to information that has been published within the last hour, day, week, month, year or your own date range • Search tools, Any time and select an option

  47. daterange: • Date restriction in Search tools does not work with Verbatim • Use daterange: command instead • Uses Julian date format (fractions omitted) • Julian Date Converter • Syntax • for example pages between June 20th and June 26th 2012 talking about the Statoil/Rosneft cooperationdaterange:2456098-2456104 Statoil Rosneft

  48. daterange: the easy way Third party tools for the daterange: search for example then apply Verbatim

  49. Google Reading level • Changes the type of material that is returned • Nothing to do with publishers assigned reading age • Run the search and from the menu above the results select Search tools, All results, Reading level

  50. Google Reading level Basic Advanced