Web Search Strategies (Nov10)

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Web Search Strategies: Big Picture : 

Web Search Strategies: Big Picture (November 21, 2010)

Words and phrases make a difference : 

Words and phrases make a difference

Search engines help - Google : 

Search engines help - Google

Bing - Related Searches : 

Bing - Related Searches

Google’s ~ fuzzy / synonym operator : 

Google’s ~ fuzzy / synonym operator

Concepts – Thinking about them : 

Concepts – Thinking about them

Concepts – Expand or Narrow : 

Concepts – Expand or Narrow

Questions to ask : 

Questions to ask What words would be in the title of the perfect page – title of page will tell you what it is about. Who would have this kind of information? What country? What kind of organization? What organization would have this? Company, association, government ministry etc. Can we exploit the structure of the url (web address) to narrow the search? Would this information be in a pdf document, or might a powerpoint presentation help?

Title Tag <title>gardening</title> : 

Title Tag <title>gardening</title>

Title in the search result : 

Title in the search result

Deciding on what words to use : 

Deciding on what words to use You will want to find pages that are about your main concept and have information on other parts of your query. Identify dominant / core / main concept and the supporting concepts. If you are interested in climate change in the Canadian arctic – “Canadian arctic” is the dominant concept – and climate change the secondary.

Who would have this? Part 1 : 

Who would have this? Part 1 What country? What kind of organization? Here we need to know the main country domains (like .ca, .uk. au), and the top level generic domains (.com. gov .edu .org) Eg US government might have studies on climate change in the arctic (gov) – or maybe Norway and other Arctic countries.

Who would have this? Part 2 : 

Who would have this? Part 2 What specific organization? EPA in the US government maybe? Government of Canada – somewhere? In Canada, Pembina Institute. Look up the organization to learn its domain, and use it to search the pages that the search engine has indexed.

Exploit URL patterns : 

Exploit URL patterns

What format or filetype? : 

What format or filetype? The two main filetypes to consider are pdf and ppt. Governments, companies, and publishers use PDF format for reports, papers, journal articles, and brochures. They are generally more “authoritative”. Presentations offer quick overviews to a topic.

To recap : 

To recap Suss out best words and phrases and get a sense of the sources and coverage through exploratory searches. Think carefully about the dominant concept and secondary or supporting – work on them individually. Zoom in on title for pages that are most about your topic. Is there a country connection? Or an organization type that would be better? Use top level domain. Ask who might have this – find the organization’s domain and search the pages the search engine indexed (use site: ) Use parts of the url to dig into the website. Consider the filetype – a pdf might be appropriate, or a presentation might have the points.

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