Searching without Google

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description

Alternatives to Google for locating information. Presentation given at Internet Librarian International, 28th October 2011, London.


Presentation Transcript

Searching without:

Searching without Internet Librarian International, 2011 Karen Blakeman Twitter: @ karenblakeman This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

How Google works:

How Google works “Dear Bing, We Have 10,000 Ranking Signals To Your 1,000. Love, Google” 0000-ranking-signals-google-55473 over 200 hundred “signals” many have over 50 variations 2010 Revenues $29 billion (net income $8.5 billion) 2011 Q1+Q2+Q3=$27 billion (net income $7) (unaudited) / 18/11/2013 2

Google can seriously damage your news :

Google can seriously damage your news Experiment by Mary Ellen Bates Is Google really filtering my news? - Librarian of Fortune Highlights More than a quarter of the stories showed up in only one searcher’s results Almost one in five searchers saw a story that no one else saw Only 12% of searchers saw the same three stories in the same order And it’s about to get worse - Google News Launches "Standout" Tag for Featured Content 18/11/2013 3

Google knows us so well:

Google knows us so well 18/11/2013 4 Google personalises and tailors your results depending on your location, computer, browser, past searches, what you have looked at in the past, your +1s, your blocked sites, Google experiments, your Google+ account, your other social networks, what you do on your android phone, what you had for breakfast...and anything else it can find by rummaging around in your Google dashboard. Check your dashboard at

Google knows best :

Google knows best 18/11/2013 5 Hewish mild Google decided to change my search to Jewish mild = Google decides that coots are lions – changed a search for coots mating behaviour to lions mating behaviour


Google is doing its own thing: assuming typos without giving you the option to refuse the so-called “correction” looking for obscure variations and synonyms ‘+’ sign to enforce exact match has been removed sometimes ignores quotation marks around phrases not including all of your terms in the search What I see on my screen for a search is not what you’ll see on yours for the same search 18/11/2013 6 Time to REBEL!


Yahoo!? Now uses Bing’s web and image databases and generates the same results except in Japan and Korea Losing its unique commands Up for sale? Is there any point in using it for general searching? 18/11/2013 7 Often more up to date and some unique content Results tend to be more consumer/retail oriented But Bing advanced search screen minimalist - need to use commands detailed list at Advanced Operator Reference (some no longer work) Bing Adds Adaptive Search, Customized by Your Search History - Search Engine Watch 18/11/2013 8

Bing Maps:

Bing Maps “Classic” uses Sliverlight more interactive automatically changes type of view as you zoom in Multimap, Birdseye, Aerial, Streetside (not available for all towns or countries), Ordnance Survey Map view “After Little Resistance in Germany, Bing Expands Streetside Photos Across Europe” Often has problems finding correct location 18/11/2013 9

Bing Maps:

Bing Maps 18/11/2013 10 ??


DuckDuckGo No tracking, no “filter bubble” site: inbody: intitle: filetype: sort:date to sort by date (uses results from Blekko) region:cc (e.g. de) to boost a country Syntax and keyboard shortcuts at Maths, conversions, programming syntax and shortcuts answer at top of results usually from Wolfram Alpha !bang commands 18/11/2013 11


Blekko slashtags for sorting by date (/date), searching for images (/images) and videos (/videos) Use public slashtags to search a group of web sites covering a particular topic or type of site e.g. /library Or create your own to search your specified list of sites (similar to Google Custom Search Engines) wind turbine electricity generation /karenblakeman/renewable “Musings about librarianship: Using Blekko to search across thousands of library sites” 18/11/2013 12


Blekko Does not always search for all of your terms Cannot do filetype, inurl, intitle searches Drop down menu next to page in results list for site search (or use /site) similar pages (or use /similar) inbound links to the page (or use /links) 18/11/2013 13

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha “Computational Knowledge Engine” Very good for calculations and conversions Curated information Can be very out of date Sometimes very wrong No references to original source Have to ask the question in the right way 18/11/2013 14


Zanran Zanran – a new data search engine 18/11/2013 15

Microsoft Academic Search:

Microsoft Academic Search 18/11/2013 16

Microsoft Academic Search:

Microsoft Academic Search Problems coverage sometimes gets the author completely wrong “Will the Real Scott Wilson Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up” 18/11/2013 17 M Edwards should be Martin Edwards not Maria-Benedicta Edwards

News -

News - 18/11/2013 18

Selected specialist tools - URLs:

Selected specialist tools - URLs 18/11/2013 19

A few specialist tools:

A few specialist tools 18/11/2013 20

A few more specialist tools:

A few more specialist tools 18/11/2013 21

Statistics :

Statistics 18/11/2013 22

The Guardian:

The Guardian Guardian data store - data journalism and data visualization h ttp:// Data and analysis on topics that are in the news, links to the original datasets are provided Guardian World Government Data 18/11/2013 23 18/11/2013 24 18/11/2013 25 – ‘Trend this’: – ‘Trend this’ 18/11/2013 26

Create your own search engine:

Create your own search engine Create a slashtag Musings about librarianship: Using Blekko to search across thousands of library sites Gigablast Custom Topic Search up to 500 sites 18/11/2013 27

Want to explore other stuff?

Want to explore other stuff? Type in your search once and work your way through the search tools Can edit the order of the search tools and remove unwanted ones 18/11/2013 28

authorStream Live Help