Monday, March 12, 2012

Search Like a Pro

Nancy Warren gave us many tips on how to search more effectively and efficiently since search engines are constantly changing.

  • Spiders crawl and find different pages and makes a schedule to revisit the page.
  • Crawl rate—5 years ago was 4-5 weeks, sometimes less, now pages are crawled at least weekly, many times more frequently.
  • Google and Bing have proprietary crawlers, other search engines are covers of these two.
  • When you search for things like Olympics or presidential campaign, they assume you mean this year.
  • Evergreen—when the time doesn’t matter like recipes, etc.
  • If you want to search for past Olympic years you need to be specific.Your prior searches are tied into your current searches. Bing goes 90 days back, Google now tied into all your accounts forever.
  • Your prior searches heavily influence your results.  Everyone gets different results from each other.Flash cookies will reinstall cookies, even if you think you erased them.  More about that tomorrow.
  • Algorithm changes: freshness, your prior searches, your accounts.
  • Bing also indexes your information on MSN, Facebook, and Hotmail.
  • Google indexes all of their 64 services (Gmail, Picasa, Blogger, YouTube, etc).  If you’re logged into any of their services while you’re searching it will influence it.
  • IP address and location are very strong influences in your search too.
  • "And" is part of the search if it part of the search term, ie: Johnson and Associates.
  • "Or" is trouble, for example or means Oregon, it no longer matters if you capitalize it.
  • Search engines now make synonyms like dining for restaurants.
  • Synonymization is a formal process where they are coming up with lists aof synonyms and incorporating them into their search process.
  • "The" is now a search term.  WHO vs The Who.
  • Hyphens are treated differently like part time, part-time and part –time.
  • Put $ in search term if you want prices.
  • + not used in google anymore because they are using it for google+   + used to mean use this word like it is, no synonyms, keep this spelling.
  • “ “ weren’t useful for a while, but they are useful again.
  • Put quotes around a word that is misspelled, like “dimond”.
  • Put quotes around a common name like “business fasteners inc”.
  • Google Verbatim is like searching in the old days.
  • Things Google will do for you: math equations, unit conversions, time, weather, sunrise and sunset, package tracking, flight tracking (airline code and flight code), movie listing (title and zipcode).
  • Site: is a good search term for searching on certain type of sites or domains.  Don’t use the insite search bar, just use google and site: (name) + term.
  • Filetype: doc, ppt, etc.
  • Will HTML5 affect search results?  It’s like flash.  It is mobile friendly, multimedia friendly.  We'll find out!
  • People can get extremely different results depending on their known political viewpoints, for instance on an issue like abortion.
  • If you put in negative search terms like bankruptcy, foreclosure, health problems, unsafe hobies, hate sites, and that goes into your search history and is sold.  This can influence things like buying insurance online!
  • Anti personalization search engines: 1. Duck duck go uses bing, can change location to world wide.  2. Ixquick and StartPage are worlds most private search engine, encrypts searches, no IP recorded, view through proxy. IxQuick is both engines, StartPage is Google only.

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