[AI] Advice on search engines

Sanjay ilovecold at gmail.com
Tue Apr 27 04:20:00 EDT 2010


TOP TIPS

ADVANCED WEB SEARCH

Find what you're looking for with our smart search tips

1. WHICH SEARCH ENGINE?

Google, the search engine of choice among members, excels at key word
searches;
searching for 'budget holiday', for example, produces over 55 million hits
with websites advertising cheap flights and budget holidays topping the
list.

Alternatively, you can look through directories, which provide a good
overview
of a topic.  Yahoo!  Directory (dir.yahoo.com) has 14 topics including
Recreation & Sports.  Under this topic, click on Travel to reveal categories
ranging from African American Travel to Women, and a section on Budget
Travel.
Here, you'll find novel websites such as www.place2stay.net which gives a
list
of people worldwide who will put you up free of charge.

2. META SEARCHING

Meta search engines are a good way to run a comprehensive search, or to
compare
results from various search engines.  One of the better-known of these is
Dogpile (www.dogpile.com), which compiles results from Google, Yahoo!, Bing
and
Ask.  Other meta search engines include Clusty (www.clusty.com), which
groups
its search results under headings on the left of the page.

3. PUNCTUATE YOUR WEB SEARCH

Using punctuation in your searches makes them more efficient.  Putting
double
quotes around a key phrasesuch as "John Smith" only showspages where the
words appear together.  Without quotes results such as 'St John's, Smith
Square' appear.  If you aren't sure whether a word has a hyphen in it or not
(email or e-mail, for example), keep the hyphen in.  Google will search all
variations.

Adding a + or - symbol will keep or remove certain words or phrases from
search
results.  So if you wantto search for the Egyptian-themed hotel in Las
Vegas,
type Egypt + "Las Vegas".

A Boolean search is a way of using the uppercase words OR, AND, AND NOT and
NOT
when looking for results.  On major search engines you can use the+ or - and
the
quote marks instead of the words.

4. BROWSER-BASED SEARCH

By default, Firefox includes Google search in the top right of the browser.
Click the down arrow to the right ofthe Google icon to switch to
alternatives
including Wikipedia or eBay.

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) has a similar drop-down menu.  As with Firefox,
click
on this to switch search engine.  Click Change Search Defaults, select your
preferred search engine and then click Set Default to save changes.

5. COLOURFUL SEARCHES

There are a number of ways that you can search for images by colour.
Chromatik
(http://chromatik.labs.exalead.com), part of Exalead's experimental area,
allows you to pick colours from a pre-defined palette and then returns
images
from Flickr (www.flickr.com) that match the colour; you can also enter a
keyword.  Similarly, the Multicolor Search Lab
(http://labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr) from Idee Inc searches 10 million Flickr
images by colour.  Alternatively, go to Google's image search
www.google.com/images and enter your search term.  Click Show options and
select
a colour to search on.

6. SOCIAL BOOKMARKING

Social bookmarking websites such as Digg (digg.com), Delicious
(delicious.com)
and Reddit (reddit.com) allow their members to recommend interesting
articles
they've seen online.

These tend to be fairly topical, and searching these sites is a good way to
find
information about current or recent events.  All three services offer a
search
box on their home pages; simply enter the term you're looking for.  Digg,
for
example, lets you sort results by best match, newest and most popular.

7. IMPROVE YOUR IMAGE (search)

Most search engines let you perform a specific image search.  Go to the
homepage
of your preferred search engine and look for a link titled Images (or
similar).
Alternatively, bookmark the image search of your preferred engine:

 Ask images: www.ask.com/images
Bing images: www.bing.com/images
Google images: images.google.co.uk
Yahoo! Images: images.search.yahoo.com

To search for images, enter your search term, "Colosseum, Rome", for example
and click Search.Click on advanced image search to limit results by image
size
or type , file type or to limit search results to display only colour or
monochrome images.

8. EXPLORE THE BLOGOSPHERE

There are millions of blogs online but only a handful of them are worth
reading.
Sorting the wheat from the chaff is where Bloglines can help.  Bloglines
lets
you search or subscribe to news feeds and blogs.  To sign up for an account
go
to www.bloglines.com and enter an email address and password.

Check your email account (including your junkemail box) for an email from
bloglines.

This email will contain a link redirecting you to a page where you can
subscribe
to popular blogs and news feeds including Dilbert Daily Strip and Guardian
Unlimited Books.  Simply tick those you're interested in and click Subscribe
to My Selections.  To find other blogs of interest click on the top 1,000
list.

9. LIBRARY LOOKUP

Many libraries have digitised their records making these searchable online.
The
British Library (www.bl.uk), for example, allows you to search over 30,000
records including catalogue records, journal articles and images.
Similarly,
the US Library of Congress (http://catalog.loc.gov/webvoy.htm) has a
catalogue
of sources.

10. FILE TYPE SEARCHING

Rather than hunting through trillions of HTML-based web pages, you can
narrow
your search by looking for specific file types.  Click on Advanced search
and
enter your search term.  Click on the drop-down menu and select one of the
file
options.

A quick way to search by file type in Google is to include the word
filetype:
followed by the three-letter file extension and the key words.  For example,

 filetype:pdf Searches PDF files
filetype:doc Searches Word documents
filetype:ppt Searches PowerPoint files

You can also search for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files using the
website
Docjax (www.docjax.com).

11. WHO'S WHO?

If you've come across an unfamiliar website you might, for security reasons,

wonder who's behind it.  To find out, go to Whois (http://domain.tools.com).
Type in the website address (www.which.co.uk, for example) and then click
Lookup.

12. ENTERTAINMENT SEARCHES

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb, www.imdb.com) is your one-stop shop for
information about a movie, TV show or actor.  Alternatively, to search for
celebrities go to Bing (www.bing.com), click More and then the link to
xRank.
The tool shows the most searched for celebrities.

STEP BY STEP -GOOGLE WONDER WHEEL

1. ENTER YOUR SEARCH

Wonder Wheel allows you to visualise a search and to easily find related
keywords.  Enter a simple search into Google's search box; The Beatles, for
example.  Click Search.  To see the Wonder Wheel, click the blue Show
options
link.

2. VISUALISE YOUR SEARCH

Under the heading StandardView, click Wonder Wheel.  This reveals a wheel
and
spoke-style map showing connections.  In our case, this includes The Beatles
Songs, The Beatles Lyrics and John Lennon.

3. REFINE YOUR SEARCH

Click on a wheel to narrow your search.  For instance, if you click on John
Lennon this creates another wheel showing searches connected to him,
including
John Lennon Imagine, John Lennon biography and John Lennon death.

STEP BY STEP - ALL THE WEB

All The Web searches billions of web pages.  The advanced page allows you to
define your search closely.  Here's how to search for that needle!

1. ACCESS ADVANCED SEARCH

Go to www.alltheweb.com and click the blue link titled advanced search.
Here,
you'll see a number of filters listed - filters are simply a way of
narrowing your search.  We want to search for information about Tai Chi
classes
in London.

2. START FILTERING RESULTS

At the top of the page in the box titled 'Search for - all of the words'
we've typed in Martial Arts.  In the text, We've typed Tai Chi into the
empty box.  To exclude words or phrases from the search, click the drop-down
menu.

3. FILTER BY LOCATION

You can further narrow your search by type of domain (.uk, .gov., .com, and
so
on) and by country.  We further limited the search to websites updated in
the
last two years.  Our first hit was for the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain -
not a bad start.







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