Did you know that you can improve your Google results by changing the order of the words in your search statement? Try searches for “civil society” or “society civil”, with and without double quotes. Do you notice any difference in the search results?
Did you know that you can make your Google search results more relevant by changing the reading level? If your search statement is complex or the topic is complex then selecting the advanced reading level may yield more relevant sites. To make this selection, click on Search tools then All Results and click on Reading level. The results will then be annotated with reading levels as well as a percentage breakdown of results by reading level. To filter by a reading level, click on the desired reading level. To go back to all results, click on View results for all.
Marjan Farahbaksh’s blog identifies some excellent places to search for Theses and Dissertations.
I use clustering search engines to build the most specific search statement possible for use in the large search engines. Carrot Search is a clustering search engine that I have added to my stable of tools. It uses Lingo3G — the third generation document clustering engine that features multilingual and hierarchical clustering, synonyms, and advanced tuning capabilities. This produces good results that are properly clustered with tabs to cluster results from different search engines, except Google.
Google and other search engines are wonderful things for gathering information, we all know that, but what if people with evil intent are gathering information about you?
Getting out of Street View
Google Street View provides a great deal of data that can be used to plan an attack on a facility, a person, or to conduct a kidnapping. Google offers an easy, free, and effective way to restrict access to this data.
At a client’s home, I found that his car licence plate was legible. This usually occurs when the car is parked inside a garage or car port. At the client’s workplace, several security measures were clearly visible as were other features of the facility that raised concerns.
Google’s solution is to place an opaque digital wall around your house or facility. To get out of Google Street View, first search for the street address. Once the property is visible, you will find a small box at the bottom right of the image that says “Report a problem”. Click on this to select a reason for blurring the image of the property. I usually select Other: This image presents security concerns. Add some discriptive data to help Google identify the property and complete the CAPTCHA (an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”) thing that takes me several tries to get right. In 2 or 3 days a blurred wall should appear around the property.
Google eliminated the synonym search feature in June. If you wanted to search your search term and its synonyms, you placed the tilde sign (“~”) immediately in front of your search term. They said nobody used this feature. I guess my new name is ‘Nobody’.
With this gone, an alternative called Google synonym Search Tool has appeared as a usable replacement.
The Canadian Government Documents Google Custom Search Engine covers over 775 core domains at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels of government. Unfortunately, the search engine was last updated 10 Aug 12. A lot can change in one year.
Google enjoys change — and you should too.
The link to cached pages is now underneath the page link at the end of the page URL in the form of a little downward arrow. Click on the little arrow and then on the word Cached to go to the cached page.
News of this ‘significant’ change at Google is brought to by a boring Monday when our American friends and clients are having a day off.
flickriver.com is a Flickr viewer and search tool, searchable by user name, tag, group and place.
If you need a good picture of the Earltown NS general store, or all pictures by DeadFred.com, or a picture of the DEW Line radar picket ship, USS Investigator(AGR-9/YAGR-9), then you can find it through flickriver.com.
Case Sensitive Search in Yahoo!
Case sensitive searches help when searching a person’s name and certain words such as the month of March, rather than a marching band, or a person from Poland is Polish, not silver polish.
CaseSensitiveSearch.com appeared in April 2013 and provides a case sensitive web search engine based upon the Yahoo! search engine database. However, this search is based on a paid service called BOSS that allows developers to create custom Yahoo! search engines for a fee. In this case, we do not know what pricing plan the developer is on, therefore, we do not know what portion of the Yahoo! index the thing searches.
During the recent apparent demise of Google Alerts, I turned to using Talkwalker and Mention.
I found Talkwalker to be better than the broken-down Google Alerts. Mention seemed interesting, but the Web interface was not confidence inspiring and the need to download an app always makes me suspicious of what security risks that would cause.
Now that Google Alerts is working better, I am finding that it is almost keeping up with Talkwalker and finding new material in each set of results.
With the reawakeing of Google Alerts, I am not going to abandon Talkwalker and Mention — I am just going to add them to toolkit.