Super Searcher Tools & Tips

Mary Ellen Bates, Principal, Bates Information Services, Inc.


Google dictionary now has word origin, translate, and usage over time.

Google autocomplete can be used to find alternatives to a product or service. Ex: evernote vs. – and then wait, and Google will list alternatives. – links to Google dorking.

Test your org’s vulnerabilities: filetype:csv OR filetype:xls OR filetype:log intext:username OR email OR confidential OR…

Change order of search words: ocean fishing acidification VS. acidification fishing ocean. Got different number of search results with the same words in the query, just a different order. Used Bing, and got different results. Each query resulted in some results that didn’t appear in the other two. longtail research. Eliminates top 100 to 1 million sites. Catches less SEO’d sites. Essential for more complete research! See also only top sites.

Impact of spoken search: we’re now used to typing in a query. New software like Siri has changed that dynamic, along with the wording of the query. Google is having to deal more with natural language queries; people will word a query like a question. Compare the results of these queries: What is the meaning of life? The meaning of life? Meaning of life? Significantly different results for each query.

Are we as relationship focused as Google Now? It’s an app on your phone, which looks at calendar, gmail, search history, etc. Automatically populates your phone with what it considers to be pertinent information. Library users will get used to this – how can we make sure we’re as client-focused?

Find info from trusted sources: Bing only – ID outgoing links from a site or domain: LinkFromDomain. ebola retrieves pages linked-to from Doctors Without Borders that mention ebola.

Data-mine Academic Search: search result frequency counts – ID the key authors, conferences, journals, orgs, keywords. (Bing academic search)

Digging deeper in Google, Bing: getting into the deep web. Look for databases: {topic} database. Bing only: find pages that link to a filetype: contains:mp3, contains:xls

Find LinkedIn “hidden” updates: mouse over the “send a message” button, and it will give you options, including ‘view recent activity.’ looks for similar images. Is anyone using your photos? Did they pick up on your press release?

Bing’s Image Match: ID an infographic from a report – look for other pages that have the same image.

Zanran: “google for data.” Web crawler looks for images on web pages, including charts and graphs. search Flickr and Panoramio for images on a location. Shows pictures people have taken that were geotagged.

Search the Internet of Things: Identifies places where people have tagged things in the Internet of Things. learn about influencers and their influencers. Who they retweet, what links they share, what they hashtag, how much they share.


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