More super-searcher tips

searchingIt’s the beginning of conference season for us public speakers… along with the daffodils appear boarding passes and PowerPoint slides. One of my favorite conferences is Computers in Libraries, and I will be leading the Searcher Academy pre-conference workshop as well as giving a regular presentation on super searcher tips.

I have more tips than I could fit into a blog post; here are a few of my favorites that I will be sharing at Computers in Libraries:

  • All of us consider ourselves to be above-average Google searchers. However, there are times when you can be too clever for Google and wind up with unexpected results. Say your search logic is  (A and B) OR (C and D)(Australia AND snakes) OR (Colorado AND mountain lions), for example, if you were comparing the dangerous animals of two regions. However, this search gets translated into logical gibberish by Google — Australia AND (snakes OR Colorado) AND mountain lions. You will get better results by separating your query into two different searches.
  • How you word your search matters – a lot! I was looking for information on Uber’s market strategy and found dramatically different results with the following three seemingly similar queries: Uber market strategyWhat is Uber’s market strategy and Uber “market strategy”. Always try several versions of your query, as there is surprisingly little overlap among the results of similar searches.
  • Use if you are researching an obscure topic, an individual, or looking for any kind of long-tail resource. This search engine lets you eliminate from your search result any of the million most popular web sites. You can also filter out any sites that have advertising or that appear to be e-commerce sites, which can be an effective way to find the web site for a small non-profit or a group committed to a cause.

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