BC Solutions

  Searching is Easy - Finding, Saving & Organizing are Not ! 

Searching so you can Find & Retain, depends upon the following:

Where to Look
  - Generalized Search Engines & Directories
  - Specialized Search Engines & Directories
How to Use  -
  -
"Search Tips" or " Search Help" to become a Pro
  - 4 Tips to make you an Instant Search Pro
Research Tools & Techniques
  - once you have found it, don't lose it!

Where to Look:  Generalized Search Engines & Directories

Once upon a time there were Search Engines (AltaVista.com) and there were Directories (Yahoo.com).  Now most search engines have a Directory option and most Directories have a Search option. 

Search Engines use Keywords with various qualifiers and options to find information of possible interest.  Use the Search Tips or Search Help links, which are usually nearby, to get better quality results.

Directories allow information to be found by selecting from broad information categories which become narrower with each lower selection until you have "drilled down" to the desired information. 

Which style you use is a matter or personal preference.  Directories can be more effective if you are not searching for something specifically.

  Google Web Search Engine and Directory LINKOGRAPHY

Google is #1 in the number of Web Pages that are included in its Search Engine and Directories.  It is fast and accurate.  It detects potential spelling errors and creates a search link with the suggested correct spelling. 

Google also has specialized Searches for Images, Groups (News or  Discussion Groups), Directory, and News (4,000 continuously updated news sources).  For effective ways to use this site go to Google Services & Tools LINKOGRAPHY

The Google Tool Bar LINKOGRAPHY for Internet Explorer on PC/Windows can be downloaded and installed.  The Search form becomes part of your Internet Explorer Web browser so searching is much more convenient (sorry, not available for Netscape or Mac).

Where to Look: Specialized Search Engines & Directories

  Mayo Clinic LINKOGRAPHY

The Mayo Clinic  is recognized as one of the world's renowned sources for Health Information.  While some of the information at MayoClinic.com is indexed on Google, the MayoClinic.com Search will be more comprehensive and current.  There is also a Housecall Newsletter LINKOGRAPHY which you can subscribe to for free via email - keeping you current on subjects of possible interest.

How to Use: "Search Tips" or " Search Help" to become a Pro

Once you have determined your favorite Search Engines or Directories then it is worthwhile to look at the "Search Tips" or "Search Help" links.  Knowing how to search for phrases, exclude words, search for web pages containing all the words, or search for web pages containing any of the words, are examples of using the search capabilities more effectively.  While there are many common techniques each Search Engine has its own specific features worth knowing about.

How to Use: 4 Tips to make you an Instant Search Pro

The 3 Search Operators and 1 Search Command presented below will greatly improve the Quantity (fewer) and Quality (more relevant) of your Search Results.

  Search Operators  (work on most popular search engines)

 "   "EXACT PHRASE"  The (double quotes) are placed at the very start and at the very end of the EXACT PHRASE (no spaces) to Include Results of only those web pages that have this Exact Phrase.

Examples

"coca cola" (about 2,100,000 pages)
"coca cola is bad for you" (3 pages)

 +   INCLUDE  The + (plus sign) is placed next to the start (no spaces) of the Word or Exact Phrase to INCLUDE Results of only those web pages that have this Word or Exact Phrase

Examples

+cola +"bad for you" (about 3,890 pages)

 -   EXCLUDE  The - (minus sign or hyphen) is placed next to the start (no spaces) of the Word or Exact Phrase (or Site: Command;  see below) to EXCLUDE Results of only those web pages that have this Word or Exact Phrase

Examples

 +cola +"bad for you" -coca (about 1,770 pages)

  Search Commands  (work on Google.com only)

Google.com  supports the following Search Command (and others such as Language and Date).

 Site:entity.domain (e.g. Site:ibm.com)    This Search Command will Include Results of only those web pages from the specified web SITE

It can also be used to Include All Sites in a particular Domain.  For example SITE:edu means to Include All .EDU or Educational Institution sites (to possibly improve the integrity of your results). 

When used with the Exclude Operator (-) it can be used to Exclude Site results as well per -Site:Stanford.edu (since possibly you have already exhausted or analyzed that site).

With experience, users learn to love the relevance of the Search Results presented by the Google Search Engine.  This is probably the most important factor in why users would prefer to start at Google.com rather than going to specific web sites.

 Site:ibm.com - Include Results from specific web Sites

Examples

"3D graphics" (about 769,000 pages)
site:ibm.com "3D graphics" (about 545 pages)

 Site:edu - Include Results from All Sites in a Domain for example .EDU (Educational) sites

Examples

"prostate cancer" (about 1,470,000 pages)
site:edu "prostate cancer" (about 82,000)
site:stanford.edu "prostate cancer" (about 736)

 -Site:stanford.edu - Exclude Results from specific Sites

Examples

site:edu -site:stanford.edu "prostate cancer" (about 74,000 .EDU pages NOT from Stanford)

  Googling - Advanced Search LINKOGRAPHY

Google's Advanced Search form gives you all of the Tips above (and more) as follows:

Research Tools & Techniques

    Research Tools   

  Web Browsers

Web browsers are useful for casual or informal research using Search Engines or Directories to look for the subject of interest. 

See the Techniques section below to learn how to save the results of your research with your Web browser.

  Email Readers

Email Readers can receive Research information over time, saving you the effort of going back to the Web site for updates.  Job Sites often have Job Alert options which can deliver output matching your interests via email. 

News Alerts via email are also available to let you keep up with latest News Releases in your industry and possibly your competition -  Canada NewsWire - Portfolio Email LINKOGRAPHY

Signing up for Mailing Lists can also be used to keep you current - but read the Privacy Policies.  Make sure your email address is not going to used for other purposes including being given or sold to third parties - to help avoid Spam or Junk email.

  Research Software

The Search methods used above are based upon using your Web Browser and Email Reader as the user interface.  Below you will find that there are specialized software packages that are more suited to doing Research projects.  That is they will assist in more focused searching, in finding retention and or organization and more formal presentation.

Copernic Agent

PC/Windows - Copernic Agent  Basic (Free), Personal and Pro LINKOGRAPHY provide enhanced searching, off-line storage and organizing functions for more formal research projects.  While designed to interface with Internet Explorer for the result viewing process, Netscape can also be configured.

Copernic Agent Basic, provides access to more than 90 information sources within 10 search categories: The Web (plus one of the 14 language or country-based category), Newsgroups, E-mail Addresses, Buy Computer Hardware, Buy Software, Buy Electronics, Buy Books, Buy Movies and Buy Music.

Mac - the Mac Version is no longer available.

EndNote

Mac & PC/Windows - EndNote LINKOGRAPHY is designed for doing Academic or Scientific research.  Instead of accessing Search Engine contents EndNote accesses public and subscription databases.  Examples of Public databases are the library catalogs of the Library of Congress and of PubMed at The National Library of Medicine.  Institutions from around the world can accommodate EndNote - including McGill University.  EndNote provides control over bibliography formatting with over 700 styles, and assists in manuscript organization and formatting.

    Research Techniques   

Research may not be the proper term but when you have been browsing and you find something of value, you do not want to lose it.  Adding a Favorite does not always work since Web pages have a way of moving or being deleted.  You can print it but then you have to remember where you filed it.  You can save it on your computer hard disk but then you have to remember to do periodic backups.

  Internet Explorer Web browser techniques

1.  Favorites - Make available offline and Customize.
When you add a Favorite you can select  near the top of the window so that they Web page will saved on your hard disk for offline use.  You can then go on to which will let you schedule updates from the Web to keep the offline information current.  You can also force an update of all Favorites that are "Make available offline" by going to Tools | and selecting Synchronize.

2.  Save as Web Page.
File | Save As | Save as type:
This option will allow you to save a Web page to your hard disk so that it will never be lost, as long as you back up your hard disk.  Select where to save on your hard disk with
Save in: - choose a folder,
and create a New Folder with a meaningful name, before you Save the Web page.  You can then view this web page using File | Open with your web browser, to access the web page file on your hard drive whenever you need it.

3.  Use a FREE Gmail email account to Save & Organize what you find. 

Draft Gmail email messages with their Subject: as the Research Findings Topic (e.g. Subject: HEALTH - ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT) can be created with the following advantages:

  • Gmail Search is like Google Search and it works on the all of the Gmail.com information whether the email messages are Archived or not.  Deleted messages, deleted Drafts included, are lost forever. 
  • There is no need to create folders, apply labels or filters etc. since Search will find it whether it is in your Drafts, In Box, Sent Box or has been Archived!
  • The Gmail Team looks after backing up the information for you so you do not have to manage it on your computer and then back it up in case your C: / Hard Drive crashes or your computer is stolen.
  • You can have multiple Gmail Addresses if you run out of space since they are free - one can be General Email and other can be for Research Storage for example


 




 

  BC Solutions Inc.  --  Working the Web since 1995 
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