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Old 07-09-2008, 05:00 AM   #1
Richard Waller
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Default Do you speak Google?

I came across this article in someones Newsletter. It was new to me. Herewith for your information.
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You probably know someone in your team or family who can instantly find out almost anything on the web leaving the rest of us with 18 million links which don’t quite answer the question. How do they do it?

It turns out that up to 80% of pages in a search engine exist only in that search engine. That means that using several search engines will yield different results. Also many useful sources of information will not be found in any search engine – think about EGi and iSurv, which are databases held behind a subscription log-in. This is known as the invisible web and is estimated to be 500 times the size of the searchable web.

Back in the last century, we said that one day all information will be free, or at least freely available, on the web. This is not the case and companies are finding that they can charge a lot for content. Do you subscribe online to the FT, or pay to receive premium research from McKinsey Quarterly, or (the daddies of them all when it comes to charging) Gartner or Forrester?

If you are serious about searching the web yourself, there are several ways to ease your research:

1. Use a search engine which searches through several other engines - Copernic, for example (www.copernic.com) or dogpile (www.dogpile.com)
2. Create a Wiki for your business – a wiki is a website which builds up as people add content to it, all the time creating new pages and links themselves – it is easier to use than it sounds and cheap. Although we have to admit that getting people to use it regularly takes some hard work. Look at Google Sites (www.Jotspot.com)
3. If you have a larger company, build a portal which acts as your intranet and links to key resources both internally and externally.

Getting to the right information faster than anyone else gives you an advantage in this climate. Take 10 minutes away from Google and save some time.

   
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #2
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An attribution would be appreciated - whose newsletter?

   
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:48 AM   #3
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The article is in a newsletter from Remit Consulting, but not on the website www.remitconsulting.com in which if you dig in you will find the chief man is called Waller

   
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller View Post
The article is in a newsletter from Remit Consulting, but not on the website www.remitconsulting.com in which if you dig in you will find the chief man is called Waller
Rang a bell which was explained only when I looked at the Contact page - they're in NL as well.

I have to agree that different search engines find different data though I seriously doubt that 80% figure - if true, they're found on results page 800+ that nobody ever sees anyway. Still what search engine you use (and how you use it!) should depend on what you are searching for. There are differences even on the first results pages. I found that for my searches at least Yahoo! always came up with more, and more relevant, search results than Google, but when I'm looking for images I switch to Google: there it's just the other way round. I just heard good things about MSN's image search, so I'll look at that when I need to find images next.

So my advice would be: don't get stuck in a rut, and if you don't find what you need, try another search engine - but don't get stuck in that rut!
I'm not a fan of the meta search engines as they shield you from the refinement techniques that each search engine has, and they're all different.

And another tip: if you're really searching in breadth (not just a single site that will give you a single answer, but a collection of pages that together will give you information), don't give up after the first results page, and go through at least five. I often go through 10 or even 20 pages, and may find relevant results spread through all of them. A search engine's "relevancy" is likely not a precise match to yours!

   
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