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Search Utilities


Index and search files, email, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, ... HotBot Desktop Search E-mail. Index Outlook or ... Email search results in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Search Utilities

Search Utilities
  • Eugene Barsky
  • Jing Jiang
  • Vincent Schillaci-Ventura
  • Jeffrey Voon

LIBR 557 Advanced Information Retrieval Winter
2004-2005, Term 1 School of Library, Archival and
Information Studies The University of British
Columbia Instructor Mary Sue Stephenson Presentat
ion Date Monday, November 29, 2004
Search Utilities Definition
  • Search Utilities are
  • Software products that assist you in searching
  • Enhancements which make accessing search
    engines much easier
  • A way to search the web without going to a
    search engine
  • Tools that help you find information more

Search Utilities Presentation Outline
  • Search Toolbars Google Toolbar
  • Desktop Search Utilities Hotbot Toolbar/Desktop
  • Meta Search Utilities Copernicus Agent
  • Search Companions Grokker 2.1

Search Toolbars
  • Software that when installed in the web browser
    (mainly Internet Explorer) provides an immediate
    access to one or more search engines and/or
    additional web resources

Google Toolbar General Info
  • The first publicly available version of the
    Google Toolbar was released December 11, 2000.
  • Available for free download from -
  • Currently not available for Mozilla/ Netscape/
    Linux/ Firefox/ AOL or MSN browsers
  • Additionally, the Google Toolbar is not currently
    available for the Mac computers

Google Toolbar System Requirements
  • Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0(Pop-up blocker
    requires Internet Explorer 5.5)

Google Toolbar Strengths
  • Able to run searches through IE browser without
    going to the Google web page first
  • Able to search Regular web Google images
    Google groups Web Directory Google News
    Froogle and Dictionary ( only by
    two clicks
  • Able to maintain personal browser search history
  • Highlights search terms inside a received page
  • Blocks pop up ads
  • Able to automatically fill in web-based forms
    (for ECML-- Electronic Commerce Modeling
    Language) standard
  • Provides cached version of the requested page
  • Translates search results into English
  • In general provides the power of Google command
    language without knowing how to use it

Google Toolbar Weaknesses
  • Available only for IE installed in MS Windows
  • Privacy issues- PageRank function (sends
    information about the page you're viewing to the
    Google servers) it is possible to disable this

Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Google Pull Down Menu (provides access to some
    useful services described below)
  • Google Links to
  • Images search
  • Groups search
  • Web Directory
  • Google News
  • Froogle
  • Google Answers
  • Blogger site
  • Toolbar Options
  • Help screen

Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Google Search Box
  • Is able to query
  • All web
  • Canadian content only (.ca)
  • Current site
  • Images database
  • Google groups (Usenet)
  • News database
  • Froogle
  • Dictionary (

Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Page Info Menu
  • Provides menu access to some extremely powerful
    Google search operators such as
  • Cached Version of Page (cache)
  • Similar Pages (related)
  • Backward Links (link)
  • Translate into English

Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Convenience Buttons
  • Highlight toggle button - Highlights searched
    words on the current page. Each searched term
    appears with a different background color (up to
  • Up button- Navigate up one level in the current
  • Options Accesses the toolbar options window
  • BlogThis! Creates a weblog post pointing to the
    current web page

Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Double-Barreled Options
  • Pop-up Blocker - Prevents popup ads from
    appearing in a browser
  • white list issues

HKEY_CURRENT_USER - Software - Google -
NavClient - 1.1 - whitelist
Google Toolbar Selected Features
  • Double-Barreled Options (cont.)
  • PageRank - Is the importance that Google assigns
    to a page based on an automatic algorithm -
    logarithmic scale.
  • Toolbar sends information about the current page
    to the Google servers

Page and Brins Paper - http//
Google Toolbar Subjective Score
Our Ranking Five Librarians!
Desktop Search Utilities
  • Traditionally, refers to a software installed on
    a computer and provides search of files stored on
    local drives
  • Newly developed definition expands searchable
    resources to multiple data sources including
  • Internet, intranets, databases, local drives and
    removable storage
  • ( )

Desktop Search Utilities
  • Popular Desktop Search Utilities
  • AltaVista Discovery
  • Scopeware
  • Copernic
  • Lookout
  • X1 Search
  • New products providing both desktop search and
    Web search
  • HotBot Desktop, released in March 2004 by Lycos
  • Google Desktop, released in October 2004
  • Yahoo and Microsoft are working on desktop search

HotBot Desktop Major Features
  • Search the web
  • Powered by Inktomi
  • Search your local computer
  • Index and search files, email, RSS (Really Simple
    Syndication) feeds, and search history
  • Subscribe to RSS news feeds
  • Block obtrusive Pop-ups
  • Highlight searched terms
  • Search shortcuts to favorite web sites

HotBot Desktop System Requirements
  • OS Microsoft Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP
  • Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 and
  • Scripting Enabled

HotBot Desktop Search the Web
hotel vancouver cheap
HotBot Desktop Search the Web
HotBot Desktop Search the Web
HotBot Desktop - Search Files
  • Index files on your computer
  • Define index file types
  • Microsoft Office files, PDF, RTF
  • Other text based files, can be added manually
  • Define directories to index
  • Set controls over the indexing process
  • Run automatically at a specific time
  • Run manually

HotBot Desktop - Search Files
HotBot Desktop - Search Files
  • Keyword search
  • Search
  • Title
  • Content
  • Results can be sorted by
  • Relevant
  • Name
  • Date
  • View the file in IE browser

HotBot Desktop Search E-mail
  • Index Outlook or Outlook Express folders
  • Can search Outlook or Outlook Express emails
    including attachments
  • View emails in IE browser
  • Configure settings through HotBot Toolbar
  • Run indexing program automatically or manually

HotBot Desktop RSS Feeds
  • Subscribe to pre-selected popular RSS (Really
    Simple Syndication) or adding additional feeds
  • Browse subscribed RSS feeds
  • Index RSS feeds
  • Keyword search the titles

HotBot Desktop Other Features
  • Search history Search previous viewed Web pages
  • Search current site
  • Shortcuts to favorite Web sites
  • Pop-up ads blocker
  • Highlight toggle button - Highlights searched
    words. Each searched term appears with a
    different background colour (up to 5)

HotBot Desktop Search Features
  • Boolean searching is not available
  • Uses best match searching Looks for pages
    match all search terms and ranks these pages
    higher than pages containing fewer terms
  • Provides
  • phrase matching with quotation marks, e.g.
    Martin Luther
  • plus () to include a term, e.g. UBC
  • minus (-) to exclude a term, e.g. -King

HotBot Desktop Search Features (cont.)
  • Local search provides "Wildcard Characters
  • ? Operator matches one character
  • - gramm?r will find documents with either grammar
    or grammer in them
  • Operator matches any number of characters
  • - market retrieves documents with market or
    marketing in them

HotBot Desktop Strengths
  • Integrates traditional desktop search with Web
    search within the browser
  • Able to run Web searches through IE browser
    without going to a specific search engine web
    page first
  • Able to search local computer, including search
    files, emails, search history
  • Able to browse and search RSS feeds
  • Able to create shortcuts to favorite Web sites
  • Able to search current site
  • Able to navigate search results and view selected
    page in one window
  • Able to view files in IE browser
  • Highlights search terms inside a retrieved page
  • Blocks pop up ads
  • Able to automatically run indexing process
  • No cost Free download

HotBot Desktop Weaknesses
  • Available only for IE installed on MS Windows
  • Using Best Match searching and Boolean
    searching is not available
  • Cannot increase text size on results page
  • Too many keyword ads A maximum of 8 sponsored
    links are visible, 4 above Web results and 4
  • Cannot index and search network hard drives
  • Weak help section
  • Unusual performance
  • Some functions do not work on Windows ME (e.g.
    viewing emails)

HotBot Desktop Subjective Score
Our Ranking Four Librarians!
Meta Search Utilities
  • A meta search utility has the ability to search a
    multitude of search engines at the same time.
  • Also called desktop search programs or
    client-side search software.
  • Unlike web-based meta search engines, search
    utilities are software programs that you download
    to your computer.

Popular Meta Search Utilities
  • Copernic Agent
  • http//
  • Arrow Search
  • http//
  • SearchRocket
  • http//
  • WebFerret
  • http//

Copernic Agent Three Versions
Copernic Agent is
  • a meta search engine,
  • an invisible web explorer
  • online research assistant
  • It dices, it slices, it makes julienne fries but
    wait theres more

Copernic Agent Meta Search Engine
  • Capable of searching up to 1200 different
    databases at the same time
  • Search engines may be grouped into categories
  • Able to search the invisible web
  • Can only search using features that are common to
    all search engines

Copernic Agent Toolbar
  • Installs within the browser of your choice
  • Also works with Microsoft Word, (basic version)
    Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint (pro version only)
  • Highlight searching feature within IE 5.0 or
  • Searches up to 90 search engines within 10
  • Displays results in an HTML page via the default
  • Generates a search history

Copernic Toolbar Selected Features
  • customize maximum number of results by each
  • Customize search and results layout
  • Can enable and disable engines available by

Copernic Agent Basic Selected Features
  • Saves web pages for offline browsing
  • Removes duplicates
  • Uses the Boolean operators (AND, OR, EXCEPT,
    NEAR) and parentheses (only when searching
  • Detailed and unlimited search history
  • Email search results in HTML or text format
  • Sorts searches by title, excerpts, addresses,
    scores, dates found, dates visited, dates
    modified or search engines

Copernic Agent Filtering and Grouping
Copernic Agent - Analysis
  • Can detect the language of the page
  • Remove duplicates with non-identical addresses
  • Extracts last page modification date
  • Extracts key concepts from found pages creating a
  • Removes irrelevant results following analysis of
    pages using keywords or Boolean query

Copernic Agent Page Tracking
  • Track pages for modifications
  • Schedule searches with email notification of new
    results or pages
  • Email tracking report to colleagues or clients

(No Transcript)
Copernic Agent Systems Requirements
  • Minimum equipment requirements Pentium 120 MHz,
    32 MB of RAM, 15 MB of disk space.
  • Operating system required Windows
  • Browser required Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0
    or later, Netscape Navigator/Communicator 4.x or
  • Supports multi-user configurations for individual
    searches and settings.
  • Windows compliant software uninstall procedure.
  • Accessibility to the program from Windows
    Start/Find menu.

Copernic Agent - Problems
  • Will only do Boolean searches within results
  • Basic version does not search Google
  • May be slow when set to maximum search setting
  • User is constantly reminded of features that are
    available in the Pro version.
  • No safe filtering capabilities

Copernic Agent Subjective Score
  • Web tour at http//

Our Ranking Four Librarians!
Search Companions
  • Search companions can help you find or discover
    new information while browsing on the Web
  • Some examples include
  • Grokker (http//
  • UCmore (http//
  • TouchGraph GoogleBrowser (http//
  • GuruNet Reference Answer Engine

Grokker - Background
  • Grokker is made by Groxis Inc., a San Francisco
    based company, founded in 2001, first previewed
    in October 2002
  • Grokker 2.1 is available for both PC, and a
    recently released MAC OS X version (BETA)
  • Grokker is available for download from
  • Free 30-day test period to try - 49 USD to
  • grok comes from Robert Heinlein's
    science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land
    (1961), the word is Martian and literally means
    "to drink," but metaphorically means "to take it
    all in," to understand fully, or to "be at one

Grokker Minimum System Requirements
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP
  • Pentium III at 800MHZ
  • 128MB RAM (256MB recommended)
  • 100MB of free disk space (20MB if Java 2 is
    already installed)
  • Mac OS X 10.2.2 (Jaguar) but Mac OS X 10.3.3
    (Panther) preferred
  • PowerPC G3
  • 256 MB of RAM (512 MB preferred)
  • 20 MB of free disk space
  • Java 1.4.1
  • Safari 1.0

Grokker Information
  • Not a search engine, is a program to analyze and
    illustrate search engine results
  • Build, edit, and save maps of up to 2000 items
  • Includes four plugins The Web, Google (Beta),, and My Files (search your hard drive
    or network drive)
  • Quick Grok search for those times when you want
    answers fast
  • Contains a fully functional Web browser based on
    Internet Explorer
  • Post-filters apply up to four filters at a time
    to map items for quick and easy data-mining (eg.
    Page rank, domain, source, etc.)
  • Apply color filters to map items
  • Advanced search panel allows for further
    customization by language, date, adult content,
    number of results, website, etc.

Grokker More Information
  • Help features
  • In-depth WebHelp available at http//
  • Information on layout, interface, search tips,
    customizing, filtering similar to Microsoft
  • Grokker truncation/shortcuts/Boolean
  • No mention in help, due to fact Grokker is a
    meta-search utility, should work with Google
    plug-in however
  • Grokker does not show adult content, but these
    sites can be included in maps by choosing option
    in preferences
  • Suggested to use quotation marks for phrases,
    otherwise will search all keywords individually

Grokker Strengths
  • Can search six popular search engines at once
    (AltaVista, MSN, WiseNut, Fast, Yahoo, and Teoma)
    using Grokkers The Web plug-in - plus Google
  • Creates a visually mapped representation of a
    search using colourful circles called nodes, as
    opposed to a list of search results within each
    circle, subcategories appear as smaller shapes,
    and larger the node the more information it
  • Not only a search engine, can also categorize and
    map files on your hard drive by content
  • Unlimited number of future plug-ins can be
    created already plans for eBay,
    Library of Congress Catalogue, AskJeeves, job
    site Monster, LexisNexis, news websites

Grokker Weaknesses
  • Avid memory eater and requires a considerable
    amount of computing power - nothing less than a
    Pentium III with a good amount of RAM
  • Format makes it less friendly to advertising
  • If one is good at stipulating terms for a text
    search engine like Google, Grokker may be
  • Unlike other some other search utilities, it
    costs money to purchase (49 USD after free
    30-day trial period)

zooming space
browsing space
Grokker Map Only View
Grokker Selected Features
  • Grokker Basic Interface The Web plug-in

Grokker How Plug-ins Work
Grokker plug-in
Grokker Horizon Information Portal
Grokker The Future
  • Groxis is aiming to sell Grokker to schools,
    colleges and universities, for student use
  • Also, Groxis selling Grokker to companies, which
    might like Groxis' ability to integrate an
    Intranet search with Web and database search -
    currently has more than 100 such customers,
    including Dell, Microsoft, U.S. Navy, CIA and

Grokker Subjective Score
Try it yourself with a free 30-day downloadable
demo version at http//
Our Ranking Four-And-A-Half Librarians!
Search Utilities Conclusion
  • Many different types and varieties of search
    utilities availablefrom toolbars to desktop
    utilities to meta searchers to search companions
  • Choosing which ones to use is like going to an
    all-you-can-eat buffet
  • try a little of everything until you find
    something you like,
  • look for the items that best suits your needs or
    your stomach,
  • and finally, dont eat too much at a time, youll
    regret it tomorrow!