Search tactics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 69
About This Presentation

Search tactics


... How big were Chinese sailing vessels in the ... a forum is an online discussion between people on a given topic Example: [ Chinese wedding forum ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:458
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 70
Provided by: DanRu5


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Search tactics

Search tactics strategies a Teach-in
  • Daniel M. Russell, Ph.D.
  • Google Search User Experience Research
  • Nov 20, 2008

  1. Add dictionary lookup PWNED example of how
    DEFINE connects to currently active language (I
    dont believe pwned is in any dictionary yet,
    but DEFINE works just fine to find it.)
  2. Emphasize research stance for prior work in
    nearly everything you do. At least be conscious
    of the choice you make. (Example lookup
    recipes online. No-knead bread. Who knew there
    was a better way to make bread?)
  3. Hard question How big were Chinese sailing
    vessels in the 15th century?
  4. Follow-on question Can you quickly create a
    chart that shows Chinese vs. European sailing
    ships, max length, over time?
  5. Could you find images of each of ship from
    several countries and make a chart? (e.g, import
    image of Santa Maria, scale to size wrt the Star
    Raft ships)
  6. Add the egg of Columbus example (What is the
    word describing a problem whose solution
    impossible to see when stated, but is obvious
    once it has been pointed out to you?) How do
    find such a phrase?
  7. Add inurl as a way to find tutorials and
    notes on topics example inurltutorial html
    page development

  • How to use internet search and internet resources
  • Develop effective search query formation
  • Learn how to evaluate the trustworthiness of web
  • Special advanced features and tricks-of-the-trade

Search changes everything
  • Your experience of this talk is radically changed
    from what it was just a few years ago.
  • Now if I say something like

this topic is much so much more interesting
if you first have a bumper of
Nottingham ale
Nottingham Ale
What you need to know
? Search literacy
  • Six kinds of knowledge skills needed to search

pure engine technique
domain knowledge
Six components of expertise
pure engine technique
domain knowledge
The Art of Keyword Choice
  • ?

Hints to choose keywords
  1. Think about what youre trying to find
  2. Choose words that you think will appear on the
  3. Put yourself in the mindset of the author of
    those words

? Choosing the right keywords
small note chant notation
Ah ha!
  • From http//

? When youre choosing search keywords
  • When you eat pig, the meat is called pork.
    When you eat sheep, the meat is called mutton.
    When you eat deer, the meat is called venison.
  • Suppose you visit your cousin in Sydney,
    Australia and they serve grilled kangaroo.
    Whats another word for kangaroo meat?

  • Search for kangaroo meat name
  • Scan through the results looking for a page with
    a plausible answer
  • There are a number of ways to do this the
    variations all have different amounts of scanning
  • Wikipedia (as it turns out) has a very nice
    article on this with discussion of the

? Think about synonyms
  • When an artist is making a sculpture for a
    client, they often make a small version of the
    sculpture in wax or clay. Theyre usual a
    preliminary sketch, presented to the client for
  • Question What is this thing called?

  • The easiest solution I found was small artist
    model in wax then read through the snippets
    to find a definition.
  • To double check, you can use Google as a
  • definemaquette
  • An important skill reading through the snippets

? Asking about the un-namable
  • I noticed the other day that everyone has a
    little indentation on their upper lip.
  • Question Whats that thing called?

  • Start with the simplest search you can think of
    upper lip indentation If its not right,
    you can always modify it.
  • When I did this, I clicked on the first result,
    which took me to Yahoo Answers. Theres a nice
    article there about something called the
  • Then I double checked on that by doing a

? Use context terms
  • I was hiking in the woods nearby in March when I
    saw a pretty blue flower. It was about 3 feet
    high, and grew along the pathway in the middle of
    the woods in Henry Coe State Park.
  • Question Heres the picture can you tell me
    what the common and Latin name is of this flower?

Answer Wildflower image
  • Search web for wildflowers henry coe park
  • Look for collections of pictures. Look for a
    matching / similar picture.
  • http//
  • Answer Hound's tongue (Cynoglossum grande)
  • Path I started with blue wildflowers
    california , but that didnt work. Added
    blue wildflowers album california , as a context
    term but still too many bad hits.
  • Then shifted to using location name as my
    context term (and removing all the
    other words), giving me wildflowers henry coe
    park I noticed the exact hit at
    position 1.

? Going deeper on a topic
  • I kind of like that wildflower! What else can I
    find out about it?
  • Where does it grow near me?
  • Does it like to live in the sun or the shade?
  • Question How can you find out more gardening
    information about this particular wildflower?

Answer Going deeper
  • I started with the Latin name because its the
    MOST specific term you can use. So I did a copy
    paste from the previous search Cynoglossum
    grande and then started looking around. I
    quickly found that I could see it in Coe Park,
    near Morgan Hill.
  • When I looked up the Wikipedia entry, I found
    that it likes shady conditions. I then checked
    my work by doing a search for Cynoglossum
    grande shady Sure enough, other places say
    the same thing. It checks out!

? Keep looking! Think of synonyms!
  • Sometimes you need to keep trying, thinking your
    problem through in different ways. Usually, if
    you think about how someone else would describe
    the thing youre looking for, that will suggest
    search terms for you.
  • Question A friend told me that there is an
    abandoned city in the waters of San Francisco
    Bay. Is that true? If it IS true, what was the
    name of the supposed city?

Answer Synonyms
  • Yes, its true there IS an abandoned city near
    what is now Fremont. It was called Drawbridge.
  • The trick here is to think about other ways of
    describing an abandoned citydont just assume
    thats the best way to describe it. Try this
  • ghost town san francisco bay

The former town of Drawbridge
Specifiers term to get a certain kind of result
  • Some search terms suggest results that are of a
    specific type.
  • Wikipedia will usually bring wikipedia articles
    to the front
  • Image
  • Video when looking for videos
  • Review to find reviews of products, books,
    movies, etc.
  • Forum a forum is an online discussion between
    people on a given topic
  • Example Chinese wedding forum
  • Overview for an on-topic overview
  • Tutorial when looking for a tutorial on topic
  • Workbook
  • Help
  • Documentation to look for documentation on a
  • FAQ frequently asked questions list (often
    useful for topic summaries)
  • DIY do it yourself useful when looking for

Art of Keyword Summary
  1. Choose words that will be on the page(s) you seek
  2. Start as simply as possible (dont start with 5
    words in your query)
  3. If you know a very specific term, use it (but be
    sure its right!)
  4. Learn from what you see on the pages you visit
  5. Dont get stuck on a particular term or phrase.
    If youre not making progress, re-think the terms
    youre using

? Consider using other content types
  • Video Youtube be sure to look for TED talks
    great speakers e.g., Ola Rosling or Jane

For example.. when are images a good resource?
  • Whats a fore topmast studding sail?

Ship diagram Use image search
ship sail diagram
Using Maps
  • Using Google Maps is a great way to find where
    something is. But suppose you want to find out
    how far APART two things are.
  • Question
  • (a) Can you figure out how far the De Young
    museum is from the San Francisco train station?
  • (b) Suppose you want to hike from the Yosemite
    Visitors Center up to Glacier Point. How would
    you figure out how far a hike that is?

  • Use maps with driving directions to get the rough
    distance from point to point.
  • For Yosemite, you have to look for a map at the
    Yosemite Park website.
  • Then use the maps Distance measurement tool
    (under My Maps)

(No Transcript)
Using other resources
  • Someone told me that in the mid-1500s, people
    often would carry around a special kind of
    notebook. They would use the notebook to write
    down quotations that they heard, or copy passages
    from books theyd read. The notebook was an
    important part of their education, and it had a
    particular name.
  • Question What was this kind of notebook called?

  • This is a really hard question. The best way to
    answer it is to first look for a reverse
    dictionary. reverse dictionary
  • Then, go to the reverse dictionary (such as
    http// )
    and type in the words notebook quotations
    then look thru the list of words it shows you.
  • Answer commonplace book

How to remove bogus results from your searches
  • Sometimes you want to look up something thats
    pretty common, so there are LOTS of web pages out
    there. Its even worse when the word is really
    common. So how do you eliminate things you dont
  • Question Can you find a great recipe for salsa
    to make for dinner tonight? IN PARTICULAR your
    nephew is allergic to tomatoes. Can you find a
    salsa recipe without tomatoes in it?

Salsa - answer
  • The trick here is to remove all those salsa as
    dancing meanings. The quick way to do that in a
    web search is with the MINUS sign.
  • salsa dancing -- this will remove all
    the dancing references
  • salsa dancing -tomatoes

You found a site you like and want to search JUST
  • I really liked the recipes on
    use SITE to restrict search to just the site(s)
    you like
  • salsa
  • Also use site to limit searches to just
    universities (in the US)
  • history american romanticsm

Always check your work Get multiple answers
  • Can you figure out the diameter of the earth?

Checking your work
  • Just do the obvious diameter of the earth
    But CHECK YOUR ANSWER by looking at different
    sites. Depending on which one you choose, youll
    get somewhat different answers!
  • Site 1 7,926.41 miles
  • Site 2 12,756 km
  • Site 3 12,756.3 km
  • Site 4 7,900 miles
  • Why the differences?
  • - different measuring techniques
  • - different circles around (polar vs.
  • - different resolutions of measurement (cm vs.
    mile scales)

  • Can you figure out how to use the calculator on
  • Just type the expression into the search box
  • 4 5 19
  • 45023 / 34 5 / 29
  • Sin(0.5) 2

  • General pattern number units1 in

Problem How fast does the Worlds Fastest Man
run in MPH?
  • Steps
  • Whats the current world record?
  • Make the conversions
  • Do the calculations
  • 1. Use web search (news) to find out world
  • 2. Note that the record is in meters (100
  • 3. Convert distance from meters to miles
  • 4. Convert time from seconds to hours

Finding tools on the web
  • General point When you want to do something
    complex, LOOK for a tool to do it before building
    your own.
  • Find a way to graph the equations y
    x2 sin(x) y x2 sin(x)

Answer Look for a tool
  • Answer use graphing calculator then
    choose one

? Credibility
  • We all want to teach it but how?
  • Credibility trustworthiness expertise
  • Oh yeah its also socially contextualized
    Whats credible to you might not be credible to
    another social group.
  • A large part of learning how to judge as credible
  • What does your social group recognize as
    credible?A large part of this is name
  • (NYTimes v. Fox v. CNN)
  • (Folger Shakespeare Library v. Renaissance
    Pleasure Faire v. )

Credibility / Assessment
  • How can you tell if something is credible?
  • 1. Check links pointing TO the page
  • use linkltURLgt e.g.,
  • 2. Check the page and site on
  • use look on the Site
    overview and Traffic
  • 3. Check links pointing OUT from the page
  • use

Example Did NASA fake the moon landing?
  • lunar landing hoax
  • Click on first result

Heuristics to check credibility
  • Look at the contact info for website
  • usually on the home page, not a deep linked page
  • Look at ads that run on the site
  • what do they tell you about the content /
  • Use the link operator
  • to see what other web pages link to this page
  • link/
  • to see what other web sites link to this page

Use Alexa to get overall sense of site

Use other tools
  • - see outbound links
  • - see keywords

Find out who owns the site
  • http//
  • -- look under Whois Search

Report for
? Advanced search techniques
  • All search engines have advanced search
    capabilities. Here are some of the advanced
    things I use often
  • -- site restrict limits
    results to JUST that site
  • (Try winograd vs. winograd or moon image
    vs. moon image )
  • filetypepdf filetype restrict limits
    hits to just files of that type (can be
    pdf, doc, ppt, jpg, gif, xls,
  • (Try
    sensemaking filetypePDF )
  • intitleAmerican Heritage requires that
    this string be in the TITLE of
    of the page
    thats found
  • (Try museum vs.
    museum intitleAmerican Heritage
  • or museum American technology vs.
    museum intitleAmerican Technology )

Advanced search page
  • Access to allof the advancedfeatures w/o
    having to remember them all!
  • The link to advanced searchis on every search

? Summary
  • Choose keywords carefully
  • Think of the target you seek / how would it be
    written there?
  • Start broad, scan quickly, focus in
  • Use precise terms when you know them
  • Use type specifier terms
  • e.g., wikipedia, image, video, review, forum,
    overview, tutorial, help, documentation
  • Consider other content types (images, videos,
  • Remember other information resources exist
  • e.g., reverse dictionaries, synonym finder,
    forums, domain-specific sites
  • Techniques
  • Minus to remove terms from searches
  • Check your result by looking for same answer
  • Calculator
  • Conversions
  • Site

Have a research stance
  • Key takeaways
  • Make research be a part of everything you do
  • Teach this attitude to your students
  • Plan on learning new skills
  • Nothing stays constant on the web
  • Search engines continually improving
  • New search tools / new

Custom Search Engines http//
  • A CSE provides a tailored (usually more selective
    and focused) search experience for the topic of
    your choice
  • Sample uses
  • Custom search for your web site
  • Group together multiple web sites on a common

Finding a custom search engine (CSE)
  • http//
  • Note that the searches can sometimes be a little

Alerts http//
  • Scan news, groups, web, videos, comprehensive
    and generate emails automatically
  • Use in conjunction with advanced search techniques

  • http//
  • Combines data from multiple sources into single
  • To find mashups mashup search

  • you can find lots more
  • Notes
  • Lots of junk on the public video sites be
    careful of what you see
  • Low quality
  • Also lots of faked video. You cant believe
    everything you see either.

  • But remember than manysites have their OWN image
    collections. Especiallytrue of newspapers,
    .gov, NASA, universities, libraries, etc.
  • Example
  • http//
  • in image search

  • scanned page images scuba
  • search inside this book feature
  • Look for Backyard Ballistics
  • then potato gun

  • Usually want to use advanced search here

  • For scholarly searches

Searching libraries
  • Very useful to do online searches of libraries
  • Especially when youre looking on obscure topics
  • Looking for an out-of-print author (not in
  • When you need to find a hardcopy to read
  • Need access to local resources (e.g., Palo Alto
    Historical Association)

Palo Alto, 1960
Palo Alto
  • http//
  • Search the catalog (another deep webarea!
  • (Click on the search icon, right hand side.
    Red and blue. Looks a little like a train)

Advanced Search Tips Tricks
  • When to do an image search?
  • When looking for a picture obviously
  • But consider it when youre stuck
  • Try resume -- but try doing an IMAGE
    search for resume!
  • Oneboxes
  • definemoa note contrast this with
    define moa
  • movies palo alto
  • pizza near mountain view
  • weather mountain view
  • phone number and map keplers menlo park
  • ltups tracking numbergt
  • Flight numbers (to track a flight) AA102
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)