Search Engine Tips
My name is Al Macintyre. This brief introduction is to try to put in perspective what is going on here. One way I learn things is by making lists of features, studying each kind, making notes, comparing notes on different competitors, asking what's the difference between this and that, adding to my notes. Thus, I tend to end up with lots of reference lists. It may be that this process generates documentation that can be helpful to other people on a parallel learning path. You are in effect looking through the rose colored glasses of my brain, as I figure out some stuff and try to organize it into a coherent format. However, since at the root is Al's learning curve, sometimes Al's path of learning ends up in a different direction than the initial structure of the notes. I try not to post anything here as fact until I know it is a fact, but I have known to be mistaken on occasion.
I first posted some stuff on my home page with respect to information I located from several different sources, and combined so far learning into a General Search Engine FAQ for Weblogging. I will probably add some more links like that here as my time permits. Then in Radio Doc Sources I had a scattering of people with Radio documentation that includes this topic but not really correlated effectively, then the topic comes up again regularly in Radio Userland Discussion Group and in my Enhanced Radio Tools directory of plug-ins available, so let's start an essay that focuses just on what is useful to know about using Search Engines effectively. However, along the way, this essay also has added links to various directories of weblog activity. I illuminate in red which ones you might want to register yourself at. I suspect that some day we will want a service that registers us at all the major weblog directories, just like there are services to register us at all major search engines.
Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Showdown are like Consumer Reports for heavy users of Search Engines. CNET reviews some Search Engines. Weblog Compendium has a wealth of relevant resources. I list several directories here that have stopped updating, but still have lots of useful information.
Long before I started my story to organize my Radio Wishes I had been posting lots of them on my home page, categories, and inside other stories, then I started cross-linking them in that one story. I plan to do the same thing here with Search Engine Tips, although it is becoming evident that I never seem to have time to complete my plans, and I continue to get new great ideas so fast that I should share them so that other people can perhaps plagarize some of them and get them implemented.
Note that in this directory of mine, there are a number of loose ends that I plan to pursue in the future, and as I get updates posted here, I will notify dws.Radio.FAQ via my e Radio Ideas. You could subscribe to one or the other (see Understand Radio News Aggregation if you not understand what I talking about).
About Com's information about the Web Blog phenomena.
In my directory of Blog Software vendors, in the section of general sources and links for additional information, I mention Dr Mark Foster's Guide to Weblog Software, Hosting and Information. Some of his links are to Search Engines and related resources for tracking favorite blogs.
Search Engines know about your site thanks to various registration services.
- You can go directly to a search engine site (see links below) and look for wherever sites get submitted to them, but there are MANY MANY search engines, so either you want to identify just the major ones, that are important to you, or use a registration service that will do this for you.
- http://dmoz.org/add.html = Open Directory Project, which is used by Google and other major search engines ... adding your site there is the same as adding it to Google and other search engines. Al Macintyre reminds you: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
- http://www.siteadd.com/ to Excite HotBot Infoseek AltaVista Go Lycos WebCrawler Canada whatUSeek NorthernLight DirectHit Google SearchIt AllTheWeb Magellan - Their FAQ links and Search Engine news. In addition to above list of free additions, you can buy their service to link you to 400 other search engines. They also offer a variety of services for web sites. Al Macintyre reminds you: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
- Submit your website to over 1500 Search Engines at the bottom of (I was unsuccessful) register .com
News Search Engines (about 3 dozen rich links)
I tried to submit the following feedback to Chris Sherman at Search Day and got 404 file not found error.
We get wonderful free services from search engines like Google, in which the advertising is not in our face like many other competitors. I would like to see an article about how places like Google earn their income, and how stable their future survival is, because the whole economy is in a downturn.
What are the essential back bone services of the Internet infrastructure, now and in the recent past, and their economic stability? We remember recently in the news, World Com, and before that the dot com bubble collapse. Governments have gone from being in fiscal balance to serious deficit, very rapidly.
The economy is in trouble world wide, North America, South America, Europe, Asia. One thing holding us afloat in USA is consumer spending, and in the computer field one of the essential elements are the Search Engines.
So please enlighten me in a future article. How do search engines get revenue to run their businesses? Can we see some kind of a cash flow pie - where it comes from, where it goes, how healthy is their future?
- Visit Don Strickland's Radio FAQ.
- Scroll over to the Calendar near the upper right corner.
- Scroll down to just below the Calendar.
- See how he has Google Search Engine in which you can select your choice of searching just his site, the whole www, or one of the two large Radio communities.
- Here is the code that he used to accomplish that.
Christian Crumlish (xian) did a lot of work exploring how to setup various Search Engine things on his web site towards the end of Sept 2002 ... start with this link and scroll down to what's of interest to you. He wrote this up in an essay Fine Tuning Custom Google Search. If you explore the site, he shares several added tips, as he comes across them.
Search Engines to help us navigate Weblogs in general, not just Radio sites - see my 2002 Aug 22 review
Most Search Engines support Boolean Logic, in which the first words you use in the box are the most important, and placement of AND OR NOT operators also apply.
Suppose you search for Bird Watching.
Suppose you search for "Bird Watching" in double quotes as shown.
The search engine will only locate pages that have both the word Bird, and the word Watching, in that sequence. It will not identify pages that have one word without the other, the word Watching then Bird, as in Watching Birds
This is because when you put something inside double quotes, the search engine looks for that exact phrase.
Suppose you search for "Bird Watching" OR "Watching Bird"
Suppose you search for Bird AND Watching, or Bird + Watching.
Suppose you search for "Bird Watching" AND (Ohio OR Kentucky)
The search engine will locate pages that have the words Bird and Watching adjacent in that sequence, AND also have either the word Ohio or the word Kentucky.
By using combinations of AND OR we can focus multiple topics we want included to narrow our search.
I can search to find out who is linking to some story I wrote, and exclude my own site, by searching for Radio Doc Sources AND NOT "Al Macintyre's Radio Weblog
" but that would also exclude any web sites that spell out my site's name in full.
Guidance from Alison Fish Source: BlogFish; 09/29/2002; 5:45:23 PM
"...page on Google for advanced operators. Very cool." [Brian Buck] via [John Robb's Radio Weblog]
Noteable Advanced Searches:
- The query [link:] will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage.
For instance, [link:www.google.com] will list webpages that have links pointing to the Google homepage.
- If you include [site:] in your query, Google will restrict the results to those websites in the given domain.
For instance, [help site:www.google.com] will find pages about help within www.google.com. [help site:com] will find pages about help within .com urls.
- If you begin a query with the [stocks:] operator, Google will treat the rest of the query terms as stock ticker symbols, and will link to a page showing stock information for those symbols.
For instance, [stock: intc yhoo] will show information about Intel and Yahoo.
[CodeFish KlogFish] QUOTE
Another undocumented Google trick. Whoa, this works, I just tried it. Yikes!
From [Jon's Radio]
Engineering for practical obscurity. David Weinberger reports another undocumented Google trick: a quoted phone number (without hyphens) yields name, address, and maps. Although this is not really any different from what Switchboard.com has been doing for some time, we nevertheless find these demonstrations -- as David says -- scary. ...[Jon's Radio]
UNQUOTE [CodeFish KlogFish]
From [Seb's Open Research] A practical guide to finding like minds (or minds you like). One of the most powerful ways to find weblogs you'll like. Visit Google and type one or two words describing something or someone specific that really interests you; append the word "blog" or "weblog"; click " Search ". UNQUOTE [Seb's Open Research]
Search Engines work best when we have a pretty good idea what we are looking for, and know the right terminology, and strongly suspect that it is available on the Open Web (sites that don't require registration or charge fees). In some cases we are better off using a specialized directory. Check links for Advanced Search Tips, since not every Search Engine uses the identical methodologies.
I tried out the link and got a Google error message that implied this won't work, while at the same time it did work. Allegedly 124 weblogs were found by Google 2002-Sep-30 that link to Al Macintyre's Radio Weblog, including a number of duplicate entries. Incidentally, here are Google Tips from the Guardian; Check out Dan Shafer on Googlefight.
[Boing Boing] QUOTE GoogleHacks -- search engine tricks for everyone. GoogleHacks, an O'Reilly book with 99+ interesting and productive things to do with Google -- written by Tara "Researchbuzz" Calishain. Link Discuss (via Raelity Bites) UNQUOTE [Boing Boing Blog]
Check out the Google Directory of Weblog Software Resources. This includes Blog Software; Hosting; News Feeds; Tools, not just Enhanced Radio Tools. Check out the Google Directory of Weblogs. There's less than 3,000 here, as of 2002 Nov. You can submit your weblog to Google here, if you have not already done so.
I did the same thing in Alta Vista and it found one hit, that Google did not find. With Alta Vista you can limit it to the title of a web site (title:Al Macintyre) or its url (url:http://radio.weblogs.com/0107846/).
About.com has a directory of different kinds of weblogs and personal web sites.
- Diaries - Men
- Diaries - Women
- Individuals - a personal comment on About com's categorization
- I think of my self as an intellectual and compassionate human being, as being more important than my gender (male) ethnicity (white) orientation (straight) etc.
- Individuals - Men
- Individuals - Women
- Kids' Pages
- Missing Children
- Teens' Pages
- Webrings - Diaries
- Webrings - Family & Friends
All in One Search Page
All the Web - to register your weblog in this search engine, visit www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php
Alta Vista - to register your weblog in this search engine, visit www.altavista.com/addurl
Beaucoup links more than 2,000 search engines in French.
BigBook lets you search for a company name and address, yellow phone book style, but you have to give the city, so if you want to access some big national outfit like IBM, you need to know what cities have their home bases for major product lines.
Blogdex provides a number of blog tracking services, such as integrated link statistics. 14,000 sites there as of Oct 2002. [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Weblog Compendium says Blog Finder is a search engine for finding blogs, but first impressions to Al Mac is that it is just another search engine or topics directory.
Blo.gs [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there. Blo.gs tracking 54,439 weblogs for 872 users as of 2002 Nov 26.
Blog Hog [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blog Hop has Blog searching; Blog scoring; random Blog. 12,000 blogs there as of Oct 2002. [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blog Hot or Not [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blogging Ecosystem helps us keep track of who is linking to us, and what other links are out there. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
BlogLinker.com is a service for automatically swapping links with other weblogs. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blog Portal is a registry of weblogs. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blogsnob [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Blog Search searches all the Blogger blogs (see my Blog Software directory).
Blog Tracker is a service for people who do not have all the wonderful features that are built in to Radio Userland. Based on www.Weblogs.com, we can register which weblogs we interested in, then go here to see when they have updated. Problem is, my interest is by subject, presentation, and traffic that points at me, which all are moving targets. If your preferences are notifying weblogs.com, then you are automatically included in Blog Tracker.
Blog Tree is a genealogy of blog relationships - when you sign up, tell them what other blogs inspired the development of yours.
I had thought Boing Boing was an extremely active Weblog, whose organizer is gifted at finding cool stuff, and or has lots of helpers passing on stuff worth using, but according to We Blog Book (see my Blog Books directory for links), this place is also a blog-focused registry. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Brint is for business connections, knowledge management.
Browser, will Travel
You can download the Bulls Eye search engine. A great feature is the ability to search for terms in near proximity to each other. If you do not have news aggregation, or you want to monitor a site that does not have RSS or the equivalent, you can use Bulls Eye to tell you when a site is updated.
You can download a free copy of the Copernic search engine.
Date in www.historychannel.com - What Happened on that date in history?
Daypop identifies the latest most popular news, found in both the traditional news media and weblogs, and which are the top stories of interest to bloggers. You can advertise here for just $10.00 = what a bargain. CNET reviews Daypop. [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there. Todd Stauffer author of Blog On (see Blog Books for more info) says this is especially important if your weblog covers any news or current events.
Eatonweb is a search engine and directory of weblogs. 7,300 there as of Oct 2002. [Radio Free Blogistan] reminds us: Don't forget to register your weblog there.
You have to register to use Excite.
Perhaps Fresh Blogs belongs in my story on Understand Radio News Aggregation but in any case this is a service where over 400 users have watch lists monitoring over 5,000 sites out of over 36,000 that they are aware of.
Globe of Blogs has thousands of webblogs organized by author, title, topic, birthday, gender, and location for webloggers who have registered there. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Suppose you have a phone # on your caller-id and you want to know who that phone # belongs to (many caller phone #s say anonymous or are from a rural area of the country that is not yet digital systems). With Info USA, we can do a reverse phone number search, but it will not reverse engineer unlisted phone numbers.
- This points us at non-public web sites most likely to contain information that interests us, to help us decide which of them we want to join.
- This is a meta-engine searching many other search engines, in which it merges what it finds, eliminating duplicate hits. You can put a Maximum Time on its efforts.
Info Seek Go Com
Librarians and the Internet
Linkwatcher does an hourly visit to all weblogs that it knows about, notes which have updated since its last visit, and updates its search engine accordingly.
CNET reviews Mamma, which is like a Reader's Digest of other search engines, great for searching news, images, video, and audio, but is cluttered with advertising.
To register your weblog in MSN search engine, visit http://search.msn.com/ and click the button = Submit a Web Site Link
- If there is some topic we very interested in tracking, such as who is using Radio Doc Sources we can subscribe to Northern Light's e-mail alert to tell us that there is new material showing up in a particular search query.
Look up phone #s at www.555-1212.com or what is the area code for some geography
One of the referers that shows up occasionally is Organica. This initially appeared to Al to be a tool of the search engine world, but it may also be another Weblogger volunteer experiment, based on data in www.weblogger.com. It has identified 11 web sites that link to me, and 690 that I have linked to. See my Understand Radio Referers and Link Services stories for additional nuances, such as the significance of Alexa.
Reference Desk has a ton of stuff that interests me.
Savy Search offers a multitude of customization for specialized searches simultaneously at 100 search engines.
Search.com lists regular search engines and some very specialized directories.
Speciality Search Engines
If you want to locate someone's e-mail, check out Switchboard. Click Find Email link, enter their name, click search, then from here you can send them some e-mail. You can also get their phone # via People Search link, enter name and whatever else you know (city helps), then search.
Apparently Tecoma does not offer the link approach, but when I searched for "Al Macintyre", I got 22 hits, including stuff I had posted to the Internet before I started Weblogging, plus the usual misfires due to other people who have the same name. CNET reviews Tecoma, liking the links to topical directories by experts related to your search criteria (this is one of the features that appeals to me, as is the helpful drill down to more and more search focusing), but CNET says not enough experts have signed on yet for this to be really helpful.
Truth Laid Bear compares weblog sites of people who join up there for statistics like who doing the most significant linking. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
Uncorked Portal is a registry of blogs. Don't forget to register your weblog there.
CNET reviews Vivisimo, which gives a great overview of your subject, by clustering related sites, including unusual data bases, but you need to dig a bit deeper into what they find than some other search engines.
Weblog Madness is a collection of Weblog directories.
Web Rings are communities with similar interests that encourage visitors to visit the other web sites that are in that ring. Some are setup to work specifically with a particular Blog Software while some are not specific to weblogging and are more focused on topic interests. Here are some examples that I got out of Blog On (see Blog Books for more info):
- Blog Philes Web Ring for Webloggers
- Greylogs Web Ring for specific tools (might this have any relation to Grey Matter (see my Blog Software directory for more info)?)
- MT Blog Ring Web Ring for specific tools (might this have any relation to Moveable Type (see my Blog Software directory for more info)?)
- MT Ring Web Ring for specific tools (I am assuming MT is short for Moveable Type (see my Blog Software directory))
- pMachine Web Ring for specific tools (I am assuming this is for pMachine users (see my Blog Software directory))
- Ring Surf helps us find Web Rings relevant to our topical interests, in which not all the sites are neccessarily Web Logs
- Wander Lust is a combination traditional Web Ring support and also gathering news worth posting to our weblogs, and random web wandering.
- Xanga Web Ring for Webloggers
Right after I started this story, Wisenut was featured by Sep 30 Search Day, so I searched for "Al Macintyre" and got 27 hits similar to Tecoma's ... my weblog, ancient posts I had done to a mixture of discussion groups, forums, FAQ-O-MATIC, and convention management tips place years ago, and other people on the Internet with same name as me. It found no hits for what is working on Google and Alta Vista. Link: http://radio.weblogs.com/0107846/ Wisenut also won the CNET Editor's Choice: QUOTE Next to Google, this is the most accurate and user-friendly search tool around. UNQUOTE.
If you want to locate someone's e-mail, check out Yahoo People Search. Enter the person's name, click advanced for variants, search. Or in addition to name, include additional info like address, so that you can get their phone #.
Check out Yahoo / Home / Social Science / Communications / Writing / Journals and Diaries / On-Line Journals and Diaries (over 1,000 here) in which the page at this level has links to many of the vendors of Blog Software. Be sure to register your weblog in this directory, when you visit it, because otherwise you might have a hard time locating the url. You probably want to add your weblog as a link in 3 different areas of Yahoo ... the general search engine, the weblogs directory area, and individual topic areas that are most relevant to your interests.
- Individuals (over 500)
- Web Directories (a dozen or so)
- Birmingham area
- Diary Registry - find them by title, name, location, age, birthdate and more
- More than Corn online journals from the Midwest
- Out into the real world of college students sorted by graduation date
- Singapore directory
- Where all the Journals are organized by time zone
- Web Rings
- A ring of journals
- Archipelago chosen for excellence in writing and design
- Journal Ring
- Often updated
- Open Pages
- Silent Scream
- Speak Freely
- Weblogs (over 500)
World Pages is like a consolidated directory of all business directories world wide. Click the International Link and pull down which of 200 countries you are interested in. Suppose you plan to visit a nation with a foreign language other than your own. That's where the flags come in useful. Just click the links that have flag of nation whose language you do know.
Remember that there is more Internet information out there than what is on the World Wide Net, and there is information off of the Internet. Before www there was Gopher; That wealth of information still exists if you know how to access it. There is information that is not free, in some well organized data bases, such as Lexis-Nexis. Sometimes it pays to use well organized resources, instead of struggling with free but disorganized.
If you interested in the geography of some place in the news, you might want to look at a map, such as at MapQuest.
There's tens of thousands of news groups out there, organized into a hierarchy by topic, with search engines specialized for this area, such as RemarQ.
If you want to download some free shareware software, checkout shareware.com and download.com.
Sometimes a link to one of my stories gets inexplicably broken, showing up as double quotes rather than as a hyper link, and I cannot figure out how to fix it on a timely basis. Use this directory of my stories as a backup if need be. http://radio.weblogs.com/0107846/stories/
© Copyright 2003 Al Macintyre.
Last update: 01/14/2003; 1:56:51 PM.