This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Daniel M. Russell, Ph.D. Google Search User Experience Research
Nov 20, 2008
THINGS TO ADD«
1. Add dictionary lookup: PWNED example of how DEFINE: connects to currently active language (I don t 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?
1. Follow-on question: Can you quickly create a chart that shows Chinese vs. European sailing ships, max length, over time? 2. 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)
4. 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? 5. Add [ inurl: ] as a way to find tutorials and notes on topics example: [inurl:tutorial html page development ]
How to use internet search and internet resources Develop effective search query formation Learn how to evaluate the trustworthiness of web sites 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
³«this topic is much so much more interesting if you first have a bumper of Nottingham ale«´
What you need to know«
Six kinds of knowledge & skills needed to search:
site: ricoh.com ³double quotes´ minus (as exclude) plus (include) filetype:pdf intitle:´cheat sheet´ « etc «
pure engine technique
knowing when to shift knowing when to stop move from wide to narrow preserving state«
medical knowledge plumbing knowledge English lit world languages «
reverse dictionary keyword frequencies contents of domains Wikipedia knowing what¶s available « etc«
Is this believable? How does this link to other information I already know? What is the relationship of this information to authoritative sources? Knowing particular layout and features of a site (metadata sort/filter; variant query mechanisms; location of ³print version´ alternate view)
Six components of expertise
pure engine technique
The Art of Keyword Choice
Hints to choose keywords«
1. Think about what you re trying to find 2. Choose words that you think will appear on the page 3. Put yourself in the mindset of the author of those words
Choosing the right keywords
[ small note chant notation ]
When you¶re 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. What s 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 controversy
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. They re usual a preliminary sketch, presented to the client for approval
Question: What is this thing called?
The easiest solution I found was [ small artist model in wax ] read through the snippets to find a definition. To double check, you can use Google as a dictionary: [ define:maquette ] then
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: What s that thing called?
Start with the simplest search you can think of: [ upper lip indentation ] If it s not right, you can always modify it. When I did this, I clicked on the first result, which took me to Yahoo Answers. There s a nice article there about something called the philtrum. Then I double checked on that by doing a [ define:philtrum ]
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: Here s 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://www.coepark.org/wildflowers/blue/blue.html
Answer: Hound's tongue (Cynoglossum grande)
I started with [ blue wildflowers california ], but that didn t 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 it s 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 you re 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?
Yes, it s 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 city don t just assume that s the best way to describe it. Try this search:
[ 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 topic FAQ frequently asked questions list (often useful for topic summaries) DIY do it yourself useful when looking for instructions
Art of Keyword Summary
1. Choose words that will be on the page(s) you seek 2. Start as simply as possible (don t start with 5 words in your query) 3. If you know a very specific term, use it (but be sure it s right!) 4. Learn from what you see on the pages you visit 5. Don t get stuck on a particular term or phrase. If you re not making progress, re-think the terms you re using
Consider using other content types
Video: Youtube be sure to look for [ TED talks ] e.g., Ola Rosling or Jane Goodall great speakers
For example.. when are images a good resource?
What s a fore topmast studding sail?
[ ship sail diagram ] Ship diagram: Use image search
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 Visitor s 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 Maps) (under My
Using other resources
Someone told me that in the mid-1500 s, 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 they d 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://www.onelook.com/reverse-dictionary.shtml ) and type in the words [ notebook quotations ] the list of words it shows you. Answer: commonplace book then look thru
How to remove bogus results from your searches
Sometimes you want to look up something that s pretty common, so there are LOTS of web pages out there. It s even worse when the word is really common. So how do you eliminate things you don t want?
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 it«
I really liked the recipes on Epicurious.com search to just the site(s) you like [ site:epicurious.com salsa ] use SITE: to restrict
Also use site: to limit searches to just universities (in the US): [ site:.edu history american romanticsm literature ]
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, you ll get somewhat different answers!
Site #1: Site #2: Site #3: Site #4: 7,926.41 miles 12,756 km 12,756.3 km 7,900 miles
Why the differences? - different measuring techniques - different circles around (polar vs. equatorial) - different resolutions of measurement (cm vs. mile scales)
Can you figure out how to use the calculator on Google?
Just type the expression into the search box 1. 4 + 5 + 19 2. 45023 / 34 + 5 / 29 3. Sin(0.5) ^ 2
General pattern: number units1 in units2
Problem: How fast does the World¶s Fastest Man run in MPH?
1. What s the current world record? 2. Make the conversions 3. Do the calculations
1. 2. 3. 4.
Use web search (news) to find out world record Note that the record is in meters (100 meters) Convert distance from meters to miles 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
We all want to teach it but how?
Credibility = trustworthiness + expertise
Oh yeah it s also socially contextualized: What s credible to you might not be credible to another social group.
A large part of learning how to judge as credible is
What does your social group recognize as credible? A large part of this is name recognition.
(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: [ link:<URL> ] e.g., [ link:www.ufos-alien.uk ] 2. Check the page and site on Alexa.com use: www.alexa.com look on the Site overview and Traffic
3. Check links pointing OUT from the page: use: www.linkvendor.com/seo-tools/outbound-links.html
Example: Did NASA fake the moon landing?
[ lunar landing hoax ] Click on first result: www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html
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 / operator?
Use the link operator:
[ link:www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html ]
to see what other web pages link to this page
[ link:/www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/ ]
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://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp www.internic.net/ -- look under Whois Search Results
Report for: www.globalwarminghoax.com
Advanced search techniques
All search engines have advanced search capabilities. Here are some of the advanced things I use often site:stanford.edu -- site restrict limits results to JUST that site
(Try: [ winograd ] vs. [ winograd site:stanford.edu ] or [ moon image ] vs. [ moon image site:nasa.gov ] )
filetype restrict limits hits to just files of that type (can be pdf, doc, ppt, jpg, gif, xls, etc.
(Try: [ sensemaking filetype:PDF ] )
intitle: American Heritage
requires that this string be in the TITLE of of the page that s found
(Try: [ museum ] vs. [ museum intitle: American Heritage ] or [ museum American technology ] vs. [ museum intitle: American Technology ] )
Advanced search page
Access to all of the advanced features w/o having to remember them all! The link to advanced search is on every search page
1. 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
2. Consider other content types (images, videos, maps) 3. Remember other information resources exist
e.g., reverse dictionaries, synonym finder, forums, domain-specific sites
Minus to remove terms from searches Check your result by looking for same answer elsewhere Calculator Conversions Site:
Have a research stance«
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://www.google.com/cse/
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 theme
Finding a custom search engine (CSE)
Note that the searches can sometimes be a little funky
Scan news, groups, web, videos, comprehensive emails automatically
Use in conjunction with advanced search techniques
Combines data from multiple sources into single view To find mashups: [ mashup search ]
Video.google.com Youtube.com you can find lots more
Lots of junk on the public video sites be careful of what you see Low quality Also lots of faked video. You can t believe everything you see either.
Images.google.com But remember than many sites have their OWN image collections. Especially true of newspapers, .gov, NASA, universities, libraries, etc.
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/index.html Site:usgs.gov in image search
scanned page images [ scuba ]
Amazon.com search inside this book feature
Look for Backyard Ballistics then [ potato gun ]
Google.com/patents Usually want to use advanced search here
For scholarly searches
Very useful to do online searches of libraries
Especially when you re looking on obscure topics Looking for an out-of-print author (not in Amazon) When you need to find a hardcopy to read Need access to local resources (e.g., Palo Alto Historical Association)
Palo Alto, 1960
Search the catalog (another deep web area! (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 you re stuck Try: [ resume ] -- but try doing an IMAGE search for resume!
[ define:moa ] note: contrast this with [ define moa ] [ movies palo alto ] [ pizza near mountain view ] [ weather mountain view ] phone number and map: [ kepler s menlo park ] <ups tracking number> Flight numbers (to track a flight): [ AA102 ]
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.