Saturday, April 28, 2007

Web Searching for All

On Friday, 27 April, Greg Notess, well known search engine expert of Montana State University, Bozeman, showed his audience of librarians the latest iterations of the main Web search databases. These included Ask, Google, Live Search (MSN), Yahoo! Search, Exalead, and Gigablast. Greg demonstrated how these various choices can give different results with similar searches and their differences in searching abilities. Using more than one of these is necessary especially when one does not find what she/he is seeking.

Overlap among the various databases is good for organization home pages, major pages, and frequently visited sites but not so good for deeply buried pages, forums, and social networking pages. Greg also touched upon "search switching" for searching across search engines, "shortcuts" for quick answers, "questions & answers" where the searcher submits a question in natural language, and a variety of search features in the various databases. Some search engine betas include SearchMash, AskX, and Alpha Beta. Greg always does an excellent job with these sessions and I strongly recommend attending his sessions in the future.

Greg's PowerPoint Presentation is available at <>.