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Deep searching...

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Web 1.0 Searching: Looking for standard information in databases and in search engines

A good, general site on all things related to web searching:


Looking for difficult file types on Google:
filetype:doc "fill in your query here"  -- documents
filetype:pptpower points
filetype:pdfPDF files
…also mdb (Access), xls (Excel), jpeg, swf (Flash)

Searching pdf's:


Looking for databases:
intitle: "searchable database" site:gov [or edu, org, jp, ca]

Title Searching: when looking for reports or publications
In Google use the command  intitle:

URL Search:  when looking within a web address
Google uses  inurl:

Domain Searching:  when looking for information within a certain kind of site
Usually it's site:gov
Common domains:  gov (government), mil (military), edu (accredited colleges and universities), org (no meaning), co.jp (Japan), co.uk (UK), etc.

To look up the owner of a domain, go to the WHOIS feature on http://www.networksolutions.com

Link Searching
A few search engines let you see all the Web pages that link to a particular Web page. This way, you may be able to do more research more quickly. 
In Google:  link:(URL … no http://)
You can also try related:URL in Google

Finding missing websites/ pages:

Web 2.0 Searching:  Looking for information in blogs, discussion boards, podcasts, etc.
Google, Google, Google. It seems like every time there's buzz about search, the story has to do with Google. 

There's a lot more out there, and while yes, Google is playing with serious math porn back in its top-secret development labs, there are some newer, more interesting ways to search through all that cyber sludge.

How does this help you, the traditional journalist? For one thing, Lexis ain't coding Podcasts to drop into its databases. If you're working on a story about the Japanese shrimp economy -- and at one point a few years back, I was -- I can guarantee that some shlub is geeky about those tiny crustaceans and devotes his lonely nights to researching and recording a Podcast. Would I quote him as a source? Not a chance. But I'd take that information as a lead and start tracing his steps to find my analysts and my experts.

Same problem with online content that's coded in Flash. The presentation may have fantastic, useful information, but if it's embedded in ActionScript, you're going to have a difficult time locating it using a standard search engine.

You can glean a tremendous amount of insight from multimedia files. The problem is that because of the way traditional search engines work, it's hard to find information hidden within, say, Flash content.

Below, you'll find a handful of search alternatives. Try them out and see what you get -- and if you have additional ideas, add them in the comments section below.

Find specific audio and video streaming files (auf Deutsch, but it works): http://www.audioclipping.de
Search blogs: http://www.blogdigger.com
Search for specific feeds: http://www.feedster.com
Crawl through discussion forums for information without actually visiting each one: http://www.omgili.com
Search for images: http://ditto.com
Search Google and Yahoo at the same time: http://www.gahooyoogle.com
Look through what other people have already found – it’s a human-ranked search engine: http://www.prefound.com
Not really a true search, but Bloglines offers a fantastic way to pull RSS content on very specific subjects.

© MyDigiMedia/ Sept. 2004 – updated Sept. 2006


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