Thursday, February 24, 2005

Internet Searching Eludes Me

I like to know the rules about things, and like to be able to expect them to work. Jim says that I am a person who "looks to authority", which can be a good thing and a bad thing. I like to think of myself as someone who can think outside the box, once I understand what the box is and how it works.

Internet searching is one of the most inexact sciences that I can think of. I've recently been learning a few tricks to do advanced searching, but they only work sometimes.

This for example. I learned that if you want to limit your searching to a particular website and its subsidiary pages, you can add site:[url snippet] to your search. I've just tried using this technique in Google to find all the Aunt Frieda stories that are on Library Squirrel, using the following search string:

"aunt frieda" site:librarysquirrelz.blogspot.com

According to my chosen authority this should have worked, but instead it only gave me one hit. I've found in reference work that site: works really well for finding something like admissions information at a particular university (admissions site:usask.ca), or finding information that you know will be found on a federal government site ("compassionate care leave" site:gc.ca). So why won't it work for Library Squirrel?

Hmm. Maybe because each blog post on blogger has its own url? Each url contains the string "librarysquirrelz.blogspot.com", but then the date and the post title are added too. Squirrel brain in a whirl.

Chip chip chrrrrr. Bzzzt.

Even this search below only gets one hit (getting only one hit in Google is supposedly a victory, by the way, and is called "Google whacking" - according to a speaker I heard at a conference recently):

"library squirrel" +"aunt frieda"

Dis squirrel is stumpt. Perhaps Aunt Frieda's malicious power extends to the Internet? Scary business.

3 Comments:

Blogger Alicia said...

you can actually find all your aunt frieda posts from your blogger dashboard. there's a search engine above the list of all your posts. just type in "aunt frieda" and it will give you ALL the posts with those words in it. i used it the other day on my blog looking for a certain word, and it works. try it out.

9:15 am  
Blogger Gwen said...

Thanks E.F.! That's excellent.

1:54 pm  
Blogger liz said...

This is extra-weird, because it only works for certain things in my blog, for example: "UTI".

It does not work for "flood",
"Ypsi", nor "vertebra" (all words I found while looking at my early posts.)

Since I already know that a number of people have found my site using "UTI", I wonder if this only works for terms that Google has come to know and be "familiar" with on a particular blog??

Hmmm....

1:15 pm  

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