Other Than Google
My first recommendation is not to always default to Google. Yes, I personally use Google 95%+ for searching. But I do sometimes jump to other search engines. In all honesty, my bigger switch has been to leverage Networks and Communities (i.e., people search) than to leverage other search engines. That said, it's worth consulting resources such as:
- Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need - A wonderful list of different types of searches and tools that go along with that type of search.
- http://live.grokker.com/grokker.html?query=authoring tools
At the other end of the spectrum is when you want a more comprehensive search and want to make sure that you've not missed important sites/pages. According to Search Engines / UC Berkeley -
Less than half the searchable Web is fully searchable in Google. Overlap studies show that more than 80% of the pages in a major search engine's database exist only in that database. Getting a "second opinion" is therefore often worth your time. For this purpose, we recommend Ask.com or Yahoo! Search. We no longer recommend using any meta-search engines.That last comment is quite interesting - and while I'm not sure why, I personally don't use meta search engines, but I will periodically check other search engines such as Ask and Yahoo to see what they have to say on a topic.
While I'm on the topic of alternative search engines, I definitely need to remind everyone about Google Scholar and Google Book Search . One of my favorite searches is to do a book search and include only those books where I can see preview or full view (via advanced search).
- Internet Archive - Way Back Machine - use this to get back to any page in the past.
- Search Engines and Search Tutorials - Fantastic set of links.
I'm not going to spend time on this, but at some point, I need to create a good cheat sheet or set of mental models that would help us identify what is good quality content. Obviously, we do this a lot. You search and then filter through to figure out what might be helpful.
- Evaluation Internet Sites Tutorial
- Evaluating Quality on the Internet
- Evaluation of Information Resources
Some basic, introductory material.
- - Helps me get rid of stuff that doesn't apply.
- OR - When several terms apply.
- .. as a quick date search. In other words, 2007 .. 2009 for recent materials. There's a better date range via advanced search.
- filetype: I often use this to find examples. filetype:ppt - Often use OR or the "~" to expand your search when looking for examples can be a good trick.
- site: I use this to search a particular site because most site searches are not that great.
- inurl: I use this to search gov, edu type sites.
More on Boolean searching and search operator usage:
I do a fair amount of searching for images. Primarily I use:
- Stock Photo Image and Other Media Sources
- Free Sources of Photos and Images
- Copyright Friendly Image Sources