Re: Search Engine habits

Subject: Re: Search Engine habits
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 08:51:10 -0600

From: "Edgar D' Souza" <edgar -dot- b -dot- dsouza -at- gmail -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Search Engine habits

> B) If you want there to be something useful on later pages of results,
> you have to take time up front to craft a very particular and
> well-thought-out search with all sorts of terms and conditions.

Not always easy. I think most people tend to do this iteratively,
looking at page 1 of the results, and groaning "No, I didn't want
that!!" and adding negatives or grouping words into an exact string,
or other techniques intended to eliminate the bad results... then
repeating that till they start seeing useful results on page 1.


One recurring problem is that there are some relationships among
concepts that it's virtually impossible to specify. One example used by
a professor who taught online searching was that of a drug and a
disease. Do you want the drug to cure the disease or cause the disease?
Adding "cure" or "cause" to the list of search terms won't guarantee
that you'll narrow it down to what you want.

One approach I use is to start with an exact phrase in such cases --
e.g., "[drug] as a cure for [disease]."

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