You are here

Google has transformed web searching in many ways. It has become the first, sometimes the only, search engine many people use. It has also elevated web service standards with tools like Google Print, Scholar, Local, Froogle, Maps, and Earth. But Google's successes have unleashed a torrent of competition and counter-innovation. As searchers, we can expect to spend more time using an array of web resources and less time Googling.

In this course we will explore:

  • Which search features are unique to Google and which work in other search engines;
  • What the features and databases developed by Yahoo!, MSN Search, and Ask Jeeves can do that Google can't;
  • How new search engines like Exalead and Gigablast are unveiling more flexible approaches to searching, results displays, and multi-media; and
  • How and when to use RSS feeds, tags, online news, blog searches, and other new technologies to find current information and multi-media.

In this course you will learn what's most important and useful about new web search technologies, as well as practical techniques for searching the web more efficiently.

Workshop Description: This is an all-day hands-on workshop. Through individual and group exercises, cheat sheets, a timeline, discussion, and experimentation, you will compare the effectiveness of current and emerging search engines. You will explore their unique and powerful search engine features, services, and special databases. You will be introduced to finding and using quality blogs, RSS feeds, tag sites, other web media. We will also discuss ways to deal with the web's increasing, low-quality "noise." You will develop a sense of how web search technology got where it is, where it is headed, and its value to libraries and to our users. The instructor will also provide a list of resources for keeping up to date.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Web Search Engines
    • Before Google, Google, and post-Google
    • Major search engines today
    • New search engines and directions to watch
  • Comparing and Choosing Web Search Engines
    • Similarities, differences
    • What matters for our purposes
  • Post-Google Expanded Web Spaces
    • Why use blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, tag sites and other folksonomies
    • Tools for finding, tips for using and evaluating
  • The Best Non-Web Databases and Services from the Search Engine Giants
    • Google's best in the eyes of libraries and our users
    • What others offer that Google does not

Workshop Instructor: Joe Barker