Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bates InfoTip:Google Can Do That?

Mary Ellen Bates from Bates Information Services Inc. shared some ideas from Internet Librarian Conference. This is what she has to say:
I recently spoke at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, CA and one of the presentations I enjoyed doing the most was on the hidden features of some of the major search engines. I have covered some of them in early Info-Tips, but the following are a few of my new Google favorites.

* Google lets you search for a range of numbers, in any format. To include a number range in your search query, type in the lower and upper numbers, separated by two periods - e.g., 15..50 I had a chance to try out this feature in a real-life search; I wanted to find a set of wireless headphones on costing between $50 and $100. I typed in the query (wireless OR cordless) headphones $50..$99 and, sure enough, I retrieved a wide selection of wireless headphones within my price range. Note that Google is smart enough to recognize decimal points - some of the items I retrieved weren't an even dollar amount but were, for example, $57.83. This feature could also come in handy if you are looking for a mention of a range of years.

* Speaking of date-searching on Google, you can limit your search to only those pages added or changed within the past [whatever] days. This can be a useful feature if you re-run a search regularly; just limit your search to the pages added or modified since you last ran your search. You can do this not by adding text in the search box but by modifying the search results page URL by adding the following text to the end of the URL and clicking [Search]: &as_qdr=dn (where n is the number of days you want searched) So, for example, to limit my search to the last 18 days, I would add &as_qdr=d18 to the end of the search results page URL.
Keep in mind that this isn't a perfect date-limiting search. Some web content management systems automatically refresh a web page frequently, without necessarily making any changes to the page. Those pages will have a recent date but the content within them may have been unchanged for months.

Courtesy: Bates Info-Tips for November 2007. Click on the title to view this and other tips from previous newsletters

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