The ways people search

Research by BlueNile into search practices shows an even split in the nature of queries, where half are fragments (or phrases – just 2 or 3 words) and the other half fully expressed queries. Another cut showed queries that were statements vs those that were done as questions. The study claimed to find that searchers have distinct approaches, but I think it’s more likely that searchers vary their approach depending on their knowledge and need.

Psychology of the Searcher Nathan Safran, BlueNile Research (Apr 28)

Google Search Operators

Jeremy Gottlieb gives some pointers on using search operators at Google for researching competitors in the SEO industry.

Competitor Research Using Search Operators | A Launch Point For Beginners, distilled (May 21)

He recommends

  • searching for keywords in the title – using intitle:
  • limiting the search to a particular site – using site:
  • limiting the search to part of the url – using inurl:

All are good, but you may run into problems with inurl. Repeated use of inurl: triggers Google’s anti-hacker system that will drive you crazy with captcha to prove you are human.

Bing’s future

Front page, lead story in the Seattle Times – Bing no longer a search-engine blip, Matt Day (May 22). Microsoft claims that one in five searches in the U.S. on desktop computers is done through Bing. Actually, Bing has been gaining from Yahoo – and Yahoo had been using the Bing database. Also – many challenges remain. Bing has yet to break even, or make any inroad on mobile devices.

Of greatest interest: “Microsoft has integrated Bing’s underlying data-crunching technology into its other software, and plans to tie it closely to its upcoming Windows 10 operating system.”

Genealogy meta-search

GeneaBloggers, a generalogy research weblog, reported on New Genealogy Search Engine: Top 100 Genealogy Sites Mega-Search.

This metasearch engine created by Many Roads ( is a Google Custom Search set up to access the 100 genealogy websites identified by GenealogyInTime. Sites are listed on that page. Also, check “usage tips and guide”. digital collection has been expanding its digital collection. works with a coalition of Canadian libraries, museums and archives to preserve “Canada’s documentary heritage”. Creates Online Treasure Trove of Historical Documents – Canada’s History Comes Online. CNW (May 11) [Press Release}

“Chronicling the people and institutions that shaped Canadian history from the 1600s to the mid-1900s, the digital collection is already of major value for researchers. The majority is available free of charge: from school children, their teachers, family historians, and genealogists, to scholars in a wide variety of fields. Other content is available at a nominal fee, to help defray the hefty preservation costs.”