The Deep Web and Smartphones

By afilushafilush (1261508150|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Previous to this class, I had never heard of the Invisible, or "Deep Web." The concept of Google not indexing all the sites on the web made sense, but as a user, I never felt like there was not that much I was missing. When a Google search for smartphones returns 7,700,000 hits, it is hard to imagine the deep web containing a lot more relevant information for my topic that was not already covered. But for sake of getting to know more about the tools, I decided to test out the main three Deep Web sites (Google Scholar, Scirus, IncyWincy) with my topic to test their relevancy.

Google Scholar Search

None of my results returned anything of relevancy for my project. Being a smartphone aficionado as well, I thought the information contained within these documents was almost completely irrelevant for anything I needed to know outside of my project. Now this can be said of most Regular Google Results as well, but I didn't feel like this information was something that needed to be shared. The first, fourth and fifth results were all what appeared to be research papers about topics way over my head. These would be relevant to someone doing a thesis on such complicated technical topics that involve the engineering of smartphones. The second and third results were just books that were linked to, which I could not doing anything but see the title. I don't know if this is a developing feature, but it didn't seem to serve a purpose.

These were my Top 5 results returned by Google Scholar:

Rank Title
1 ZoneZoom: map navigation for smartphones with recursive view segmentation
2 [CITATION] … Software for Symbian OS: An introduction to creating smartphone applications in C++
3 [CITATION] Symbian OS explained: effective C++ programming for smartphones
4 Smartsiren: virus detection and alert for smartphones
5 Wireless wakeups revisited: energy management for voip over wi-fi smartphones

Scirus Search

After my experience with Google Scholar, I did not expect anything great out of Scirus. Especially after reading the "for scientific information only" slogan on their homepage. Luckily, my expectations were disproved. Scirus returned several relevant results, including a few recent links to scientific reports about the uses of smartphones in health care as well as an article about how smartphones have impacted business, both for the positive and the negative.

But what surprised me about Scirus was the 69 News Results Found at the bottom of the page. In fact, several of them were dated for Dec 1, 2009 (I am writing this only 51 minutes into this day!!) I started to click through them, and was excited by the articles I was reading. Then I started to look at the addresses of the sites these articles were coming from, and I realized they were nothing new when it came to News. I was able to find all the articles using a simple Google search. I have no idea what purpose these articles served, or how they were linked to the deep web.

These were my Top 5 results returned by Scirus:

Rank Title
1 A personal mobile DRM manager for smartphones
2 Beyond phones. With the proper infrastructure, smartphones can help improve clinician satisfaction and increase EMR use
3 James Madison University - Desktop Services: PDAs and Smartphones
4 Diffusion of innovations: smartphones and wireless anatomy learning resources.
5 Practical applications for use of PDAs and smartphones with children and adolescents who have traumatic brain injury.

IncyWincy Search

IncyWincy had some interesting results. The first and fourth results were not able to be accessed except with the "cached" option, and neither of these pages was in English. But the other three sites were all very similar. They all returned websites that were set up to sell smartphones. As with Scirus, I checked to find that all these websites were findable with regular search engines. This prompted me to look around the website some more, and I noticed a that IncyWincy provided a "Shopping" search option. I ran my query and was presented with 108 results, many of which were the latest cell phones! This again shocked me, as my perception of Deep Web search sites did not correlate with the ability to do shopping as well.

These were my Top 5 results returned by IncyWincy:

Rank Title
1 Smartphones For Sale | Used Smartphones | Cheap Smartphones
2 PDA / Smartphones @ Next Mobile
3 Elite-Electronix - Sony Ericsson Smartphones
4 1001 Téléphone Mobile : Annonces pour Téléphones mobiles, Portables, Smartphones …
5 TREO Smartphones


After running through these websites, I have to agree with this article that was posted in the links for the Deep Search Class. While my topic was not something Deep Web sites are optimized for, like local information, research documents and medical data, I still feel like that information is readily available on the regular web as well. While both Scirus and IncyWincy provided me information that was useful, News and Shopping respectively, this information was easily found with a typical search. I am sure the people behind these sites were attempting to differentiate their sites from the competitors, I am not sure that the value added is worthwhile. When you cannot do anything else other than skim through irrelevant links, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

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