Two Unique Search Tools

By WdchenWdchen (1261280072|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Check out these two unique and interesting search tools!

Purpose

In this blog, I want to demonstrate/describe the functionality of two search tools that may prove to be quite useful at some point in your life. On the web, you are bound to find countless tools that are readily accessible if you know where to look for them. The problem, however, is that usually a lot of individuals don't bother spending the time to learn about new "tricks" and continue to go about in their old ways, which more than often take up a lot of time. Listed below are the descriptions of the two tools that I hope will convince you that it's never too late to learn something new:

  1. Searching for an answer to something in particular i.e. the number of galaxies there are in the universe
  2. Creating a list that have some commonality i.e. list of Disney characters

Search/Analysis/Conclusion

Tool #1

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  • So basically for the first tool, the key components are a set of quotations and an asterisk or possibly multiple asterisks. I will use the search taken from #1 above: "There are * galaxies in the universe"
  • The quotations ensure that the entire phrase will be found in the exact way that it is typed on the web, and the asterisk denotes a blank, hoping that the search will fill that blank spot in with an answer.
  • It's all very simple stuff and pretty easy to incorporate into your searching techniques.
  • In terms of search engines, I will use Google and Yahoo for the purpose of the query.
    • Google provides 6 out of 10 relevant results just on the first page! Almost all of these results claim that there are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe.
    • Yahoo provides okay results on the first page, but doesn't provide the numbers that I was hoping to see. They only give vague answers, such as a lot, hundreds, or millions.
  • In my opinion, I would say that Google produces better results in terms of finding out a direct number compared to Yahoo, which vaguely just says that there are a lot of galaxies. The first result in Google says that there are over 100 billion galaxies.
  • If you of course, are not looking for any type of numerical value, and just want to understand that there are "a lot" of galaxies, then Yahoo would have been just fine. However, many might be not satisfied with that answer at all, and may want something more concrete, such as the 100 billion galaxies. In this case, Google produces the more relevant results. I'm biased towards Google, in that I believe their databases, in which they draw all of their results from, is a lot larger than most others and therefore, I would probably say that Google produces better results most, if not all the time.
  • Untitled.jpg

    Overall, however, this tool is great, regardless of using Google or Yahoo, for finding quick answers to whatever you are looking for. All you have to do is type in a phrase with a blank in it for whatever you are looking for and search. Once you get the hang of using the quotations and frame the phrase using an asterisk, you are well underway!

Pros

  • Great tool to find answers to anything stated in the proper format with the quotations and asterisk(s)
  • Quality results are generated based on filling the blank spot denoted by the * in.

Cons

  • Doesn't always provide you with an exact answer, such as in our case with Yahoo filling in the * with [a lot]

Tool #2

  • Google Sets is a simple tool that uses a small list that you have provided and generates an even larger set based on their relationships. Basically, after going to the website, you just type in a couple items you are trying to find more of, and Google Sets does the rest! It definitely comes in handy when you know what you are trying to look for, have other examples, and just want to see other results.
  • In terms of conducting the search that I had stated above, creating a list of Disney characters, I started with the first 4 that I could think of:
          1. Aladdin
          2. Jasmine
          3. Mickey Mouse
          4. Pocohontas
  • Here is what resulted from the search. As you can see, the tool came up with various other Disney characters, and various other Disney related materials.
  • I think that the compiled list got a bit sidetracked in terms of finding only Disney characters, but all the results are Disney related in some shape or form, such as being a movie. The reason for this could be the fact that the database wasn't able to extract anymore and just came up with the next best results, which were still Disney related.
  • My initial impression of Google Sets is very good. This was my first introduction and I am very pleased with the results. Even though they were not 100% accurate, they still produced a significant amount of useful material (21 out of the 38 generated results were found to be good)
  • If you are ever in need of a creating an extensive list of things that share some type of relationship, then Google Sets may be the key to your solution. Another useful application could be finding synonyms for words. If you type in a couple words that you can thing of, then Google Sets could generate quite a few more, and that could help narrow you down to getting closer to what you are looking for.

Pros

  • Great tool to find lists of data that are connected with a particular relationship
  • Quality results are generated most of the time

Cons

  • Can often generate results that are along the same lines, but not exactly what you wanted (i.e. The Toy Story is not a Disney character, but a Disney movie)
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