02 Web Search

Discuss basics of Web search and why students should use multiple search tools (rather than just Google).

Class held on 09/14/2009. (student notes; possible questions).

At beginning of class

  1. Someone should take notes and post them for today's class (sign up here)
  2. By now you should have done the following. This is not optional. This is not to do later. These sign-ups are due today.
    1. Become a member of twitter. Follow me, drsamoore.
      • How will I use twitter? How can you use twitter?
    2. Become a WikiDot member
    3. Become a member of the the BIT330 web site
    4. Read through the major pages of the wiki and look through the rest of it
    5. You will want to sign up for
  3. The structure of today's class is going to be fairly standard for the rest of the semester:
    • Start off with announcements and taking questions and comments.
    • Lecture for a bit. This lecture will be something of an overview and will provide the motivation and background for the exercises that you will complete and the assignments that you will have to work on.
    • Provide some time for you to start on your exercises (which will allow you to explore the specifics of the topic that my lecture introduces).

My notes

  1. Go through “At beginning of class”
  2. Take role.
  3. Make presentation
  4. Go through the search syntax page
  5. Talk about blogging
  6. Point out the exercises for today; they should start working on these as soon as I'm done talking.
  7. Point out the “To do after class” section on this page

To do after class

  1. Finish the Web search exercises.
  2. Think about the following questions:
    1. Search tools can differ by their functions: generating results, exploring results, and monitoring changes. How do Google, Bing, and Ask differ along the first two dimensions (we'll explore the third later)?
    2. Look at any one of the search engines we used today (other than Google). Analyze it in terms of the "search experience" that it provides.
  3. Read Life before Google.
  4. You should be very, very familiar with the search syntax page by the next class. I'm going to update it to include Ask very soon; and I'm also going to update the Yahoo search information.


  1. Life before Google
  2. Search syntax — for Google, Bing, and (soon) Ask.
  3. Today's slides on SlideShare and as a PDF
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