Search engines - Help me! The internet is full of crap!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Strange Creature, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Gradually when useing common search engines like google or
    yahoo I have found that they will show me about 10s or 100s
    of pages showing people and organizations spouting common
    knowledge that everyone knows about, but hiding the actual
    knowledge that one wishes to find behind mountains of
    questionable material, giving no real knowledge and perpetually
    trying to sell me things. It seems like it is almost getting
    as bad as television, and seems to be producing a negative
    repulsive reaction away from the internet and back to the
    library.

    I did an internet search recently on vaccines for the common
    cold and found tens and tens of articles on the fact that there
    are hundreds of strains (common knowledge) and sites
    advertising things like green tea, but nothing about companies
    and places or times and abortive attempts that might have
    at least tried to create multi-pathogen vaccines for the many of
    the more common known strains that exist.

    Distractions, distractions, all away from what one might actually
    wish to find, created by people who wish to create an infinite
    amount of words spouting about things that they don't really
    know, killing a search engines capability of finding actual
    data.

    Do any of you out there know of any good search engines
    that are capable of sifting through the garbage to get to
    actual knowledge, or has the internet's abilities been
    mostly killed by an infinite amount of worthless data?
     
    Strange Creature, Nov 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. Strange Creature

    PD Guest

    Two comments:

    1. Learn to use a search engine with more care. For example, if you are
    looking for non-commercialized research, you can restrict your search
    to those with .edu or .gov domains. You can also use Google to evaluate
    the quality of a site by checking the list of sites that link to it.
    2. Quality control implies a service, for which you can expect to pay a
    fee. One can find a moderated service for a reasonable fee if it is
    aimed at students (say, college students) rather than professionals.
    Try something like www.researchnavigator.com.

    PD
     
    PD, Nov 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. Strange Creature

    Randy Poe Guest

    The name of the game is keywords. I usually find that I'll have to
    sift through a lot of junk when I first attempt to search a topic, but
    after reading one or two useful articles I'll have some good keywords
    at my disposal. That helps subsequent searches a lot.

    The US National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) is an excellent
    collection of resources on health topics. I believe they have a couple
    of search engines dedicated to medical literature.

    - Randy
     
    Randy Poe, Nov 21, 2005
    #3
  4. google scholar?
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar/about.html

    --
    Dirk

    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
    http://www.theconsensus.org
     
    Dirk Bruere at Neopax, Nov 21, 2005
    #4
  5. Have you tried this one?
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=vaccines+common+cold

    Dirk Vdm
     
    Dirk Van de moortel, Nov 21, 2005
    #5
  6. Dirk Van de moortel, Nov 21, 2005
    #6
  7. As long as we don't stick out of his back he'll be happy:)


    --
    Dirk

    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
    http://www.theconsensus.org
     
    Dirk Bruere at Neopax, Nov 21, 2005
    #7
  8. IIRC, Google is accepting payment to put a site higher in the list.

    Another example showing that the Internet is not automatically better. More
    data does not make the data more relevant.

    There are subscriptions that will check journals, for one example, and return
    listings of relevant papers. Most of them cost quite a bit, but some of them
    will show you an abstract for free. Check www.sciencedirect.com and
    pubs.acs.org. Your local library may also have a subscription.
     
    David Bostwick, Nov 21, 2005
    #8
  9. Strange Creature

    Wilko Guest

    Alternatively, you might try www.scirus.com
    Wilko
     
    Wilko, Nov 21, 2005
    #9
  10. Strange Creature

    jarosw Guest

    I have a technique that is along the same lines of what someone
    mentioned, but with a bit of extra technique. I believe it was just
    posted that "keywords are the name of the game". Yes, keywords are
    essential. So what I do is gloss over the data on some of the sites
    that aren't completely commercial (the ones that you stated are "common
    knowledge). After a quick visual scan, I will often find a word used
    on that page that strikes me as fairly unique to my query. A term I
    probably already knew, but didn't occur to me. Once attached to the
    original search terms, the results are often dramatically different.

    The same technicque can be applied to text that is owned or closely
    available to you. And the keywords are sometimes more specific, due to
    the greater expertise of a published author (or at least the author
    with their proof-readers).
     
    jarosw, Nov 21, 2005
    #10
  11. Strange Creature

    markwh04 Guest

    Well, that explains it. Google and Yahoo.

    The Federation Archive
    http://federation.g3z.com

    Click on the Internet Research FAQ
     
    markwh04, Nov 21, 2005
    #11
  12. Strange Creature

    CWatters Guest

    I'm getting fed up with...

    1) the number of sites it "finds" that claim to match your search terms but
    which do not contain the search terms. I don't mind links to sponsors but I
    draw the line at sites that have zero relevance to the search terms. Perhaps
    it's an urban myth but I recall someone Googled for "Slaves" and got a link
    saying "shop for slaves at ebay". At least if you search ebay you may find
    books on slavery.

    2) the number of business directories it finds. Example 1) When looking for
    a product I want links to companies that sell the product NOT a directory of
    companies that might sell the product but probably don't. Example 2) Very
    few directories contain a company URLs because they get 90% of their data
    from phone records. I want a -directory flag
     
    CWatters, Nov 21, 2005
    #12
  13. Strange Creature

    OG Guest

    You recall incorrectly.

    Google accept payment to stick an ad in a box on the right of the screen, or
    on a clearly identified list of paid-for links.

    The problem is that using a search engine effectively is an iterative and
    heuristic process. Sometimes a search comes up with goodies in one go,
    othertimes, you need to be a bit crafty.
     
    OG, Nov 22, 2005
    #13
  14. Strange Creature

    Henry Boyter Guest

    Henry Boyter, Nov 22, 2005
    #14
  15. Strange Creature

    Androcles Guest

    Errrr....No.
    Search engines are fueled by "m.o.n.e.y".
    M.o.n.e.y. is needed to make them work.
    You can make m.o.n.e.y. if you build the s.u.c.c.e.s.s.f.u.l. search engine,
    and they have. Your two cents didn't go far enough.
    If I want to sell my product, I give m.o.ne.y. to advertise it.
    You want something for f.r.e.e.
    tanstaafl. -- Robert Heinlein?
    Androcles.
     
    Androcles, Nov 22, 2005
    #15
  16. Sometimes it's also possible that the information you're looking for
    doesn't exist on the web. Hard to believe, but you never know.
     
    Gregory L. Hansen, Nov 22, 2005
    #16
  17. Strange Creature

    Bob Guest

    You gotta learn to use the internet as well as you use the library!
    It's newer, the tools are newer and rapidly evolving, and we are less
    experienced with them.

    So did you put the terms you cared about into the search? Google asks
    you if you want to narrow the search. Did you do something as simple
    as put "cold vaccine" in quotes, to make it a single search term?

    Also, if you want scientific info, use science-oriented search
    engines. For medical stuff, PubMed (Medline) is usually about as good
    as anything, so long as you want scientific journals. Or use Scirus or
    Google Scholar.

    bob
     
    Bob, Nov 22, 2005
    #17
  18. Strange Creature

    Plato Guest

    That's because it's common knowledge that there is NO cure nor Vaccine
    for the common cold virus. There are in fact, appx. 400
    variations/species of the common cold virus.
     
    Plato, Nov 22, 2005
    #18
  19. Strange Creature

    Martin Brown Guest

    Ever the experimentalist I tried it and was offered:
    "UK Male Slave for Girls" and "Dating, Sex and Fantasy"

    That isn't always the search engines fault. A lot of weird sites have
    the strangest high frequency words in their meta-tags or white text on
    white. It is done to hijack traffic.

    For example my tiny village apparently contains an estate agent, garage
    and a swingers club! In reality it doesn't even have a village shop.

    The simplest fix is to add a few of the offending site hijack keywords
    prefixed with "-" in the search. A bit of native cunning and you can
    construct searches that do more or less what you want first time.

    Some areas like geochronology can be more tricky because of the huge
    volume of YEC fakery sites that pollute the net.
    Again you can pick a keyword that blocks the most common ones. Sometimes
    the business directories are useful though. If I find a good reference
    site I save a link to avoid future pain and suffering.

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Nov 22, 2005
    #19
  20. Strange Creature

    Charles Guest

    To the right side where the ads are:

    Sponsored Links
    Slaves
    Looking for Slaves?
    Find exactly what you want today
    www.eBay.com
     
    Charles, Nov 22, 2005
    #20
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