Monday, April 5, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Challenge #14

Use a different search engine for your online genealogy research. Google is quite popular, but other search engines may provide different results. Try Yahoo! Search (http://search.yahoo.com/), Bing (http://www.bing.com/), Ask.com (http://www.ask.com/), Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com/), and even Clusty (http://clusty.com/). Pick an unusual surname and search it in different engines. Make note of the top 10 page returns for each. If you’re a genealogy blogger, share your observations on this experience.


This is a subject I have been sharing with people for years!  As a private investigator I use different search engines for different reasons.  What folks need to keep in mind is that each search engine is designed with a different focus by the developer.  The same goes for databases I use in my business.  You need to play and explore to see what search engine will get you what.  


Ah the thrill of the internet search, so many ways to locate information.  Don't forget to run searches on blog sites, Facebook, and other social sites to locate information.  I recently searched my investigator databases to locate a subject - I had no luck.  I turned to Facebook located him and positively identified him through pictures posted with his parents names!  Social networks have become a place to share your genealogy.


I also recommend calendaring searches on websites every few months.  Information changes daily on the web, don't get left behind by only searching a website once and calling it a day.  A search for a surname may yield no results today but may supply a hit in December.  You can set up  Google alert  to search subjects at intervals and have the results sent to your mail.


A comparison of the results showed that two of the  search engines produced blog results, the other three did not.  One produced a higher amount of hits outside the United States.  One search engine brought up newspaper reports from California.  All of the search engines produced links that related to genealogy.


Thank you Amy Coffin for another challenge. 

4 comments:

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

And thank you for rising to the challenge and taking it exactly where you did. This is precisely why I wrote this challenge.

I also love Google alerts. I have a great story about how I found someone online, but I hesitate to put it here! Maybe when we meet again.... :)

Amy Urman said...

I hope we have the opportunity to meet up soon. You are one special lady!

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

As are you. We'd get in some serious trouble together.

Amy Urman said...

Let's plan on it - Mesa in January - we should warn the residents. That is unless I run into to you earlier.