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Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2005-10 > 1128445850


From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: Re: [Irish in Chicago] Fwd: Genealogy search tips
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 12:10:50 -0500
References: <20051004035259.34738.qmail@web81004.mail.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <20051004035259.34738.qmail@web81004.mail.yahoo.com>


This is very useful...thanks!
On Oct 3, 2005, at 10:52 PM, dan hogan wrote:

>
>
>> SEARCH ENGINE TIPS
>> by Mike Jarvis
>>
>> As genealogists in today's high-tech world, the
>> importance of using search
>> engines properly is ever increasing. With genealogy
>> related web sites making
>> up a huge part of our World Wide Web, we would like
>> to share some search
>> engine tips that perhaps a few you will find
>> helpful. There is much that
>> could be written about this, but we will focus only
>> on a few tips that we
>> find most helpful. We use [ and ] to indicate terms
>> that would be written in
>> a search box.
>>
>> First - The use of quotation marks. When using a
>> combination of words in the
>> search box, the search engine results will include
>> every web page where
>> these words occur anywhere on that page regardless
>> of whether these words
>> are immediately next to each other. Using the search
>> term of [family
>> history ] will result in 109,000,000 hits while
>> ["family history"] within
>> quotations will result in 5,400,000 hits. This is
>> because in the second
>> instance it is only finding pages were the words are
>> actually next to or
>> immediately touching each other. Try this with a
>> family name. For example my
>> grandmother is named Flora MacDonald. If I search
>> [Flora McDonald ] in
>> Google it returns 251,000 hits. Putting ["Flora
>> MacDonald"] in quotations
>> results in 29,600 hits. This is far too many hits
>> and primarily relate to a
>> prominent woman in Scottish and American history.
>> This is not my
>> grandmother. However, knowing that my grandmothers
>> middle name was Hermosa,
>> it makes sense to put ["Flora Hermosa MacDonald"] in
>> the search box and I
>> get two hits related specifically to my grandmother.
>> Success!
>>
>> Second - The use of the minus sign. This is my
>> second favorite search tip.
>> Using any combination of words in a search box with
>> the minus sign directly
>> next to a word that you DO NOT want to find is also
>> helpful. Using the
>> search term ["Flora MacDonald" -Scotland -Scottish
>> -"North Carolina" -NC ]
>> will eliminate any pages from my search that
>> includes the words next to the
>> minus sign. So I will get only those pages that have
>> my grandmother's name
>> and do not have Scotland or North Carolina on the
>> site. This effectively
>> reduces the number of sites by more than half, from
>> 29,600 to 12,800 hits.
>> Using quotation marks and the minus sign in
>> combination greatly improves
>> your search results.
>>
>> Third - The use of the plus sign. The plus sign has
>> the effect of
>> instructing the search engine to give special
>> emphasis to any word where the
>> plus sign is against it. My grandmother's father was
>> Alexander MacDonald.
>> However, not the Alexander MacDonald who was prime
>> minister of Canada. Using
>> the search term [Flora MacDonald -Scotland -Scottish
>> -"North Carolina" -NC
>> +"Alexander MacDonald" -Canada ] gives me 1 hit that
>> directs me to a site
>> about my grandmother. Here we have combined
>> quotation marks with the minus
>> sign and the plus sign
>>
>> Fourth - The site search. Let's say that I would
>> like to find Alexander
>> MacDonald, however, I only want to search a
>> particular domain. I would
>> simply use the search phrase ["Alexander MacDonald"
>> site:rootsweb.com ].
>> Rather than thousands of hits I get 204. Similarly,
>> you could put a minus
>> sign in front of rootsweb.com so that it searches
>> all domains except
>> Rootsweb.
>>
>> Fifth - The intitle search term. Suppose that you
>> would like to find every
>> site on the Web with the word genealogy in the
>> title. The search box would
>> need the term [intitle:genealogy ], which would
>> result in 943,000 hits.
>> Similarly, use the term [intitle:genealogy
>> -site:ancestry.com ] and you
>> eliminate 3000 sites related to ancestry.com. One
>> more: try using the term
>> [intitle:genealogy -site:com ] which will have the
>> effect of eliminating all
>> domains with the.com extension (commercial sites).
>>
>> Sixth - The related search term: If you like to know
>> which sites are similar
>> to your own then use the term as follows:
>> [related:USGenWeb.org]. Results
>> will vary with Google providing 31 similar sites and
>> Yahoo serving up 35,000
>> related sites.
>>
>
>
> Dan Hogan
>
>
>
> ==============================
> Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
> last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more:
> http://www.ancestry.com/s13965/rd.ashx
>
>


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