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Super Searcher Strategies at #CILDC

Speaking to a packed room at Computers in Libraries, Mary Ellen Bates advised conference attendees to create dissatisfaction with search. If people are unsatisfied with their search results, it makes the work of trained information professionals more valuable. Google learns from user search behavior but the behavior of info pros is not akin to the bulk of Google searchers. Google is not calibrated for us. Bates noted that more terms in a search query leads to lower results and reminded us that the asterisk (*) is not used as a truncation symbol in Google, it’s for replacement. Google doesn’t recognize nested search strategies, so lose the parentheses. Change word order for different results. Use Bing to find out what sites a webpage links to since Google no longer has this capability. Mary Ellen’s other favorite search engines are Peekier.com for private searching and an interesting results display, MillionShort.com for long-tail searches, and Ecosia.org to contribute to tree planting in Africa. Librarians, in Bates’ view, are fantastic curators and filterers of information.

Mary Ellen Bates gives her search tips.

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