When you search for things the chances are you use google (80 % of us do) but there are other search engines. .Your laptop possibly defaults to searching via Bing! Should you try another search engine?
There are lots of different search engines out there, but the main rivals to Google are
Ask (was Ask Jeeves) http://uk.ask.com/
Try running the same search across each of these and see how results compare.
Other search tools enable you to focus on specific types of data or on particular subjects. These allow you to cut out some of the less relevant or less academic results. Here are a few for you to consider – don’t forget to blog about ones for other subjects so as to share with other participants.
Scirus for scientific information including journal articles, researcher information etc
TechXtra for engineering, mathematics and computing
Zanran for Statistics
Google Scholar for scholarly papers.
Open Access Repositories
Repositories can contain full text access to pre-print versions of journal articles, theses, working papers etc. Much research is freely available, although sometimes there will be time delayed embargoes. This can mean that you will find different versions for example you may find the authors finished word document rather than the actual typeset and published article. Visit the Royal Holloway Repository here.
Meta Search engines and comparing search results from different search engines
You can compare the different number and type of results you’ve found between different search engines and Meta Search Engines allow you to do this easily. You may want to think about whether the quality of results vary and if different search engines offer different types of materials e.g. images or data? Can we ever search everything via a single search box? How much stuff is not included in search engines? This is something we are always telling students – search engines only cover a small part of the web.
Meta Search Engines
Meta Search Engines search across several search engines so that you don’t have to repeat your search in each one.
http://www.metacrawler.com/ searches google, bing and yahoo and will state if results are exclusive to any of the providers
Try searching for your name in Zuula. How do the results compare? Why do you think that is? Is Google still your favourite search engine? Try running your search in one of the engines directly, and then compare the number of results you find running the same search using one of the meta engines – do you get the same number of results or not?
Adapted from the 23things City post on Google.