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Getting Better Research Materials By Using Better Search Tools

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  • Trey Pennewell
    A Free-Reprint Article Written by: Trey Pennewell Article Title: Getting Better Research Materials By Using Better Search Tools See TERMS OF REPRINT to the end
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 18, 2012
      A Free-Reprint Article Written by: Trey Pennewell

      Article Title:
      Getting Better Research Materials By Using Better Search Tools

      See TERMS OF REPRINT to the end of the article.

      Article Description:
      Today, for those seeking to discover riches, or at least a decent
      living, there is still gold lying around for those who can find
      it - but most of it exists as information accessible over the
      internet - and the tools you need to find it are web browsers and
      search engines.

      Additional Article Information:

      1094 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
      Distribution Date and Time: 2012-12-18 11:00:00

      Written By: Trey Pennewell
      Copyright: 2008-2012
      Contact Email: mailto:comments@...

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      Getting Better Research Materials By Using Better Search Tools
      Copyright (c) 2008-2012 Trey Pennewell
      Writing Puzzle

      150 years ago people who dreamed of becoming rich often went to
      the mountains and streams of California searching for gold. Their
      tools were shovels; pick axes, and metal pans. A few became rich
      - most did not. Today, for those seeking to discover riches, or
      at least a decent living, there is still gold lying around for
      those who can find it - but most of it exists as information
      accessible over the internet - and the tools you need to find it
      are web browsers and search engines.

      In doing research of any kind you have to be able to find and
      access information and materials. This used to mean books,
      papers, etc. collected and organized in a library. Catalogers
      reviewed materials, classified them, assigned a number, created a
      "card catalog", and arranged the materials in sections
      containing like materials. Finding information was a slow, and
      often arduous, task.

      You had to "look up" the subject in the card catalog. If you
      didn't find what you wanted under the word set you selected you
      had find other words - the word or words that occurred to the
      cataloger, might not be the ones you were considering. There was
      never a consistent thread of analysis that one could rely upon
      for finding the right books, because as you and I might think of
      different words to find what we want, the book catalogers all
      have their own personalities and therefore, they would frequently
      select words to describe a book through their own colored lenses
      of analysis.

      Sometimes a thesaurus, or a reference librarian, was able to help
      you find the book you wanted. And the catalog cards gave only a
      hint of the actual contents of a book. Then you went to the
      shelves, found the section, and looked at what else was near your
      specific item of interest. Often you found "other things"
      nearby, which were exactly what you were looking for in the first

      The computer allowed the development of electronic databases and
      automated searches. The Internet allowed access to many
      databases. Search Engines are able to accomplish, in seconds,
      what a person could not complete in a lifetime. But always we are
      at the mercy of what is in the database, and how the analysis
      tools interpret the database. Nonetheless, these Search Engines
      are powerful tools, which you can use to accomplish market
      research to find information that can help build and grow your

      Most people today are familiar with, and spend some time on, the
      World Wide Web - the Internet. So we know a little about web
      browsers and search engines (sometimes very little). When you go
      looking for information, it is the search engine that does most
      of the work, and like other tools, they don't have the same
      talents and skills.

      In doing a web search you first have to ask a question that
      contains one or more "key words", words you hope will lead you
      to the information you seek. Common search engines include
      Google, Yahoo, and MSN - and there are dozens of others. They
      access different databases and are optimized for different kinds
      of searches. Their designers create various features to find,
      sort, arrange and display the search results in a comprehensible
      fashion. When I did a Google search for "keyword research" it
      reported 456,000 results; Yahoo reported 20,700,000 results.
      Braggart! But how in the world can the program, or the user, ever
      find what they are after in that many results?

      One method that helps people find information that is more
      relevant to what they need is clustering, which is simply a
      feature of some search engines' design, which combines different
      parts of the results together based on specific principles.
      Clustering can also provide built-in features, which provide a
      set of related terms, almost like a thesaurus, including in the
      results words related to your search keywords. Using clustered
      search terms will allow you to broaden the specific search and
      perhaps find something like that book on an adjoining shelf that
      is exactly what you need.

      Search engines find web content using key words or phrases to
      locate items in databases. Both when doing market research, and
      when building web sites and web content, key words are extremely
      important. And clustering search features help you (or your
      potential customers) find similar terms, which will lead you to
      related (and possibly very important) information.

      Using a search engine with clustered search features will lead
      you to these related items that may greatly enhance the results
      of your market research. Similarly, using appropriate keywords in
      your web materials can enhance traffic to your site or articles.
      One search engine that has clustering search features is

      Carrot-2 Search has a simple user interface. Doing a sample
      search by entering "keyword research" gave some interesting
      results. On the left side of the results page is a box displaying
      the results of the "clustered search feature". Below this box
      is a second box titled "Similar Terms", their suggestions for
      extended items beyond the keywords you entered. To the right of
      the boxes is a list of "Resources" which resulted from the
      search. The first 10 items found by the search are displayed,
      with brief descriptions, the URL and a link to the target site.
      Buttons between the screen header and the Results list gives
      access to subsequent items found.

      The clustered search results for this case were as follows:

      "Keyword Research":

      * Search Engine
      * Analysis
      * Services
      * Review
      * Worldtracker
      * Blog
      * Right Keywords
      * Competition
      * Complete
      * Discovery

      Some items have a plus sign (+) in front of the listed item and
      that plus sign indicates that the listed word has a sub-list,
      which can be displayed by clicking the (+) button. For instance,
      clicking "Search Engine" displays a list of 8 sub-items.

      The "Similar Terms" box listed seven sub-items. This display is
      slightly confusing since the box uses word wrap and some links
      are split between two lines. Focus on the type font size - they
      toggle through 3 different font sizes - when the size changes,
      you are seeing a different link. Click on a link and it will take
      you to another list of items keyed to the specific similar term.

      Carrot-2 Search (http://search.carrot2.org/stable/search) is a
      meta-search engine with significant research capabilities that
      produces excellent results. However, it still requires work,
      thought and judgment to achieve your goals. But, give it a try.
      You might just find that you will never have a need to go to any
      of the Big Three search engines ever again.

      Subscribe to the Traffic Tips (http://writingpuzzle.com/pub/subscribe.php) mailing list and get a 25-page PDF that teaches how to get more traffic from Google. Then, go to http://WritingPuzzle.com/ to find training guides for writers and article marketers. Trey Pennewell has been creating content for the Internet since 2005.

      --- END ARTICLE ---

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