Searching 101


Yesterday, the US President made reference to this “report” indicating that there was a problem with Google searching for him and the results returned.  Is it rigged?

I wonder.

Common social media wisdom is that you should “Google Yourself” periodically to make sure that your online presence is appropriate.  I’m sure that’s what he was doing.  Actually, I’d be willing to bet that he was made aware of the article and then did a search.

So, if the president of the United States has issues, how about this little guy blogging away on his Chromebook?  I decided to test it out.  We all know that Google has its “magic sauce”.  Is it friendly to me?

I put Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to the test – just simply looking for myself.  To make things easier (or skewed), I made sure that I was logged into my Google and Microsoft accounts.

Here are the results.

Google:

Two of the top 10 results were of me.  The number one result was actually a football coach who spells his name differently.

Bing:

One of the top 10 results were of me.  That football coach appears again.

DuckDuckGo:

Wow, there are a lot of people with similar spellings.  In fact, DDG thought that I made a mistake and wanted to search for “Pederson”!  I didn’t appear in the top 10 results but eventually reference to my Twitter account appeared.

So, rigged?

Now, all of this was interesting (kind of) but is certainly not representative of how I do searches.  Even when I was responsible for the Student Reference Portal for my district, I’d never suggest going to the simplest of searches.  Every search engine has advanced search abilities that lets you find the most relevant resources.

Screenshot 2018-08-29 at 11.40.28

This is where anyone who is serious about the results of searching should begin.  It’s “Searching 101”.  In fact, by using the advanced search properly, I was able to generate 10 results that were all me.

Could I be so bold as to suggest this should be the first lesson on searching skills for the upcoming school year?

https://www.google.com/advanced_search

And, if you don’t want to bookmark a particular site, you’re well advised to learn how to use search operators.

https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en

https://ahrefs.com/blog/google-advanced-search-operators/

https://www.ampercent.com/bing-search-tips-commands/9282/

https://duck.co/help/results/syntax

If you’re going to use the tools, use the tools to their max.

OTR Links 08/30/2018


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.