I’ve mentioned before that there are other search engines apart from Google, which most everyone knows anyway. But that doesn’t mean that we actually bother to try them very often.
Well, we should be bothering. Save time, find more of what you want, find it faster: just a few reasons. To encourage us to wander away from Google and find out what we’re missing, Phil Bradley, guru-of-all-things-searchy, has created a rather lovely “Pearltree” of 200 search engines covering a variety of topics.
Phil is keen that you know about these and, if you’re at all interested in serious searching, he’s absolutely right. The thing is that knowing about where to go searching is pretty much as important as knowing how to search.
This has been highlighted by the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling which means that certain information will no longer be found by the likes of Google – it still exists out there, but will not be included in search results. This is an important point. The “right to be forgotten” is like a library in which the banned books are still on the shelves, but the catalogue entries have been deleted. To put it another way, the sources are still there, but not the main indexing to help find them. If you want to have a better chance of finding such information, you have to ignore the catalogue (eg. Google) and know how to get in closer. If you can find the area of the library where the information lies – or the shelf – then you more likely to find uncatalogued items.
This is why Phil’s collection of search engines is so signficant. We’re already largely aware that there’s a lot of information that doesn’t get found through general Google-style searching and now, perhaps, we’re even less likely to know what we’re not finding…unless we hunt around a bit more, and think more disruptively about searching. Using subject-specific sites is a very good way to improve your search results and can save a lot of time.
Disruptive Searcher intends to thoroughly study Phil’s collection and her professional pride is very much hoping that she will already be familiar with quite a number of them! So, thank you Phil for providing a very valuable resource – and most beautifully presented too!