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Preview: Karen Blakeman's Blog

Karen Blakeman's Blog



News and comments on search tools and electronic resources for research



Last Build Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2017 11:57:02 +0000

 



Google makes it harder to change location for country specific research

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 10:16:31 +0000

Google has made a major change to search and it does not bode well. Results are now based on your current location. So what’s new?  Google has always looked at your location, even down to city/town level, and changed the results accordingly. That is fine if you are travelling and and want to find the … Continue reading Google makes it harder to change location for country specific research



RIP OFFSTATS

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:34:15 +0000

I’m back at work from an extended break only to find that my favourite statistics  portal OFFSTATS is no more 🙁 https://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/about-us/collections/decommissioned-databases I received an email from them explaining that they no longer have the resourcing available to maintain and develop the database. Also, as much of the content can now be discovered through other … Continue reading RIP OFFSTATS



Another example of Google’s Knowledge Graph getting it wrong

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 08:58:40 +0000

Voting in the UK election has finished and the results are in, but the dust has most definitely not settled. It looks as we in the UK are in for interesting times ahead. It would help those of us researching the various political parties and policies if Google could at least get the basics right, … Continue reading Another example of Google’s Knowledge Graph getting it wrong



More Google weird results

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:57:10 +0000

Ok, we know that Google often does strange things with our searches but much of the time it is not obvious that something odd has happened. There are usually some “good enough” answers scattered through the first 20-30 results so that we shrug off the rest as “well, that’s Google for you”. Occasionally, though, one … Continue reading More Google weird results



New Creative Commons image search – back to the drawing board I’m afraid

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 16:51:09 +0000

Locating images that can be re-used, modified and incorporated into commercial or non-commercial projects is always a hot topic on my search workshops.  As soon as we start looking at tools that identify Creative Commons and public domain images the delegates start scribbling. Yes, Google and Bing both have tools that allow you to specify … Continue reading New Creative Commons image search – back to the drawing board I’m afraid



Google link command gone – never much good anyway!

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:11:45 +0000

Search Engine Roundtable reports today that Google is advising against using the link operator in search. It seems that there have been complaints on Twitter and elsewhere that it is returning some odd results. I have never been a fan of the command; it only ever returned a small sample of pages that link to … Continue reading Google link command gone – never much good anyway!



Seasonal opening times – never trust Google’s answers (or Bing’s)

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 12:43:48 +0000

This is my usual Christmas/New Year reminder to never trust Google’s answers (or Bing’s) on opening times of shops over the holiday season, especially if you are thinking of visiting small, local, independent shops. I was contemplating going to our True Food Co-operative but suspected that it might still be shut. A search on my … Continue reading Seasonal opening times – never trust Google’s answers (or Bing’s)



How to write totally misleading headlines for social media

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 10:35:36 +0000

Or how to seriously annoy intelligent people by telling deliberate lies. A story about renewable energy has been doing the rounds within my social media circles,  and especially on FaceBook. It is an article from The Independent newspaper that has been eagerly shared by those with an interest in the subject.  The headline reads “Britain … Continue reading How to write totally misleading headlines for social media



WebSearch Academy presentations – edited highlights

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:26:13 +0000

Edited highlights from the presentations I gave at the WebSearch Academy on 17th October 2016 at the Olympia Conference Centre, London are now available on SlideShare.  They are also available on authorSTREAM. These are selected slides from the presentations; if you attended the event and would like copies of the full sets please contact me. … Continue reading WebSearch Academy presentations – edited highlights



Google results: review stars may not refer to what you think they do

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 14:15:40 +0000

The contract for our domestic electricity supply is ending next month so I am trawling through cost comparison and energy supplier websites to check tariffs for our next contract. (UK readers can skip the rest of this explanatory paragraph). I don’t know what the situation is in other countries but in the UK the gas … Continue reading Google results: review stars may not refer to what you think they do



Google Blogger loses links and blog lists: what to do next

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:41:03 +0000

Google Blogger has done it again. A major update to the service was rolled out at the end of September and many users woke up to find that the links and blog lists they had so carefully created had gone.   See the Blogger Help Forum for some of the postings and comments on the … Continue reading Google Blogger loses links and blog lists: what to do next



Essential Non-Google Search Tools for Researchers – Top Tips

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 14:03:11 +0000

This is the list of Top Tips that delegates attending the UKeiG workshop on 7th September 2016 in London came up with at the end of the training day.  Some of the usual suspects such as the ‘site:’ command, Carrot Search and Offstats are present but it is good to see Yandex included in the … Continue reading Essential Non-Google Search Tools for Researchers – Top Tips



Don’t expect advanced search features to exist forever

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 09:25:35 +0000

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the problems I was having with Google Verbatim (Google Verbatim on the way out?). This morning I ran through a checklist of commands that I am demonstrating in a webinar and it seems that Verbatim is back working as it should. Don’t hold your breath, though. Three … Continue reading Don’t expect advanced search features to exist forever



Google Verbatim on the way out?

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:02:17 +0000

Update: 1st September 2016 – Verbatim seems now to be working as it should. I hope it stays that way but on three occasions this year I have seen it work one day, then not the next and then back to working again. We have become accustomed to Google rewriting and messing about with our … Continue reading Google Verbatim on the way out?



Google’s ‘daterange:’ command gone for good

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:56:25 +0000

It looks as though Google’s daterange: command really has gone for good. Over the last 6 months it has been a case of “now it works, now it doesn’t” but I’ve been testing it regularly over the past couple of months and it seems to have permanently stopped working . People have been reporting the problem in … Continue reading Google’s ‘daterange:’ command gone for good