I've been playing around with the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine and Shodan, and would like to hear from other MeFites about their favorite useful / interesting specialized Web search tools. Which do you use regularly or for specific, arcane (at least to others outside your profession) tasks? The bizarre and creepy are also of interest here - I'm casting a big net.
Does Google manually adjust search engine results? [more inside]
I've been presented with a business idea for a search engine or Web application that would require the user of the search engine to a pay a fee for the search results. Intuitively, I don't think this could work, but I'm having a hard time actually saying why. Historically, I think most search engines have been funded through advertisements or marketers who purchase profile data on searchers. Is there anything I could point to, such as a case study or an article in a journal or magazine, that would explain why a business model based on getting somebody to pay for the results for a search engine will or won't work?
Looking for a search tool or search analysis. [more inside]
Is there a simple, free way of searching the birth and death dates of a wide variety of people? [more inside]
Air travel search engine filter: what's the best website to use to book a flight these days? I know this has surely been asked before, but this is the freaking internet -- things change, rapidly, and I want to know what's "up and coming" and worth checking out or which formerly reliable sites have gone downhill. So -- what do you use and what makes it better than the alternatives? For this upcoming flight, I mostly care about getting cheap tickets, but I'm interested in any info you care to share. Thanks!
Are there any good blogs out there on improving your Googling skills? [more inside]
Does adding symbol characters to your title meta tags hurt your SEO? Our company has a title format of "-- Our Web Site : A Page --" and since we're going through a redesign I was wondering if it might be a good time to drop that convention.
What is your formula for finding the most active online forums for discussions about very specific subjects? [more inside]
Have you seen blog threads where commenters seem not to have read the initial post, and are way off topic? I'm seeking more examples of this for my dissertation research. Looking for blogs which have garnered comments similar to those mentioned on the earlier MeFi threads Tuesdays with Maury, Jeremy Jordan Loves Demon Dogs, and How Hawkish. Basically, commenters show up and start commenting as if they haven't read the original post at all, and they don't seem to have any idea what the discussion is about. In many cases they seem to think they're talking to a celebrity, or they are just seeking information in the wrong place. [more inside]
Stats101Filter. I have (I think) a stats question, but little stats knowledge. Problem: The same library, and two different information retrieval systems - A and B - incorporating different metadata and search engines. I search the library with each IR system, using the same query. Is there a way to compare the similarity or difference between the different results sets I get from each system, and also assign this difference some statistical significance? [more inside]
Why do some search engines allow you to search blank queries? [more inside]
I need a web scraper script/proggie to download and thumbnailize images for a long list of search terms. [more inside]
Is there a travel search engine that will search airfares to multiple cities at once? [more inside]
Every time i see statistics like this one which list market share for various search engines, I'm somewhat surprised. According to the article/graph, in mid-2005, Google had a 36.5% market share in online searches, with Yahoo and MSN at 30.5% and 15%, respectively. But on every website I've managed for myself or others (and on the sites of everyone I've ever spoken to about this), Google consistently accounts for 80 - 90% of all their search referrals. So, what accounts for the discrepancy? Is it just because my evidence is anecdotal, or is there something special going on in which Yahoo/MSN searchers get sidetracked before ever reaching their search results? [more inside]
What search engine should I use instead of Google to protest their agreement to provide a censored product for China? [more inside]
Which are the best search engines that aren't Google or Yahoo? I want to find one that is good for searching but which also isn't in the business of turning this into this. [more inside]
HtAccessFilter: I’m seeking regular expressions to describe URLs that encompass search engines’ image and video search engines, but not the engines themselves, so that I can block said image and video search engines using “SetEnvIfNoCase Referer” in .htaccess. Also, I’m also seeking to block all incoming requests for one particular URL which is popular with these video and image search engines but which no longer exists – but I don’t want to serve them the normal 404. [more inside]
Does anyone know of a free piece of software (or internet site) that can monitor a web site's ranking in various search engines using various keywords? [more inside]
How best to migrate from one domain to another? [more inside]
What are the economics of bogus search engines and other oddities found by regular search engines? [more inside]
I’ve been assigned to evaluate the feasibility of using Lucene for our website, a large, high-use government site with rapidly-changing data. [more inside]
GoogleBombing: Suppose I register 10 domains, and upload an HTML page to each domain that has a named link - for example, "Click here to buy Cheap Shoes" - and these named links all point to the same webpage....when someone searches on Google for "Cheap Shoes", will the page that has 10 domains linking to it stand a better chance of being higher up in the rankings?
Did anyone else notice Google search behaving oddly yesterday? (more inside) [more inside]
If I want to know where a certain website ranks for a particular Google search, is there anything I can do other than just scroll through every page of results until I find that page? For instance: This is on the 29th page of Google results for "Ask Metafilter." If I was Mr. or Ms. Ofrenda, would there be a faster way for me to learn than that simply looking on every page?
Search engine optimization... I'm happy to buy a book, but are they worth it? Do I really need to know more than the basic best-practices for Google? [more inside]
Is there a way on Google to have it exclude shopping sites from a search? If I search on a book or movie title, or hotel name, most of the results are just generic sales pages and not very informative. Willing to use a different search engine if I can get the desired results.
Questions about search engines: 1) What if you regret something you say on your website, say bad-mouthing an ex-girlfriend, is there ways of sending this down the memory hole? You could delete the statement, but how do you get rid of search engine caches? And how many different engines are collecting these caches? 2) what if you say something like this on another website - is there any way to at least get Google to stop showing it, even though you don't run the site?
Are there any location based retail search engines out there? [more inside] [more inside]
Is there an image search engine that allows me to take a given image and see if there are other copies online (the image name may be different and perhaps even resized?) (more inside) [more inside]