Search Engines

Karen Blakeman on July 1st, 2013

Yahoo is finally pulling the plug on AltaVista on July 8th. It appears as a one line entry in Yahoo’s latest list of closures ( with the comment “Please visit Yahoo! Search for all of your searching needs”. AltaVista was started by Digital Equipment in 1995 and quickly became the default search engine for many […]

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Karen Blakeman on March 27th, 2013

April is going to be a very busy month for me this year. As well as speaking at conferences I am also giving six full day workshops so am having to prepare the presentations, handouts and notes well in advance. When it comes to the Google sessions the material the delegates receive never matches exactly […]

Continue reading about Now you see it, now you don’t

Karen Blakeman on March 4th, 2013

Google has put together a site showing how Google search works ( The main page is a scrolling animated graphic that just gives you some elementary facts but there are links to more detailed information and videos on the main topics of crawling and indexing, the searching and ranking algorithms, fighting spam and Google’s general […]

Continue reading about How search works – sort of

Karen Blakeman on February 27th, 2013

This week I was in Canterbury leading a workshop and discussion on Google and Google Scholar for finding research information. Although the emphasis was on Google we also covered other specialist tools designed to search for scientific and research information. We also had an interesting discussion on h-index, other citation indices and services such as […]

Continue reading about Top tips for finding research information

Fed up with seeing the same results from Google again and again? Wondering if that elusive document is buried somewhere at the bottom of Google’s 2,000,000 hits? Then get thee hence to Million Short ( Million Short runs your search and then removes the most popular web sites from the results. Originally it removed the […]

Continue reading about Million Short: unearthing stuff hidden in the dungeons of Google’s results

Karen Blakeman on July 20th, 2012

There was a time when Google would aggregate pages from the same website in your search results. There might be just a couple of entries for the site with a “More from….” link next to the result. Alternatively you might see a mini sitemap: This has the advantage that you are not swamped with results […]

Continue reading about Yet another irritating Google feature

My talk at the recent INFORUM 2012 conference held in Prague was about the issue of personalisation and the impact of our social network activities on search results. I believe that personalisation, and in particular contributions from our social and professional networks and even Google+, can present us with an alternative view of a topic […]

Continue reading about Personalised vs non-personalised search – a word cloud comparison

Karen Blakeman on May 29th, 2012

My INFORUM 2012 presentation on “Search gets personal and social” is available on authorSTREAM at It is also available temporarily at A paper is also available on the INFORUM web site at It covers much of what I said but bear in mind it was written a few weeks beforehand and the presentation […]

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Karen Blakeman on January 30th, 2012

Many of us have been saying for a while that the search engine that will kill Google is Google itself. It has come so close in the past, two of the more recent incidents being the removal of the plus sign from general web search and stopping the ‘ANDing’ of search terms. Prefixing search terms […]

Continue reading about And the next Google killer is….Google!

Karen Blakeman on November 20th, 2011

A reminder that Yahoo Site Explorer is closing down tomorrow (November 21st ) and I assume that the link and linkdomain commands will go with it, although they are not specifically mentioned ( Webmasters are being told to use Bing Webmaster Tools. This enables you to analyse links to your own domains but is no […]

Continue reading about Yahoo Site Explorer closes – try Blekko instead