January 27, 2007

Research Tip: Custom Search Engines

In my last entry, I promised to share some of my favorite research tips. Today I'm going to share a brand new tip I just learned the other day.

I've been a Google addict ever since I typed in "metropolitan museum of art" and clicked the "I feel lucky button" some time in either 1998 or 99. Was the result a list of links? Nope. Clicking that button took me directly to the Met's homepage. I was bedazzled.

But the geeky research fun just never stops with Google. One of the newest tricks to come out of Google Labs is custom search engines. I used this tool to create my Preservation Answer Machine. It takes the guesswork out of finding reliable preservation information online. You can create your very own if you are so inclined. Here's how.

But even if you don't want to create your own custom search engine, there's good news. Now you can search for other custom engines on any topic you can dream up. All you have to do is type your keyword plus this:

inurl:cse inurl:coop site:google.com

I put those Google commands on a separate line so you can just double click it, copy it, and paste it into Google. Easy peasy.

I tried this hack with the keyword "GENEALOGY" and got eight results:

Genealogy Search Engine
Genealogy Blog Finder
Genealogy Search
Family Matters Search Engine
Genealogy Blog Finder
Thrall Local History & Genealogy Guide Search
UTGenWeb - counties

So go have fun with Google -- and if you find something remarkable please use the comments section to share it. If it's helpful to you, it's probably helpful to someone else, too.

I found this great Google Hack via Research Goddess Tara Calashain's not-to-be-missed Research Buzz.

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