Effective Internet Search: Excerpts
Note: Internal book hyperlinks have been
Although we consider this an important step
in your search strategy, interestingly few references
include it. Perhaps this is because most mainstream search
engines can't post-process your search results with any
level of sophistication. Meta search utility Copernic is one
Why is it
so important? In brief, post-processing allows you to:
Keep organized records of your search
Manipulate the results list.
searching within results;
making annotations of particular
accessing the findings for yourself
from the Internet;
general sifting through your findings.
Follow up on changes since you last did
a search in your search history by tracking changes to
searches or particular webpages.
To expand on the above, post-processing allows you to:
Keep organized search histories
The first step is to organize records of
completed searches into appropriate categories, say, using
a system of folders hierarchically arranged. In this way,
you can duplicate the same search under different
conditions, modify or replace it to produce an alternative
version, or delete it from the search history. Your search
tool should ideally be able to record any previous
annotations or record processing of findings already
completed in the search histories.
Manipulate the findings list
Each search will require different
manipulations. Since Copernic provides a relatively
complete set of functions, you might wish to browse some
of them, referring to the
Reference Manual sections below:
Follow up on your search
In some situations you may wish to
periodically rerun your search and be notified of any new
or changed findings. Or, you might want to keep track of
changes to a particular finding.
Wave of the future
When conducting complex searches, you may
actually spend more time processing the findings than in
producing them. Therefore, this functionality will become an
increasingly important feature for mainstream search engines
At present, the few references that address
post-processing of results are directed to programmers about
"scraping the results list" to extract the
findings into a spreadsheet for further manipulation.
This approach is taken in the
book Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips &
In the meantime, meta search utility
Copernic, which already has this functionality, is leading
the way in this new and important frontier. For more
information on this topic: Chapter 6:
Post-processing of findings.
Key takeaway: Take advantage of
search tools that post-process your findings, saving you
valuable time when doing complex searches.