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AfriGeneas Genealogy Technology Forum

Dick Eastman says ~ Search Engines

Boolean for Beginners

"Search engines can be a genealogist's best friend. If someone has already posted information online about an ancestor you seek, there is an excellent chance that the search engines know about that information and can find it for you.

"As good as the search engines are, many would-be users are frustrated when trying to find information. The complaint I hear most often is "I tried to find it but Google returned too many pages. I couldn't find what I was looking for!"

"Indeed, a simple search on Google for John Smith returns more than 39 million pages! Even searching for a less-common name can be frustration. A search for my "genealogy brick wall" of Washington Harvey Eastman returns more than a half million pages and very few of them contain any mention of the person I seek.

"For instance, one page might contain a mention of both George Washington Eastman and of Harvey Gridley Eastman. The words I specified do appear on each page but very few of the pages mention of all three words in a row: Washington Harvey Eastman.

"Any pages that contain information about my elusive ancestor are probably buried in the half million pages that Google found but I'm not about to look through each page, one at a time, to find him. How can I narrow the search to find only the page(s) I want? Thanks to a long-dead mathematician, I can quickly zoom in on the pages I want.

"The remainder of this article is for Plus Edition subscribers only."

Messages In This Thread

Dick Eastman says ~ Search Engines
Dick Eastman says ~ VHS Is Dead

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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