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Google has confirmed rumors that a search algorithm update took place on Monday. Some sites may have seen their rankings improve, while others may have seen negative or zero change.

Google has posted on Twitter that it released a “broad core algorithm update” this past Monday. Google said it “routinely” does updates “throughout the year” and referenced the communication from the previous core update.

Google explained that core search updates happen “several times per year” and that while “some sites may note drops or gains,” there is nothing specific a site can do to tweak its rankings around these updates. In general, Google says to continue to improve your overall site quality, and the next time Google runs these updates, hopefully, your website will be rewarded.

Google explained that “pages that were previously under-rewarded” would see a benefit from these core updates.

Here is the statement Google previously made about this type of update:

Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.

As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.

There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well, other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.

Here is Google’s confirmation from today about the update on Monday:

Screenshot 4

 

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz

Published in Search Engine

Have spent more than half an hour searching for a PDF document online, only to find that the document you have found is not in PDF format you need. As I have mentioned you can open the PDF before you download it in the web browser. However, you have to find the PDF files first. To make sure the file you get is exactly PDF format, you need to use PDF search engine. If you want to edit and manage the PDF documents you have collected, you might want to check the part 2 in which an efficient PDF tool will be introduced.

Top 5 PDF Search Engine Sites to Get Free PDF eBooks

1. Ebook3000

Ebook3000 is a nice PDF search engine for PDF files (ebooks, documents & forms). And it is a library of free ebook downloads with over 17 categories available. You can also type in the keywords in the search box, then all the related PDF files are displayed here. I like it very much because of its magazines. You could always find a lot of PDF and ePub documents there.

free PDF search

2. Search PDF

Search PDF is another great PDF search engine which able to help you find and download PDF files (eBooks, tutorials, forms, etc.). You just go to its website, search for the PDF files you need. If you want to save the time, you can have the plug-in added to your Firefox search bar. Whenever you need a PDF file, you just type in the Firefox search bar to get it.

pdf search engine

3. PDF Search Engine

PDF Search Engine likes an online library whose services are available to the people without any time limit and charges. It is a book search engine search on sites, forums, message boards for pdf files. You can find and download a tons of e-books by searching it or browsing through the full directory. You can also the last 20 PDFs which was downloaded by the other users lately.

free PDF search engine

4. Book Gold Mine

Book Gold Mine serves a large collection of quality e-books, lectures, notes, and other kinds of documents at no cost to the user. It has the catogeries like biology, business, computer science, math, and physics, if you want to search PDF files like those, it is a useful PDF search engine for you.

free PDF search

5. Google

Now comes to the end of the list. But I have to say do not ignore Google. In Google search engine, you could get everything you need, including PDF files. Whenever you need a PDF file, you can type in keywords, then with "filetype: pdf" in Google search engine. Without the doubt, you can get what you want.

free PDF search engine

More Solutions to Handle Your PDF Files

Getting PDF files online is often the primary step to work on them. More often than not, you would want to manage those files you have collected for future use, or make some modifications to certain PDF content, like inserting some sentences or leaving notes for certain parts to make them indicative to readers. Or you might want to read on e-Readers, like iPad, Sony Reader, Barnes & Nobles Nook, or Kindle after you get some interesting PDF eBooks.

PDFelement is the all-in-one PDF solution which is embedded in all those functions you can imagine for PDF. It is capable of converting PDF to dozens of documents format, including Word, Excel, PPT, EPUB, TIFF, RTF, image and more. A complete series of comment tools are available for making PDF illuminous to readers, such as inserting the note, highlight PDF content or drawing markups as you need.

pdf editor

Moreover, you are able to manage the PDF files as you need. For example, you can combine batch files into a single PDF or just split a single one into several pages, or crop certain parts of PDF pages to make them accessible for reuse. Another amazing feature is the OCR function which can turn scanned PDF into editable and searchable.

Step 1. Convert PDF to e-Readers Friendly Format

After you get some interesting PDF eBooks, you might want to read on e-Readers, like iPad, Sony Reader, Barnes & Nobles Nook, or Kindle, etc. To enhance your reading experience, you should convert PDF to EPUB, because PDF is too large to read on portable devices, while EPUB is suitable to read on any e-Readers.

All you need to do is to import the PDF files into PDFelement, move to the "Home" tab and hit the "To Others" button, select the "Convert to EPUB" from the drop-down menu. Seconds later, you will see the EPUB files ready for use.

convert pdf to epub

Step 2. Combine PDF Files as You Want

If you are working on research papers, collecting PDF files from website won’t do much good to the writing process. You still should organize those documents and make them easy to retrieve and look up.

To combine multiple PDF files, go to the homepage and click the "Combine PDF" button, add all the files you need to merge. One click and you will have all those documents combined into one in seconds.

combine pdf files

Step 3. Edit Scanned PDF (Optional)

You would need the OCR function if the PDF documents you found are image-based. You are unable to make changes to scanned PDFs if you don’t recognize them to editable PDF. Before you try to work on scanned PDF, you should perform OCR first.

Import the scanned PDF documents into PDFelement, and you will see a notice to inform you of performing OCR. Hit on the "Perform OCR" button and all you have to do is to wait for just several seconds, and the PDF can be modified as you want. Click on the "Edit" button on the upper left to start the editing process. You can edit text and images by clicking the "Edit" button.

edit scanned pdf

 Source: This article was published pdf.wondershare.com

Published in Search Engine

When you’re writing a paper or conducting a research-intensive project, you might turn to Wikipedia for a quick examination of the material. As informative and entertaining as this “collaborative online encyclopedia” can be, Wikipedia is generally not considered a credible source to cite in your college-level research papers. Even Wikipedia itself encourages readers to carefully evaluate the information because “anyone can edit the information given at any time.”

Popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, are often loaded with advertisements and can really hamper your effectiveness, sending you down one research rabbit hole after another. You need a list of search engines that are reliable, reputable, and free.

However, some search engines only have a citation, or index info, on articles – not the full-text.

“I recommend students search in the library databases for any articles that are not in full text in these engines, or reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they need extra help to find sources,” said Tracy Ralston, Post University Library Director. “For instance, we have access to Lexis-Nexis Academic, which has more access to statutes, law journal articles, etc. than Lexis Web. Plus, we have a huge variety of sources (journal articles, newspapers, online videos, etc.) that go way beyond these search engines.”

So, as stated on Wikipedia, “Remember that any encyclopedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.”

With that in mind, here are … 7 of the Best Educational Search Engines for Students:

1) Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

One of the best deeper web search engines designed for academic research, ERIC is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. You’ll find more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of articles and online materials just a click away. The extensive body of education-related literature includes technical reports, policy papers, conference papers, research syntheses, journal articles, and books.

2) Lexis Web

Indispensable for law students and research projects that require legal citations, Lexis Web populates this search engine with validated legal sites. It’s easy to narrow your search by site type (blog, news, commercial, government) and filter by jurisdiction, practice area, source, and file format.

3) Google Scholar

This must-have search engine for research lets you easily find relevant scholarly literature, such as books, theses, abstracts, and articles, across many disciplines and sources. Google Scholar ranks documents by taking into account the full text, where the document was published, who authored it, and how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. Find literature from academic publishers, professional societies, universities, court opinions, and other credible organizations.

4) Microsoft Academic (MA)

Enjoy fast access to “continually refreshed and extensive academic content” from more than 120 million publications including journals, scientific papers, and conferences. Because MA is a semantic search engine, not a keyword-based one, it uses natural language processing to understand and remember the information contained in each document. It then applies “semantic inference” to glean the intent of your search and delivers rich, knowledgeable results that are relevant to your needs. MA 2.0 debuted in July 2017 and gives users even more personalized and improved search capabilities.

5) Wolfram Alpha

Find dozens of ways to put this “computational knowledge engine” to work for you. Need to compute the frequency of a musical note or better understand your brain’s anatomy? No problem. Just type in your question, and your answer immediately pops up. Not only a go-to education search engine, this fun tool is great for your downtime because it includes categories like Sports and Games and Surprises, in which you can search for jokes, tongue twisters, and famous lines.

6) iSeek Education

This targeted search engine was created for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers, and all content is editor-reviewed. You have access to hundreds of thousands of trusted scholastic resources provided by universities, government, and reputable noncommercial sites. Numerous filters in the sidebar make it easy to quickly target your results and refine your search by topic, subject, resource type, place, and people. Instantly identify lesson plans, school subjects, activities, and grade levels.

7) ResearchGate

Science majors love this dynamic social networking site for scientists and researchers that not only provides access to the work of 13 million researchers, it lets users ask them questions. ResearchGate’s collection of publications and the frequently updated “news from our members” blog provide a vast array of works that cover timely topics including culture, the environment, politics, health, science, and space.

Source: This article was published blog.post.edu

Published in Search Engine

Google is the most widely used search engine on the Web. They offer a variety of different vertical or highly targeted, searches, including News, Maps, and Images. In this article, we're going to look at how you can find images with Google using a variety of advanced search tactics to find the exact image you're really looking for. 

Basic Image Search

For most Web searchers, using Google Image Search is easy: just enter your query into the search box and click the Search Images button.

Simple!

However, more advanced searchers will find that they can also use any of Google's specific search operators within their search query. There are two ways that searchers can utilize Google Images' more advanced features: either by the convenient drop-down menus or by entering in an actual search operator (for example, using the filetype operator will bring back only certain types of images, i.e., .jpg or .gif).

Advanced Searching

If you really want to fine-tune your image searching, the best way to do it is to use the Google advanced search drop-down menus found on your Google Image search results page, or, click on the Advanced Search menu found under the Settings icon on the far right-hand corner. From both of these places you can tweak your image search in a number of ways:

  • Color: Search only for black and white, grayscale, or full-color images (you can pick what color you'd like to highlight, too).
  • Safe Search: Don't want explicit results? This is where you can specify that preference.
  • Domain: Find images only within a specific domain or website.
  • File types: Look for specific image file formats.
  • Size: Especially useful when you're looking for a specific size! Search for small, medium, or large images.
  • Keywords: Just like you can with Google's regular web search, you can filter your results by looking for all the words in a phrase, any of the words, even for images that are not related to the words.

The Advanced Image Search page really comes in handy if you're looking for images that of a particular file type; for example, say you are working on a project that requires images that are in a .JPG format only. It's also useful if you're looking for a larger/high-resolution image for printing, or a smaller resolution image that will work fine for using on the Web (note: always check copyright before using any of the images you find on Google. Commercial use of copyrighted images is prohibited and is considered bad manners on the Web).

Viewing Your Images

Once you click on the Search Images button, Google returns a tapestry of paginated results, displayed in a grid, organized by relevance to your original search term(s).

For each image displayed in your search results, Google also lists the size of the image, type of file, and the originating host's URL. When you click on an image, the original page is displayed via a URL in the middle of the page, along with the Google Images frame around the image thumbnail, the image's full display, and information about the image.

You can click on the image to view it larger than a thumbnail (this will take you to the originating site from which the image was originally found), or go directly to the site itself by clicking on the "Visit Page" link, or, if you just want to see the image without any context, click on the "View Original Image" link.

Some images found via Google Image Search will not be able to be viewed after clicking; this is because some website owners use special code and search engine instructions to keep non-authorized users from downloading images without permission.

Filtering Your Image Results

It's (nearly) inevitable: sometime in your Web search travels you're probably going to come across something offensive.

Thankfully, Google gives us many options for keeping searches safe. By default, a moderate SafeSearch content filter is activated when you use Google Images; this filtering blocks the display of potentially offensive images only, and not text.

You can toggle this SafeSearch filter in any search results page by clicking on the SafeSearch drop-down menu and clicking "Filter Explicit Results". Again, this does not filter text; it only filters offensive images that are considered to be explicit and/or not family-friendly.

Google Image Search: a useful tool

No matter how you use Google's Image Search, it's easy to use and returns accurate, relevant results. Filters - especially the ability to narrow down images by size, color, and file type - are especially useful.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Published in Search Engine

When it comes to legal research services and databases for Big Law, the two leading providers are Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis. Not too long ago, they were essentially the only players in the legal research game — but that was before the internet and the lure of Fast, Easy and often Free access to information online.

Having recently touched on the a title="Westlaw versus LexisNxis – Which is Better?" ">"ifferences between Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis, I thought it might be helpful to touch on the subject of low-cost and free legal research services and websites. We often get asked about less expensive options for gaining access to legal information, especially as it gets more difficult for law firms to recover the costs of these services. I have compiled a short list of six legal information resources on the internet today.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; nor is it a recommendation to replace Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, Bloomberg or any other provider! In fact, those services continue to be a must-have legal information resource for many firms. Nonetheless, it is helpful to stay on top of other information options that are available to lawyers, firms and clients themselves.

1. GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google Scholar provides an easy, free way to search and read published opinions of the United States Supreme Court since 1791; US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923; and state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950. Select the “Case Law” button under the Google Scholar search box. There is also separate search functionality for patent information and legal journals.

2. FASTCASE

Fastcase allows users to access federal & state law, appellate decisions, and statutes. It also includes visualization tools to portray the relationships between cases and a “bad law bot” to pinpoint cases which have received negative treatment. Fastcase has a relationship with HeinOnline to deliver content through Fastcase searches (HeinOnline subscription required.) Fastcase has excellent technology integration with Word, Outlook & Adobe products to enable extraction of citations and batch printing. There is a free mobile app for Ios and Android for pulling cases on the go. Fastcase has relationships with many bar associations to provide free access to a simplified version of the product. Annual subscriptions start at $695 for a single user, and the company also maintains a “Public Library of Law” website which provides free access to cases, statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions.

3. LOISLAWCONNECT

This service of Wolters Kluwer offers pay-as-you-go options for access to primary legal content. You purchase either a 48-hr, 7-day, or 31-day pass, with no contracts or recurring payments. Pricing ranges from $29.95 for a two-day pass to Court Rules for one state to $184 for 31-day access to Primary Law National and Bankruptcy. For some services a one-year subscription plan is available. There are no hidden charges for printing, downloading or hyper-linking to material outside of your subscription.

4. FINDLAW

FindLaw is a comprehensive resource with helpful content for both the legal profession and consumers. You can conduct a broad search for free on cases or contracts, and you can browse research materials by type, jurisdiction or practice area. In addition, the site offers an archive of published opinion summaries dating back to September 2000 by the U.S. Supreme Court, all thirteen U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and some state courts.

5. JUSTIA

Justia, based in Silicon Valley, was created with the mission to “advance the availability of legal resources for the benefit of society.” The site provides free access to case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog databases. And if you want information to come directly to you, the company publishes a variety of free newsletters, including daily opinion summaries for all Federal Appellate and State Supreme Courts and weekly opinion summaries on a wide range of practice areas, essentially from ‘A’ (Agriculture Law) to ‘Z’ (Zoning and Land Use).

6. LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL

GetLegal in partnership with the Legal Information Institute Center at Cornell Law School provides access to U.S. federal materials including the full text of the U.S. Code and opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, court rules, CFR and additional federal materials. The site also offers quick links to the current authoritative versions of the state statutes, constitution, regulations and court rules.

COMPARING LEGAL RESEARCH SERVICES

When comparing legal research services and databases, the cost is an important consideration, but not the only one. While free case law information is abundantly available on the internet, it can also be said that you get what you pay for. You will not get the kinds of research aids, secondary materials and treatises or enhancements that make the paid tools so valuable and effective. You may not get the depth and breadth of legal content you need, nor know if the content is actually authoritative and legitimate. In addition, browsing and keyword searches consume a fair amount of time while possibly leaving you without crucial information that could help your client.

When time is money and the right information can make or break a legal matter, these shortcomings can quickly move the value gauge from free or low-price to quite costly.

Our Expense Management experts can help ensure your legal research costs are in line with industry standards and offer strategies and advice on how to reduce them.

The two most important research tools are the legal content service or resource and the person doing the research. When you need legal research help, our trained staff are on call with the skills and the tools to find what you need.

 Source: This article was published ccmchase.com By Natalya Berdzeni

Published in Online Research

This is the age of influence and networking. The success of a brand or an individual highly depends on the amount of influence earned as well as the level of networks created in the meantime. Today, the best place to power up influence and build network is social media and just like web search engines, there are number of cool social media search engines that can help you or your brand to find real people, build networks, and share or gain useful information required to raise influence within your niche market.

Yes, you heard it right. There are many specific social media search engines out there designed to help you find real people and user profiles across major social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and many others.

The more people you can manage to add to your network from the same industry, your influence resultantly improves in the industry. And, there’s no better way to find people on the web other than looking for them via social media search engines.

Today, we bring you a cool list of top social media search engines that can help you find people within your industry nearby to grow your influence, reach, as well as network within the industry.

Best Social Media Search Engines to Find Real People across Top Social Networks

There is no doubt that Google is the most popular search engine on the web to find almost anything on the internet. However, even Google fails or is not up to the mark when finding people or profiles on popular social media channels.

Today, we will share some of the best social media search engines that would help you find real people as follows:

Social Mention

The first on our list is Social Mention. This web tool is systematically designed for people looking for social media contents that include blogs, microblogs, comments, bookmarks, videos, and more. With Social Mention, you can also set alerts and receive emails based on your searches for specific brands, celebrities, or company related updates. The tool is quite helpful for bloggers, who can install its real-time buzz widget on their blogs for maximum benefits.

WhosTalkin

WhosTalkin is another social media search engine that lets you explore conversations relevant to the topics that interest you. You can find updates about your favorite sport, favorite food, celebrity, or a company. With WhosTalkin, you can engage in conversations that are most relevant to the topics you like. This internet-based social media search engine tool is able to search through a number of social media networks and blogs for your favorite trending topics and conversations related your favorite celebrity, sports, food, places, videos, etc.

YoName

As the name of the search engine suggests, YoName lets you find people across different social media platforms by name. With YoName, you can search people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger blogs, and several others using the search form. Simply enter people’s name, email address, or phone number and then hit “Yo” to get the results. Besides social media search, YoName also supports web search, business search as well as public records search.

Anoox

Well, Anoox is not exactly a social media search engine but it allows you to get information via multiple social media websites as well as find answers to your queries from real people. At Anoox, you can share & discuss with real people for the best answer, truth, and in turn more traffic to your website or profile.

BoardReader

Unlike other social media search engines, BoardReader is a search tool for community forums and boards. With BoredReader, you can easily explore popular content spread across the internet including news, articles, videos, press releases, etc.

Bing Social

After Google, Bing is the 2nd most popular search engine on the web and its social arm known as Bing Social is designed to find the latest news and trending topics shared across popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks.

Addictomatic

Addictomatic is yet another social search tool to explore the latest news, trending topics, attractive blog posts, viral videos, and interesting pictures. This tool searches the best live sites on the internet to find the latest news, blog posts, videos, and images for you. With this tool, you can easily keep up with the latest updates on the hot trending topics, and keep up to date with the latest social media sensation on the web.

Twazzup

Twitter is a strong social media platform with lots of viral and trending news surfacing on this microblogging tool every single second as you are reading this article. Twazzup lets you search these trending news and topics across Twitter and lets you keep up with the social media buzz around the globe.

Snitch Name

Snitch Name is a white pages service for social networks. This amazing search tool is designed to search people’s profile over popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and other networks.

Blinkx

Videos are now an integral part of the social media world and Blinkx is a social media search engine dedicated to videos medium. One of the best social media search engines on the web, Blinkx is a search engine for videos with over million hours of regularly indexed online videos. This video search engine enables you to watch videos ranging from a wide variety of different categories including but not limited to news & politics, celebrity, technology, business, gaming, food, sports, and more assorted from all the major news portals and video sharing platforms.

Flickr Advanced Search

Flickr, as everyone knows, is one of the largest photo and video sharing platforms on the internet. While it lets you upload and view photos and videos on it, Flickr also lets you search for images or videos based on your topic using its advanced search tool embed with smart filters and variety of options designed to deliver accurate and effective results.

Source: This article was published geekdashboard.com By Rajeesh Nair

Published in Search Engine

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines security as measures taken to guard against espionage or sabotage, crime, attack, or escape. Those descriptive words also apply to the protections you must take when you're online to safeguard your security and privacy. We all realize by now that the Internet is full of hackers looking to steal anything of value, but worse yet, the government that has pledged to be ‘by the people, for the people’ often intrudes on our privacy in the name of national security.

This guide, however, is not for those engaged in covert activities that need would shielding from the prying eyes of the NSA. It is intended to be a basic guide for people who use the Internet on a daily basis for:

  • Work
  • Social Media Activity
  • E-commerce

Whether your online activity is largely confined to a desktop, or you're a mobile warrior on the go, implementing the proper security and privacy protocols can protect you from hackers and also prevent your ISP provider from knowing every single website you’ve ever accessed.

What follows is a basic guide that anyone can use to beef up online security and ensure as much privacy as possible, while being mindful that total anonymity on the Web is nearly impossible.

ONLINE SECURITY FOR DESKTOPS, LAPTOPS, AND MOBILE DEVICES

Install Software Updates

At the minimum, you need to make sure that you install the most recent software updates on all your desktop and mobile devices. We know that updates can be a pain, but they can ensure that your software is as secure as possible.

In fact, you will often notice that many update messages are related to some type of security glitch that could make it easier for someone to gain access to your information through the most common browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

If you take your sweet time installing an update, it gives hackers that much more time to gain access to your system through the security flaw that the update was designed to fix.

Most of the major brands such as Apple and Samsung will send users messages on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices the moment they release a security update.

For example, Apple recently released new security updates for its iPhones, iPads and Macs for a computer chip flaw known as Spectre. This flaw affected billions of devices across all the major systems, including iOS.

Apple immediately sent a message to all its mobile users to install an update, which included security patches to block hackers from exploiting the flaw in the chip. The company also sent emails to desktop users to install Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.2, which included fixes to Safari for laptops and desktops.

The point is that you don’t need to worry that you won’t get these update prompts, because it’s in the best interests of the major brands to keep a massive hack from occurring. But if you want to ensure that you never miss an important update, there are several tools that can help you achieve this goal...

Update Tools for Mac Users

MacUpdate/MacUpdate Desktop – These two companion apps scan your desktop or mobile devices to locate software that needs updating. The desktop version has a menu bar that informs you when a software update is complete. The basic updating function is free to all users, but there are premium tiers that are ad-free, and include a credit system that rewards you for every new software you buy.

Software Update – This is a built-in app that you access through the Apple menu that opens the Mac App Store app and lets you click on the Updates tab. Software Update analyzes all the apps you’ve downloaded from the Mac App store to see if they’re updated. It does the same thing for your operating system software, which is a nice bonus.

Update Tools for PC Users

Patch My PC – If you choose the auto-update feature on this free tool, it automatically installs software patches on any application that has a security update. If you run the manual version, the program quickly scrolls through updated and non-updated applications and lets you check the ones you want to update and patch. One other useful aspect of this program is that you can run it using a flash drive.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ENCRYPTION

Encryption is a fancy word for a code that protects information from being accessed. There are various levels of encryption, and at the highest levels, encryption offers you the strongest protection when you are online. Encryption scrambles your online activity into what looks like a garbled, unidentifiable mess to anyone who doesn’t have the code to translate that mess back to its real content.

The reason this is important is that protecting your devices with only a password won’t do much to protect your data if a thief steals the device, accesses the drive and copies the data onto an external drive. If that device is encrypted, the data that the thief accesses and ports to another drive will still remain encrypted, and depend on the level of encryption, it will either take that thief a long time to break the code, or the thief will not be able to crack it.

Before we dive into some of the basics of encrypting desktops and mobile devices, remember that encryption has some drawbacks.

  • The main one is that if you lose the encryption key, it can be very difficult to access your data again. 
  • Second, encryption will affect the speed of your device because it saps the capacity of your processor.

This is a small price to pay, however, for all the benefits encryption offers in terms of security from intrusion and privacy from prying eyes that want to know exactly what you’re up to on the Internet.

Basic Encryption for Apple Devices

If you own an Apple mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad, these devices are sold with encryption as a standard feature, so all you need is a good passcode.

If you own a Mac desktop or laptop device, you can encrypt your device by using the FileVault disk encryption program that you access through the System Preferences menu under the ‘Security’ pull-down. Just follow the easy-to-understand directions to obtain your encryption key.

Basic Encryption for PCs and Android Devices

If you own a PC, you will need to manually encrypt your device. You can encrypt the newer PC models using BitLocker, a tool that’s built into Windows. BitLocker is only available if you buy the Professional or Enterprise versions of Windows 8 and 10, or the Ultimate version of Windows 7.

If you choose not to use BitLocker, Windows 8.1 Home and Pro versions include a device encryption feature that functions very much like BitLocker.

Newer Android phones including the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, have default encryption. But for phones that are not encryption enabled, the process is not difficult.

For phones and tablets that run on Android 5.0 or higher, you can access the Security menu under Settings and select ‘Encrypt phone’ or ‘Encrypt tablet.’ You will have to enter your lock screen password, which is the same password necessary to access your files after encryption.

For phones and tablets that run on Android 4.4 or lower, you must create a lock screen password prior to initiating the encryption process.

PROTECT YOUR TEXT MESSAGING

Even before Edward Snowden became a household name with his explosive revelations about the extent of NSA’s wiretapping of Americans, it was obvious that text messages were vulnerable to interception by outside parties.

What’s even more insidious is that the information generated from your text messages, which is known as metadata, is extremely valuable. Metadata includes information about whom you communicate with, where that communication takes place and at what time.

Hackers and government agencies can learn a great deal about you through metadata, which is why it’s so important for you to protect the privacy of your text messages.

Fortunately, there are applications you can install to encrypt your text messages after they are sent to another person, and many don’t collect metadata.

Tools to Encrypt Your Text Messages

The signal is a free app that provides end-to-end encryption for Android and iOS, which means that only the people who are communicating on the text message can read the messages.

Any other party would need the encryption key to decrypt the conversation, and that includes the company that owns the messaging service. One of the big advantages of using Signal is that it collects very little metadata.

Another popular encrypted messaging service is WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, which works mostly on mobile devices. Remember to turn off all backups on your WhatsApp account by accessing Chats, then Chat Backup and setting Auto Backup to Off. This turns off backups on the app and the cloud.

If you don’t disable the Auto Backup feature, government and law enforcement agencies can access the backup with a search warrant. Why is that so risky? Because end-to-end encryption only covers the transmission of your messages and doesn’t protect messages that are in storage. In other words, law enforcement or government agencies could read the text messages stored in a cloud backup.

One other thing to remember is that although WhatsApp is considered one of the more secure apps for encrypting text messages, it does collect metadata.

And if a government or law enforcement agency obtained a search warrant, it could force Facebook to turn over that metadata, which would reveal things you might want kept private such as IP addresses and location data.

PROTECT YOUR BROWSING HISTORY

Whenever you’re on the Internet, there are people trying to see what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and how often you’re doing it. Not all these prying eyes have ill intent, and in many cases, they are marketers who are trying to track your online movements so they can target you for ads and offers. But enterprising hackers are also monitoring your activities, looking for weaknesses they can target to obtain your personal information. And your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gathers a ton of information based on your browsing history.

In the face of all these threats to privacy, how do you protect yourself when you’re online?

You can use a virtual private network (VPN), which acts exactly the way a standard browser does, but lets you do it anonymously. When you use a VPN, you connect to the Internet using the VPN provider’s service. All transmissions that occur when you get online with your mobile phone, tablet, desktop or laptop are encrypted. This protects all your online activity from the government as well as from your ISP, lets you access sites that would normally be restricted by your geographical location, and shields you from intrusion when you are at a public hotspot.

If someone tries to track your activity, your IP address will appear as that of the VPN server, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to know your exact location, or your actual IP address. However, VPNs don’t provide you with total anonymity, because the VPN provider knows your real IP address as well as the sites you’ve been accessing. Some VPN providers offer a ‘no-logs’ policy, which means that they don’t keep any logs of your online activities.

This can be hugely important if you are up to something that the government takes an interest in, such as leading a protest group, and you want to make sure none of your online activities can be tracked.

But VPN providers are vulnerable to government search warrants and demands for information and must measure the possibility of going to jail by keeping your activity private, versus giving up your information and staying in business.

That’s why if you choose to go with a VPN, it’s important to do the research on a provider’s history and reputation. For example, there are 14 countries in the world that have shared agreements about spying on their citizens and sharing the information they unearth with each other. It may not surprise you to learn that the U.S,  Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy are all part of that alliance.

What may surprise you is that it’s best to avoid any VPNs that are based in one of these 14 countries, because of their data retention laws and gag orders which prevent VPN providers from telling their customers when a government agency has requested information on their online activities.

If you’re serious about VPNs and want to know which are trustworthy and which aren’t worth your time, we’ve done a pretty extensive review of VPN services that you can access here. Used correctly, VPNs can provide you with a high degree of privacy when you’re online, but in an era in which billions have joined social media platforms such as Facebook, and services such as Google, what are the privacy risks related to how these companies use your personal information?

HOW THE HEAVY HITTERS USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

Facebook

There isn’t much privacy when you join Facebook, especially since the company’s privacy policy blatantly states that it monitors how you use the platform, the type of content you view or interact with, the number of times you’re on the site, how long you spend on the site, and all the other sites that you browse when you’re not on Facebook.

How does Facebook know that little nugget? By tracking the number of times you click ‘Like’ on any site that includes a Facebook button.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make Facebook more private. You can access the ‘Download Your Information’ tool to know exactly what the site has on you, and you can check your activity log to track your actions since you joined Facebook, but that’s about it.

Deleting your account will remove your personal information, but any information about you that your followers have shared in a post will remain on the site.

Google

Google stores personal information such as your name, email contact, telephone number, how you use the service, how you use sites with Ad Words, your search inquiries, and location tracking. More importantly, your name, email address, and photo are publically available unless you opt out.

To protect some of your privacy, you can edit a number of preferences, turn off location tracking, change your public profile and read what information Google has collected on you through the company’s data board.

Apple

Apple’s privacy policy states that it collects information such as your name, contacts and music library content, and relays them to its own servers using encryption. Apple’s News app analyzes your reading preferences to match them to ads targeted toward what you like.

Targeted advertising is one of Apple’s biggest con jobs, and that’s said with respect for the company’s ability to print money like no other business on earth. Apple has created ad-blocking technology in its iOS software to prevent outside companies from reaching its customers.

But it makes no bones about using personal information and personal preferences culled from its customers to supply them with an endless stream of targeted and intrusive ads.

You can opt out of what Apple calls ‘interest-based ads’, but the company pretty much lets you figure this out on your own.

Amazon

Amazon collects a ton of person information, including name, address, phone number, email, credit card information, list of items bought, Wish List items, browsing history, names, addresses and phone numbers of every person who has ever received an Amazon product or service from you, reviews you’ve posted, and requests for product availability alerts.

It isn’t much you can do to keep Amazon from being intrusive unless you’re not planning on using the site for purchases. For example, Amazon uses ‘cookies,’ which are snippets of data that attach to your browser when you visit the site.

Cookies activate convenient features such as 1-Click purchasing and generate recommendations when you revisit Amazon, but they also allow Amazon to send you ads when you’re on another website, which can feel like an invasion of privacy and are also annoying.

The problem is if you opt to turn off cookies on your Amazon account, you won’t be able to add items to your shopping cart or do anything that requires a sign-in, which pretty much eliminates all your buying options.

That gives you a general overview of how some of the big brands use your data so you’re aware of the implications of providing your personal information. Let’s wrap things up with some frequently asked questions about security and privacy.

FAQ'S ABOUT SECURITY AND PRIVACY

1. Can people really hack me at a coffee shop?

Most coffee shops offer public WiFi that has varying levels of security. In many instances, these free networks are not very secure, and even a low-level hacker could gain access to the transmissions occurring at the coffee shop by setting up a fake hotspot. If you want to get online at a coffee shop, do so through a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, make sure you’re signing in under the name of the WiFi hotspot, and limit your activity to browsing instead of conducting financial transactions.

2. Is the NSA really watching me via my computer camera?

The NSA definitely has the technology to spy on you through your webcam. Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has plug-in that can hack cameras and take pictures, record video and turn on the mic on a webcam to act as a listening device. One easy way to thwart this hack is to place a sticker on your webcam lens that prevents a hacker from seeing anything in your home.

3. Can Facebook see my messenger chats and change my feed based on those conversations?

Facebook’s Messenger feature uses security that it says is similar to what banks use to protect their clients’ financial information. Two years ago, Facebook added end-to-end encryption to its messenger feature, but users must activate it because it’s not a default. However, Facebook does use your profile, public photos, and public posts to better customize things such as the content of the News feed it sends to you.

4. When can - or can’t - the government get personal data from companies?

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act passed in 1986, government agencies can obtain subpoenas and search warrants to force technology companies like Google or Apple to provide information about a user or a group of users. Companies can refuse based on the Fourth Amendment ban against unreasonable search and seizure, but they face an uphill battle if the request is for a legitimate reason. Recently, Amazon refused an order by the state of Massachusetts to turn over data about third-party sellers. But the company relented after it was served with court order to provide the data or face legal consequences.

THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE

Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin, and while there is no way to guarantee total privacy or complete security in the digital world, the first step is to understand the tools available to you, and the ways in which your personal data is being used by big companies that want your business.

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to every aspect of online security and privacy, it provides you with some best practices and important concepts that can help you better understand this complex and ever-changing issue. 

 Written By Alex Grant

Published in Internet Privacy

We explain the Dark Web, how it differs from the Deep Web, and how to access the Dark Web using Tor.

The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you really know what's lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? 

This is but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web and the Deep Web loom in much shadier corners. Using Tor you can access them, but should you even want to visit the Dark Web or the Deep Web?

Let's take a tour to help you make up your mind.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.

Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you're in a different country to where you're really located, making it much like using a VPN service.

When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.

Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user's IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.

There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet - for both parties.

Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

You can also read our in-depth guide to using Tor if you want to know more about using the web anonymously and sending messages securely. 

Why would I want to use the Dark Web?

Not all Dark Web sites use Tor. Some use similar services such as I2P, for example, the Silk Road Reloaded. But the principle remains the same. The visitor has to use the same encryption tool as the site and - crucially - know where to find the site, in order to type in the URL and visit.

Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs and a lot more scary things besides. But there are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web. (Also see: Is it legal to buy drugs online?)

People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about the US- and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web hit the headlines in August 2015 (and many times since) after it was reported that 10GB of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a site designed to enable bored spouses to cheat on their partners, was dumped on to the Dark Web.

Hackers stole the data and threatened to upload it to the web if the site did not close down, and they eventually acted on that threat. Now the spouses of Ashley Madison users have received blackmail letters demanding they pay $2500 in Bitcoin or have the infidelity exposed.

In March 2015 the UK government launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web, with a particular focus on cracking down on serious crime rings and child pornography. The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK intelligence outfit GCHQ are together creating the Joint Operations Cell (JOC).

What is the Deep Web?

Although all of these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. An element of nuance is required. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find.

Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are huge numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.

We have a 'staging' version of all of our websites that is blocked from being indexed by search engines, so we can check stories before we set them live. Thus for every page publicly available on this website (and there are literally millions), there is another on the Deep Web.

The content management system into which I am typing this article is on the Deep Web. So that is another page for every page that is on the live site. Meanwhile our work intranet is hidden from search engines, and requires a password. It has been live for nearly 20 years, so there are plenty of pages there.

Use an online bank account? The password-protected bits are on the Deep Web. And when you consider how many pages just one Gmail account will create, you understand the sheer size of the Deep Web.

This scale is why newspapers and mainstream news outlets regularly trot out scare stories about '90 percent of the internet' consisting of the Dark Web. They are confusing the generally dodgy Dark Web with the much bigger and generally more benign Deep Web.

What is the Dark Internet?

Confusingly, 'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.

A basic rule of thumb is that while the phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by tabloid newspapers to refer to dangerous secret online worlds, the 'Dark Internet' is a boring place where scientists store raw data for research.

How to access the Dark Web

Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to www.torproject.org and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. That's it.

The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomised network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; just close it again to disconnect from the network.

Depending on what you intend to do on the Dark Web, some users recommend placing tape over your laptop's webcam to prevent prying eyes watching you. A tinfoil hat is also an option. If you're reading this to find out about torrent files, check out our separate guide on how to use torrent sites in the UK.

The difficult thing is knowing where to look on the Dark Web. There, reader, we leave you to your own devices and wish you good luck and safe surfing. And a warning before you go any further. Once you get into the Dark Web, you *will* be able to access those sites to which the tabloids refer. This means that you could be a click away from sites selling drugs and guns, and - frankly - even worse things.

Aggregation sites such as Reddit offer lists of links, as do several Wikis, including http://thehiddenwiki.org/  - a list that offers access to some very bad places. Have a quick look by all means, but please don't take our linking to it as an endorsement. It really isn't.

Also, Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark!

And do heed our warning: this article is intended as a guide to what is the Dark Web - not an endorsement or encouragement for you to start behaving in illegal or immoral behavior.

Source: This article was published techadvisor.co.uk By Matt Egan

Published in Deep Web

Doing research for your next content marketing campaign? Using Google search operators helps speed up your research, and makes your job a lot easier. In this cheat sheet, we’ll share 13 useful search operators for content marketers.

Before we dive into the Google search operators, let’s briefly go over what is a search operator.

What is a Search Operator?

A search operator is a character, or set of characters, used to narrow down the focus of a search engine query.

Savvy content marketers use search operators when researching keywords, competitors, blog post headlines, or when checking SEO health.

Now that you know what a search operator is, let’s take a look at the 13 useful search operators for content marketers.

Exclusive Bonus: Download the Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet to make content marketing research a breeze.

Google Search Operators Cheat Sheet

Here is the Google search operators full list at a glance. We will go into each operator in depth below this cheat sheet.

Feel free to click on each of the search operators below to skip to that section:

Search Operator What it Does Example Query
Quotes (“”) Return only results with a specific phrase “conversion optimization tips”
Minus (-) Exclude a specific keyword from the search results conversion optimization -tips
site: Return results from a particular site site:optinmonster.com
Asterisk (*) Replace this with anything “* content upgrade ideas”
inurl: Return results within URL inurl:conversion
intitle: Return results within title intitle:conversion
inurl:.extension Return results for particular country inurl:.ca
OR Return results for one query or the other query conversion OR optimization
allinpostauthor: Return results from a particular author allinpostauthor:Syed Balkhi
define: Return definitions define:lead magnet
Date/time range Return results from a particular date or time range. any query (must enter your date/time range into Google’s search tools filter)
filetype: Return specific filetypes filetype:PDF
info: Return information about a specific domain info:optinmonster.com

That’s the bird’s eye view. Now let’s take a deep dive into each of these Google search operators…

1. Quotes (“”)

Want to narrow down your search to return only results including a specific phrase? Put that phrase in quotes.

searchoperators-1

This search operator is useful for removing any irrelevant results, particularly with longer search queries.

Use Case: Check for scraped content

Let’s say I want to check and see if anyone has been stealing my content. Maybe I want to make sure that our content isn’t getting filtered out of the search results as duplicate content because someone scraped our post.

To do that, I would want to copy a long string of text from my post.

searchoperators-20

Next, I’ll paste it into Google and put quotes around it.

searchoperators-20

As we can see, Google is only showing our content, so we don’t have anything to be concerned about here.

However, if we really wanted to, we could click on the link to “repeat the search with the omitted results included”. Then, we would see this:

searchoperators-19

The second result is an earlier version of our blog post, so that’s fine. But sure enough, as the third result shows, someone has scraped our post.

Again, I’m not concerned because we have done our on-page SEO properly, and Google is only showing our latest post in the search results, which is exactly what we want.

However, if you think that duplicate content may be negatively affecting your search rankings (or you simply want to rule it out as a possibility), then you may want to perform this check.

2. Minus (-)

Want to exclude a specific keyword from the search results? Put a minus sign in front of it.

searchoperators-2

This is useful when your query has more than one meaning.

Use Case: Research jaguars (the animal, not the car)

Let’s say I need to research jaguars. When I do an initial query, I get the following results.

searchoperators-21

Most of these results are about the car, which is not what I want to see. But let’s see what happens if I add “-car” to the query.

searchoperators-22

Well, the top three results are still about cars (can’t do anything about that). However, the first organic result is “Jaguar | Basic Facts About Jaguars | Defenders of Wildlife”. Now that is the kind of jaguar I want to research!

Scrolling down, the rest of the results also do not appear to be in regard to the automobile. So the minus search operator just saved me a ton of time sifting through results that I don’t want.

3. Site:

Want to search one particular site? Use “site:” in front of the URL for the domain you want to search.

searchoperators-4

This is useful for researching your competitors or checking your own website for indexed pages.

Use Case: Check your site for indexing issues

Let’s say I want to check and make sure that our site doesn’t have any problems being indexed by Google.

To see the indexed pages, I would simply type in “site:optinmonster.com” and look at the number of results.

searchoperators-23

It is showing about 665 results, which seems pretty reasonable to me for the current size of our site. I’m also seeing our homepage coming up first (right after the “Google promotion”), which is good. And if I browse through the pages and look deeper into the search results, I’m seeing that the indexed pages look high quality.

However, if it returned a much lower amount than what I was expecting, then we may have an indexing problem which needs to be addressed.

And on the flip side, if it returned a much higher amount of indexed pages than what I was expecting, then that is also a potential problem because someone may have hacked our site and injected a bunch of spammy pages.

4. Asterisk (*)

Not sure what word(s) you need in your search query? In place of unknown keywords, add an asterisk (*) and Google will replace the asterisk with anything.

searchoperators-12

This is useful for finding list posts by a specific title, but you don’t know the exact number of the list. For example, if I wanted to find all posts entitled, “Top X Free WordPress Themes”, I could do a search for “Top * Free WordPress Themes”.

5. Inurl:

Want to see results that include your keyword in the URL? Add “inurl:” before your keyword in your query.

searchoperators-5

This is useful when you are looking for specific pages on a site.

Use Case: Find guest posting guidelines

Let’s say I want to submit a guest post for Lifehacker, but their guidelines for guest authors is really hard to find. (Many popular publishers will actually hide their guidelines page because they are already swamped with submissions.)

What I would do is search the Lifehacker site (using the “site:” search operator) and add the “inurl” operator to search for keywords that I am guessing might be in the URL, like “guidelines”, “contribute”, “submit”, etc.

searchoperators-25

Bingo! Now I’ve found the page that explains how I can become a Lifehacker contributor.

6. Intitle:

Want to see only pages that have your keyword in their title? Use the “intitle:” search operator just before the keyword.

searchoperators-6

This is useful for competitor research, or researching a blog where you want to get published.

Use Case: Research a target blog

Continuing with the previous use case, let’s say I want to research Lifehacker because I want to write for them. I know I want to write something about email, but I want to make sure that I pitch them with a unique angle that they haven’t covered before.

What I would do is search Lifehacker (using the “site:” operator) and use the “intitle:” operator with the keyword “email”. Then I’d take a look at what headlines come up.

searchoperators-26

The first couple of results aren’t blog posts, but then I can see a whole list of headlines that Lifehacker has used in the past about email.

This is really helpful, because now I can send them a pitch along the lines of, “I see you’ve published a post about the Three-Email Rule, but you haven’t yet covered…”

7. Inurl:.extension

Looking for results from a specific country? Add that country’s domain extension to the “inurl:” search operator.

searchoperators-15

This is useful for checking brand mentions outside your own country.

8. OR

Want to see results for one keyword or another keyword? Place “OR” in between each keyword.

searchoperators-8

This is useful when you aren’t exactly sure which keyword will give you the desired result.

Use Case #1: Make multiple guesses at once

Remember when I wanted to find the guest posting guidelines for Lifehacker using the “inurl:” operator? I wasn’t sure exactly which keyword would reveal the guidelines page, but I had a few educated guesses.

So far, I’ve only been able to make one guess at a time. So unless I make a lucky guess right off the bat, this can be time consuming.

To streamline the process, I could use the “OR” operator and make multiple guesses all in one search query. For example, “site:lifehacker.com inurl:guidelines OR inurl:contribute OR inurl:submit”.

This will return the results for any of these guesses, and hopefully one of these keywords will hit the mark!

Use Case #2: Discover brand mentions

Want to find people who have mentioned your brand? It’s a good idea to know who is mentioning and/or linking to your site, so that you can build relationships with those people and get even more mentions and links in the future.

First, you’ll want to add any different names for your brand into your query (with all possible spellings or misspellings), using the “OR” operator in between each. For example, “OptinMonster OR “Optin Monster””.

Then, you’ll need to use the minus sign to exclude your own properties from the search results. For example, “-site:optinmonster.com -site:wpbeginner.com”. You may also want to exclude social sites, such as, “-site:twitter.com -site:facebook.com -site:youtube.com”

All put together, here’s what that query looks like: “OptinMonster OR “Optin Monster” -site:OptinMonster.com -site:wpbeginner.com -site:twitter.com -site:facebook.com -site:youtube.com”.

And here are our results.

searchoperators-27

We still had a couple of results at the top that were irrelevant (that’s because we didn’t eliminate WordPress.org), however the rest of the results are actual brand mentions for OptinMonster.

Now we can create an alert with this search result, so we can receive emails about new brand mentions!

To create an alert, first go to google.com/alerts. Then, type in your search query.

searchoperators-28

Next, click on “Show Options”, and under Sources select “Web”.

Enter your email and click on the blue button to create your alert.

searchoperators-29

That’s it! Now you’ll be notified of any new brand mentions by email, so you can build valuable relationships and backlinks.

9. Allinpostauthor:

Need to find articles by one particular author? Use the “allinpostauthor:” operator just before the author’s full name.

searchoperators-10

This is useful if you want to study someone else’s content, or if you want to see a particular writer’s work before hiring them.

10. Define:

Want to find the definition of something? Simply use the “define:” search operator.

searchoperators-14

This is useful for doing research on a specific topic for a blog post. Or, you may use it for competitor research to see who comes up in the results for a specific definition that you want to rank for.

11. Date/Time Range

Need to narrow down your search results by a specific date or time range? There used to be a search operator for that (“daterange:”). However, it was a bit difficult to use because it required using the Julian calendar. Now, Google has a filter you can use instead.

searchoperators-11

This filter is useful if your initial query is only showing recent results and you want to see older results, or if you want to see recent results and your initial query is only showing older results.

To access this filter, click on the “Search tools” link directly below the search box. Then, select “Any time” to open up a dropdown menu with a few options.

searchoperators-30

If you don’t like any of the suggestions, click on “Custom range…”. From there, you’ll be able to choose any range of dates that you like.

searchoperators-31

12. Filetype:

Want to find a specific filetype with your keyword? Use the “filetype:” operator, followed by the type of file you are looking for (e.g. “PDF”).

searchoperators-16

This is useful if you want to discover ideas for lead magnets.

13. Info:

There is a lot of general information that you can get from Google on your own domain, or your competitor’s domain, with the “info:” search operator.

searchoperators-17

This is useful for many things, such as finding competitors, finding sites that link to you, or finding sites that link to your competitors.

Use Case: Find sites that link to your domain

To find sites that link to our domain, I’ll first enter the “info:optinmonster.com” query into Google. Then, I’ll see a number of choices. Let’s select “Find web pages that link to optinmonster.com”.

searchoperators-17

This will return the websites that most frequently link to OptinMonster.

searchoperators-33

That’s it. Now it’s your turn.

Go ahead and pick one of the Google search operators above to start with. Play around with it as you conduct your research. Then, as you become familiar with each of these operators, try combining them to get even more focused results.

 Source: This article was published optinmonster.com By Mary Fernandez

Published in Search Engine

As Google Scholar approaches its 10th anniversary, Nature spoke to its co-creator Anurag Acharya

Google Scholar, the free search engine for scholarly literature, turns ten years old on November 18. By 'crawling' over the text of millions of academic papers, including those behind publishers' paywalls, it has transformed the way that researchers consult the literature online. In a Nature survey this year, some 60% of scientists said that they use the service regularly. Nature spoke with Anurag Acharya, who co-created the service and still runs it, about Google Scholar's history and what he sees for its future.

How do you know what literature to index?

'Scholarly' is what everybody else in the scholarly field considers scholarly. It sounds like a recursive definition but it does settle down. We crawl the whole web, and for a new blog, for example, you see what the connections are to the rest of scholarship that you already know about. If many people cite it, or if it cites many people, it is probably scholarly. There is no one magic formula: you bring evidence to bear from many features.

Where did the idea for Google Scholar come from?

I came to Google in 2000, as a year off from my academic job at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was pretty clear that I was unlikely to have a larger impact [in academia] than at Google — making it possible for people everywhere to be able to find information. So I gave up on academia and ran Google’s web-indexing team for four years. It was a very hectic time, and basically, I burnt out.

Alex Verstak [Acharya’s colleague on the web-indexing team] and I decided to take a six-month sabbatical to try to make finding scholarly articles easier and faster. The idea wasn’t to produce Google Scholar, it was to improve our ranking of scholarly documents in web search. But the problem with trying to do that is figuring out the intent of the searcher. Do they want scholarly results or are they a layperson? We said, “Suppose you didn’t have to solve that hard a problem; suppose you knew the searcher had a scholarly intent.” We built an internal prototype, and people said: “Hey, this is good by itself. You don’t have to solve another problem — let’s go!” Then Scholar clearly seemed to be very useful and very important, so I ended up staying with it.

Was it an instant success?

It was very popular. Once we launched it, usage grew exponentially. One big difference was that we were relevance-ranking [sorting results by relevance to the user’s request], which scholarly search services had not done previously. They were reverse-chronological [providing the newest results first]. And we crawled the full text of research articles, though we did not include the full text from all the publishers when we started.

It took years in some cases to convince publishers to let you crawl their full text. Was that hard?

It depends. You have to think back to a decade ago, when web search was considered lightweight — what people would use to find pictures of Britney Spears, not scholarly articles. But we knew people were sending us purely academic queries. We just had to persuade publishers that our service would be used and would bring them more traffic. We were working with many of them already before Google Scholar launched, of course.

In 2012 Google Scholar was removed from the drop-down menu of search options on Google’s home page. Do you worry that Google Scholar might be downgraded or killed?

No. Our team is continually growing, from two people at the start to nine now. People may have treated that menu removal as a demotion, but it wasn’t really. Those menu links are to help users get from the home page to another service, so they emphasize the most-used transitions. If users already know to start with Google Scholar, they don’t need that transition. That’s all it was.

How does Google Scholar make money?

Google Scholar does not currently make money. There are many Google services that do not make a significant amount of money. The primary role of Scholar is to give back to the research community, and we are able to do so because it is not very expensive, from Google’s point of view. In terms of volume of queries, Google Scholar is small compared to many Google services, so opportunities for advertisement monetization are relatively small. There’s not been pressure to monetize. The benefits that Scholar provides, given the number of people who are working on it, are very significant. People like it internally — we are all, in part, ex-academics.

How many queries does Google Scholar get every day, and how much literature does the service track? (Estimates place it anywhere from 100 million to 160 million scholarly items).
I’m unable to tell you, beyond a very, very large number. The same answer for the literature, except that the number of items indexed has grown about an order of magnitude since we launched. A lot of people wonder about the size. But this kind of discussion is not useful — it’s just 'bike-shedding'. Our challenge is to see how often people are able to find the articles they need. The index size might be a concern here if it was too small. But we are clearly large enough.

Google Scholar has introduced extra services: author profile pages and a recommendations engine, for instance. Is this changing it from a search engine to something closer to a bibliometrics tool?

Yes and no. A significant purpose of profiles is to help you to find the articles you need. Often you don’t remember exactly how to find an article, but you might pivot from a paper you do remember to an author and to their other papers. And you can follow other people’s work — another crucial way of finding articles. Profiles have other uses, of course. Once we know your papers, we can track how your discipline has evolved over time, the other people in the scholarly world that you are linked to, and can even recommend other topics that people in your field are interested in. This helps the recommendations engine, which is a step beyond [a search engine].

Are you worried about the practice known as gaming — people creating fake papers, getting them indexed by Google, and gaining fake citations?

Not really. Yes, you can add any papers you want. But everything is completely visible — articles in your profiles, articles citing yours, where they are hosted, and so on. Anyone in the world can call you on it, basically killing your career. We don’t see spam for that very reason. I have a lot of experience dealing with spam because I used to work on web search. Spam is easier when people are anonymous. If I am trying to build a publication history for my public reputation, I will be relatively cautious. 

What features would you like to see in the future?

We are very good at helping people to find the articles they are looking for and can describe. But the next big thing we would like to do is to get you the articles that you need, but that you don’t know to search for. Can we make serendipity easier? How can we help everyone to operate at the research frontier without them having to scan over hundreds of papers — a very inefficient way of finding things — and do nothing else all day long?

I don’t know how we will make this happen. We have some initial efforts on this (such as the recommendations engine), but it is far from what it needs to be. There is an inherent problem to giving you information that you weren’t actively searching for. It has to be relevant — so that we are not wasting your time — but not too relevant, because you already know about those articles. And it has to avoid short-term interests that come and go: you look up something but you don’t want to get spammed about it for the rest of your life. I don’t think getting our users to ‘train’ a recommendations model will work — that is too much effort.

(For more on recommendation services, see 'How to tame the flood of literature', in Nature's Toolbox section.)

What about helping people search directly for scientific data, not papers?

That is an interesting idea. It is feasible to crawl over data buried inside paywalled papers, as we do with full text. But then if we link the user to the paywalled article, they don’t see this data — just the paper’s abstract. For indexing full-text articles, we depend on that abstract to let users estimate the probable utility of the article. For data we don't have anything similar. So as a field of scholarly communication, we haven’t yet developed a model that would allow for a useful data-search service.

Many people would like to have an API (Application Programming Interface) in Google Scholar, so that they could write programs that automatically make searches or retrieve profile information, and build services on top of the tool. Is that possible?

I can’t do that. Our indexing arrangements with publishers preclude it. We are allowed to scan all the articles, but not to distribute this information to others in bulk. It is important to be able to work with publishers so we can continue to build a comprehensive search service that is free to everybody. That is our primary function, and everything else is in addition to this.

Do you see yourself working at Google Scholar for the next decade?

I didn’t expect to work on Google Scholar for ten years in the first place! My wife reminds me it was supposed to be five, then seven years — and now I’m still not leaving. But this is the most important thing I know I can do. We are basically making the smartest people on the planet more effective. That’s a very attractive proposition, and I don’t foresee moving away from Google Scholar any time soon, or any time easily.

Does your desire for a free, effective search engine go back to your time as a student at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur?
It influenced the problems that appealed to me. For example, there is no other service that indexes the full texts of papers even when the user can see only the abstract. The reason I thought this was an important direction to go in was that I realised users needed to know the information was there. If you know the information is in a paywalled paper, and it is important to you, you will find a way in: you can write to the author, for instance. I did that in Kharagpur — it was really ineffective and slow! So my experiences informed the approach I took. But at this point, Google Scholar has a life of its own. 

Should people who use Google Scholar have concerns about data privacy?

We use the standard Google data-collection policies — there is nothing different for Scholar. My role at Google is focused on Google Scholar. So I am not going to be able to say more about broader issues.

Source: This article was published scientificamerican.com By Richard Van Noorden

Published in Search Engine
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