A Boolean search, in the context of a search engine, is a type of search where you can use special words or symbols to limit, widen, or define your search.

This is possible through Boolean operators such as ANDORNOT, and NEAR, as well as the symbols + (add) and - (subtract).

When you include an operator in a Boolean search, you're either introducing flexibility to get a wider range of results, or you're defining limitations to reduce the number of unrelated results.

Most popular search engines support Boolean operators, but the simple search tool you'll find on a website probably doesn't.

Boolean Meaning

George Boole, an English mathematician from the 19th century, developed an algebraic method that he first described in his 1847 book, The Mathematical Analysis of Logic and expounded upon in his An Investigation of the Laws of Thought (1854).

Boolean algebra is fundamental to modern computing, and all major programming languages include it. It also figures heavily in statistical methods and set theory.

Today's database searches are largely based on Boolean logic, which allows us to specify parameters in detail—for example, combining terms to include while excluding others. Given that the internet is akin to a vast collection of information databases, Boolean concepts apply here as well.

Boolean Search Operators

For the purposes of a Boolean web search, these are the terms and symbols you need to know:

Boolean Operator Symbol Explanation Example
AND + All words must be present in the results football AND nfl
OR Results can include any of the words paleo OR primal
NOT - Results include everything but the term that follows the operator  diet NOT vegan
NEAR The search terms must appear within a certain number of words of each other swedish NEAR minister

Note: Most search engines default to using the OR Boolean operator, meaning that you can type a bunch of words and it will search for any of them, but not necessarily all of them.

Tips: Not all search engines support these Boolean operators. For example, Google understands - but doesn't support NOT. Learn more about Boolean searches on Google for help.

Why Boolean Searches Are Helpful

When you perform a regular search, such as dog if you're looking for pictures of dogs, you'll get a massive number of results. A Boolean search would be beneficial here if you're looking for a specific dog breed or if you're not interested in seeing pictures for a specific type of dog.

Instead of just sifting through all the dog pictures, you could use the NOT operator to exclude pictures of poodles or boxers.

A Boolean search is particularly helpful after running an initial search. For instance, if you run a search that returns lots of results that pertain to the words you entered but don't actually reflect what you were looking for, you can start introducing Boolean operators to remove some of those results and explicitly add specific words.

To return to the dog example, consider this: you see lots of random dog pictures, so you add +park to see dogs in parks. But then you want to remove the results that have water, so you add -water. Immediately, you've cut down likely millions of results.

More Boolean Search Examples

Below are some more examples of Boolean operators. Remember that you can combine them and utilize other advanced search options such as quotes to define phrases.

AND

free AND games

Helps find free games by including both words.

"video chat app" iOS AND Windows

Searches for video chat apps that can run on both Windows and iOS devices.

OR

"open houses" saturday OR sunday

Locate open houses that are open either day.

"best web browser" macOS OR Mac

If you're not sure how the article might be worded, you can try a search like this to cover both words.

NOT

2019 movies -horror

Finds movies mentioning 2019, but excludes all pages that have the word horror.

"paleo recipes" -sugar

Locates web pages about paleo recipes but ensures that none of them include the word sugar.

Note: Boolean operators need to be in all uppercase letters for the search engine to understand them as an operator and not a regular word.

[Source: This article was published in lifewire.com By Tim Fisher - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne] 

Categorized in Research Methods

[Source: This article was published in blogs.scientificamerican.com By Daniel M. Russell and Mario Callegaro - Uploaded by the Association Member: Anthony Frank]

Researchers who study how we use search engines share common mistakes, misperceptions and advice

In a cheery, sunshine-filled fourth-grade classroom in California, the teacher explained the assignment: write a short report about the history of the Belgian Congo at the end of the 19th century, when Belgium colonized this region of Africa. One of us (Russell) was there to help the students with their online research methods.

I watched in dismay as a young student slowly typed her query into a smartphone. This was not going to end well. She was trying to find out which city was the capital of the Belgian Congo during this time period. She reasonably searched [ capital Belgian Congo ] and in less than a second she discovered that the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is Kinshasa, a port town on the Congo River. She happily copied the answer into her worksheet.

But the student did not realize that the Democratic Republic of Congo is a completely different country than the Belgian Congo, which used to occupy the same area. The capital of that former country was Boma until 1926, when it was moved to Léopoldville (which was later renamed Kinshasa). Knowing which city was the capital during which time period is complicated in the Congo, so I was not terribly surprised by the girl’s mistake.

The deep problem here is that she blindly accepted the answer offered by the search engine as correct. She did not realize that there is a deeper history here.

We Google researchers know this is what many students do—they enter the first query that pops into their heads and run with the answer. Double checking and going deeper are skills that come only with a great deal of practice—and perhaps a bunch of answers marked wrong on important exams. Students often do not have a great deal of background knowledge to flag a result as potentially incorrect, so they are especially susceptible to misguided search results like this.

In fact, a 2016 report by Stanford University education researchers showed that most students are woefully unprepared to assess content they find on the web. For instance, the scientists found that 80 percent of students at U.S. universities are not able to determine if a given web site contains  credible information. And it is not just students; many adults share these difficulties.

If she had clicked through to the linked page, the girl probably would have started reading about the history of the Belgian Congo, and found out that it has had a few hundred years of wars, corruption, changes in rulers and shifts in governance. The name of the country changed at least six times in a century, but she never realized that because she only read the answer presented on the search engine results page.

Asking a question of a search engine is something people do several billion times each day. It is the way we find the phone number of the local pharmacy, check on sports scores, read the latest scholarly papers, look for news articles, find pieces of code, and shop. And although searchers look for true answers to their questions, the search engine returns results that are attuned to the query, rather than some external sense of what is true or not. So a search for proof of wrongdoing by a political candidate can return sites that purport to have this information, whether or not the sites or the information are credible. You really do get what you search for.

In many ways, search engines make our metacognitive skills come to the foreground. It is easy to do a search that plays into your confirmation bias—your tendency to think new information supports views you already hold. So good searchers actively seek out information that may conflict with their preconceived notions. They look for secondary sources of support, doing a second or third query to gain other perspectives on their topic. They are constantly aware of what their cognitive biases are, and greet whatever responses they receive from a search engine with healthy skepticism.

For the vast majority of us, most searches are successful. Search engines are powerful tools that can be incredibly helpful, but they also require a bit of understanding to find the information you are actually seeking. Small changes in how you search can go a long way toward finding better answers.

The Limits of Search

It is not surprising or uncommon that a short query may not accurately reflect what a searcher really wants to know. What is actually remarkable is how often a simple, brief query like [ nets ] or [ giants ] will give the right results. After all, both of those words have multiple meanings, and a search engine might conclude that searchers were looking for information on tools to catch butterflies, in the first case, or larger-than-life people in the second. Yet most users who type those words are seeking basketball- and football-related sites, and the first search results for those terms provide just that. Even the difference between a query like [the who] versus [a who] is striking. The first set of results are about a classic English rock band, whereas the second query returns references to a popular Dr. Seuss book.

But search engines sometimes seem to give the illusion that you can ask anything about anything and get the right answer. Just like the student in that example, however most searchers overestimate the accuracy of search engines and their own searching skills. In fact, when Americans were asked to self-rate their searching ability by the Pew Research Center in 2012, 56 percent rated themselves as very confident in their ability to use a search engine to answer a question.

Not surprisingly, the highest confidence scores were for searchers with some college degrees (64 percent were “very confident”—by contrast, 45 percent of those who did not have a college degree describes themselves that way). Age affects this judgment as well, with 64 percent of those under 50 describing themselves as “very confident,” as opposed to only 40 percent older than 50. When talking about how successful they are in their searches, 29 percent reported that they can always find what they are looking for, and 62 percent said they are able to find an answer to their questions most of the time. In surveys, most people tell us that everything they want is online, and conversely, if they cannot find something via a quick search, then it must not exist, it might be out of date, or it might not be of much value.

These are the most recent published results, but we have seen in surveys done at Google in 2018 that these insights from Pew are still true and transcend the years. What was true in 2012 is still exactly the same now: People have great confidence in their ability to search. The only significant change is in their success rates, which have crept up to 35 percent can "always find" what they're looking for, while 73 percent say they can find what they seek "most of the time." This increase is largely due to improvements in the search engines, which improve their data coverage and algorithms every year."

What Good Searchers Do

As long as information needs are easy, simple searches work reasonably well. Most people actually do less than one search per day, and most of those searches are short and commonplace. The average query length on Google during 2016 was 2.3 words. Queries are often brief descriptions like: [ quiche recipe ] or [ calories in chocolate ] or [ parking Tulsa ].

And somewhat surprisingly, most searches have been done before. In an average day, less than 12 percent of all searches are completely novel—that is, most queries have already been entered by another searcher in the past day. By design, search engines have learned to associate short queries with the targets of those searches by tracking pages that are visited as a result of the query, making the results returned both faster and more accurate than they otherwise would have been.

A large fraction of queries are searches for another website (called navigational queries, which make up as much as 25 percent of all queries), or for a short factual piece of information (called informational queries, which are around 40 percent of all queries). However, complex search tasks often need more than a single query to find a satisfactory answer. So how can you do better searches? 

First, you can modify your query by changing a term in your search phrase, generally to make it more precise or by adding additional terms to reduce the number of off-topic results. Very experienced searchers often open multiple browser tabs or windows to pursue different avenues of research, usually investigating slightly different variations of the original query in parallel.

You can see good searchers rapidly trying different search queries in a row, rather than just being satisfied with what they get with the first search. This is especially true for searches that involve very ambiguous terms—a query like [animal food] has many possible interpretations. Good searchers modify the query to get to what they need quickly, such as [pet food] or [animal nutrition], depending on the underlying goal.

Choosing the best way to phrase your query means adding terms that:

  • are central to the topic (avoid peripheral terms that are off-topic)
  • you know the definition of (do not guess at a term if you are not certain)
  • leave common terms together in order ( [ chow pet ] is very different than [ pet chow ])
  • keep the query fairly short (you usually do not need more than two to five terms)

You can make your query more precise by limiting the scope of a search with special operators. The most powerful operators are things such as double-quote marks (as in the query [ “exponential growth occurs when” ], which finds only documents containing that phrase in that specific order. Two other commonly used search operators are site: and filetype: These let you search within only one web site (such as [site:ScientificAmerican.com ]) or for a particular filetype, such as a PDF file (example: [ filetype:pdf coral bleaching ])

Second, try to understand the range of possible search options. Recently, search engines added the capability of searching for images that are similar to given photo that you can upload. A searcher who knows this can find photos online that have features that resemble those in the original. By clicking through the similar images, a searcher can often find information about the object (or place) in the image. Searching for matches of my favorite fish photo can tell me not just what kind of fish it is, but then provide links to other fishing locations and ichthyological descriptions of this fish species.        

Overall, expert searchers use all of the resources of the search engine and their browsers to search both deeply (by making query variations) and broadly (by having multiple tabs or windows open). Effective searchers also know how to limit a search to a particular website or to a particular kind of document, find a phrase (by using quote marks to delimit the phrase), and find text on a page (by using a text-find tool).

Third, learn some cool tricks. One is the find-text-on-page skill (that is, Command-F on Mac, Control-F on PC), which is unfamiliar to around 90 percent of the English-speaking, Internet-using population in the US. In our surveys of thousands of web users, the large majority have to do a slow (and errorful) visual scan for a string of text on a web site. Knowing how to use text-finding commands speeds up your overall search time by about 12 percent (and is a skill that transfers to almost every other computer application).

Fourth, use your critical-thinking skills.  In one case study, we found that searchers looking for the number of teachers in New York state would often do a query for [number of teachers New York ], and then take the first result as their answer—never realizing that they were reading about the teacher population of New York City, not New York State. In another study we asked searchers to find the maximum weight a particular model of baby stroller could hold. How big could that baby be?

The answers we got back varied from two pounds to 250 pounds. At both ends of the spectrum, the answers make no sense (few babies in strollers weigh less than five pounds or more than 60 pounds), but inexperienced searchers just assumed that whatever numbers they found correctly answered their search questions. They did not read the context of the results with much care.  

Search engines are amazingly powerful tools that have transformed the way we think of research, but they can hurt more than help when we lack the skills to use them appropriately and evaluate what they tell us. Skilled searchers know that the ranking of results from a search engine is not a statement about objective truth, but about the best matching of the search query, term frequency, and the connectedness of web pages. Whether or not those results answer the searchers’ questions is still up for them to determine.

Categorized in Internet Search

[This article is originally published in wired.com Written By BRIAN BARRETT - Uploaded By AIRS Member: Carol R. Venuti]

WHAT FINALLY BROKE me was the recipes.

On July 1, I abandoned Google search and committed myself instead to Bing. I downloaded the Bing app on my phone. I made it the default search mode in Chrome. (I didn't switch to Edge, Microsoft's browser, because I decided to limit this experiment strictly to search.) Since then, for the most part, any time I've asked the internet a question, Bing has answered.

A stunt? Sure, a little. But also an earnest attempt to figure out how the other half—or the other 6 percent overall, or 24 percent on desktop, or 33 percent in the US, depending on whose numbers you believe—finds their information online.

And Bing is big! The second-largest search engine by market share in the US, and one of the 50 most visited sites on the internet, according to Alexa rankings. (That’s the Amazon-owned analytics site, not the Amazon-made voice assistant.) I wanted to know how those people experienced the web, how much of a difference it makes when a different set of algorithms decides what knowledge you should see. The internet is a window on the world; a search engine warps and tints it.

There’s also never been a better time to give Bing an honest appraisal. If Google’s data-hoovering didn’t creep you out before, its attitude toward location tracking and Google+ privacy failings should. And while privacy-focused search options like DuckDuckGo go further to solve that problem, Bing is the most full-featured alternative out there. It’s the logical first stop on the express train out of Googletown.

A minor spoiler: This isn’t an excuse to dunk on Bing. It’s also not an extended “Actually, Bing Is Good” counterpoint. It’s just one person’s attempt to figure out what Bing is today, and why.

Bing Bang Boom

Let’s start with the Bing app, technically Microsoft Bing Search. This almost certainly isn’t how most people experience Microsoft’s search engine, but the app does have over 5 million downloads in the Google Play Store alone. People use it. Besides, what better way to evaluate Bing than drinking it up in its most distilled form?

 

Bing offers a maximalist counterpoint to the austerity of Google, whose search box sits unadorned, interrupted only for the occasional doodle reminder of a 19th-century physicist’s birthday. When you open the Bing app, the act of searching is almost incidental. A high-resolution, usually scenic photograph sweeps the display, with three icons—a camera, a magnifying glass, and a microphone—suggesting but not insisting on the different types of search you might enjoy. Below that, options: VideosNear MeNewsRestaurants. (Side-scroll a bit.) MoviesMusicFunImagesGas.

These are the categories Bing considers worthy of one-tap access in 2018. And honestly, why not? I like videos. I like fun.

Categorized in Search Engine

Traditional media sources such as print medical journals remain key ways for physicians to stay abreast of new and rapidly changing clinical information, according to an annual new report by CMI/Compas.

In October, CMI/Compas, the media planning and buying company, surveyed 2,780 healthcare professionals in the U.S. across 27 specialties, and released a report that focuses on the findings of six: primary care, cardiology, oncology, neurology, dermatology, and pulmonology. The firm included oncologists in the report for the first time this year to address the rising development of products in the category, said Dr. Susan Dorfman, chief commercial officer at CMI/Compas.

What the company found is that pharmaceutical and medical device companies, when seeking to reach physicians, should choose different media channels based on their needs.

“We should never put our eggs in any one channel basket,” said Dorfman. “Doctors are in a multitude of places. For clients who have a limited budget, we have to focus our investments and decide where we can make the most impact on those non-personal dollars as opposed to spreading those dollars too thin.”

Medical journals remain top sources for information but HCPs go online for immediate answers.

Traditional media sources such as print and online medical journals, medical conventions and meetings, and professional websites remain the top sources of information for physicians looking to stay abreast of medical developments and treatment options. The survey found that oncologists rank print and online medical journals equally important, with 70% of them using both.  And while other specialties did not rank pharma reps among their top sources of medical information, 53% of PCPs said they turn to pharma reps to stay abreast of medical developments and treatment options.

“I think PCPs are in many ways equipped to know everything that is happening,” said Dorfman. “You are their first point of contact. It's nearly impossible for them to read everything so having reps to share information ... may be a higher ranking source than other specialties.”

However, those traditional media sources are ranked more highly when physicians have more time. When they have only ten minutes or less to answer a question, physicians across all specialties relied on the internet to find an immediate answer. The survey also found that 70% of HCPs across all specialties search online daily, with 46% of oncologists using online search engines for professional purposes at least four times per day.

“It used to be peers, but now they're searching the web,” said Dorfman. “Now we see that for certain specialties like oncology, peers don't even exist. There's no specific sources they go to though.”

With the internet as the main source of information for physicians when they are searching for an immediate answer, Dorfman said pharma companies should boost their search engine optimization to provide the information and content physicians need.

CMI/Compas found that physicians across all specialties visit brand-specific pharmaceutical or medical device websites to search for dosing information, safety information, and clinical data. However, the information is not easy to find.

“We have to ask when we build our website, who are we building it for?” said Dorfman. “Rather than driving them to the website and forcing them to search, we need to deliver them that information because they have less than ten minutes.”

Drugmakers that are doing this well are bringing the user to the content by incorporating features like keywords, she said.

“We're just starting to work with agencies in sharing a lot of this information, but I haven't seen a brand.com that is constructed in a way that is meaningful to the user yet,” said Dorfman. “I think there are non-brand.com sites that are more geared towards that.”

Clinical efficacy more important than drug cost.

Despite growing criticism about how drugs are priced, the number one factor that influences physicians' treatment decisions across all specialties, except neurologists, is clinical efficacy data, the survey found. Neurologists ranked a drug's safety and tolerability profile as the number one issue, followed by strong clinical efficacy data. Of the six specialties, only PCPs – 47% of them – factor in a drug's cost to a patient when making a prescribing decision.

“It may have to do with the severity of the condition and the conditions that they treat,” explained Dorfman. “What those specialists are looking at is what is going to work for their patients versus looking at the possible cost. It doesn't mean it's not important. It just means that, in the ranking, it wasn't up at the top.”

Oncologists, cardiologists, and neurologists are most likely to try new treatments.

The survey found that oncologists, cardiologists, and neurologists are most likely to prescribe new treatments for patients as soon as those therapies receive FDA approval, with oncologists being the most likely – 58% said they would try out new treatments.

“There is such a high unmet need to extend a patient's life, it's not surprising that they are most likely to try new treatments,” said Dorfman. “It's become much more important for us to be responsible for creating the awareness with these audiences. If we know there is a high propensity, it's on us to deliver relevant information to them.”

Sales reps' access to doctors has stabilized or opened up but with restrictions.

The survey found that PCPs, cardiologists, and dermatologists were most accessible to pharma and device reps without restrictions, and oncologists and pulmonologists were the least accessible.

Looking at rep access over a four-year period, Wayne Obetz, CMI/Compas' VP of investments and analytics and decision sciences, observed a dip in accessibility, a trend also reported by ZS Associates in its annual survey, which found that only 44% of physicians will meet with sales reps.

“The offices that just flat out won't see a rep have bottomed up,” said Obetz. “The offices that are opening back up look like they are opening back up by appointment only, or within opening hours.”

“Even when the rep has access, the overall time is limited,” added Stan Woodland, CEO  of CMI/Compas. “So non-personal promotion becomes increasingly important in the success of a brand.”

Author: Virginia Lau

Source: http://www.mmm-online.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Apple's Safari is a great web browser, but there are many reasons why you may want to use another one on your iPhone or iPad (or even on your Mac). You may use Google services a lot, and find that Chrome helps you be more efficient; or you might want to use another browser because it's faster, or because it offers more privacy.

It's easy to switch browsers on OS X, but it's not that simple on iOS. You can't change the default web browser on Apple's iPhone or iPad devices, so any links you tap will open in Safari. But you can use another browser when you manually search, enter addresses, use bookmarks, or by copying links instead of tapping them, and then pasting them into the browser of your choice.

Here's a look at seven web browsers for iOS. I compare their specific features, and review why you might want to use one of these alternatives instead of Safari. Try them out and see which one works best for you!

Google Chrome

chrome


If you're an inveterate Google user, then you may want to switch to Google Chrome on your iPhone or iPad. Chrome syncs across your devices, so, if you sign into your Google account, you can access your bookmarks, and open tabs you've opened on other devices, including your Mac, PC, iPhone, or iPad. Its Incognito Mode lets you surf privately, without saving your browsing history. You can also use Google voice search.

The feature I like best is the Data Saver. If you turn this on, Chrome compresses web pages before loading them. If you use your iOS device on cell networks a lot, this will save time downloading data, and save money (or make your data plan last longer). Chrome is fast and easy to use, and free.

iCab Mobile

icab

 

The $2 iCab Mobile is chock full of interesting features. In fact, at first glance, it seems like it has a bit too many options. It has URL filters to block web ads (which can save you time and data), has a download manager, supports multiple users, private browsing, fullscreen reading, and tabs. It has a built-in RSS reader, cookie manager, and you can save web pages for offline reading. It's stable and reliable, and is regularly updated. It also installs a share service, so you can view a web page in Safari, tap the Share button, and choose to open that page in iCab.

iCab Mobile can be a bit complex to get used to, and its buttons and settings can be a bit off-putting. But it's definitely a browser for power users. If that's you, then iCab Mobile might be the browser you need.

Opera Mini

opera-mini

 

The free Opera Mini is probably the only web browser that works on all mobile phones. There are iOS, Android, and Windows Phone versions, and it even works on "basic phones." You can create an Opera Link account and sync bookmarks across your devices. One of this browser's marquee features is its Video Boost feature, which compresses videos, saving you time and data. It also compresses web pages, making slow connections a lot faster, with one of two settings: Opera Mini and Opera Turbo.

Opera Mini also has a Discover feature, which is a built-in selection of news articles by topic. It's not as detailed as, say, Flipboard or Google News, but you may find that it gives you the news you need.

Opera Coast

opera-coast

Opera also has another iOS browser, Opera Coast. It does away with all the widgets other browsers have: there's no address bar, there are no buttons (you swipe to move around), and you save your favorites sites as tiles on its home screen. You can search using Google, of course, but the power of this browser lies in the way it gives you easy access to the sites you visit most. Opera Coast is uncluttered, and, if you only visit a handful of sites, it's a great way to access the web.

Ghostery

ghostery

Ghostery, a free browser, is for users who are annoyed by how much they're tracked on the web. When you load a web page in Ghostery, you tap the app's ghost icon to see a list of trackers on that page. You can turn off tracking for any of the specific trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons, then reload the page. Over time, Ghostery develops a list of the trackers you don't like and prevents them from loading.

Turning off trackers not only protects your privacy, but it can also make web pages load more quickly. When you load a page, your browser has to contact every server that provides content to the page. If there are a couple dozen trackers, you need to connect to that many servers. Ghostery isn't the most feature-laden browser; it does one thing, and does it well.

Intego Rook

rook

If you've got kids, you might not want them to be able to browse just any website, and you may want to monitor their browsing activity. These days, it's common for parents to control what their children can see online, only allowing content that's age-appropriate by limiting access to sites you've approved. Rook, part of Intego's Family Protector parental controls for iOS, lets you choose exactly what your kids can access on the web. You can configure it on a website, from any computer or mobile device, and you can see where your kids have been browsing.

Intego Rook filters web content, blocks web pages you don't want your kids to see, and lets you even turn off web access when your kids should be doing their homework. And, with Intego Family Protector, you can do much more to control what your kids can do with their iOS devices.

Source : intego

Categorized in Search Engine

Two years after Google announced HTTPS would become a ranking signal, Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz has put together a study with revealing new findings about the adoption rate of HTTPS since the announcement was made.

When Google made its official announcement regarding HTTPS, some were quick to make the transition, while others believed the effort wasn’t worth the potential reward. Some have avoiding transitioning to HTTPS because they believe there are possible risks associated with doing so.

Dr. Pete Meyers has put together the data which suggests Google is slowing but surely accomplishing its goal of having more HTTPS sites on the web. Here is a summary of his finding.

The Findings

Before Google’s HTTPS algorithm update, Moz’s data showed that only 7% of the pages featured on the first page of Google’s search results were HTTPS. A week later, that number rose to 8%.

Two years later, that number has multiplied to over 30%:

“As of late June, our tracking data shows that 32.5% (almost one-third) of page-1 Google results now use the “https:” protocol.”

The fact that the increase has been a gradual progression leads Dr. Meyers to believe it was not purely the result of algorithm updates alone. Rather, the increase in HTTPS sites on the first page of Google’s search results is an indication that Google’s PR campaign is working.

Dr. Meyers predicts than in a another 1–1.5 years we will 50% of first page search results being comprised of HTTPS sites. When this time comes, Dr. Meyers also predicts that Google will strengthen the ranking signal.

The Risks

Google has been downplaying the risks of migrating to HTTPS, Dr. Meyers argues, as there is risk associated with any kind of sitewide change to URLs.

Before migrating to HTTPS, it’s recommended that you weigh the time, money, and possible risk against receiving a minor algorithmic boost. With that being said it’s still difficult to convince website owners that converting to HTTPS is worth it.

Dr. Meyers’ final recommendation is, if you’re still not sold on HTTPS, then at least be aware of how many sites in your industry are making the switch. Stay alert for another HTTPS algorithm update which could be coming within a year’s time.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/30-search-results-now-https-according-moz-study/167515/

Categorized in Search Engine

I have spent the past few days doing research on traditional telecenter sustainability. By traditional, I mean telecenters that charge a small fee for offline (photocopying, mobile charging etc.) and online services (Internet access) to meet their costs. While the news is rather bleak, I have stumbled across some interesting sources that might be of use to others:

- International Development Research Centre (IDRC): Regional leader in information and communication for development (ICT4D), their website boasts a wealth of information. I found their 2005 report on Telecenters, Access and Development very interesting (a bit outdated, but still useful). This link provides insight into a variety of information and communication technology (ICT) projects they are supporting (mind you, the articles are for communication so a little too positive for objectivity).

- The Centre for Internet and Society – India: I stumbled across them while looking for successful models of telecenters/Internet centers increasing community income. I found this article “Information and Livelihoods (2009)” very interesting. It shows how Internet access in a fishing village was used to offer information on weather patterns to fishermen. Mortality rates were significantly reduced, income increased and users learned more about the Internet.

- Telecenter.org: The Facebook of telecenter/ICT4D professionals. Their forums are great, primarily because they have active moderators who keep the discussion going. They also send you updates on popular forums and topics, so you don't have to browse the site regularly. Check this one on local content development, i.e. how to make the Internet relevant to its users.

- Seacom Broadband Competition: The competition seems to be generating some interesting links and abstract thoughts on the role of broadband Internet in Sub-Saharan Africa. From the obscure - developing Africa's chess market - to the obvious – improving health care.

- A Guidebook For Managing Telecenter Networks: Great content on building virtual telecenter networks and developing the right content while making the whole thing financially sustainable.

A key lesson to be taken from this research is that content is priority. This is best summarized by Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam:

"The success lies in embedding ICTs in a holistic approach encompassing a diverse range of development initiatives. The trick is not to emphasise technology but to put people and their needs before technology. Sustainable livelihood approaches need to be people-centred, recognising the capital assets of the poor and the influence of policies and institutions on their livelihood strategies."

You will not have users paying to access Internet unless you put the information they need at their fingertips and in a variety of formats. With low literacy levels and inexperienced computer users, people need to be facilitated in their exploration of the Internet and motivated by regular online interaction, strong support networks, reliable Internet connections and content they can use to better their lives.

Tags: Uganda India ictblog SEACOM internet ICT4D 

Source:
http://blogs.worldbank.org/youthink/researching-internet-where-start-new-ideas 

Categorized in Online Research

For most people, Internet research involves little more than putting a search query into Google and hitting return. But for others, such a basic search just won't cut it. Perhaps you are writing a doctoral dissertation and need to carry out in-depth research on your topic, or maybe you're researching an article for a newspaper. Whatever your reasons, there are plenty of tools to help you get the most out of your online research. Have a question? Get an answer from online tech support now!

Instructions

1. Get your browser ready for research. If you're going to be wading through hundreds of webpages, it's essential that you get organized at the beginning. Some useful Firefox extensions are designed specifically for researchers. Zotero is a free add-on that works something like an advanced bookmarking tool. You can organize links into files, annotate them and share them with other users. Diigo is another free add-on that allows you to annotate individual pages, handy for long documents when you can't remember exactly why you bookmarked a page.

2. Install reference management software on your computer. At the end of a lengthy assignment, you might have more than 100 references, so install a program like Endnote to take the hard work out of keeping your references in order.

Use advanced search engine queries. Google has a whole range of optional search parameters that you can use to refine your results, such as page language, file type and usage rights. Consider using an application like Fefoo which lets you quickly conduct searches across multiple search engines, and has an array of search operators to improve your results.

4. Visit sites that may not be indexed by the search engines, but which host highly specialized data such as the Library of Congress, BioMedCentral, Project Gutenberg and the U.S. Government Manual. See the Resources section for links to more sites like this.

5. Share and exchange your research results using online collaboration applications. Sites like Glasscubes and Colaab are packed with real-time features that make sharing large tracts of information fast and easy. 

Written by: John Phillips

Source:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7547463_use-internet-research.html

Categorized in Online Research

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