Click the link below to the exercise

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Name: ________________________
Date: ________________________
Ever wondered why the Titanic sank? Ever wondered who the passengers
were?
Ever wondered how many passengers survived?
Ever tried to find this kind of information about
the Titanic on the Internet?
Follow the search paths described below to see if you can uncover a
search strategy
that will efficiently take you to exactly the information you need.
You will use a search engine: www.google.com
(1) In the search query box on google.com, enter the keyword Titanic and record your search findings
# of search
results
1,450,000
Explore the first five search results
and identify the purpose of each
(1) Website for the “Titanic” movie
(2) German magazine named “Titanic”
(3) “Official” Titanic website (hmmm)
(4) Discussion forum about ship
research
(5) Titanic collectibles/memorabilia
store
Are the search results relevant?
Are they useful? Why or why not?
No – focused on the movie, not the real event
No – not even about the ship
Possibly – one part of the site seems focused on th
company who made the ship; the other part of the
focused on people who made it & traveled on it
No – this is a discussion about all kinds of ship
mechanisms
No – this is an online store
(2) Now take a look at the reasons you listed for irrelevance and uselessness in the search above. In y
next search, you want to make sure the search engine does not give you any of the same irrelevant
material. You can use the “without the words” query box in Google’s Advanced Search feature. For
starters, return to www.google.com and click on “Advanced Search.” You should see a screen that be
like this:
Use this space to record the keywords you enter for “with all of the words” and “without the words”.
With all of the words: Titanic
Without the words: magazine collectibles movie
# of search
results
Explore the first five search results
and identify the purpose of each
698,000
(1) “Official” Titanic website (this is the
same site that came up as #3 above!)
(2) Encyclopedia Britannica special
exhibit
(3) Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic
(4) Encyclopedia Titanica
(5) German magazine named “Titanic”
(same as above)
Are the search results relevant?
Are they useful? Why or why not?
Possibly – one part of the site seems focused on th
company who made the ship; the other part of the
focused on people who made it & traveled on it
Yes – focused on the event and includes lots of link
and readings
No –graphical adventure game about space travel (
Yes – awesome! passenger & crew biographies/listi
articles, etc
No – not even about the ship
(3) Hopefully, that last search produced more relevant results. Take a look at those useful results and
think of keywords to help Google point you toward more useful materials! Add these to the “with all t
words” query box.
Use this space to record the keywords you enter for “with all of the words” and “without the words”.
With all of the words: Titanic passenger crew
Without the words: magazine collectibles movie
# of search
results
9,190
Explore the first five search results
and identify the purpose of each
(1) Encyclopedia Titanica (same as #4
above)
(2) History on the Net
(3) Government of Nova Scotia museum
site
(4) Web Titanic
(5) Titanic in the Classroom
Are the search results relevant?
Are they useful? Why or why not?
Yes – passenger & crew biographies/listings, article
etc
Yes – numerical tables showing # of passengers an
survivors
Yes – a virtual museum!
Yes – an Irish site dedicated to Titanic passengers
Yes – links to articles published recently (research
theories on its sinking)
Take a moment now to reflect on your searches.
(1) What happens to the number of search results decreases each time you enter additional keywords
the query boxes for “with all the words” or “without the words”? Describe why you think this happen
Consider why this is significant.
(2) What happens to the relevance of your search results each time you enter additional keywords?
Describe why you think this happens. Consider why this is significant.
(3) Take some time to continue exploring ways to receive more targeted search results by adding sea
terms. But rather than gradually adding keywords based on irrelevant search results (as you’ve been
doing in this activity), why not try to propose some additional search terms? For example, you know
you want to find information on why the Titanic sank, who its passengers were, and how many
passengers survived. Can you think of any keywords related to these research questions that you hav
yet added to the Advanced Search? Brainstorm some additional keywords, synonyms of keywords, an
even terms you don’t want the search engine to search for:
(4) Consider how you could apply some of the other search tools in Google’s Advance Search. Often i
research it is important to view current sites, or at least sites that have been up-dated recently. How
could you rig Google’s search tools so it only brings up sites that have been updated in the last 6 mon
Sometimes you may want to only view sites that are affiliated with a university, college, or governmen
organization. How could you apply Google’s tool for this purpose?
Think you’ve got a pretty good strategy?
Remember, when we started this exercise, each of you was charged with the task of uncovering a sea
strategy that could be used to efficiently take you to exactly the information you need. (While gradua
adding keywords based on irrelevant search results helps to narrow your search, it probably isn’t the
most efficient solution!) So let’s reflect again on this Titanic searching experience:
(1) Review the original questions you wanted to answer about the Titanic, reflect on the effects of add
extra keywords and synonyms within the Advanced Search, and consider the effects of proposing
keywords based on close analysis of your research questions. Then, try to articulate a search strategy
with no more than TWO steps that you believe will return relevant results efficiently.
(2) Can you distill your search strategy into a slogan? Imagine you had to offer someone a quick tip o
how to search efficiently and effectively -- a one-liner that squeezes the gist of your strategy into a
nutshell!
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