A useful new Google Scholar feature: Library. Save a personal selection from your search results, then share that collection with others. Now to write a bot that auto-bookmarks just the open access articles :)
It looks like I’ll be switching back to Firefox as a Web browser, over Christmas, as Google Chrome is set to block install of all extensions that don’t come from its own extension store. There is no way I could tolerate Google Search without GoogleMonkeyR, or Facebook without F.B. Purity. After The Deadline is also not on the Chrome extensions store.
Google has rolled out a major upgrade to Search…
“The new algorithm, codenamed Hummingbird, … the first major upgrade for three years … is especially useful for longer and more complex queries. … more capable of understanding concepts and the relationships between them rather than simply words”
Google has obviously demoted Google Scholar over the last year or so, as well as loosening the content-inclusion parameters. Max Kemman now asks: will Google close down Google Scholar? The article notes that…
“cited by” and “related articles” functionalities in Google Scholar [...] are already available in [the main Google] Search
If he’s correct, there may be another reason for it. Have people in Google taken a good look at the slow-but-sure progress of Microsoft Academic Search, and found they don’t like what they see? Is Google wary of waking up one day to find that the Microsoft tortoise has once again executed its traditional killer slow-mo back-flip karate on a competitor hare?
How to do reverse image search in Google Images Search:
1. Find and copy the original direct URL of the image which needs identifying.
2. Go to Google Image Search and click on the camera icon in the search box…
3. A search dialogue box will open. Paste the image’s URL into the box, and search…
4. View results…
You can also upload an image, as well as just paste an URL.
A just-released Greasemonkey script Google Scholar Citation Exporter…
“Extension of Mayank Lahiri’s ‘Google Scholar Citation Exporter’ that prints results to CSV, for further use in other applications.”
The new Google Online Course Builder…
“our experimental first step in the world of online education”
“Google Scholar: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, a short free Powerpoint from the University of Leeds in the UK. It’s a useful up-to-date summary, but I’d worry about the document’s opening claim that Google Scholar has… “Almost 100% coverage of journals from partner databases and publicly available TOCs”. This may mislead people into assuming that Google Scholar has complete coverage. It doesn’t. As I’ve said before, it is rather poor at including the contents of large numbers of open access arts and humanities ejournals.
Ocropus is Google’s OCR software, and it’s open source.
Google has added images to the Google JSON/Atom Custom Search API, enabling the construction of specialist image-only CSEs. Users of the API can have 100 free queries a day — and can purchase more at $5 per 1000 queries, for up to 10,000 queries per day.
The Google Desktop Search software became officially defunct toward the end of 2011. But one can still download the last 5.9.1 version, and it happily installs and indexes and searches the full-text of your content. For instance, a folder full of Gbs of PDF encyclopaedias and journal articles, ebooks, etc, presenting results in a familiar Google Search interface. Note the indexing has to be manually started by you, and this is done by right-clicking the taskbar icon and selecting “reindex”…
But if you need a personal desktop search product that’s being supported and developed, perhaps due to the need to index a new file-format, then the alternatives are…
* the free ad-supported Copernic Desktop Search. Well-reviewed and mature software. Can be a bit aggressive in its initial indexing, but then it works quickly and intuitively. There is also a Copernic Desktop Search Professional Edition. The best everyday replacement for Google Desktop Search.
* DocFetcher 1.1 is a Java-based desktop search software, that’s open source and free. It’s been around since 2009, but doesn’t seem to have any genuine reviews (that I could find). Supports indexing of Open Office file types.
* dtSearch Desktop (£119, PC World review from 2011). A very mature and powerful software, although the price of $199 will likely make it unappealing to personal users. The dauntingly powerful interface will also likely make it unappealing to small business users.
* the new X1 Desktop Search. The X1 website’s main landing page seems to be positioning the X1 range for the corporate market.
* the free built-in Windows 7 search. Although now tamed, and no longer the fearsome disk-grinding Windows Vista incarnation, in my view turning on Windows Search still makes a desktop PC too slow. Especially if you run a PC stuffed to the top with legacy files and emails.
I’m currently reading journalist/historian Steven Levy’s In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (Simon & Schuster, April 2011). At the half-way point through the book (Google is at the stage of throwing billion-dollar data centers around the planet), I can say it’s is wonderfully precise on the ancient history of the company. I’ve taught lessons on the history of Google to undergraduates numerous times, so a lot of the events and personalities are familiar — but it’s great to now have a book that’s so authoritative. I’d previously read and enjoyed Levy’s Crypto: How the [Cryptography] Code Rebels Beat the Government, Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (2002), and his new book is just as nearly structured, well researched, and elegantly written. Highly recommended.
Google Web Fonts, a new Google service. It offers a snippet of code that styles your website with a font. The font streams in over the Web, so your website’s text looks to the same to all visitors. Although, judging by my experience of using a similar system with WordPress.com, it will slow down page loading. An especially nice choice for historians to experiment with might be Old Standard TT font…
[ Hat-tip: Beautiful Web Type ]
Hurrah! I found a viable way to automatically, reliably, and fairly simply grab a CSV of Google Search results. With URL, title (anchor) text, and even the sample snippet. This is, of course, only intended for academic use — to speedily build useful lists of subject-specific links.
1. Download the free MozBar addon for Firefox. It’s SEO stuff for webmasters, but it’s free and it works. Note that the CSV export feature is only present in the Firefox toolbar. Not the Google Chrome version.
2. Temporarily turn off any Firefox addons you might have for modifying the appearance of Google Search results, such as GoogleMonkeyR.
3. Go to Google Search, go to Search Settings, and turn on Google Instant if you have it disabled. Turn the number of results to 100. Save. Now do a test search.
No SERP Control Panel showing up? Click on the new SEOMoz toolbar (it’s sitting up near the top of your browser), click on the grey cogs, and select Google…
The SERP Control Panel overlay should now appear over to the right of the search results. Note that you may also need to repeat this step, for each new search or page, in order to get the data cued up correctly for a fresh CSV output, if you have Google Instant turned off.
4. On the SERP control panel, click on “Export to CSV”…
Note than we can also do this with Bing and Yahoo, and perhaps others if you can make profiles for them. Possibly it might work with Google Scholar?
5. Open the resulting CSV file with Excel…
You even get the description/snippet from the search results, although prefaced with some junk — simply delete everything in front of keyword “Undo” in the relevant column, by using Sobelsoft’s Excel Remove (Delete, Replace) Text, Spaces & Characters From Cells Addin for Excel…
Also delete the columns with the SEO junk in them. You now have three clean columns: URL, title, and snippet. Use a formula to convert these to pretty linked HTML in a fourth column, and/or paste them into a mega-file of subject-specific results for further weeding and sorting.
None of the above is as robust or simple as the broken Google Extract Data and Text, and it’s to be hoped that Sobolsoft fixes this software soon for Windows 7 + IE9.
Sad to say, but the three Google Search harvesting utilities from Sobolsoft no longer work on Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 9. The utilities are: Google Save Search Results; Google Extract Data & Text; and Excel Import Multiple Google Search Results.
I’m guessing that to use these today one would need to blow the dust off an old Windows Vista PC with something like IE6 or IE7 installed, although the problem might be due to newer versions of Visual Basic runtimes or similar. The utilities don’t run well on Windows XP (I tried one, on an old laptop) because the GUI layouts are truncated in it, vital ‘save’ buttons are unreachable, and the software can’t be re-sized.
Among possible fallback options, none of the Google URL Harvester scripts for Greasemonkey work now. The clunky Outwit Hub still can’t seem to get past Google Search’s URL obfuscation and other clutter, making it fairly useless for the task. SEO software like URLHarvester and Scrapebox doesn’t seem to care about link titles or extracts, just raw URLs and PageRank.
Still working is the basic per-page method of using Multilinks (Firefox) or Linkclump (Chrome), and then my combinatory Excel spreadsheet.
** Update: found a new, free way to do it, that also harvests snippets.
Google’s new guide on how to add name authority (that shows up in Google Search results) to your online articles or blog posts. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to rely on you signing up with Google’s Facebook-challenger Google+.
Lifehacker has instructions on how to prevent Google+ from distorting your Google Search results.
So, now we know why journalist name authority was removed from Google News results. The evil curse of Google+ -ification of search…
“Google+ is the new SEO. Just look at what it’s done to Google News. In the name of highlighting authors, it now pulls in Google+ profiles [from Google's new competitor to Facebook]. It doesn’t let the author choose, say, her own website as her profile. If she wants a clickable, personal link on Google News, she has to use Google+.”
I have no problem with Google trying to take on Facebook (competition is something which seems to be destined to improve Facebook, a service I intend to stick with). But the Google+ and other distortions of search results are becoming very annoying.
A new Google feature you might have missed in the rush to Christmas. Google has a new “Verbatim” option, which bypasses the appallingly dumb second-guessing that gives results that assume “and” is what you meant when you typed “India”, or that “biography” is what you meant when you typed “bibliography”…
With Verbatim turned on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making improvements such as…
* making automatic spelling corrections
* personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
* including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive])
* finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to “floral delivery” when you search [flower shops])
* searching for words with the same stem like “running” when you’ve typed [run]
* making some of your terms optional, like “circa” in [the scarecrow circa 1963]
Great though this is to see, it confirms that people who actually want to do proper search are now second-class citizens in the Googlesphere.