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CORE 1000-13 The Power of Communication Brammer 2023 Fall

Open Web vs. the Deep Web

We may find millions and millions of "sources" via Google or other search engines, but if we picture the web as an iceberg, the tip only represents the the approximate 5% of the web that can be accessed via traditional browsers.  Where's the rest of the info?  Web scholars estimate that the Deep Web (not the Dark Web--although it may be part of the Deep Web) comprises 96% of the web.

Searching the Open Web

A few tips for better Google results:

  • to search for a phrase, put "quotation marks" around the phrase 
  • to limit a search to a .org or .gov, type your search then
  • to limit a search within a particular website, type your search then site:.url, such as:  polar bears
  • to make one word more important, type it first.  (Remember, there is a difference between show dogs and dogs show!)

Google is NOT the Only Search Engine!

Some other search engines that you might want to use: DuckDuckGo's motto is "Privacy, simplified."  If you don't like Google (or others) tracking (and storing!) your data and bothering you with targeted advertising, try DuckDuckGo!  It will not store your personal information and it won't send you targeted ads.  If you' like it to be your default search engine, you can use this Google Chrome extension  Ecosia uses the money from advertising to plant trees!  You can see how many trees in total have been planted; but, you can also track how many trees have been planted from your searching.  Ecosia does value privacy.  Searches are encrypted and are not stored permanently or externally tracked.  You can also turn off all Ecosia tracking (tree count will be lost) if you so desire.  It, too, has a chrome extension: Google Chrome extension  Dogpile incorporates the search functionality of multiple search engines (including Google and Yahoo!), eliminates duplication, and returns the results in relevance ranking.  Dogpile does track, store, and harvest searching data, so be aware!

A Bit About Google Scholar

Google Scholar might seem like the best collection of information to search, but it still has limitations.  Be aware:

  • While some library databases are interdisciplinary, many are discipline specific and deep--whereas Google Scholar tends to be broad and shallow.
  • Library databases provide multiple means of sorting results, Google Scholar does not.
  • Predatory Journals are more likely to be found within Google Scholar.