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Dictionary of Unsearchable Terms

A dictionary of search queries that find the "unsearchable"
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I was recently trying to dig up some information about the "Cellone" -- a musical instrument like a cello but rarely used. This happens to be nearly unsearchable on the Internet because it's ambiguous with "cellOne", a cell phone company.

Ever tried to search for the band "R.E.M" on a search engine that ignores punctuation? You'll get bombarded with Rapid Eye Movement, and BASIC code snippets (since REM is used to mark comments in programs)

Ever tried to search for the word "tears" on a "dumb" search engine which considers "tore", "torn" "tear", "tier", "tiered", "tiers", and "tearing" to be positive matches? If you really want just the crying thing, you have to assemble a list of 10 to 15 negative words to include in your query, and this takes quite a long time to develop by trial and error.

Guaranteed, someone has done it before.

My idea is a Wikipedia-like dictionary where you list your primary search word and it first offers you "disambiguation" options like Wikipedia does, in order to determine whether by "REM" you mean - the rock band? - the eye movement? - the programming keyword? And it then it takes you to a page where people who have searched successfully for this concept can post their searches. The posters can contribute successful search queries in Google format, in AltaVista format, in Ebay's search format, in "Dumb Search Engine" format, etc.

For example, REM (disambiguation = "the rock band")
Recommended Google search: +REM -eyes -sleep -BASIC -keyword
Recommended dumb engine search: +REM -remark -sleep -BASIC

etc.

Notice the second post avoided "-eyes" because the dumb engine would consider "eye" a match for that and strike out any web page with the lyrics to "Blind Eye Baby" by R.E.M; you might not realize that if you are building the query yourself for the first time.

phundug, Jan 25 2007

Clusty, the clustering search engine http://clusty.com/
"REM" -> R.E.M. (24), Rem Koolhaas (20), Management (15), Rems-Murr (20), Music (12), Sleep (9), etc. [jutta, Jan 25 2007]

Grokker, another clustering search engine http://www.grokker.com/
If you're running Java, you can get it visualized and everything. Whoooaaaahh.... Cosmic. [jutta, Jan 25 2007]

[link]






       Oh yeah, big bun for this one. My problem is that I have recently been looking at audiophile amps on ebay, then googling to find information about the equipment prior to bidding. Problem is, the first 100 or so returns on google are either references to the item in ebay, or results of other searches, that eventually lead to ebay references of the item I'm searching for. For the life of me I cannot get google to *not* display these results, and I have to spend 15 minutes trawling through ebay references to find the one or two other websites mentioning the brand and model in question. Your solution may or may not help me here, I suppose at some point someone would come up with a series of terms that would fully block ebay references.
Custardguts, Jan 25 2007
  

       I'm sure this is on the net somewhere. I'll try to find a link... <wink>
Ling, Jan 25 2007
  

       Positive search terms are more specific and therefore work better than negative ones. Try searching for rem +band, not rem -eye.   

       Another way of addressing the general problem is to use a search engine that clusters, like "clusty" or "grokker". (See links.)
jutta, Jan 25 2007
  

       Now that I think about it, Wikipedia could offer this service since it already disambiguates to help you find the right page. They could simply add "to search for more information in Google use this query: ____, to search in AltaVista use this _____, to search in Flickr use this ____ ...
phundug, Jan 25 2007
  

       Use wikipedia to find the word, and if you need a more exact definition after that check wiktionary? (WP and WT usually have links to each other anyway)   

       The problem with adding those sorts of links to wikipedia would be that it would cause huge problems with Wikipedia's policies, and which websites should be searchable and which shouldn't. Also, it would cause arguments over which queries are best and such. Really, you just need to practice google-fu.
Feba, Jan 25 2007
  

       //Really, you just need to practice google-fu.//   

       I agree, learn to use the search engine properly and choose your terms properly, not just blindly type in the box. Advanced search is your friend. Also, the more specific the search, the more specifc the results. just typing REM is bound to fail as it's relying on just three letters to tell the search engine what you want.
webfishrune, Jan 25 2007
  

       Very good indeed. I just spent an afternoon using various search engines to try to research photographic flashes. (The light emitting kind, not the animation kind.)   

       Not getting the animation kind was really difficult, as Flash (animationy) is often on the same page as obvious positive flash (light) terms as 'photography', 'studio', and 'camera'. [+]
m_Al_com, Jan 25 2007
  

       See, in my Dictionary, users could post "I tried searching +Flash +film and even though it must have eliminated some false positives, I found more than enough good ones under the restriction"
phundug, Jan 25 2007
  
      
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