I spend much of each work day developing profiles of people and companies through Internet research. Private investigators aren’t usually just looking for a specific piece of information but everything that is in the public sphere. In this case, on the Internet. One of the means of getting access to the chaotic collection of information is search engines. Intelligent use of search engines can make the difference between a key discovery and merely being buried by too many irrelevant search results. A recent study (lower right corner of Web page) reiterates previous ones that reveal the slight overlap of search results between the different search engines. Here are some of the findings:
* On average, 69.6 percent of Google first page search results were unique to Google.
* On average, 79.4 percent of Yahoo! first page search results were unique to Yahoo!
* On average, 80.1 percent of Live first page search results were unique to Live.
* On average, 75.0 percent Ask first page search results were unique to Ask. [Reported in SearchEngineLand via Internet News ]
Those are the top 4 search engines. I have about 30 search engines – crawling the general Internet, social networking sites, blogs and group chat activity – that I use regularly for just about every research project. In my experience, I almost always find unique and valuable information through this expansive approach.
Applying advanced search queries and “out-of-the-box” approaches to social networking sites isn’t helpful for just uncovering youth sites but also professional ones. Most business professionals are now using social networking sites to make connections. If you’re in California this September come to the presentation Carole Levitt and I will be doing on this topic at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting.