[Athen] Ruminations on search engines and changes to the results of searches

Prof Norm Coombs norm.coombs at gmail.com
Fri Jun 19 08:24:30 PDT 2009

I am amazed at how efficiently search engines usually locate what I am
looking for in the top half dozen of the results. It is almost miraculous.
Recently, I have become aware that an entire set of search results I used
to get seem not to be found
For example, I used to be able to do a search for something like "African
American church" and in the results there would be personal or a
professor's Web site informally sharing something on the topic and often
sharing unpublished writings. Now, the results, more often than not, will
point to published books on the topic for purchase but not find the more
informal information I used to enjoy. A professor's handouts for a class
on the topic frequently provided detailed and free information that met my
needs without my purchasing a published book.
I find that non-commercial sources of information appear less often than
they did 10-15 years ago.

I wonder if this is my peculiar experience or whether others are noticing
that a set of useful, informal and free information that surely is still on
the Web is much harder to locate???


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Norman Coombs norm.coombs at gmail.com
CEO EASI Equal Access to Software and Information
phone (949) 855-4852 (NOTE pacific time zone)

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