Friday, November 25, 2011

Using Google to Search for your Ancestors

There is no doubt that Google is a powerful search engine but recently it seemed to be finding too many irrelevant entries which appeared not to contain the words you were looking for. This was particularly frustrating if you were looking for a surname or place name which was similar to other common English words - and Google assumed that you had misspelled the word you were looking for or tried an irrelevant synonym. In addition the useful cache facility seemed to have vanished. 

In fact there has been a change in the interface and a range of useful tool can be found by clicking on the words "more search tools" at the bottom of the menu in the left hand margin. In addition, if you hover your mouse over the right hand end of the entry that interests you a thumb of the cached entry appears and clicking it gives you the content of the cache.

If you have been struggling with the changes the Ancestor blog has just posted some helpful notes on the subject. The new Verbatim facility allows you to ensure that an exact search is carried out without any of the Google cleverness. It also explains how the use of quotation marks has changed and describes the way to find the Cache facility.

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