Sourcery! Dark Art of the X-Ray Search.
While the "Boolean" language of Google search appears, at first
glance to be similar to the algorithmic syntax of computer code,
internet sourcing via this technique is far from a formulaic or
It is more like a magicians art, a witches brew of spells and incantations, of gleaned tricks and acquired arcane knowledge.
Each search presents its own unique challenge and the Sourcerer's job is to find the most pertinent results with as much information as efficiently as possible using the right combination of ingredients and arcane words in the right sequence.
I believe that what many people miss is that a good Sourcerer can cast their spells in such a way that they get their information without having to click thru to many search results at all. In other words, they use their crystal ball to see more than the mere mortal, without ever leaving their Wizard's Lair.
Let me give an example. There is a website called "duedil", which provides information about companies in the UK. This is a site which requires a paid account for full usage. Nevertheless, I have found that certain types of useful information can be gleaned for free from duedil via Google X-ray search.
Let's suppose we are looking into companies in the city of Sheffield. We could start off simply by casting the following runes into a google search:
This tells google to search the entire duedil website for occurrences of the keyword sheffield. As well as company details, this also bring up extraneous search results such as generic reports about businesses in Sheffield. Our crystal ball has been clouded.
So after a little witchcraft with the website, we quickly work out that the individual company details themselves are listed under the page www.duedil.com/company. Our next incantation is
This tells google to search only within the page www.duedil.com/company for occurrences of the keyword sheffield.
OK, so we have generated a big list of companies in Sheffield unpolluted
by other information. But the snippet text of the search results give
us no extra information at all! To find out anything more about each
company, we would have to actually click thru to duedil for each and
every entry of potential interest, take notes and bookmark the results
of only the ones which fulfill our criteria. This is what apprentice
Sourcerers might do.
The important thing to understand about Google search however, is that their is often much more information hidden within the snippet. The Wizardly Art of the Internet Search is therefore to work out exactly what level of detail the crystal ball is actually capable of