When we hear the the term “search engine”, the companies Google, Yahoo or the Russian Yandex may immediately come to mind. While these companies have immense resources and do a very good job of identifying web pages with specific keywords, these browser-based search engines also have immense limitations that reduce their effectiveness for researchers.
The main limitation of the popular browser-based search engines is that they do not know what you intend to do with the information once it is delivered. In other words, these generic search engines don’t understand the context in which you are performing your search. For example, when you enter the search term “ice cream” into a search engine, it doesn’t know if you are conducting the search to learn the nutritional value, how the commodity price has changed in the last year, how it ice cream is made or because you are looking for a local ice cream parlor. None of these specifics are dealt with because search engines don’t know your motives.
If you need to search for very specific information, you will need a personal task-specific search engine. Such a program can be written specifically to zero in on what you are looking for and have a plan for what to do with that informatoin once it is found. Personal search engines can also search for things that are inaccessible to common browser-based search engines. For example, a personal search engine can search password protected websites, websites on private networks or files that do not use web protocols. In addition, custom search engines can also automatically act on the information they find, resulting in automated research robots!
This session is peppered with actual examples of personal search engines written by the speaker and how those search engines made research easier for private investigators, court record investigators, procurement officers, celebrities and owners of niche businesses. After this session, you will have an insiders understanding of how custom automated agents and greatly assist in investigative research online.