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On Using Search Engines for Research:

Robby Raccoon

Trash Digger
Jun 14, 2014
4,219
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Locō movērī
I noticed a thread where one member told another member to research, when the member asking the question just wanted to know information.
Another member then suggested that we encourage other members to research and help out when needed.

I began to think, "What if these new members don't know how to research properly?"

For example, I have a bottle simply embossed Royal Purple.
Putting that in Google.... doesn't work too well.

Adding to the search, Antique Bottle, helps though.
But, alas, 2 things pop up-- and nothing of any help to me as it's only for-sale ads.

But earlier today, before reading the aforementioned thread, I gave information to a member who couldn't find much. I also told him how to research.

If I want to find the NON-ginger beer Sussex Beverage Company bottles, it is as simple as adding quotations and minus-signs.

So here is how to research:

1. Put quotations around exact words you want, in the exact order you want, with exact punctuation (you'll have to changed it up,) abbreviation (Co v. Company v. Co.,) and other information.
2. Put minus signs next to each word you don't want-- like when using e-Bay.

Example:

"Sussex Beverage Company" "New Brunswick" -Ginger -Beer

The above is done in an expected and organised format. Company before location-- both separated from each other for more freedom of the Search Engine's search. And always put excluded search terms at the end.

Now I'm no longer seeing ginger beer bottles and for-sale ads (or, at least, fewer ads,) but instead I see a 1920s reference with some information.

Of course, word-choice is very important.
It is not always the best idea to put the word Bottle in when looking for information, for you'll likely be looking into original sources, which will have Bottling but not Bottle.

Always start with the least information in your search and let it expand from there.

Often my searches will not pull up much without the addition of a key-word-- or, often, date.
I couldn't find much on one bottle till I began doing the same search over and over, only changing the date-- I went from 1905 to 1925, found nothing, went from 1900 to 1904 and found it in 1904-- a single reference that had popped up in no other search due to my addition of that date.
I had begun it on expected age-range but was one year off the first time. And it does make a difference.

So that is how I research. For those who just type into Google and hope it'll pop up with answers, you may often be disappointed. I suggest utlising these methods, however boring they are, as they work quite well.

Any other helpful researching tips are welcome.
 
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