In a recent article , the deep web was clarified – what it is, what it’s not, and why it can be useful. The question that always comes up is, “How can we access it?”
In part, you are accessing it each time you do a Google search – you’re just not going back far enough through the search results. Outside of spending hours weeding through page 25 of a search result, how can deep web searches be more efficient?
1. Google may be a household name, but it’s not the only game in town. Most people rely on Google to be their online search companion. Of course Google is the major player – after all, it’s become more than a search engine – it’s a verb. Don’t forget about the other search engines, namely Bing and Yahoo. While they may be considered the red-headed stepchildren, they can still be helpful. Like software platforms, each of the major search engines has its own algorigthm, which in turn may produce different results. What Google things is unimportant may be significant to Yahoo or Bing, or vice versa. Search using a variety of major search engines to find the most content available.
2. YouTube isn’t just for music anymore. From music to how to videos to families sharing cute kid videos, YouTube has become almost as popular of a search engine as Google. Don’t forget to run searches in YouTube as well.
3. Don’t start at the beginning. When running a general search using Google, Bing, or Yahoo, start at page 3, maybe 4. Don’t start with the first page. Those are the surface web results that you can easily look at later. To get to the deeper content, you’ll need to start on a later page. You will start to find more irrelevant results on these later pages too – don’t let that deter you; within those false positives can be some great information to help in your research efforts.
4. Use more than a name. Don’t just search a person’s name or their name with a city and/or state – search using known user names the person created for social accounts, nicknames, phone numbers, addresses, the person’s name and a family member’s name, you get the idea. Set up searches that use more specific information and you may find more information this way.
5. Learn how to search using Boolean. While you’ve likely heard the term and you’re only knowledge of Boolean search is what most of us think of – using AND, OR, or quotes in your search – there is so much more to it. Setting up specific searches in a certain way can bring those deep web results to the surface. We recommend taking a look at the sites below as a guide to learning how to use Boolean searching to your benefit.
Knowing how to search efficiently can help you dive into the deep web and find what you might be looking for. It’s not a scary place, like the dark web, and shouldn’t be confused with that. It’s just a matter of having patience and knowing how to search to access this type of information.