January 14, 2014

Google Images - Search by Image and Usage Rights

Google Images is a great tool for finding useful photos and graphics on the web.

Did you know that instead of searching for images by keywords, you can search by an image to find similar images? You can either use a photo from the web or upload your own. For more, see this video from Google.

Google has also made it easier to filter your results by the type of usage rights assigned to the image. This is helpful when you want to limit your search to just those images that you can use on your website or presentation.

To filter, run a search then click "Search Tools" on the results page. There is now a drop-down for usage rights. Your options are "not filtered by license", "labeled for reuse", "labeled for commercial reuse", "labeled for reuse with modification", and "labeled for commercial reuse of modification".

For more info on the usage rights filter, see Search Engine Watch.

August 29, 2012

Slim Down Bloated Links from Google Search Results

Ever tried to copy a link from Google search results and ended up something messy looking like this:

The messiness is because Google changes the URL to help them track who is clicking on which links. That's fine for Google, but it's frustrating for people like me who want to save or share those links with others.

But there is good news - Makeuseof describes a couple of simple plugins/userscripts which you can install to solve this. I used the Google/Yandex search link fix for Firefox and it works beautifully.

November 25, 2009

Litigation - WI Law Firm Purchases Search Results for Another Firm's Name

A suit filed last week by Habush Habush & Rottier alleges that the firm of Cannon & Dunphy effectively hijacked the names and reputation of Habush attorneys by purchasing the keywords "Habush" and "Rottier" for its Internet search results.

From the Wisconsin Law Journal:

Until a day after the suit was filed, anyone who typed in the names Habush or Rottier on the popular search engine Google would see the home site for Cannon & Dunphy appear first.

According to the Associated Press, Cannon has acknowledged paying for the keywords but denied any wrongdoing, saying it was following a legal business strategy....

In the suit, Habush claims that Cannon violated the Wisconsin privacy law - Wis. Stat. 995.50(2)(b) - which states that someone's name or likeness cannot be used for advertising purposes without written consent from the individual.

Is this a big deal? Consider this from WTN News..."According to Google, 75 percent of Google users NEVER click past the first page. The top three Google results get 79 percent of all clicks. The remaining 7 results share just 21 percent of the clicks."

September 2, 2009

Alternative Search Engines - There's More to Life Than Google

In the latest edition of InsideTrack from the Wisconsin State Bar, Bev Butula introduces some powerful general Internet search engines - besides Google. "These alternatives often support different functionality, which can assist in a more productive online experience."

Specifically, she discusses Exalead, hakia, Clusty, and Bing.

April 29, 2009

Interactive Statistics from Google

Google has recently launched a new search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data.

From the Google Blog:

If you go to and type in [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates.

Once you click the link, you'll go to an interactive chart that lets you add and remove data for different geographical areas.

I ran a sample search for "umemployment rate Wisconsin" which produced an interactive chart. I then added Michigan which added those statistics to the chart.

More from the Google Blog:

The data we're including in this first launch represents just a small fraction of all the interesting public data available on the web. There are statistics for prices of cookies, CO2 emissions, asthma frequency, high school graduation rates, bakers' salaries, number of wildfires, and the list goes on.

December 4, 2008

Monitor Web Content with Google Alerts - Now with Email and RSS Alerts

Google Alerts allow you to enter search terms and receive notification whenever it finds new content matching those terms.

You can specify if you would like to search news, blog, web, video, or group content or all of the above. You choose whether you want it to alert you as-it-happens, once-a-day or once-a-week. You can receive your results via email or now though RSS.

Law Practice Magazine offers these ideas on how lawyers can make use of Google Alerts:

  • First and foremost, enter your own name as a keyword, so you know what the world is saying about you.
  • Likewise, enter your firm name, as well as the names of your partners, so you can help everyone keep track of news related to the firm (and its reputation).
  • Monitor news about legislation, regulations and the like in particular practice areas and business sectors.
  • Keep a weather eye on what competing law firms are doing.
  • Watch out for leaks about highly proprietary data of significant clients. You would be surprised at how often proprietary data shows up in blogs--just ask Steve Jobs at Apple, whose R&D beans were spilled left and right not long ago.
  • If your clients sell a well-known product, watch what is being said about it--and perhaps watch for knockoffs.
  • Keep up with other developments relevant to your firm by entering the appropriate terms, such as "electronic evidence," "legal marketing forums" or the like.
  • Gauge your return on investment for marketing activities--for example, if you send out a press release or host a national seminar, enter identifying terms for it and see how often it appears in blogs and on the Internet generally.
  • Enter terms that might yield "surprise" information relevant to that pending litigation your firm is handling.
  • Are there experts in your area of law who are always worth reading? Plug in their names, too.
  • Sometimes it's places that you want to monitor. If you have an office in Peru, news from there may be instructive.

November 13, 2008

Google Tracks the Flu

From BBC News:

Google's philanthropic arm has released a new site that tracks the incidence of flu in the US based on terms used in Google searches.
Is there anything that Google can't do?

Thanks to my colleague, Nancy Paul for the tip.

October 22, 2008

Want to Share a Google Search? Shorten It Up With

Ever wanted to share the results of a Google search with someone? makes it easier - well, shorter anyway.

Say I want to share the results of a Google search for WisBlawg. I could send you a long, ugly search string that looks like this:

Or, I could just send you this one:

Just append your search term(s) after the root "" will help you generate the url based on what you type in the search box.

And did you know that there are tools to shorten long URLs also? I like TinyURL, but there are lots of others.

Source: inter alia

September 26, 2008

haika Semantic Search Engine Looking for a Few Good Law Sites

The following post was written by my law librarian colleague, Bev Butula:

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed the hakia search engine on my blog for the Wisconsin Law Journal. If you are not familiar with this engine, it uses semantic search technology. They look for quality results, recognizing that the most credible sites might not be the most popular. Their website indicates that a quality result needs to satisfy "three criteria simultaneously: It (1) comes from credible sources (verticals) recommended by librarians, (2) is the most recent information available, and (3) is absolutely relevant to the query." For popular queries, the search results are categorized, and presented in an easy to read fashion.

Shortly after my post, I had the pleasure of speaking with Melek Pulatkonak, their CEO and Farrah Hamid, the Communications Coordinator. During this conversation, they discussed their goals for hakia. Currently, they have an established vertical for medical searches having included the Medical Library Association's top credible web sites into their database.

Their next goal is to move to a legal vertical. They want to use the collective knowledge of law librarians to enhance the users search experience. As a result, they have created a submission tool to assist in this process. They ask that suggested sites have some editorial review, there is no commercial bias, that the site remains current, and has source authenticity. A recent press release outlines the process and their expectations. As an added bonus, anyone submitting an eligible website will be entered into a drawing.

They are also reviewing established websites such as the Librarians' Internet Index and Cornell's Legal Information Institute to improve this evolving process.

September 17, 2008

Google to Digitize Historical Newspapers

Earlier this month, Google announced that it is partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives.

From the announcement:

You'll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News... Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all...

This effort expands on the contributions of others who've already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small, in conjunction with partners such as ProQuest and Heritage, who've joined in this initiative.

May 27, 2008

Microsoft Closes the Book on Digitization

From Microsoft's Live Search blog:

Today we informed our partners that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects and that both sites will be taken down next week. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into our Search results, but not through separate indexes.

This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users.

Read more at Law Librarian Blog

May 22, 2008

WisBlawg Finally Listed on Technorati

After several years of trying to get WisBlawg listed on Technorati, I think that I can finally do so. For some reason it was inadvertently marked as spam. Technorati is a search engine for blogs and other user generated content. They also track statistics and trends throughout the blogosphere.

Here then is my claim to my Technorati Profile.

May 16, 2008

SearchMe, A New Visual Search Engine

Thanks to my colleague, Cindy May, for alerting me to a neat new visual search engine called It is currently in beta.

As you enter your search, categories appear across the top which you can click to just view results in that category. Or, you can search all and see all results.

Results are displayed visually - i.e. pictures of web pages that match your results. You can flip through the images to browse the content, or click on one to open the page.