Sunday, January 08, 2006

Microsoft search allows multiple combined advanced searches
The search
linkdomain:wlv.ac.uk linkdomain:virginia.edu
-site:wlv.ac.uk -site:virginia.edu
is a combination of four advanced searches - including two exlusion type searches. The Microsoft search results for this appear to correctly include only pages that match all criteria. In contrast, Google does not allow its link search to be combined with anything else. The equivalent can be achieved with AltaVista as follows
linkdomain:wlv.ac.uk AND linkdomain:virginia.edu
NOT host:wlv.ac.uk host:virginia.edu

The above two examples are a search for site co-inlinks for wlv.ac.uk and virginia.edu. In other words matching pages (a) link to the University of Wolverhampton AND the University of Virginia, and (b) are not from either of these two universities.
This is brilliant for giving webometric statistics like co-inlink counts. The limitation of returning only about 250 matches per search is a problem if you really want the URLs of all matching pages rather than just the number of matching pages.

The Microsoft results are significant for Webometrics becuase, as David Stuart has pointed out, the Microsoft API (a tool for computer programmers) gives the same results as the main Microsoft search engine, unlike the Yahoo API (which effectively is also the AltaVista API), which gives less matches. Hence the Microsoft version seems to be better for the automatic calculation of link counts.

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