We’ve all heard the old adage, “Don’t believe everything you read.” The Internet is full of stuff to read; how do we know what to believe? While there are numerous search engines that present us with documents in response to our queries, how do we know if the information presented in these documents is accurate? Granted, much of what’s in the Internet is personal opinion and sometimes all we want is someone’s viewpoint. There are times, however, when we need to know that the information we are reading is of high quality. We may be researching product features to make a purchase decision, company information to form competitive intelligence strategy, or medical information to address a medical concern.

A major part of the answer to the question of whether information is accurate or not is to examine its source. This is where federated search engines really shine. By their nature, federated search applications usually query deep web database sources. The databases can’t be crawled. There are no links for Google to follow to extract all documents in such a database. Now, let’s consider the type of content that lives in these non-crawlable databases. Publishers who specialize in scientific, technical, and business research articles are most likely to store their documents in databases and to make their content searchable by federated search engines. Geological, geographic, demographic data lives in databases. Much political data lives in databases as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to the RSS feed!

Also, check out our writing contest with awesome prizes!