SweetSearch This content links to tens of thousands of Web sites that have been evaluated and deemed reliable by research experts and librarian and teacher consultants
Sites are included in SweetSearch by trolling through recommendations of librarians and teachers on their blogs and social bookmarking sites. You know those great lists you’ve been bookmarking for years? Well, SweetSearch is a giant, searchable repository of them. We constantly evaluate our search results and “fine-tune” them, by increasing the ranking of Web sites from organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and universities.
We do more than merely exclude spam sites; we also exclude marginal sites that read well and authoritatively, but lack academic or journalistic rigor, and thus are not cite worthy. As importantly, many academic web sites make little effort to optimize their content for search engines and thus get buried deep in Google. They often appear on the first results page of SweetSearch. Many articles that may be 3, 5, or 10 years old – but are still the most authoritative writing on the subject – are treated as stale by other search engines, and yet appear on the first page of SweetSearch results. And to most students, the first page is the only one that exists.
The result? Students find what they need, and they find it faster.
Many of the results returned by Google and Bing aren’t quite up to snuff for including in a school paper. Wikipedia ranks first on both engines. While many people find Wikipedia a good place to begin their research, most educators are frustrated that students use it almost exclusively, and not wisely. For this reason, Wikipedia almost never shows up in SweetSearch results.Now let’s do a comparison for “Shakespeare” in SweetSearch, Google and Bing. Again, Wikipedia ranks first for Google and Bing. Also appearing prominently, again due to the specific domain names, are “Shakespeare.com” and “Shakespeare-online.com.” Each of these is a well-written “passion site,” one created by an individual who is passionate about the subject, but does not possess academic credentials .
A free widget is available for schools to post on their library page or teacher blog at www.SweetSearch.com/widget