ResearchBuzz Search Gizmos: Google

Contemporary Biography Builder -- Uses historical figure Wikipedia page information to build lifespan searches across Google Books, Internet Archive, Chronicling America, and the DPLA.

Local Community Finder -- Searches local Google and Twitter space for events, communities, and people.

Carl's Name Net - Creates Web searches for name variants (takes Louisa May Alcott and searches for "Louisa May Alcott", "Louisa M Alcott", "LM Alcott", "Alcott Louisa May" etc.). Works for both two-name and three-name monikers. Covers Google, Google Books, Google Scholar, and Internet Archive.

Super Edu Search - Supercharge your site:edu to search for universities by location, ownership type, minority/gender emphasis, and/or religious affiliation. (The link is to the state-based version of SES; there's a zip/radius-based version at Requires a free API key which is available at

Gossip Machine - Uses Wikipedia page view counts to find newsworthy days for the subjects of Wikipedia pages (be they person, place, or thing.) Creates both Google Web and News searches for those dates.

Smushy Search - Uses the Datamuse API to add contextual keywords to a topical Google search in order to explore without hitting the same results over and over or relying on your own brain for keywords.

Sinker Search - A tool that takes advantage of Google's 32-word query limit to weight specific words in a Google search.

No Shop Sherlock - A simple Google search filter that strives to remove as much ecommerce content as possible from a search result.

Politician Parade (Google News) - Allows you to add a state's House of Representatives members to a Google News query. States with lots of members get multiple queries. Requires free ProPublica API key.

Congressional Social Media Explorer - The ProPublica Congress API includes information about the social media of Congress members. This tool takes advantage of that to generate focused Google queries for a members' social media space. Specifically it will generate Google queries that will search across the member's Facebook posts, Facebook photos, Facebook videos, and Twitter posts. Requires free ProPublica API key.

Time-Sliced News Search - Takes a year and query you input and generates date-restricted searches for several news search engines, including Google News, Google Books (Books, Newspapers, and Magazines are searched separately),, and Chronicling America. Offers the option of creating a radius of 1,2, or 3 years around your search.

Back That Ask Up - Did you ever hear about someone who just got famous in the news, so you do a news search on them, and all the news that made them famous is clogging up the search results and you can't find anything else? Back That Ask Up will slice off recent days, months, or even years from your Google search to escape whatever's making your Google News search unusable.

Blogspace Time Machine - The Blogspace Time Machine does a search for the query of your choice in blogspace from this month. You also have the option to see that query in blogspace from a year ago, three years, five years, ten years, and fifteen years ago. Interesting queries: celebrity names. Current event topics. Medical research terms. Anything that might change over time.

Blog Shovel - Blog Shovel uses URL patterns to help you dig deep into the Web's blog and news space and surface old results. Specify a query, the year you want your search to start and finish, how you want to restrict the content of your results (if at all), and how you want to restrict your search by top-level domain (if at all.) Blog Shovel builds a Google query based on your specifications and opens it in a new window.

The Anti-Bullseye Name Search - Most names in English are expressed in news articles and other places like this: Firstname Lastname, or possibly Firstname Middlename Lastname. However, it isn't the only pattern used when writing a name. TABNS takes a name and generates a Google search that searches for the name in reverse order (Lastname Firstname) and specifically excludes the most common expression of firstname lastname. It changes the tenor of the search results completely, surfacing many more legal- and data- based results.

What Is This?

The RB Gizmos are a collection of search tools made with JavaScript and HTML.

Why Is This?

Because I've been writing about searching and search engines since 1996 and I'm obsessed with them.