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Q: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
Category: Computers
Asked by: baileyone-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 12 Apr 2004 16:21 PDT
Expires: 12 May 2004 16:21 PDT
Question ID: 329178
I would like to set up a standardized Google search process for
finding meetings, conferences, and events taking place at hotels
across the country. I will have the information for the hotel name,
the event dates, and the city for all my search requests.

What I want to know is the best google search format to find these
events. For example, I know that Microsoft had a meeting at the
Doubletree San Jose on April 12, 2004. I want to know what the best
search process would be to search Google to see if this specific event
on this specific date at this specific hotel is listed somewhere on
the internet. My objective is to set up a standardized search process
so that I can have a uniform search process to search for these events
on Google. In addition, my objective would be to only have Google
return the top 20 matches to each search request.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 12 Apr 2004 19:27 PDT
There are certainly some general guidelines we could offer on how to
best conduct such searches -- there are no guarantees about results,
although in my experience, they are usually pretty reliable.

However, I'm reluctant to post an answer (and I suspect other
researchers may feel the same) because a search for your Microsoft
April 12 meeting at the Doubletree in San Jose is not turning up any

I'd hate to offer you advice that can't even locate your prime example
of what you're after.

Are you sure about the specifics of this meeting...?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 15 Apr 2004 17:23 PDT
Thanks for the clarification you provided.  It's certainly possible to
offer some suggestions for best search strategies.

But I have a feeling it would work better -- and be more concrete --
if you could provide 2 or 3 examples of events. That would let us show
you how to conduct the most effective search, and how differences --
such as single word vs multiple word names of hotels, cities, events
-- make a difference in your search approach.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Clarification of Question by baileyone-ga on 16 Apr 2004 15:47 PDT

Do you have specific expertise in searching on google...I can provide
some specific events, on specific dates, at specific hotels as
examples but am looking for someone who has a strong expertise in
searching on google. That is why I asked the question on this site as
compared to doing it myself as I am not an expert in the search
protocols on google.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 16 Apr 2004 16:31 PDT

All the researchers here -- there are about 500 -- are experts in
Google searches, and are qualified to assist you in constructing the
kind of search strategies you are seeking.

You'll note that my name is underlined and highlighted in purple.  If
you click on it, you will see a list of questions I have answered, and
can review them to get a sense of my search skills.  You can do the
same for other researchers as well.

Or if that's too much work, then here's a link to a question I
answered not long ago for someone looking for a particular search
strategy to identify government contract opportunities:

Let me know if you need any more background information.  


Clarification of Question by baileyone-ga on 19 Apr 2004 15:52 PDT

Having not used this service of google in the past...How do I get you
to give me your expert advice or answer the question based upon my
specific needs...I want to set up predefined "seach strings" for both
google and the internet in general to find web pages and sites that
have information....

Do I have the ability to contact you via email..ect...I am looking for
someone with expertise in searhing google and the internet for
specific conferences, at specific hotels, on specfic dates...

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 19 Apr 2004 16:06 PDT
Hello again, baileyone-ga.

Thanks for getting back to me, and for requesting my services...I'm honored.

Google Answers works with a few ground rules, the most important
being:  No personal contact between researchers and customers!

So, the answer to one of your questions is No, we cannot directly
email one another to ask/answer questions.

However, in the future, you are certainly welcome to post a question
here at Google Answers that is directed specifically to me.  In the
subject line, just put:  "For pafalafa-ga" (or any similar phrase) so
that researchers will know the question is for me.  It doesn't hurt to
repeat the "For pafalafa-ga" message in the body of the question, as

Be aware, however, that if I am "off duty" for whatever reason
(vacation, other obligations, etc), your question may go unattended
(sometimes, customers will include a message along the lines of "if
the question is unanswered after 24 hours, then its open to any

All of which still leaves us with your current, as-yet unanswered question.

Would you like me to provide some general guidelines for conducting
effective searches for the types of events you are interested in?

If so, just let me know, and I'll post an answer for you.  


Subject: Re: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 20 Apr 2004 12:07 PDT
OK, baileyone-ga.  Time to get this show on the road.  

I?ll get to actual search strategies in a moment.  But first, a quick
clarification about the internet (to the extent that *anything* can be
clarified when it comes to the internet).

Your comments mentioned that you want to search Google and also search
the internet.  However, Google does exactly that -- searches the
internet.  There is no need for separate strategies.  There are other
search engines such as AltaVista or Yahoo! Search which also search
the internet.  They all do a very good job.  I?ll describe search
strategies using Google as an example, but other search engines will
do nicely as well, in case you want to explore other options.

The area where you *should* have separate searches is in searching
websites vs searching news sources.  Google handles these
separately...more on that below.

Before rating the answer I?ve provided here, please let me know if
there is anything about it that is unclear, or if you simply need
additional information.  Just post a Request for Clarification to let
me know how I can help you further, and I will be happy to do so.

Happy Googling!



Let?s say you?re searching for the following event:


The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble

Thursday and Friday, June 24-25, 2004

Omni Carlton Ritzy Schmitzy Hotel

San Francisco, CA


The first thing to do is copy JUST THE TITLE of the meeting:

[ The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble ]

and paste it lock, stock and barrel into the Google search box at:


Google is very good at recognizing the names of things, and vaulting
matching names to the top of their search results.  If there are web
pages containing the exact phrase, or something very close to:

The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble

most of the time they will show up in the very first few search results.  

Next, conduct the very same search at Google News:

This will search millions of recent news articles and press releases
for the conference of interest.

If you have the exact name of the meeting, most of the time these two
simple searches will do the trick -- either the results will appear at
the top of the search results page, or there isn?t much out there on
the internet about this particular meeting.

It?s pretty easy, actually.  


However, there are times when you may want to try a more sophisticated search:

--If a conference with the same name is repeated at different times
and you?re having trouble pinning down the latest one;

--If a conference with the same name is repeated at different places
and you?re having trouble pinning down the one in the city of interest
to you;

--If the name of the meeting is a bit too generic (e.g. ?Information Strategies?);

--If the meeting goes by several names, and is not showing up in search results.  

If the conference is one that repeats itself from year to year, it?s a
good idea to add the year of the meeting you?re interested in to the
search box:

The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble 2004

If the same conference is held all over the country in 2004, and you
only want information on the San Francisco meeting, then add some
geographical information:

The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble (san francisco OR SF)

Note that I used the ?OR? command (always capitalized) to tell Google
to search for the city name OR the common initials.  Most of the time
this is enough, but for some cities like New York, you may have to add
a few other common names:

The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble (new york OR ny
OR nyc OR manhattan)

(It makes no difference if the city name is upper case or lower case
letters, but the ?OR? must be upper case).

If you want to make the search even a bit tighter, then put quotes
around city names if they have more than one word):

The Current Status and Future Trends in Technobabble (?new york? OR ny
OR nyc OR manhattan)


For meeting names that are too generic, then it will help to include
some other key identifying terms.

Let?s say someone *was* foolish enough to name their conference
?Information Strategies? and it was being held at the same place, same
dates as our Technobabble example.  Then a good search would be:

?information strategies? 2004 (san francisco OR sf) (carlton OR ritzy)

Note a few things here:

--conference name is in quotes -- this forces Google to look for the
exact phrase, ?information strategies?, rather than the individual
very generic words

--year and city names we discussed already -- these help to pinpoint
the particular meeting of interest to you.

--some key terms from the hotel name are all that are needed.  I
didn?t include the entire hotel name since it might go by a shorthand
name (e.g. ?The Carlton?) and adding the full name could just confuse

--nor did I add the June 24-25 date to the search.  Unlike years,
months and days can be quite variable (June 24 vs 7/24), and as a rule
of thumb, it?s better off not working them into a search.


Google has plenty more tricks up its sleeves, but I?m going to stop
here.  Give these search strategies a try and see how they work for

I suspect that you?ll find most of what you need with just these
simple searches (assuming, of course, that information about the
meeting exists on the internet -- if it doesn?t, no amount of
sophisticated searching will find anything!!!).

However, if for any reason the results aren?t satisfying your needs,
just let me know.  I?ll be glad to continue working with you on this
until you squeeze every last bit of information you can out of the
splendid Google search engine.

All the best,

Subject: Re: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
From: wellcum-ga on 13 Apr 2004 08:38 PDT
That works only if everyone posting their events using XML webservices.
Subject: Re: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
From: bowler-ga on 15 Apr 2004 12:20 PDT
It may be difficult to come up with one strategy basically because as
the other commentor stated the announcements may be in different
formats.  If for instance every hotel or company website had a link to
conferences then maybe this might be possible.

There are however, websites that attempt to gather this data in a
database.  But they are far from cmprehensive.  Examples:



Ultimate Trade Show Resource

Subject: Re: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
From: baileyone-ga on 15 Apr 2004 16:59 PDT
What we are looking for is the best process to use on google to search
for specific events posted on website. We realize that not all the
events will be posted on websites but many will. The example I
provided in "my question" was generic.

Since we will already know the name of the event, the dates, and the
hotel. We are looking for the best format to search on google...such
as event "name+dates+hotel name" so that we can set up a standardized
search process to search for literally hundreds of specific events to
see if there are links to specific company sites.

We are looking for examples of the best ways to search on google based
on google's search process.
Subject: Re: Searching Google for specific events taking place at hotels around the country
From: baileyone-ga on 20 Apr 2004 10:40 PDT

thank you for the clarification...What we would like to do is develop
a search string to search both google and the "internet" to find sites
with information and potentially links for events taking place at
hotels...When developing the search strings to "answer" the question,
please note we have the following information for each event we will
be searching for.
1. hotel name (Example: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
2. date of event (Example: April 22, 2004
3. city/location of the event, where the hotel is located (San Mateo, California)
4. name of event that was "posted" in the hotel...Like if you went
into a hotel and looked on the schedule of events to find the Google
Researchers Conference as an example.(Example: Google Annua
Researchers Conference)

To answer this question, I would like your suggestions on the best
search strings for both google and search strings for the internet if
they would be different.

Does that make sense and do you need any additional clarification
before "answering" this question...

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