Why Deep Web Content should matter to you
What is the Deep Web?
The first time I heard of the deep web was in 2004 at a Conference. I remember that I was instantly intrigued. What is the deep web? The deep web (also hidden or invisible web) refers to hidden content on the Internet which cannot or is not indexed by traditional search engines such as Google or Yahoo (as opposed to content that is indexed referred to as the surface or static web). Google can access deep web content but only to some extent (for example scholarly articles). The deep web contains more data than the surface web. This fact is almost inconceivable to me. The content which is available on the deep web may include, but is not limited to:
- Books and other full text documents not accessible via static web pages.
- Tables in databases created by programmes such as SQL, Server, Oracle or Access and some other content in databases which can only retrieved by means of a query (among others).
- Some multimedia, images, software, pdf or doc files.
- Password protected or restricted content, for example content paid for by libraries or which only can be accessed with a subscription.
- Sites which are blocked because of a search engine policy.
- Sites which have a special or unfamiliar format.
- Sites which are blocked by local webmasters for some reason. Many webmasters also do not have their sites indexed.
- Some changing and updated content such as current stock prices, news, airline flights and available hotel rooms (with other words dynamic sites where information is only available for a short time because of a specific query).
There are Internet experts who argue that the deep web is expanding because of discussions on social networking sites, bookmarks on social bookmarking sites and even blog postings.
How can you access the content on the deep web?
But how can one access the content of the deep web? Numerous deep web technologies already exist, some of which are used by libraries. In addition various deep web search engines on different topics (some specialised) are also available, for example Infomine and Completeplanet. Social media content can also be searched through special search engines, for example, Whostalkin. Deep web content can be accessed via any deep web search engines using any browser, even via tablets such as the iPad. Just type in the deep web search engine URL on your browser to access deep web content.
Why should you be bothered to find content that is hidden on the Internet? There is so much information available on the Internet that it is almost unthinkable that only 20% can actually be accessed. Remember you might be missing out on information that will enrich your knowledge in a specific field. Content in the deep web is often new and might even provide you with new insight into a topic. It will enrich your reading experience. It is not that difficult to find content in the deep web. You just need to know where to find it and how to search for it.
I like this video about a journey through the deep web
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