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Chapter 6. THE PRINCIPLE OF ONIONS > Searching for Dog Breed Information

Searching for Dog Breed Information

Can you tell a Chihuahua from a collie? If you can't you might need a little help from the Internet. But whether Google or Yahoo is better for this kind of search depends on what you're looking for.


Technical support includes viruses, and full-text engines are useful in searching for virus information. If you get something you think is a virus, extract an unusual line from the virus e-mail and search for it with the word “virus” ("this is a very excite game" virus). Unless the virus is brand new, this'll pop up some information.

Full-Text Engines

You might think that a search like dog breed chihuahua is a narrow enough query if you're searching Google. It's not. Go run that search in Google. I'll stay here. Did you run it? Did you get over 100,000 results? Right. For this kind of onion searching you want to search full-text only if you have a question about a particular breed. For example, you may want to know about hip problems in elderly German Shepherds:

hip aging "German Shepherds"

That gives you a reasonable number of results. If you don't find what you want here you could expand out a little bit:

hip "German Shepherds"

but no way can you get more general than that if you're searching a full-text engine. You'll just get too many results!

Searchable Subject Indexes

If you're just searching for general information about a breed, using a searchable subject index is a much better way to go. Just search for the name of the breed. In most cases, except when it's an incredibly obscure breed or one your friend made up to play with your mind, you'll find a Yahoo category for them that you can work from.

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