Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

The Other Side of Information: The Invisible Web

Presenter: Don Descy

Don Descy was an excellent, educational, and entertaining speaker. This article will not do justice to his presentation.

The Invisible Web, also known as the Deep Web, is information that is hidden or unable to be found by regular search engines. The invisible web contains 400 – 550 times more information than commonly defined on the public web and 95% of that information is accessible if you know how to get to it. (Statistics by BrightPlanet, 2005).

Don informed the session attendees that the information on the Invisible Web is “invisible” because the spiders and bots used by traditional search engines cannot find the information. Most of the information in the Invisible Web resides in databases, thus the web pages are dynamically created. Other information contained within the Invisible Web may be password protected or they may be non-html pages. Robots and spiders used in most traditional search engines cannot access these data sources.

The presenter provided a number or sites to check to find invisible information.

In addition to these great resources, Don gave some basic tips on improving searches and finding information on the invisible web.

  • Search multiple databases or search engines
  • Use advanced search
  • Add the word “database” to the word or phrase being searched
    Don’s example: “earthquake database”

This was the most informative and entertaining workshop I attended during the conference. The entire presentation can be found at .

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2005 by in NECC 2005.

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