A faster way to find better resources

Finding the most useful and relevant resources on the web is easy: just use Google… right?

Well, relying solely on Google will often bring you mediocre results and a lot of frustration.  For instance, if you search for “the best CRM tool,” the very first result will be this article.  It’s a top 10 list (punctuated by Google Ads, of course) with the phrase “Highly recommended” next to 8 of the 10 suggested tools.  You’re a bit wary of their recommendations because of how sloppy the site looks, so you move on to the second result: a top 5 list.  They don’t endorse any of the sites from the first article… Strange.  On to the third result from Google: “an insider’s guide” to finding the best deals on CRM software… that requires you to register before downloading it.  Ugh.

Thankfully, there’s a faster and easier way to find solid resources.  Just use delicious.com.  Here’s how:

Put http://delicious.com/popular/crm into the address bar.  The /popular/crm extension will show you the sites that have been most frequently tagged as ‘crm':

Popular CRM bookmarks (Click to enlarge)

Delicious.com/popular takes a lot of the guesswork out of search by showing the number of people who have tagged those sites (see the numbers on the right side of the image).  You don’t have to determine if something is legit, because that’s already been verified by X number of users.  For this particular search, it’s fairly safe to assume that any site that’s been tagged by more than 2,000 people will be a good choice.

And just like that, you’ve found exactly what you were looking for: the best the web has to offer for CRM tools.

Now let’s say you want to get really specific and search for more than one keyword.  Easy: just use the /tag/ extension instead of /popular/, and add on keywords like so: “keyword1+keyword2+keyword3.”  I actually had to do this last night, so I’ll show you a personal example.

I was looking for an old Springwise article about a sports website that allows people to upload videos of themselves and receive personalized instruction from professional coaches.  Cool concept, but I couldn’t remember the name of the site or the particular sport they catered to, so I Googled “site:springwise.com sports video coaching.”  Nothing.  Then I tried Springwise’s internal search engine (powered by Google), just to see if something different might come up.  Still nothing.

Then I tried delicious.com/tag/springwise+sports (an even less descriptive keyword search than what I used for Google), and found the article almost instantly:

Delicious is great for finding useful resources because it can’t really produce fake or hacked results.  Many people have figured out little tricks that take advantage of Google’s ranking methods, which can lead to a bunch of scammy and irrelevant results.  Delicious results, however, are dictated by a collective pool of individuals, each of whom has decided that those particular sites were worthy of being bookmarked for future reference.  So you can be fairly certain that any site you find that’s been saved hundreds or thousands of times on Delicious will be relevant and valuable to you.

Of course, there’s an obvious bias that comes with Delicious: the users are particularly web-savvy, and don’t represent the general population, the scientific community, etc., etc.  But it’s a very minor flaw, and it’s one to be expected.

There are many other fine resources you can use for pinpointing and measuring the web’s best content (StumbleUpon, Alexa, Wikipedia, etc.), but I find Delicious to be the most efficient and consistently relevant.  So try using it to supplement your Google searches.  Eventually, you might find yourself (like me) using the service every day.

Comments

  1. Chuck says

    Sometimes I forget to do this. I was just stuck looking for how to solve a problem, and delicious gave me a helpful result.

    Thanks.

  2. Tim says

    Awesome tip bud, I actually talked to you briefly outside of the IHTSBIH Toronto stop and I’ve really enjoyed your blog posts since September.

    Tim

  3. says

    I like delicious just fine…but am wondering if there is a non-yahoo oriented service like it? Or something actually through google? Maybe there is and I just haven’t realized it….

    I just don’t like using my yahoo service anymore….have worked for years to migrate from my yahoo account from 1997 and don’t want to switch back.

  4. says

    I do think this is a decent method to find things, but ultimately Delicious can be hacked just as easily as Google can with fake accounts hosting marketer-crafted bookmarks. In one way it’s worse, because it’s putting all your eggs in one basket of Social Bookmarking.

    No disrespect intended, just my $.02.

    af

    • says

      I agree that it can be hacked, but the amount of time and number of fake accounts you’d have to establish to game Delicious is pretty ridiculous. Most won’t have the patience. I’ve used the service for a long time, and I haven’t run across that. With Google, it has been an issue on numerous occasions.

  5. Teri says

    Perfect timing (kudos to Ramit for mentioning you in his newsletter). I’ve been looking for good webhosting services, and discovered the scammers that come up tops in Google searches—wasn’t sure about how to get around that. I’ll try this method instead!

  6. raley504 says

    I’m working on a startup for a new food product and tried using this tip with the term ‘promotion.’ Wildfire promotions popped up again and again. They’re tools look legit and they’re site is going in my, ‘will try later’ file.

    So kudos, I must say this tip works well.

  7. Faaz says

    Charlie, This has been really helpful. I keep using this to not only find the article I am looking for but also to discover different sites about the same thing. This helps to get a wide variety of information from good sources.

  8. says

    Thanks for the info.. the problem is alwyas the same with google.. we produce a software but getting it ranked in google takes time and the keywords dealing with CRM are very hard to rank for.

  9. Martin says

    Great article, thanks! I added delicious as a smart keyword in my Firefox and it really changed the way I search for things.

  10. Marshall says

    So how do you go about finding your resources nowadays? The methods in this article don’t really seem to work with delicious anymore sadly…

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