Big List of Search Gizmos by Category

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News/Web Search Gizmos

News Search Tools

Back That Ask Up – Instantly remove recent days/months/years from your Google News search.

Marion’s Monocle v2 – Use information from the FCC license database to find American television stations by state, group them by city, and explore their Web space with either Google or Google News searches.

Non-Sketchy News Search v1 – Find media outlets by specifying similar ones, then make the resources you found part of a Google search.

Non-Sketchy News Search v2 – Do a keyword search for media sources on Wikipedia and make them part of a Google query.

NewsDrizzle – Create word clouds from topical headlines and semi-randomly explore recent Google News.

StreetScoop Local News Search  – Enter a street address and search for that street name in the Web space of local TV stations (thanks to an FCC lookup).

SchoolScoop Local News Search  – Browse for American schools by city/state, then search for them on Google News with or without topical modifiers.

Gossip Machine – Using pageview data, identify dates of particular popularity for Wikipedia pages and turn those dates into Google and Google News searches.

Gossip Machine v2 – An updated version of Gossip Machine that uses z-scores and visual indicators.

Double Stuff Gossip Machine – Using pageviews data, find the intersection in popularity between two Wikipedia pages and search for those dates on Google and Google News.

Google News Timeline Template – Create several date-based Google News searches for a single query.

Politician Parade – Adds a state’s Congressional representatives to a Google News search.

Web Search Tools

CloudSERP Explorer – View Bing, Bing News, and WordPress search results as word clouds and use them to refine your searches further.

No Shop Sherlock – Remove different types of results from your Google search, including ecommerce, social media, books, and video.

Shuffle Search – Arrange a Google query of up to four words into all possible combinations and render them into clickable Google searches.

Smushy Search – Takes a topical search term and uses the Datamuse API to find random related words and add them to your query in order to randomize the results of Google topic searches.

Sinker Search – Use Google’s 32-word query limit to enhance the importance of and “weight” a specific element in your search query.

Super Edu Search – Use information from’s College Scorecard to do very specific searching on .edu domains with Google’s site: syntax.

Time-Sliced News Search – Specify a year and generate date-restricted searches for several news search engines, including Google News and Google Books.

Blogspace Time Machine – Enter a query and find out what bloggers were saying about that topic 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 years ago.

Blog Shovel – Use URL patterns to reach deep into old Web archives and blogs with a Google search.

Congressional Social Media Explorer – Use the ProPublica Congress API to find information about the social media space of Congress members past and present, then translate that information into Google searches.

Senator Social Slices – Explore the Twitter-space of the members of the current US Senate cohort. Search by birth decade/generation, zodiac sign, gender, political party, and other parameters.

Wikipedia Search Gizmos

Wikipedia Exploration Tools

Wiki Category Chronology – Explore the contents of a Wikipedia category by the date each page was created and do Google searches for that topic based on the creation dates.

WikiPopPulse – Get the 100 most popular Wikipedia pages for a given date (after January 1, 2016) and sort them by type (human, film, video game, etc). Listings have contextual date-based searches for Google News and Twitter.

Wiki Bunch – Group the living people in a Wikipedia category by age, gender, or educational institution.

Wiki Page Backstory – Find pages newly-added to a Wikipedia category and explore the page’s topic in time-bounded searches of Google, Google News, Reddit, and Twitter.

Category Cheat Sheet – Explore the pages in a Wikipedia category by popularity (as expressed by recent page views.)

Wikipedia-Guided Web Search

MegaGladys – Find authorative information and links about a topic via a Wikidata search and display them in an easy-to-use list.

Wikipedia Official Link Property Explorer (WOLPE) – Turns Wikipedia into a link directory like the old Yahoo or DMoz. Keyword search Wikipedia for articles which contain links to official Web sites. You’ll also get a link to the original article and an excerpt.

Wiki-Guided Google Search – Search Wikipedia pages for mentions of a topic, filter them by the number of times the topic is mentioned, and explore a list of related topics and Google / Google News searches for each.

Clumpy Bounce Topic Search – Find the most popular pages in a Wikipedia category and use the topics in those pages to build Google queries.

Wikipedia-Guided People/Organization Search

Crony Corral – Searches Wikipedia to find people/companies/organizations with matching Wikidata properties and further searches for Wikipedia topics they have in common.

PeopleLinx Affiliation Filter – Enter a list of names and a list of companies and use Wikidata to find affiliations between the two groups. Once affiliations are found, searches are available for Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

PeopleLinx Affiliations Lookup – Enter a list of names (I have entered 125 at a time) and use Wikidata to find any connections between the education, employers, and organization memberships of the people in the group. Once affiliations are found, searches are available for Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

RoloWiki – Explore Wikipedia pages with the internal links replaced by popup links to Wikidata properties like name, date of birth, occupation, official Web site, and LinkedIn ID.

Contemporary Biography Builder – Create lifespan-bounded searches of news and Web resources for historical figures using Wikidata.

Chronos Crossfinder – Find the overlap in lifespan between two historical figures and create Google Books/Magazines/Newspaper searches for that name pair over the overlap time period. Works best for people born in the 19th century and later.


Wikidata Quick Dip – Explore the Wikidata properties common to the pages in a Wikipedia category. Wikidata information includes external links to authorative sites.

Wikidata Property Peeker – Quickly find out which Wikidata properties are most popular in a given Wikipedia category.

Genealogy / People Search Gizmos

Biography Buckets – Use biographical events or keywords associated with a person to build date-based searches across the following Web resources: Google News, Google Scholar, Google Books (Magazines Only), Google Books (Newspapers Only), Twitter, Reddit (via SocialGrep) and Twitter, Reddit, and to a lesser extent Google News are only suitable for searches spanning ~2010 and later.

Obit Magnet – Build time-bounded (7 days and 15 days after death) searches for obituaries across several resources, including Google and Chronicling America.

Carl’s Name Net – Generate name variants and search for them across a number of Web resources, including Internet Archive and Google Books.

The Anti-Bullseye Name Search – Remove the common format of a Western name and search only for variants. (Good for surfacing reference/legal/financial results.)

Location-Related Search Gizmos

Pam’s Pin – Translate a street address into a location-specific Twitter search. (You will have to be logged into Twitter to use this tool.)

Pam’s University Pin – Find out what’s being posted on Twitter in the radius of specific colleges and universities in the United States. (You must be logged in to Twitter to use this tool.)

Backyard Scholarship – Enter a keyword search and a place in America, and Backyard converts the location to a zip code, finds all higher education institutions within a 30-mile radius, and bundles them into a Google search.

Local Community Finder – Uses zip codes and Google search tricks to find local events and community near you.

Museek’s Quake Peek – Select an earthquake feed from USGS, and MQP will analyze the locations and find the nearest location delineated by a Wikipedia article (assuming there is one — often there is.) If it does find a location, MQP creates a location-based set of links to explore that area, including Twitter, Google Maps, Flickr, GeoHack, and Foursquare.

AQTweet Tracker – Search Twitter for local tweets about air quality.

Everything Else

PD Prompt Machine – Use public domain artists and book titles to make text prompts which don’t infringe on contemporary artists. (Makes prompts only, does not generate art.)

Twitter Receipts – Find old copies of Twitter tweets and timelines using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.