Respectful Insolence

QuackSafe™ Google searching

Tired of doing Google searches for evidence-based discussions of dubious-sounding medical treatments and finding that the first 100 sites (or, if you’re unlucky, the first 1,000 sites) that pop up are nothing more than altie woo, shills selling alternative medicine and supplements, and CureZone or Whale.to wannabes? Here’s a useful tool. Le Canard Noir has put together a QuackSafe™ Search Engine:

The Search Engine will only return matches from sites and blogs that are known to supply reliable information about quackery, quacks, medical fraud and pseudoscience. It is based on the newly available Google Coop technology, but unlike Google, will not return sites that swallow fraudulent medical claims whole.

Better yet, a Quackometer QuackSafe™ Toolbar Button is promised in the near future!

You know, I may have to try my hand at the creation of a customized skeptic search engine using this system.

Comments

  1. #1 TheProbe
    October 27, 2006

    Run my real name on it…6 hits

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    October 27, 2006

    Naturally, I searched on my own name (what’s the word for that — “egosurfing”?). The vast majority of results are Respectful Insolence posts. I’ve commented on a whole lot of blogs, mostly in the science and anti-pseudoscience genres, so I suppose the QuackSafe search is a little skewed — the problems with whitelisting! For example, some of my better debunking happened in the comment section of Bad Astronomy, which doesn’t show up in QuackSafe at all.

  3. #3 Skeptico
    October 27, 2006

    Ha! – Search on things like astrology, angel therapy, acupuncture, Nostradamus, and see what well known blog is in the first few hits.

  4. #4 Jon Mikel
    October 27, 2006

    It’s a great idea that is not working fine.

    I have my own Google Coop profile and it’s not working with usual keywords that are annotated under Google’s main page for Coop.

  5. #5 dogscratcher
    October 27, 2006

    “You know, I may have to try my hand at the creation of a customized skeptic search engine using this system.”

    Great Idea, you just may be nerdy enough to pull it off.

  6. #6 Cayte
    October 27, 2006

    Who do you intend to market the search engine it to?

  7. #7 Le Canard Noir
    October 30, 2006

    Thanks for the plug and glad you’ve enjoyed it.

    Who do you intend to market the search engine it to?

    My aim in creating the search engine is to expand the automated debunking aspects of the quackometer. I hope (when job permits) to include automatic searches from the quackometer that will highlight pages that have already debunked whatever nonsense the quackometer finds in a web page. So, the plan – type in a URL into the quackometer and get back reliable info on why that URL is nonsense. It may just work…

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