20 Great Google Secrets

Tara Calishain has An Article In PCMag "20 Great Google Secrets."
"...most people don't use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google's index, it's still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.

But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google's search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let's look at some of Google's lesser-known options."


Google Is Watching and Counting

This Slashdot Thread pointed the way to This NYTimes Story that says Google has quietly started placing a counter on its home page for a small number of its most frequent users.

Most Google users do not have it, but a select few now have a no-frills counter that with each search clicks higher, noting "You have done 479 searches," or whatever the actual number.

Anyone seen it?


Going Google and Beyond

You're looking for information on something -- say, the number of movies that have been filmed in Ottawa. You fire up your Web browser, go to Google, type in a few words, and come up with the perfect answer, right?

Not so fast, my friend.

Although this neat story from offers some alternatives to Google, it doesn't mention librarians, or virtual reference projects such as My Web Librarian. I guess that was to much to ask. It does mention two names synonymous with search engines in the library world, Gary Price and Chris Sherman. It also contains a little guide to the difference in the major search engines.

The Full Story

[via Gary Deane]


Who's better: Google or CU librarians? Search me

geckomlis spotted This One From Ithaca on a recent study done by Cornell University's Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) that pitted Cornell librarians against freelance researchers at Google Answers -- a fee-based system, where more than 800 freelancers answer questions for a minimum of $2.50. The company claims to be able to provide answers within 24 hours.

In the study, 24 questions --ranging from the population of Afghanistan (about 26 million) to where Geoffrey Chaucer died (London) -- were given to library research staff and to Google Answers. Responses were scored by university librarians on a blind basis. The librarians looked at the accuracy and clarity of the answers given, and the validity of sources cited in answers. Cornell's researchers scored just slightly better than Google's in the study.

Microsoft vs. Google

A story from CNN about Microsoft wanting to basically became the new Google. Nothing's been fully developed yet, but it will be a company-wide effort to develop the technology.

"Any time Microsoft builds something into the operating system, they don't want to get that from anyone else," said analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, an independent research group based in Kirkland, Washington.

Search results tailored to individual users based on a history of their interests and searches is one area that Microsoft is looking at, Koenigsbauer said.

Analysts said such a service would be ideal for Microsoft since it could leverage its control over the Windows operating system, which runs on more than 95 percent of the world's PCs.

Moreover, they said Microsoft's real motive is to build search into its various software products and most likely into the next Windows version, which is code-named Longhorn.

Gates has promised that Longhorn, which is expected to launch in 2005 or 2006, will include database technology to make it easier for users to track and find information on their computers.

"Long-term, all roads lead to Longhorn," Wilcox said.


Google celebrates fifth birthday

The BBC reports Google celebrates fifth birthday.
They say they more than 200 million and Google has become a phenomenon that has transcended its online origins.

It has expanded beyond just searches to encompass comparison shopping, news, web logs and even a service that blocks pop-up ads.


Real-Time Testing of Google SafeSearch Exclusions

Gary Price spotted some interesting results while using the Real-Time Testing of Google SafeSearch Exclusions.
Head over to The Resource Shelf to see what he found. He set out to see how Google’s SafeSearch would handle a couple of basic queries for names of U.S. Presidents. The results are interesting.


Egads! Google News Alerts


Google News Alerts are sent by email when news articles appear online that match the topics you specify.

Some handy uses of Google News Alerts include:

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams.

Getting set up with this is quite simple. One must simply enter their query, select how often they would like to be updated (daily or as it happens), then enter their email address.

Is this cool, or what?


If You Liked the Web Page, You'll Love the Ad

Publishers, including The Washington Post's Web site, which is owned by The Washington Post Company, and the car-buyers advice site, have turned to Google or Overture to sell ads pegged to the content that each visitor selects. When a visitor goes to the Book World page on, for example, the person is likely to see a text ad for a self-publishing company or some other book-related advertisement, placed there by Google's advertising service.

The technology is not yet foolproof. The online edition of The New York Post, which is owned by the News Corporation, ran an article last month about a murder in which the victim's body parts were packed in a suitcase, and Google served up an ad for a luggage dealer.

I wonder what the ads for a story about LISNews would look like?

Here's the full article [NYT, reg'req]

via jen


Digging for Googleholes

Slate has an good piece highlighting some drawbacks of using Google.

The 3 Googleholes are:

It is a fine article, but perhaps a bit confused. It praises Google's Page Rank system, even though it clearly is invloved with the Googleholes the author details. And of course I would have been happier if the article mentioned libraries as a place to fill in Googleholes. So we know how to best teach them, it is always good to be reminded of the problems our patrons have searching.



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