34. Can't get enough of a Google
By Mark Alberstat
Have you been Googled? Do you Google? Have you tried the Froogle Google?
Today's internet society is full of Googleisms and with good reason. The
little, simple-to-use search engine has become almost synonymous with
Internet searches. It is also front and center in the news these days
with a prominent splash on the business pages as it prepares to go public.
Google even made the cover of a recent Newsweek issue.
While the focus of the tech world is on Google, a bit of a deeper look at
the popular site is in order.
In addition to the famous Google.com or Google.ca search site, the company
has branched off into other areas of Internet usage, although some of
these are in the beta stages. One of the most popular of these is the
Google news portal. Auto generated from approximately 4500 news sources,
this page is not only constantly updated, it is also relatively
customizable with versions for Canadian, U.S., U.K. and other country's
news featured prominently on the page.
If you are looking for a special image for that birthday card for
great-uncle Albert, check out http://images.google.com. Here you
can search thousand of images in a jiffy. One caveat, however, is that
you might want to go into the preferences first and set the "safesearch"
feature before you hit the search button. This option will help filter
out any explicit hits that might pop up.
Another interesting side of Google is its Special Searches. These five
engines allow you to run very specific searches on the U.S. Government,
Linux, BSD, Apple Macintosh and Microsoft.
If you like playing with these extra Google services, you should head your
browser over to Google labs. Here you will find a number of projects
being worked on by the Googlers (Google programmers). You can find early
versions of everything from Google Webquotes to a personalized Google, in
which you set up your own profile with a variety of predetermined
One of the latest releases from the lab is the Google deskbar. This handy
little window resides in your Windows taskbar. You type in your query
and hit the binoculars to start a Google search without launching your
browser. This desktop helper application has several features, which are
bound to be expanded, but the beta version now available is well worth a
try if you like playing with the latest Windows add-ons.
One of the criticisms most often leveled at Google is that when you search
for something, the number of hits that come back is enormous, often in the
hundreds if not thousands. One group of intrepid webheads have made a
sport of coming up with legitimate search targets that only produce one
hit. Googlewhacking, as it has come to be known, has its own website,
which you can contribute to or at least take a look at for a few fun
With its new free e-mail accounts, shopping searches, news updates and
other services, more and more people will be spending time at Google, all
adding up to oogles of Google time, not to mention the oogles of stock
profit for the new shareholders.
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Originally published 16 May 2004