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20 Great Google Secrets

Google is clearly the best general-purpose search engine on the Web


But most people don't use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a ey!ord or t!o
and hope "or the best# $hat may be the %uicest !ay to search& but !ith more than '
billion pages in Google's inde(& it's still a struggle to pare results to a manageable
number.
But Google is an remarably po!er"ul tool that can ease and enhance your )nternet
e(ploration. Google's search options go beyond simple ey!ords& the Web& and even its
o!n programmers. *et's loo at some o" Google's lesser-no!n options.
Synta( Search $rics
+sing a special synta( is a !ay to tell Google that you !ant to restrict your searches to
certain elements or characteristics o" Web pages. Google has a "airly complete list o" its
synta( elements at
!!!.google.com,help,operators.html
. -ere are some advanced operators that can help narro! do!n your search results.
)ntitle. at the beginning o" a %uery !ord or phrase /intitle.0$hree Blind 1ice02 restricts
your search results to just the titles o" Web pages.
)nte(t. does the opposite o" intitle.& searching only the body te(t& ignoring titles& lins& and
so "orth. )nte(t. is per"ect !hen !hat you're searching "or might commonly appear in
+3*s. )" you're looing "or the term -$1*& "or e(ample& and you don't !ant to get results
such as
!!!.mysite.com,inde(.html
& you can enter inte(t.html.
*in. lets you see !hich pages are lining to your Web page or to another page you're
interested in. 4or e(ample& try typing in
lin.http.,,!!!.pcmag.com
$ry using site. /!hich restricts results to top-level domains2 !ith intitle. to "ind certain
types o" pages. 4or e(ample& get scholarly pages about 1ar $!ain by searching "or
intitle.01ar $!ain0site.edu. 5(periment !ith mi(ing various elements6 you'll develop
several strategies "or "inding the stu"" you !ant more e""ectively. $he site. command is
very help"ul as an alternative to the mediocre search engines built into many sites.
S!iss 7rmy Google
Google has a number o" services that can help you accomplish tass you may never
have thought to use Google "or. 4or e(ample& the ne! calculator "eature
/!!!.google.com,help,"eatures.html8calculator2
lets you do both math and a variety o" conversions "rom the search bo(. 4or e(tra "un&
try the %uery 07ns!er to li"e the universe and everything.0
*et Google help you "igure out !hether you've got the right spelling9and the right !ord
9"or your search. 5nter a misspelled !ord or phrase into the %uery bo( /try 0thre blund
mise02 and Google may suggest a proper spelling. $his doesn't al!ays succeed6 it !ors
best !hen the !ord you're searching "or can be "ound in a dictionary. :nce you search
"or a properly spelled !ord& loo at the results page& !hich repeats your %uery. /)" you're
searching "or 0three blind mice&0 underneath the search !indo! !ill appear a statement
such as Searched the !eb "or 0three blind mice.02 ;ou'll discover that you can clic on
each !ord in your search phrase and get a de"inition "rom a dictionary.
Suppose you !ant to contact someone and don't have his phone number handy. Google
can help you !ith that& too. <ust enter a name& city& and state. /$he city is optional& but
you must enter a state.2 )" a phone number matches the listing& you'll see it at the top o"
the search results along !ith a map lin to the address. )" you'd rather restrict your
results& use rphoneboo. "or residential listings or bphoneboo. "or business listings. )"
you'd rather use a search "orm "or business phone listings& try ;ello! Search
/!!!.bu==toolbo(.com,google,yello!search.shtml2.
5(tended Googling
Google o""ers several services that give you a head start in "ocusing your search.
Google Groups
/http.,,groups.google.com2
inde(es literally millions o" messages "rom decades o" discussion on +senet. Google
even helps you !ith your shopping via t!o tools. 4roogle
>:D5
/http.,,"roogle.google.com2&
!hich inde(es products "rom online stores& and Google >atalogs
>:D5
/http.,,catalogs.google.com2&
!hich "eatures products "rom more ?&000 paper catalogs in a searchable inde(. 7nd this
only scratches the sur"ace. ;ou can get a complete list o" Google's tools and services at
!!!.google.com,options,inde(.html
;ou're probably used to using Google in your bro!ser. But have you ever thought o"
using Google outside your bro!ser#
Google 7lert
/!!!.googlealert.com2
monitors your search terms and e-mails you in"ormation about ne! additions to Google's
Web inde(. /Google 7lert is not a""iliated !ith Google6 it uses Google's Web services 7@)
to per"orm its searches.2 )" you're more interested in ne!s stories than general Web
content& chec out the beta version o" Google Ae!s 7lerts
/!!!.google.com,ne!salerts2.
$his service /!hich is a""iliated !ith Google2 !ill monitor up to B0 ne!s %ueries per e-
mail address and send you in"ormation about ne!s stories that match your %uery. /-int.
+se the intitle. and source. synta( elements !ith Google Ae!s to limit the number o"
alerts you get.2
Google on the telephone# ;up. $his service is brought to you by the "ols at Google
*abs
/http.,,labs.google.com2&
a place "or e(perimental Google ideas and "eatures /!hich may come and go& so !hat's
there at this !riting might not be there !hen you decide to chec it out2. With Google
Coice Search
/http.,,labsD.google.com,gvs.html2&
you dial the Coice Search phone number& spea your ey!ords& and then clic on the
indicated lin. 5very time you say a ne! search term& the results page !ill re"resh !ith
your ne! %uery /you must have <avaScript enabled "or this to !or2. 3emember& this
service is still in an e(perimental phase& so don't e(pect D00 percent success.
)n 2002& Google released the Google 7@) /application programming inter"ace2& a !ay "or
programmers to access Google's search engine results !ithout violating the Google
$erms o" Service. 7 lot o" people have created use"ul /and occasionally not-so-use"ul but
interesting2 applications not available "rom Google itsel"& such as Google 7lert. 4or many
applications& you'll need an 7@) ey& !hich is available "ree "rom
>:D5
!!!.google.com,apis
. See the "igures "or t!o more e(amples& and visit
!!!.pcmag.com,solutions
"or more.
$hans to its many di""erent search properties& Google goes "ar beyond a regular search
engine. Give the trics in this article a try. ;ou'll be ama=ed at ho! many di""erent !ays
Google can improve your )nternet searching.
:nline 5(tra. 1ore Google $ips
-ere are a "e! more clever !ays to t!ea your Google searches.
Search Within a $ime"rame
Daterange. /start dateEend date2. ;ou can restrict your searches to pages that !ere
inde(ed !ithin a certain time period. Daterange. searches by !hen Google inde(ed a
page& not !hen the page itsel" !as created. $his operator can help you ensure that
results !ill have "resh content /by using recent dates2& or you can use it to avoid a topic's
current-ne!s bli==ard and concentrate only on older results. Daterange. is actually more
use"ul i" you go else!here to tae advantage o" it& because daterange. re%uires <ulian
dates& not standard Gregorian dates. ;ou can "ind converters on the Web /such as
>:D5
http.,,aa.usno.navy.mil,data,docs,<ulianDate.html
e(cl.gi" Ao 7ctive *ins& 3ead the 3ules - 5dit by Ainja e(cl.gi"
2& but an easier !ay is to do a Google daterange. search by "illing in a "orm at
!!!.researchbu==.com,toolbo(,goo"resh.shtml or
!!!."agan"inder.com,engines,google.shtml
. )" one special synta( element is good& t!o must be better& right# Sometimes. $hough
some operators can't be mi(ed /you can't use the lin. operator !ith anything else2 many
can be& %uicly narro!ing your results to a less over!helming number.
1ore Google 7@) 7pplications
Staggernation.com o""ers three tools based on the Google 7@). $he Google 7@) Web
Search by -ost /G7WS-2 lists the Web hosts o" the results "or a given %uery
/!!!.staggernation.com,ga!sh,2.
When you clic on the triangle ne(t to each host& you get a list o" results "or that host.
$he Google 7@) 3elation Bro!sing :utliner /G73B:2 is a little more complicated. ;ou
enter a +3* and choose !hether you !ant pages that related to the +3* or lined to the
+3*
/!!!.staggernation.com,garbo,2.
>lic on the triangle ne(t to an +3* to get a list o" pages lined or related to that
particular +3*. >ape1ail is an e-mail search application that allo!s you to send an e-
mail to googleFcapeclear.com !ith the te(t o" your %uery in the subject line and get the
"irst ten results "or that %uery bac. 1aybe it's not something you'd do every day& but i"
your cell phone does e-mail and doesn't do Web bro!sing& this is a very handy address
to no!.