Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Finding and Using the World's Information


Everyone knows that Google lets you search billions of web pages. But few people realize that Google also gives you hundreds of cool ways to organize and play with information.

Since we released the last edition of this bestselling book, Google has added many new features and services to its expanding universe: Google Earth, Google Talk, Google Maps, Google Blog Search, Video Search, Music Search, Google Base, Google Reader, and Google Desktop ...

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Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Finding and Using the World's Information

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Everyone knows that Google lets you search billions of web pages. But few people realize that Google also gives you hundreds of cool ways to organize and play with information.

Since we released the last edition of this bestselling book, Google has added many new features and services to its expanding universe: Google Earth, Google Talk, Google Maps, Google Blog Search, Video Search, Music Search, Google Base, Google Reader, and Google Desktop among them. We've found ways to get these new services to do even more.

The expanded third edition of Google Hacks is a brand-new and infinitely more useful book for this powerful search engine. You'll not only find dozens of hacks for the new Google services, but plenty of updated tips, tricks and scripts for hacking the old ones. Now you can make a Google Earth movie, visualize your web site traffic with Google Analytics, post pictures to your blog with Picasa, or access Gmail in your favorite email client. Industrial strength and real-world tested, this new collection enables you to mine a ton of information within Google's reach. And have a lot of fun while doing it:

  • Search Google over IM with a Google Talk bot
  • Build a customized Google Map and add it to your own web site
  • Cover your searching tracks and take back your browsing privacy
  • Turn any Google query into an RSS feed that you can monitor in Google Reader or the newsreader of your choice
  • Keep tabs on blogs in new, useful ways
  • Turn Gmail into an external hard drive for Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Beef up your web pages with search, ads, news feeds, and more
  • Program Google with the Google API and language of your choice

For those of you concerned about Google as an emerging Big Brother, this new edition also offers advice and concrete tips for protecting your privacy. Get into the world of Google and bend it to your will!

Since the last version of this bestselling book, Google has added a dozen new features and services to its expanding universe. By responding with 25 new hacks and dozens of updated ones, the authors have made this expanded edition into a brand-new and infinitely more useful Hacks book for this powerful search engine.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Google's corporate mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." They've gone a long way toward that goal. But to take full advantage of their achievements, you need the technical knowledge in this book.

Chapter 1's "hacks" take you as far as you can go without coding. You'll master Google's special search syntax; then discover Google's many "specialty searches" (phone number lookups, stock prices, and so forth). Along the way, the authors unearth some cool web tools: for instance, one that visualizes the relationships amongst your results.

Now you're ready for real power: programmatic control over Google. Most of the authors' programs are written in Perl, but you'll find some Python, PHP, Java, and .NET code, too. Most use Google's powerful API, but there's some classic spidering and screen scraping, too. (FYI, if you find spidering useful, check out O'Reilly's Spidering Hacks, too.)

So, what can you do with Google Hacks' techniques? You can calculate the "mindshare" of your company in your industry. Make sure none of your site links have recently gone X-rated. Create searches limited to U.S. government documents. Use geotargeting to spot emerging trends. Build newsfeeds that automate recurring searches. Convert Google Video into AVIs you can actually use. Uncover every blog comment linked to any page. Find lyrics to whatever you're playing in iTunes. And create all manner of Google Maps mashups that weren't even possible when this book's last edition was written.

Google Hacks wraps up with tips for webmasters: everything from improving your positioning in Google searches to visualizing your site's traffic with Google Analytics. Bottom line: This book puts you in control the world's information -- and, in the information age, what could be more important? Bill Camarda, from the November 2006 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596527068
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2006
  • Series: Hacks Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 546
  • Sales rank: 1,128,947
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Rael Dornfest is Chief Technology Officer at O'Reilly Media. He assesses, experiments, programs, fiddles, fidgets, and writes for the O'Reilly Network and various O'Reilly publications. Rael is Series Editor of the O'Reilly Hacks series and has edited, contributed to, and coauthored various O'Reilly books, including Mac OS X Panther Hacks, Mac OS X Hacks, Google Hacks, Essential Blogging, and Peer to Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies. He is also Program Chair for the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. In his copious free time, Rael develops bits and bobs of freeware, particularly the Blosxom weblog application, is Editor in Chief of MobileWhack, and (more often than not) maintains his Raelity Bytes weblog.

Paul Bausch is an independent web developer living in Corvallis, Oregon. When he's not hacking together web applications, he's writing about hacking together web applications. He is the author of Amazon Hacks for O'Reilly in 2003, Yahoo! Hacks in 2005, and co-wrote Flickr Hacks in 2005. Paul also helped create the popular application Blogger (, maintains a directory of Oregon blogs called ORblogs (, and co-wrote a book about blogs called We Blog (Wiley). When he's not working on a book, Paul posts thoughts and photos to his personal blog onfocus (

Tara Calishain is the creator of the site, ResearchBuzz. She is an expert on Internet search engines and how they can be used effectively in business situations.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors;
Why Google Hacks?;
How This Book Is Organized;
How to Use This Book;
How to Run the Hacks;
Where to Go for More;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
Safari® Enabled;
How to Contact Us;
Got a Hack?;
Chapter 1: Web;
Google Web Search Basics;
Full-Word Wildcards;
Special Syntax;
Mixing Syntax;
Advanced Search;
Quick Links;
Language Tools;
Anatomy of a Search Result;
Setting Preferences;
Understanding Google URLs;
1 Browse the Google Directory;
2 Glean a Snapshot of Google in Time;
3 Visualize Google Results;
4 Check Your Spelling;
5 Google Phonebook: Let Google’s Fingers Do the Walking;
6 Look Up Definitions;
7 Find Directories of Information;
8 Cover Your Bases;
9 Hack Your Own Google Search Form;
10 Compare Google and Yahoo! Search Results;
11 Cover Your Tracks;
12 Improve Google’s Memory;
13 Find Out What Google Thinks ___ Is;
14 Browse the World Wide Photo Album;
15 Find Similar Images;
16 Track Stocks;
Chapter 2: Advanced Web;
17 Assemble Advanced Search Queries;
18 Like a Version: Search with Synonyms;
19 Capture Google Results in a Google Box;
20 Cook with Google;
21 Permute a Query;
22 Summarize Results by Domain;
23 Measure Google Mindshare;
24 SafeSearch Certify URLs;
25 Search Google Topics;
26 Run a Google Popularity Contest;
27 Scrape Yahoo! Buzz for a Google Search;
28 Compare Google’s Results with Other Search Engines;
29 Scattersearch with Yahoo! and Google;
30 Yahoo! Directory Mindshare in Google;
31 Spot Trends with Geotargeting;
32 Bring the Google Calculator to the Command Line;
33 Build Your Own Google Search Feeds;
34 Search Google by Link Graph;
35 Download Google Videos as AVI Files;
Chapter 3: News and Blogs;
Google News;
Google Groups;
Beyond Google for News and Blogs;
36 Scrape Google News;
37 Visualize Google News;
38 Map Google News;
39 Track Your Favorite Sites;
40 Scrape Google Groups;
41 Seek Out Blog Commentary;
42 Glean Blog-Free Google Results;
43 Find Blog Commentary for Any URL with a Single Click;
44 Track Topics on Blogs over Time;
45 Blog from Your Desktop;
46 Program Blogger with PHP;
Chapter 4: Extending Google;
47 Keep Tabs on Your Searches with Google Alerts;
48 Google Your Desktop;
49 Google with Bookmarklets;
50 Google from IRC;
51 Google on the Go;
52 Google over IM;
53 Googlify Your Browser;
54 Search with Google from Any Web Page;
55 Customize the Firefox Quick Search Box;
56 Build a Google Screensaver;
57 Add a Feed to Google Quickly;
58 Tame Long Google URLs;
59 Autocomplete Search Terms as You Type;
60 Refine Your Google Search;
61 Make Google More Accessible for Low-Vision Users;
62 Search for Lyrics on Google;
Chapter 5: Google Maps;
63 Think Global, Google Local;
64 Get Around;
65 Find Yourself (and Others) on Google Maps;
66 Build Your Own Google Map;
67 Add a Google Map to Your Web Site;
68 Map Flickr Contacts;
69 Fly Across the Earth;
Chapter 6: Gmail;
Signing Up;
Gmail Search Syntax;
Gmail Chat;
Additional Resources;
70 Create and Use Custom Addresses;
71 Import Your Contacts into Gmail;
72 Import Mail into Gmail;
73 Export Your Gmail;
74 Gmail on the Go;
75 Use Gmail as a Linux Filesystem;
76 Use Gmail as a Hard Drive;
77 Program Gmail;
78 Force Gmail to Use a Secure Connection;
Chapter 7: Webmastering;
Google’s Importance to Webmasters;
The Mysterious PageRank;
The Equally Mysterious Ranking Algorithm;
Tools for Webmasters;
Keeping Up with Google’s Changes;
In a Word: Relax;
79 A Webmaster’s Introduction to Google;
80 Get Inside the PageRank Algorithm;
81 26 Steps to 15 KB a Day;
82 Be a Good Search Engine Citizen;
83 Clean Up for a Google Visit;
84 Remove Your Materials from Google;
85 Get the Most Out of AdWords;
86 Generate Google AdWords;
87 Scrape Google AdWords;
88 Add Search to Your Site;
89 Feed News to Your Web Site;
Chapter 8: Programming Google;
Signing Up and Google’s Terms;
The Google Web APIs Developer’s Kit;
Using Your Google API Key;
What’s WSDL?;
Understanding the Google API Query;
Understanding the Google API Response;
Beyond Web APIs;
A Note on Spidering and Scraping;
90 Program Google in Perl;
91 Install the SOAP::Lite Perl Module;
92 Program Google with the Net::Google Perl Module;
93 Loop Around the 10-Result Limit;
94 Program Google in Java;
95 Program Google in Python;
96 Program Google in C# and .NET;
97 Program Google in VB.NET;
98 Program Google with ColdFusion;
99 Program Google with PHP 5;
100 Program Google with VBScript;
Appendix 1: Track News About Google;
Google Sources;
Outside News Sources;
Google Employee Blogs;
Grassroots Sources;

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2006


    Do you want to make your Google searching experience more fruitful? If you do, then this book is for you! Authors Rael Dornfest, Paul Bausch and Tara Calishain, have done an outstanding job of writing a third edition of a book that goes beyond the instruction page to the idea of hacks. Dornfest, Bausch and Calishain, begin by describing the fundamentals of how Google¿s search works. Then, the authors show you how to measure Google Mindshare, range farther across the Web, twist and recombine your queries, squeeze the last drop of results out of every search, and even go beyond the bounds of Google¿s index. Next, they show you how to use a combination of Google tools to gather the latest news and opinions from across the Web. The authors continue by showing you how to integrate Google into your toolbar, desktop, and browser. They also show you how you can use Google Maps to learn about your neighborhood and your world. Then, the authors discuss the proper and improper uses of Gmail. Next, they show you how to use Google¿s infamous PageRank, how to clean up for a Google visit, how to make money with your pages, and how to make sure your pages aren¿t indexed by Google if you don¿t want them to be. Finally, the authors introduce you to the wonders of the Google Search Application Programming Interface (API), which underlies many of the hacks in this book. This most excellent book is not an exhaustive manual on how every command in the Google syntax works. But rather, this book shows you some tricks for making the best use of a search.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 21, 2011

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