Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools

Overview

The Internet puts a wealth of information at your fingertips, and all you have to know is how to find it. Google is your ultimate research tool—a search engine that indexes more than 2.4 billion web pages, in more than 30 languages, conducting more than 150 million searches a day. The more you know about Google, the better you are at pulling data off the Web. You've got a cadre of techniques up your sleeve—tricks you've learned from practice, from exchanging ideas with others, and from plain old trial and ...

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Overview

The Internet puts a wealth of information at your fingertips, and all you have to know is how to find it. Google is your ultimate research tool—a search engine that indexes more than 2.4 billion web pages, in more than 30 languages, conducting more than 150 million searches a day. The more you know about Google, the better you are at pulling data off the Web. You've got a cadre of techniques up your sleeve—tricks you've learned from practice, from exchanging ideas with others, and from plain old trial and error—but you're always looking for better ways to search. It's the "hacker" in you: not the troublemaking kind, but the kind who really drives innovation by trying new ways to get things done. If this is you, then you'll find new inspiration (and valuable tools, too) in Google Hacks from O'Reilly's new Hacks Series.

Google Hacks is a collection of industrial-strength, real-world, tested solutions to practical problems. The book offers a variety of interesting ways for power users to mine the enormous amount of information that Google has access to, and helps you have fun while doing it. You'll learn clever and powerful methods for using the advanced search interface and the new Google API, including how to build and modify scripts that can become custom business applications based on Google. Google Hacks contains 100 tips, tricks and scripts that you can use to become instantly more effective in your research. Each hack can be read in just a few minutes, but can save hours of searching for the right answers.

Written by experts for intelligent, advanced users, O'Reilly's new Hacks Series have begun to reclaim the term "hacking" for the good guys. In recent years the term "hacker" has come to be associated with those nefarious black hats who break into other people's computers to snoop, steal information, or disrupt Internet traffic. But the term originally had a much more benign meaning, and you'll still hear it used this way whenever developers get together. Our new Hacks Series is written in the spirit of true hackers—the people who drive innovation.

If you're a Google power user, you'll find the technical edge you're looking for in Google Hacks.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Even if you’re on Google dozens of times a day…even if you use it for everything from finding phone numbers to pre-screening dates…you’re not even close to making the most of it. Google’s more powerful than you ever imagined, and Google Hacks will help you grab that power -- whether you’re a user, programmer, or web professional.

Sure, you can just toss in a few keywords and often get what you want -- sometimes, in the very first item, if you’re “Feeling Lucky.” But what happens when the right results don’t float to the top? The authors show how to choose smarter keywords, take advantage of Boolean searching, and master “special syntaxes” you probably didn’t know existed.

Did you know you could search a single site? (Works better than lots of individual site search engines do.) Did you know you can reverse-search phone numbers to find names? Or that you can list pages related to a specific page?

You’ll learn plenty more ways to tweak your searches: by localizing them with local jargon; by swapping word order; by using wildcards; even by duplicating search terms. And if you’re really ambitious, you can even tweak the long URL that accompanies your results page.

The authors dip deeply into an endless stream of new ideas for using Google. (Looking for an old newspaper article that costs money or isn’t online anymore? Here’s how to see if someone else has reprinted it.)

Google Hacks also offers detailed coverage of Google’s growing set of tools -- including translation; the Google Groups newsgroup collection; the handy Google toolbar; and all the “alpha” stuff cooking up in Google’s Labs. (Did you know you can search Google by phone? Experimentally, of course.)

There’s also a full chapter on third-party Google-based web tools (like GooglePeople, which answers questions like “Who’s the world’s tallest woman?”)

All this is just the beginning. If you can write a little code, Google has created a comprehensive API for integrating Google search into your own sites and applications. The authors show how to use it, with plenty of examples (most in Perl, a few in PHP, Java, Python, and other languages).

They also introduce several new third-party applications built around the Google API. For instance, if you use Word, you know its dictionary leaves much to be desired. Now, there’s CapeSpeller, which supplements Word’s spell-checker with suggestions for thousands of proper nouns and common phrases.

Along the way, you’ll find dozens of cool Google hacks and tricks. For example, here’s how to figure out your company’s “GoogleShare.” (“What percentage of ‘weatherman’ does Al Roker hold? Who has the greater ‘Beatles’ GoogleShare: Ringo Starr or Paul McCartney?”) Of course games like GoogleWhacking (thinking up searches with only one result) aren’t neglected, either.

If you’re a webmaster, there’s a full chapter for you -- including everything you must know about PageRank, how to buy AdWords more intelligently; even how to remove your content from Google. If you rely on Google -- and who doesn’t? -- this book is nothing short of amazing. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

From The Critics
Slashdot.org
This book is a marvelous compendium of tips and tricks for Google, ranging from simple ways of getting the search results you want, through using Google's newer services such as phone books and image search, all the way to advanced ways of using scrapers and the Google API.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596004477
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Rael Dornfest is a Researcher at the O'Reilly & Associates focusing on technologies just beyond the pale. He assesses, experiments, programs, and writes for the O'Reilly network and O'Reilly publications. Dornfest is Program Chair of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Chair of the RSS-DEV Working Group, and developer of Meerkat: An Open Wire Service. In his copious free time, he develops bits and bobs of Open Source software and maintains his raelity bytes Weblog.

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Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Credits
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Searching Google
  • Chapter 2: Google Special Services and Collections
  • Chapter 3: Third-Party Google Services
  • Chapter 4: Non-API Google Applications
  • Chapter 5: Introducing the Google Web API
  • Chapter 6: Google Web API Applications
  • Chapter 7: Google Pranks and Games
  • Chapter 8: The Webmaster Side of Google
  • Colophon

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2003

    Handy Google book to have

    Since Google seems to be among the most popular search engines around, it's fitting that someone would compile a list of 'hacks' to help make your Google searches easier and faster. It's somehow quite appropriate that the folk doing this would be O'Reilly whose books are always informative and full of great ideas. This book is no exception. With 100 to choose from, this list of hacks covers everything from dealing with Google's '10 Word Search Limit,' Using Full-Word Wildcards, searching article archives to Google API hacks (they also devote a full chapter to explaining how the Google API works and another chapter to non-Google API's). The next to last chapter lists a few 'pranks' (er hacks) you can use on your friends if you like. The final chapter, titled 'The WebMaster Side of Google' explains how Google works from a WebMaster's point of view, including how to submit your site to Google, its pagerank algorhtyhm, and how to be a 'good search engine citizen.' Many hacks also show code examples of the hacks, which are easy to follow. Anyone that uses Google to search various topics or do research will find this book to be an essential tool.

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