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A Periodic (P)review Of Leaping Forward

By: Johan

Thursday, February 10

Advanced Crash Course in Google Proficiency

You use Google, right?

You use Google almost daily, right?

I bet you didn't know these Google 'tricks':
  1. Google Alerts - Too busy to keep up with what's going on in the world or in any area of your interest? Sign up for Google Alerts and get automatic e-mails sent to you whenever a search of your choice yields new news results or new search results. Very handy to keep up with industry news, keeping an eye on competition or keeping track of your own websites' progress. Only limited by your knowledge of clever searching.
  2. Google Answers - Crap at searching or simply don't have the time? On Google Answers you can ask a question, decide how much the answer is worth to you and someone will find you the answer, backed up with 'proof' (links) from the web. Only once you are satisfied you pay the pre-set fee. For example, someone just paid $100 for the answer for Find roots of the polynomial: a*x^6+b*x^5+c*x^4+d*x^3+e*x^2+f . Another person wondered whether Google headquarters was on fire and offered $2 for the answer.
  3. Google Catalogs - Did your dog choose the latest Dell catalogue to dump his waste on? Not to worry! The Dell catalogue and others can be retrieved from Google.
  4. Google Directory - Bssed on the Open Directory Project database of catagorized links, Google's own version of this attempt to label all quality websites out there features a graphical display of the site's base PageRank. In short, a good indication of what other websites think of that particular site. The Directory can come in handy researching online competition or finding manufacturers / providers of a certain item or service.
  5. Google Local - Only useful for those interested in US based locations of 'stuff' but it's a nice service with great potential. It was only launched last week but can already help you out with problems like the following... You've been eating out for weeks on end and had enough of it. Now what you really desire is a Crap Restaurant in Manhattan, New York. Google is your best friend and will pinpoint the exact location faster than a cat can scratch his ass. Also useful for, well, useful searches.
  6. Google Scholar - If only this was live when I went to Uni! A Must-Use tool for all students. This search tool retrieves info from thousands of whitepapers and academic resources. It sorts the boys from the men when it comes to search results. No more digging through tens of pages to find a few credible sources.
  7. Google Wireless - I've used it many times when bored on the train or in need of an answer without computer access. You can access Google's fast database plus more (through their WML proxy) from your mobile phone or other wireless device such as your PDA. I found film reviews, cocktail recipes and stuff to do in London whilst on the train to Waterloo.
  8. General Google Search Tricks - There's loads you can do to make your life easier, straight from the normal search bar. Need a definition on a word you never heard of? Not sure about the spelling either? Use 'define + KeyWord' (without the ') and it will fetch the definition of the word, abbreviation or acronym. See what a 'Blog' really is. You can also use our friend Google as our desktop calculator. Find out how many inch in 2 cm, how many gallons to the litre or my weight in stone. 1+1 etc. works as well. It can even work out the amount of kilo calories used to move 160 pounds for 4000 feet! See the answer here. More tailored to the American users but also useful if you are expecting a parcel from the US or need someone's phonenumber over there is Google's number search. It will show you tracking details, phone numbers, patent information and more. All you have to do is typing it in the search bar. Another reason why you should have Google open in FireFox as standard.
If all that isn't quite enough yet for your demanding fingers, then why not have a look at the following Google hacks:
  • Toogle - Fancy Image Browsing
  • Speegle - Especially useful for lonely people.
  • Elgoog - Elgoog is a Google mirror. Literally.
And the last Google tip... Want free wireless internet access, where ever you are? Have a look in the Google Store for the Wireless Hotspot Finder. Find Wi-Fi hotspots up to 300 feet away from you.

If you can't find it with Google, it doesn't exist.


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