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Guide To Using                                                                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

REFERENCE SERIES VOL. 9 ISS. 5



Google and the Google logo are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other coun-
tries. The Reference Series: Guide To Using Google is not pub-
lished in conjunction with Google and it has not been endorsed or
sponsored by Google. The use of the Google trademark in this
publication does not represent participation in, or endorsement of,
this publication by Google.

          oogle (www.google.com) is one of the Web’s great

G         success stories. According to Media Metrix data
          released in July, the company’s search engine handles
36.5% of all Web searches, and at press time Google Inc. boast-
ed just over $82 billion in market capitalization. All this from
two guys applying clever programming and some fairly novel
ideas about business to solving what would become one of the
great challenges of the Internet age: How can I get the informa-
tion I’m looking for quickly online? But as compelling and
popular as Google’s search technology is, it’s just the beginning
of what this dynamic company has to offer. This issue is packed
with information on Google services and tools you can use,
mostly without charge, to do more online than you ever
thought possible starting from a single site.                         31   One In A Billion
                                                                           Advanced Search Options Help You
                                                                           Find What You’re Looking For

All About Google                                                      35   Image Search Elements
                                                                           Google’s Not Just For Text Anymore
4     Organizing The World’s Information
      How Google Became The “Word” On Everyone’s Lips                 38   Read All About It
                                                                           Google Offers Personalized News
9     Find The Digital Needle
      Google Helps You Take On That Haystack                          42   It’s Not Cheap, It’s Froogle
                                                                           Your One-Stop Online Shop
13    The Way Of Google                                                    For Finding The Best Deals
      It’s More Complicated Than You May Realize
                                                                      46   In The Neighborhood
17    Test Drive These Tools                                               Google Local Helps You Find Everything
      The Newest Ideas Are At Google Labs                                  From Pizza Places To Pet Stores

22    Privacy Please                                                  49   Google Answers
      Google’s Privacy Policy Serves & Protects                            Call On A Professional For Your Toughest Questions

23    How’d They Do That?                                             52   The Ultimate Card Catalog
      Google’s Simple Interface Masks                                      Google Print Is A Digital Bookshelf
      A Powerful Search Engine
                                                                      55   Are We There Yet?
The Search                                                                 Google Maps Revolutionizes Online Mapping

26    Gateway To The Web                                              59   Smart Searches
      How Google Can Help You Find What You Need                           Google Scholar Pinpoints Scholarly Research

30    Helpful Hints                                                   61   Boutique Searches
      Google Suggest Streamlines Your Search Time                          Specialty Search Engines Help You Narrow Your Search
Stay Connected                                               108 It’s Not Picasso, But It’s Close
                                                                 Meet Picasa, Google’s Photo Organizer/Editor
64   It’s Not Email, It’s Gmail
     How To Master Google’s Web-based Email                  114 Speaking In Tongues
                                                                 Reach Globally With Google’s Language Tools
70   Faster Than A Speeding Email
     Keep In Touch With Google Talk                          116 Power To The People
                                                                 Google Code: A Little Something For Open-Source Fans
73   Get The Message?
     Google Groups Makes It Easy To Share Interests Online   The Business End
78   Google Mobile                                           120 Let’s Do Business
     Google Comes To The Small Screen                            Google As Cash Cow

81   Message Marvel                                          123 Get The Word Out
     Google Meets Text Messaging                                 Advertise Your Web Site On Google

84   Hello, It’s Me                                          128 Give Your Web Site Google Power
     Google’s Communications Tool Lets You Share Pics, Too       Adding Site Search & More To Your Web Site

Google Tools                                                 132 The Ins & Outs Of AdSense
                                                                 Depending On Your Web Site, Google’s
88   Tool(bar) Time                                              Ad Program Could Earn You Money
     Make Your Browser A Powerhouse
                                                             136 Google Desktop Search For Enterprise
93   Search Engine Jr.                                           Simplify Your Search For Documents,
     Google Brings Its Expertise To Your Desktop                 Emails & Web Sites

97   Meet Blogger                                            139 Delve Deep With Urchin
     Join The Web Log Craze With This Google Tool                Analyze Your Web Traffic For Fun & Profit

104 A View From Above                                        142 Beyond Classified Ads
    Explore Google Earth’s Satellite & Aerial Maps               Google Ad Professionals
                                                     Editorial Staff: Ronald D. Kobler /
                                                     Christopher Trumble / Michael Sweet /
                                                     Samit Gupta Choudhuri / Corey Russman /
                                                     Rod Scher / Calvin Clinchard / Katie Sommer
                                                     / Kimberly Fitzke / Katie Dolan / Blaine Flamig
                                                     / Raejean Brooks / Rebecca Christensen /
                                                     Sally Curran / Nate Hoppe / Jennifer Suggitt /
                                                     Trista Kunce / Sheila Allen / Linné Ourada /
                                                     Liz Dixon / Joy Martin / Brian Weed / Marty
                                                     Sems / Chad Denton / Nathan Chandler /
                                                     Kylee Dickey / Josh Gulick / Andrew Leibman
                                                     / Vince Cogley / Sam Evans / Jennifer Johnson
                                                     Web Staff: Missy Fletcher / Laura Curry /
                                                     Brandie Humphrey / Travis Brock
                                                     Customer Service: Becky Rezabek /
                                                     Lana Matic / Lindsay Albers
                                                     Subscription Renewals: Liz Kohout /
                                                     Connie Beatty / Matt Bolling / Patrick Kean /
                                                     Charmaine Vondra / Miden Ebert / Kathy
                                                     DeCoito / Stephanie Contreras /
                                                     Nicole Buckendahl
                                                     Art & Design: Lesa Call / Fred Schneider /
                                                     Carrie Benes / Ginger Falldorf / Sonja Warner /
                                                     Aaron Weston / Aaron Clark / Kelli Lambertsen
                                                     / Lori Garris / Jason Codr / Andria Schultz /
                                                     Erin Rodriguez / Lindsay Anker
                                                     Newsstand: Garth Lienemann / Kelly
                                                     Richardson / Jeff Schnittker
                                                     Advertising Sales: Grant Ossenkop /
                                                     Cindy Pieper / Brooke Wolzen / Eric Cobb
                                                     Marketing: Mark Peery / Marcy Gunn /
                                                     Jen Clausen / Scot Banks / Ashley Hannant /
                                                     Luke Vavricek


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   AL L    ABOUT GOOGLE




      Organizing The
                                                                                        Underneath, ingenious innovation and
                                                                                        efficient processing have made Google
                                                                                        the number one choice for anyone who
                                                                                        wants relevant information right now.


         World’s
                                                                                        At this writing, Google indexes 8.1
                                                                                        billion Web pages and can answer a
                                                                                        search query in 0.25 seconds.
                                                                                           Google’s secret formula is not so


       Information                                                                      much the search, but more how it
                                                                                        searches. Its PageRank algorithm lists
                                                                                        Web pages in order of probable rele-
                                                                                        vance to the user. This is partly based on
             How Google Became The “Word”                                               the number of other pages that contain
                                                                                        hyperlinks, or URLs, to them. When
                  On Everyone’s Lips                                                    Netizens find a site or online article they
                                                                                        consider worth sharing with others, they
                                                                                        put a link to that page on their own sites
                                                                                        or blogs. If more people link to a page
                                                                                        than any other with the same keyword
                                                                                        or phrase on it, it may wind up near the
                                                                                        top of Google’s rankings.
                                                                                           However, merely having a lot of links
                                                                                        to a page doesn’t make a top ranking a
                                                                                        done deal. The proprietary and secret
                                                                                        PageRank evaluates a number of other
                                                                                        criteria, such as the subjective impor-
                                                                                        tance and trustworthiness of the sites
                                                                                        linking to a page, as well as the usual
                                                                                        intent of a typical user looking for a
                                                                                        term. Furthermore, Google often
                                                                                        tweaks PageRank to mitigate unscrupu-
                                                                                        lous Webmasters’ attempts to “play the




   “J
                                             far too brief and lucid: “To organize      system.” Obviously, it means big
                                             the world’s information and make it        money to companies to have their sites
                                             universally accessible and useful.” But    come up at the top of search result lists,
                                             then, Google is a rare bird itself.        which explains why there are so many
                 ust Google it.”                On the surface, Google is just like     books on the market about how to fool
      People everywhere are still coming     any other free search engine on the        Google into giving higher rankings.
   to understand just how powerful those     Web—but again, only on the surface.           Besides PageRank, the other half of
   three words are. And with every new                                                  Google’s recipe for success is the way
   feature Google adds to its search en-                                                the company does business. The fact
   gine, the more powerful they become.                                                 that the site is still relatively uncompro-
      Googling is, quite simply, typing                                                 mised by the usual shenanigans of big
   search terms into Google’s field and                                                 companies looking to wring a few
   pressing ENTER. Like to compare one                                                  more bucks out of the bottom line has
   new car’s mileage to another’s? Want                                                 paid huge dividends in end-user loy-
   tips on catching panfish? Need to check                                              alty. Paid advertisements keep Google’s
   out that new fellow your daughter is                                                 search free for everyone to use, but
   dating? Just Google it.                                                              until recently, they were clearly rele-
                                             Like AltaVista before it, Google’s clean   gated to the right of the screen, not
                                             home page was a welcome relief from the    mixed in with the “real” search results.
   Number One                                jam-packed pages of competing search          This minor difference from com-
      Google’s mission statement is a        engines and portals. Even Yahoo! Search    peting sites was enough to convince
   rarity among Internet companies. It’s     and MSN Search look similar today.         millions of users that they could trust



4 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                                 ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




Google not to waste their time with re-
sults that are obviously paid place-                     Web Pages In Google's Database
ments. Of course, if users are actually
Googling for something they want to                         10            (in billions, less images and Usenet messages)
buy, they may appreciate the fact that
the ads on the right are triggered by the                    9
keywords they typed into the search                          8                                                                               •
field (not to mention Froogle, Google’s                                                                                                      8.1
price comparison feature).                                   7
   How different is Google? Well, in                         6
October 2004, accounting firm Deloitte
Touche (now Deloitte Touche Tohmat-                          5
su) called Google the fastest-growing
company ever. Between 1999 and 2003,
                                                             4                                                                  •
                                                                                                                                4.2
the firm reported, Google’s revenues                         3                                                      •
grew by a mind-bending 437,115%.                             2
                                                                                                         •          3
                                                                                                         2.5
                                                                                    1
                                                             1         .03         •            • 1.3
Primordial Goo-gle                                                    •                                                                 Source: Google


                                                             0      1999         June          Dec.     Aug.      Dec.       March        Aug.
   Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry                                             2000          2000     2002      2002       2004         2005
Page collaborated on Google when
they were graduate students together
at Stanford University. (NOTE: Most of                 Transformed Our Culture,” as well as               others. Page drew the idea from the
the events and dates regarding Google’s                Google itself, except as noted.)                   academic world, which places great
origin and growth in this article come                    The pair created a search algorithm             value on the number of researchers
from John Batelle’s outstanding “The                   called BackRub, so named for its ability           cited in a paper’s footnotes and the
Search: How Google And Its Rivals                      to assay back links, or the hyperlinks             prestige of each. The idea wasn’t totally
Rewrote The Rules Of Business And                      pointing to a particular Web page from             novel: Brian Pinkerton programmed
                                                                                                          the earlier Webcrawler search engine to
                                                                                                          count links to Web pages, too.
 The Sergey & Larry Show                                                                                     Of course, an algorithm that could
                                                                                                          count and weigh back links had to be

 S  upersmart. Righteous. Micromanaging. Smug. Google founders Sergey Brin and
    Larry Page seem to inspire a different description from every person holding an
 opinion on the pair. For perspective, here are some of their basic facts. Both can be for-
                                                                                                          able to take on the scale of a worldwide
                                                                                                          Internet, in Page’s vision. Forming it
                                                                                                          posed a formidable challenge. Sergey
 given for not completing their doctorates in computer science at Stanford University,                    Brin handled the math, and collabo-
 we think; they’ve been a little busy since 1998. (Sources: Google, EconomicExpert.com)                   rated with Page on the system of
                                                                                                          ranking each page’s relative merit. This
 Sergey Brin, Co-founder and President, Technology                                                        system, which gave Google’s search re-
 Born: August 1973 in Moscow, Russia                                                                      sults unprecedented relevancy and
 Education: BS with honors in mathematics and com-                                                        touched off a word-of-mouth fire-
 puter science, University of Maryland at College Park;                                                   storm, became known as PageRank.
 master’s in computer science, Stanford University;                                                       Stanford actually holds the patent on
 honorary MBA from Instituto de Empresa                                                                   PageRank, but the U. S. government
                                                           Larry Page, left, and Sergey Brin
 Trivia: Sergey’s mother was a scientist at NASA. He’s     co-founded Google.
                                                                                                          also holds certain rights to it thanks to
 reportedly the arbiter at Google as to what the                                                          a National Science Foundation grant
 “Don’t Be Evil” motto means in day-to-day business decisions.                                            (patent number 6,285,999 at patft
                                                                                                          .uspto.gov/netahtml/srchnum.htm).
 Larry Page, Co-founder and President, Products                                                              Page made a crawler program, later
 Born: March 26, 1973, in Ann Arbor, Mich.                                                                called Googlebot, to search many Web
 Education: BS in engineering (concentration in computer engineering), University of                      servers at once. PageRank ranked the
 Michigan; master’s degree, Stanford University                                                           pages thus indexed, and Brin and Page
 Trivia: Page is one of the trustees on the board of the X Prize Foundation for private                   completed the tool with a simple inter-
 spacecraft advocacy.                                                                                     face for users to visit with their queries.



                                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 5
                                                          ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




      With servers made of parts bought,          cached content links also proved              companies paid for their ads to be re-
   begged, and borrowed, Brin and Page            useful. The company preserves recent          lated to particular search terms. Today,
   were soon running a popular search             Web content even when the original            ad sales (on and offsite) and search en-
   engine from Page’s dorm room. Math             server is down or the content has been        gine licensing fuel Google’s revenues.
   geeks, they called the search engine           pulled or changed. In fact, Google set
   Google, after the number represented           up a link during the Sept. 11, 2001,
                                                                                                Some Work, Some Play
   by a 1 followed by 100 zeroes (a               disasters to provide cached online news
   googol). It’s a truly colossal number,         at a time when most Internet news sites          “Don’t Be Evil” is Google’s unofficial
   and it implies that the tally of Web           were overwhelmed by traffic (the              motto. The phrase was distilled by engi-
   pages around the world is unimagin-            Google News aggregation feature               neer Paul Buchheit during a committee
   ably huge, too.                                sprouted from this event).                    meeting meant to define Google’s core
      At first, Brin and Page wanted to li-          Obviously, caching demands data            values, Batelle says. It seemed to
   cense their technology to existing sites,      centers with huge storage capacity, reli-     Buchheit that “don’t be evil” was the
   not build a company. Unfortunately,            able servers, and lots of bandwidth.          common factor of several slogans being
   interest was low at the companies they         Although it started out with Linux,           bandied about, and in typical engineer
   pitched to, and the partners needed            Google eventually wound up cus-               fashion, cut to the chase with the most
   more and more server space to stay             tomizing an OS to suit its specific           efficient solution. For more on Google’s
   ahead of the volume of Web pages               needs. The company also opted for a           philosophy and culture, check out “The
   Google was indexing. After angel in-           distributed computing model using             Way Of Google” on page 13.
   vestors and venture capitalists started        thousands of networked computers                 Already an anomaly in the often staid
   handing them checks—the first one un-          made of off-the-shelf parts rather than a     corporate world, Google loves to flaunt
   cashable until there was a “Google,            few expensive “big iron” servers. This        its sense of whimsy. On holidays and
   Inc.” to receive it—Brin and Page had          type of parallel computing makes it           even some obscure anniversaries such
   to form a company, and fast.                   cheaper to add servers later, and easier      as Van Gogh’s birthday, the logo on the
      Google officially incorporated on           to swap out failed parts without af-          home page gets a fun makeover (www
   Sept. 7, 1998. Its first office was in a       fecting the speed of the overall network.     .google.com/holidaylogos.html). Each
   friend’s spare room in Menlo Park,                Google’s legend grew, but the fledg-       April Fools’ Day spawns new jokes,
   Calif. To try and preserve their preg-         ling company still needed a way to            such as the revelation that pigeons are
   nant friend’s privacy, Brin, Page, and         make money. Although Brin and Page            the secret behind PageRank (www.goo
   their few employees entered and exited         remained distrustful of ads, they rea-        gle.com/technology/pigeonrank.html).
   through the garage.                            soned that ad revenue would keep              And the languages in Google’s reper-
      Besides the results, users liked            Google free for anyone to use. Using          toire include Elmer Fudd and Pig Latin
   Google’s speed and simple look. The            AdWords, launched in October 2000,            (www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en).


    Database Of Intentions
    Y      ou may love Google’s
           ability to give you quick
    access to movie reviews,
                                       crawlers find on the Inter-
                                       net. Still, search companies
                                       raise a lot of questions, es-
                                                                            “What does the world
                                                                         want?” Batelle asks. “Build a
                                                                         company that answers this
                                                                                                           technology isn’t so “evil”
                                                                                                           after all. But it could also end
                                                                                                           up a tool of the courts or
    camera price comparisons,          pecially when they get to be      question in all its shades of     government agencies to
    and satellite maps of your         as large and as good at           meaning, and you’ve un-           keep an eye on citizens, ra-
    next vacation spot. On the         searching as Google. For ex-      locked the most intractable       tionalized by the need
    other hand, you may not be         ample, what happens to the        riddle of marketing, of busi-     to sniff out potential crimi-
    so crazy about the fact that       records of the keywords a         ness, and arguably of             nals and terrorists under
    it’s so easy for Google (and       particular user searches for?     human culture itself. And         legislation such as the
    other search engines) to           Over the years, according to      over the past few years,          PATRIOT Act.
    give someone your home             John Batelle, author of “The      Google seems to have built           “For now, Google co-
    address, phone number, and         Search: How Google And Its        just that company.”               founder Sergey Brin has as-
    other potentially sensitive        Rivals Rewrote The Rules Of          Such a database could be-      sured me, such demands are
    information.                       Business And Transformed          come the Holy Grail for mar-      neither made nor met,”
        It’s not Google’s fault, of    Our Culture,” such a log of       keters, especially if Google      Batelle says. “But in the face
    course. Search engines             terms become a “database          ever decides that more overt      of such power, how long
    merely report what their           of intentions.”                   commercialization of its          can that stand?” ❙



6 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                                       ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                                                                                                                     going forward is that rivals such as
  Google Searches Per Day                                                                                                            Yahoo! have caught up, and next gener-
                                                                                                                                     ation systems like Become.com’s AIR
  2,400                                       (in millions)                                                                          (Affinity Index Ranking) technology
                                                                                                            2,317     •              have shown the ability to outperform
  2,000                                                                                                                              Google on many searches.”
                                                                                                                                        Glick says that Become.com’s AIR
  1,600
                                                                                                                                     search extrapolates more meaning from
  1,200                                                                                                                              the context of linking sites than does
                                                                                                                                     Google’s PageRank, especially for users
    800                                                                                                                              looking to buy. (Of course, shoppers
                                                                                                                                     might use Froogle, not Google proper.)
    600
                                                                                                                                        “For a search on ‘television’ Google
    200                                                                                                •                             returns TV stations, while the product-
                                                                                                       200                           focused search on Become.com returns
     80                                                                                                                              information on TVs because we know
                                                                          •              •
                                                                                         70                                          that’s what our users are looking for,”
                                                   18                     60
     40          .01          .5        3.5
                                                      •        • 40                                                                  Glick says.
              •              •          •                                                                                               Leaving aside the competition, not
       0     Aug.           Feb.      Sept.      June     Sept.        Dec.           Feb.           May           *May
              to          to          1999       2000     2000         2000           2001           2003          2005              everyone loves Google. Batelle’s re-
             Dec.        June                                                                                  Source: Google        search uncovered tales of an online
             1998        1999                                           * Source: Nielsen/Net Ratings, Searchenginewatch.com
                                                                                                                                     shopkeeper who lost his high ranking
                                                                                                                                     during one of Google’s algorithm ad-
   More paternalistic companies take a                        the “Web Search Engine Market                                          justments and suspected that commer-
dim view of what might be construed as                        Shares” chart in this article. A newer                                 cial results were ranked lower to drive
time-wasting nonsense, but Google has                         contender is Become.com, an online                                     business to AdWords; job applicants,
found that a sense of play pays off in                        shopping search site. Its senior director                              advertisers, and ordinary Web users
employee happiness and fresh ideas.                           of product search and comparison                                       resentful of Google’s unresponsiveness
Speaking of ideas, Google employees                           shopping, Jon Glick, has competed                                      to communications (indeed, Google
are advised to spend part of their time                       with Google for years—arguably, even                                   declined repeated invitations to com-
working on side projects, some of                             before there was a Google to compete                                   ment for this article); and the perspec-
which appear as beta features in Google                       against. He’s a former product man-                                    tives of technological forerunners,
Labs (labs.google.com) and go on to                           agement head from Yahoo! and was a                                     erstwhile partners, and former em-
become permanent features, such as                            director of Internet search at both on-                                ployees. And in 2004, the apparently
Google News and Gmail.                                        line ad sales service Overture (formerly                               self-righteous Google bowed to the
                                                              GoTo) and AltaVista, the “clean inter-                                 Web-censoring Chinese government
                                                              face” search darling of the mid-1990s.                                 and removed links to banned sites in
Wolves At The Door                                               “Starting in 1999, Google enjoyed                                   its local edition of Google News. Even
  Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL are Google’s                           five years of unquestioned technological                               with relatively “pure” motives and the
chief foes in search, as we’ve shown in                       leadership,” Glick says. “Their challenge                              motto “Don’t Be Evil,” Google has


  Google Timeline                                                April 27, 2000: Wireless search for
                                                              WAP (Wireless Application Protocols)                            March 26, 2001: Dr. Eric Schmidt becomes chairman of

   August 1996: ‘96
                                                              phones and handhelds                                         Google’s board of directors; later becomes CEO on August 6.
                                                                 May 9, 2000: Google goes multilin-                        Unlike a traditional CEO, to date he runs the company with
  The first version of
  Larry Page’s and                     Early 1999:‘99         gual with support for French, German,
                                                              Spanish, and seven other tongues
                                                                                                                           founders Brin and Page, much to Wall Street’s consternation
                                                                                                                              July to August 2001: Google Image Search launches;
  Sergey Brin’s Google             Red Hat be-                   June 26, 2000: Google becomes the                         Google Zeitgeist lists top search terms
  appears on Stanford              comes Google’s             world’s largest search index with more                          September 2001: A link to cached news articles about the
  University’s site                first commercial           than 1 billion pages; Yahoo! enlists                         9/11 tragedies eventually becomes Google News
                                   customer                   Google as its search engine                                     October 2001: Google reaches profitability

‘98 Sept. 7, 1998:                                               Oct. 23, 2000: AdWords sells
                                                              advertising keyed to search terms,
                                                                                                                              Dec. 11, 2001: Google adds searchable index of non-HTML
                                                                                                                           (Hypertext Markup Language) files, such as PDF (Portable
    Google incorporates                                       soon becoming Google’s primary                               Document Format) and MS Office documents
    in Menlo Park, Calif.                                     source of income
                                                                                                      ‘00                                                                      ‘01

                                                                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 7
                                                                 ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                                                          games such as Goo-
                                                                          glewhacking (see “Agog                      Web Search Engine
                                                                          About Googlewhack-                          Market Shares,
                                                                          ing” on page 148). Or-
                                                                          ganizations such as the
                                                                                                                      May 2005
                                                                          Church of Scientology
                                                                                                                                               Other
                                                                          have complained about
                                                                                                                         AOL                   13.9%                Google
                                                                          sites with opposing
                                                                                                                         4.5%                                        48%
                                                                          viewpoints appearing
                                                                          in search results for re-
                                                                          lated keywords. Some
                                                                          businesses, such as The
                                                                          New York Times, have
                                                                          objected to deep link-
                                                                          ing, or indexing of
   Google Image Search can often find photos by context, not
                                                                          pages normally acces-
   just by their file names. Intelligent video and audio search is
                                                                          sible only to registered
   the obvious next step.
                                                                          or paying members
                                                                          (Google has removed
   found that success in business in-                   pages when asked by their owners).                                MSN                                    Yahoo!
   evitably breeds controversy.                            One new service is an instant mes-                             12.4%                                  21.2%
                                                        saging/voice chat app called Google
                                                                                                                                Source: Nielsen/Net Ratings, Searchenginewatch.com
                                                        Talk (see page 70 for more), not to be
   Google Today                                         confused with the random sentence
      At this writing, Google is run by                 generator of the same name (page 151).                      company’s ambitions are huge, Batelle
   nearly 4,200 employees and upward of                 Something Google hasn’t talked about                        says: If there is some form of content
   175,000 computers. The company’s                     thus far is its reported buying spree of                    or information that hasn’t already
   stock is trading at $282, more than                  unused fiber optic network lines                            been tapped, digitized, and indexed,
   triple the $85 share price at its highly             around the country, according to a re-                      it’s safe to say that Google has an eye
   unorthodox initial public offering in                cent Business 2.0 article. Such a move                      on adding it someday. In other words,
   August 2004. Google ended a drought                  would facilitate future offerings re-                       to paraphrase him, Google wants to fill
   in Internet IPOs dating back to the                  quiring even more bandwidth than the                        in the gaps—and become the virtual
   market crash of 2000, and did it in a                company already has, such as motion                         operating system to the worldwide
   big way: The stock nearly quadrupled                 picture search and delivery. Business                       computer called the Internet.
   by the following July.                               2.0’s Om Malik also believes that                               And if that reminds you of a little
      Every day, it seems, there’s a new                Google is preparing to offer Wi-Fi ser-                     company named Microsoft, you’re not
   headline about Google. Occasionally, a               vice in various metropolitan areas in                       thinking big enough. RS
   foreign government, such as China,                   the near future.
   blocks or filters its citizens’ access to               Malik is hardly the only one specu-                                                                 BY   MARTY SEMS
   some portion of Google. Users invent                 lating about Google’s next move. The


                  March to April 2002:                  March 17, 2004: Google Local shopping search engine
                                                                                                                                             Jan. 25, 2005: Google Video
              Google News beta                          April 1, 2004: Gmail free Web-based email service in beta, offering
                                                                                                                                         beta allows searches of several
                  December 2002: Froogle             1GB of storage, a unique filing system, and an invitation-only rollout
                                                                                                                                         networks’ video clips using
              price comparison search                mechanism
                                                                                                                                         closed caption data
              engine released in beta
                                      ‘02
                                                        April 29, 2004: Google files for an initial public offering with the
                                                     Securities and Exchange Commission; an unusual, idealistic letter to       ‘05          March to April 2005:
                                                                                                                                         Google Maps allows combina-
                                                     potential shareholders written by Larry Page warns Wall Street that
‘03      January to February 2003: Acquisition of    Google won’t behave like a typical publicly traded company
                                                        Aug. 19, 2004: Google becomes the first Internet company to go
                                                                                                                                         tions of satellite imagery map-
                                                                                                                                         ping with search, opening up
     Pyra Labs, creator of Blogger                                                                                                       possibilities beyond the usual
         June 2003: AdSense service scans customer   public in three years; $85 shares climb to $100 by day’s end, and
                                                                                                                                         driving directions
     sites’ text and context, places related ads     $108.31 the next                                                                        Aug. 24, 2005: Beta launch
         Aug. 13, 2003: Version 2.0 of Google           Oct. 14, 2004: Google Desktop Search for local hard drives in beta
                                                                                                                                         of Google Talk, a new instant
     Toolbar gets a pop-up blocker, making it de        Dec. 14, 2004: Google Print to offer full-text search of books from
                                                                                                                                         messaging and voice commu-
     rigeur for Internet Explorer users              several prominent libraries
                                                                                                                     ‘04                 nication utility




8 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                  ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




  Find The Digital
                                                                                       great options in the Advanced Search
                                                                                       area, which is one of the few sections
                                                                                       of the Web site that boasts a link
                                                                                       from the main page. This section of-


      Needle
                                                                                       fers special fields that help users
                                                                                       better describe what they’re looking
                                                                                       for. Keep in mind that each engine
                                                                                       has a unique Advanced Search sec-
    Google Helps You Take On That Haystack                                             tion. (Find more information about
                                                                                       this in “Gateway To The Web” on
                                                                                       page 26 and “One In A Billion” on
                                                                                       page 31.)

                                                                                                             …
                                                                                       I Need More, More, More
                                                                                          If you’re looking for Google’s other
                                                                                       services and tools, click the More link
                                                                                       on the main page. As with the main
                                                                                       page, the More, More, More section is
                                                                                       relatively clutter-free, so you won’t
                                                                                       have much trouble tracking down the
                                                                                       item you’re after. Although many fea-
                                                                                       tures reside on this page, one particu-
                                                                                       larly popular service isn’t present.
                                                                                       Google’s Gmail, a beta email service



A
           lthough Google’s main page                                                  that offers users more than 2GB of
                                           Feeling Lucky?
           remains uncluttered seven                                                   email storage, doesn’t have a link on
           years after bursting onto the      You’ll find most of Google’s             either main page or the More, More,
           search engine scene, the        search engines on the main page. By         More section. You can access Gmail’s
company that revolutionized the way        default, the page displays a general        main page at gmail.google.com, but
people navigate the ’Net offers a lot      Web search, but more specialized            you’ll need an invitation to register an
more than a word search.                   engines are only a click away. If           account. (Read more about Gmail in
   Some features share space with the      you’re interested in a particular           the article “It’s Not Email, It’s Gmail”
Web search engine: News, Froogle,          news story, for example, you can            on page 64.)
Groups, Images, and Local. But users       type your search term into the page’s
won’t get a true sense of Google’s         only field and then click News.
grip on the Internet until they click      Google’s new search engine will
                                                                                       Google Growth
the More link and peruse the search        scour the Web for relevant articles            Google’s main page rarely gains or
engine’s astonishing list of services      and then display them in a format           sheds links, but Google pages may
and tools.                                 similar to the one it uses to display       change as the company adds new
   Want to put your thoughts on dis-       other search results.                       tools. Although our graphics and de-
play? Google has Blogger. Have to edit        Most of the time, you’ll probably        scriptions are accurate as we go to
some photos? Google has a free tool.       click the Google Search button (or          print, you may discover some changes
Need satellite images of Earth? Com-       press the ENTER key) to start your          by the time you read this issue. Also,
plimentary. Want to translate a Web        Web search, but if you want to go           the titles of some of Google’s new fea-
page? No need to leave the ever-in-        straight to the most relevant site          tures include “Beta,” which means
creasing confines of Google for that       Google finds (the site that would           they’re still at some (advanced) testing
feature either. Does this sound familiar   otherwise stand at the top of the           stage. That said, don’t ignore a Google
yet? Consider the photo-editing, music     search results page), simply click the      tool simply because you’re waiting for
playing, and Web-surfing tools that re-    I’m Feeling Lucky button.                   the official release. After all, Gmail
side on your OS, thanks to Microsoft.         On the other hand, users who             Beta has been around since 2004, and
Of, course, Google also offers its claim   want to see a full list of search results   Froogle Beta started in 2002. RS
to fame, the Google search engine, free    and want to make sure they’re using
to general users.                          the best search terms can find some                                  BY JOSHUA   GULICK



                                                                                       Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 9
                                                        ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                                               Getting Around Google
                                                                 Looking for something? Google offers much more than Web
                                       1| Images               searches. You can find most of its services and tools on the
                                                               main page and in the More, More, More… section. Keep in
                                       Forget the encyclo-     mind that Google updates its Web site; you may discover some
                                       pedia: Google can       changes on the site by the time you read this.
                                       hunt down thou-
                                       sands of pictures
                                       that relate to your
                                       search term in less
                                       than a second.



                                                                                   1           2   3
                                                                                                             4


                                                                                   5



          2| Froogle
           Google’s beta
       shopping service
      combines tons of
   online retailers into
     a single store. You
       can sort your re-
      sults by price and
    even search within                                                                         4| Advanced Search
           the results for
                                                                                               If you use popular search
        items that meet
                                                                                               terms, you may have a hard
          your budgeted
                                                                                               time picking out the search
             price range.
                                                                                               result hits from the misses.
                                                                                               Refine your search by
                                                                                               choosing from the engine’s
                                                                                               detailed search options.

                                        3| Local
                                       Google puts the
                                       average phone
                                       book to shame
                                       with its local busi-                                    5| Advertising Programs
                                       ness directory.
                                                                                               If people visit your Web site
                                       Simply enter the
                                                                                               every day, rake in a little cash
                                       business category
                                                                                               by adding a list targeting links
                                       (such as “books”
                                                                                               to your site via Google’s
                                       or “pizza”) and
                                                                                               AdSense. If you offer products
   then choose your area. A map sits next to the search
                                                                                               and want to reach potential
   results. The service can remember your location, so you
                                                                                               customers as they search,
   won’t need to enter it when you search again later.
                                                                                               check out AdWords.



10 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                      ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                                                    Google Services & Tools
                                 6| Answers                            Google’s clutter-free main page hides dozens of Google
                                                                    features that help users find information and communicate
                                 Are you willing to pay to          with the online world. Almost all of these features are free, so
                                 find out the answers to            click the More link and dig into this digital treasure trove.
                                 your pressing questions?
                                 Google’s Answers experts
                                 charge $2.50 and more
                                 to research the answers
                                 to questions.




               7| Catalogs                                                       6
                                                                                 7
 Many retailers let customers
 shop via their Web sites, but
    some still publish printed
   catalogs. Browse Google’s
massive collection of catalogs
or donate a few of your own.                                                     8




                                       8| Labs
                                       Check out the
                                       bleeding edge
 9                                     of Google in the
                                       Labs section.
                                       Many well-
10                                     received fea-
                                       tures, such as
                                       Google Alerts                                                       10| Ride Finder
                                       and Desktop 2
                                       started here.                                                       Don’t waste time
                                                                                                           waiting in the rain for
                                                                                                           a cab. Thanks to Ride
                                                                                                           Finder, you can see
                                                9| Video                                                   taxi locations on a
                                                                                                           map of your area.
                                                Google Video is one
                                                                                                           The service lets you
                                                of Labs’ newbies.
                                                                                                           update the map as
                                                This search engine
                                                                                                           often as you want
                                                scores TV and
                                                                                                           and displays each
                                                movie descriptions, titles, and even content (if
                                                                                                           cab company’s
                                                the show or movie has closed captioning). Google
                                                                                                           phone number.
                                                also stores movies free of charge, so feel free to
                                                upload your home videos or any other movies to
                                                which you own the copyrights.



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 11
                                                         ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




   11| Maps                                        11                                          12| Blogger
   If you have trouble reading                     12                                          If you have something to say
   traditional maps, you’ll love                                                               to the world, register a free
   Google’s mapping tool, which                    13                                          account with Blogger. The
   can provide a satellite image of                14                                          blogging tool lets you name
   your location, complete with                                                                and launch a blog in mere
   superimposed street names.                                                                  minutes. And thanks to Picasa,
   As a result, you can easily spot                                                            you can add pictures to it, too.
   parks, stadiums, and other
   large landmarks.
                                                                                                  14| Hello
                                      13| Desktop
                                                                                                  Thanks to Hello, you can
                                      This handy tool lets you                                    share pictures as you chat
                                      quickly search your                                         with friends. The service
                                      computer for pictures,                                      lets your contact see the
                                      documents, and other files.                                 same pictures that you see.
                                      And thanks to the new                                       Hello integrates with
                                      Sidebar, it also lets you size                              Google’s Picasa, so when
                                      up the latest news from the                                 friends send you pictures,
                                      Web at a glance. Sidebar                                    they’ll land in Picasa folders.
                                      also displays photos and                                    (You won’t need to move
                                      lets you take quick notes.                                  them manually.)




                                                                            On Google’s Periphery. As of press time, the
                                                                            More, More, More… section included neither
                                                                            Google Gmail nor Google Talk. You can find the
                                                                            email and calling services at mail.google.com
                                                                            and www.google.com/talk, respectively. Gmail
                                                                            takes advantage of Google’s powerful search
                                                                            engine to help users keep track of their saved
                                                                            email message. Talk is a new feature that lets
                                                                            users hold audible conversations with friends
                                                                            free via their computers.



12 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                   ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                    The Way Of Google
                         It’s More Complicated Than You May Realize




G
           oogle has an in-house            regardless of whether it appears to        employees, and the company’s early
           motto that we’re pretty sure     make sense from a general business         backers. To make the IPO more egali-
           is unique in corporate Am-       perspective or conforms to the anti-       tarian for small investors, they uti-
           erica: “Don’t be evil.” As       establishment spirit that characterizes    lized a rare Dutch auction, meaning
company co-founder Sergey Brin has          Silicon Valley culture.                    that the buyers would determine the
explained, it’s intended as an ethical         Nothing illustrates that better than    lowest possible final price for every-
barometer to guide decisions in ac-         the company’s IPO in August 2004.          one. This rankled Wall Street, which
cordance with the management’s pro-                                                    is accustomed to giving favored in-
fessed desire to be a force for good in                                                vestors discount prices in IPOs.
                                            Google For Sale
the world.                                                                                Further headaches surfaced when it
   As an unintended side effect, the           An IPO (initial public offering) is     came out that Brin and Page had
motto provides ample ammunition             the route by which a privately owned       granted an interview to Playboy maga-
for critics—and Google has its share—       company transforms into a publicly         zine in April 2004, a week before filing
when they don’t see things the compa-       held company by selling stock. While       for the IPO. This raised concerns about
ny’s way. For instance, Google doesn’t      taking Google public, its founders         possible violations of Securities and
accept gun ads, which, predictably,         were intent on wielding an unprece-        Exchange Commission regulations on
peeves the firearms lobby. And when         dented amount of control, some of          what company executives can say while
Google announced that Gmail, its            which worked out, and some of              preparing for an IPO. This, and the
Web-based email service, provides so        which backfired.                           revelation that they’d neglected to reg-
much storage space that users would            They refused to disclose full finan-    ister millions of employee-held shares,
never have to delete anything, privacy      cial information, even to the banks        reflected badly on their judgment.
advocates had a fit, citing the potential   and brokerage firms that would be in-         In the end the IPO went off on
for abuse.                                  strumental in the process. They also       schedule, and although the price per
   Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and       issued a new type of stock, with just      share fell below their target, a little
Larry Page, have tended to do things        10% of the voting power relative to        over a year later, it’s currently trading
their own way much of the time,             the stock held by themselves, Google       around 280% higher.



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 13
                                                         ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                                 than the devil we don’t. It can’t sur-       than just an environment that
   The View From Outside                         prise us anymore.                            sounds like a genuinely fun place to
      Google is a company with an in-               Enter Google, which, despite its me-      work: the informal campus-like at-
   creasingly complex reputation that            teoric rise, is just getting started. If its mosphere and recreational facilities,
   often depends on one’s perspective.           founders wanted to avoid being seen as       the onsite masseuse, the cafeteria
      To be sure, the company                                                                              chef who used to cook for
   has built up an enormous                                                                                the Grateful Dead.
   amount of public goodwill.                                                                                 It’s also a corporate cul-
   It developed better search                                                                              ture that tries to avoid
   technology that worked so                                                                               putting people at one
   well that Google didn’t just                                                                            another’s throats. Employ-
   become top dog among                                                                                    ees praise the work envi-
   Internet search engines;                                                                                ronment’s transparency.
   the name itself became                                                                                  “Teams are actively en-
   synonymous with search,                                                                                 couraged to share the most
   even entering the public         If predictions are correct, this current crop of Google software       intimate details of their
   lexicon as a verb.               is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what’s coming.              projects with the rest of
      The stock is doing well,                                                                             the company,” says one
   with the most recent earn-                                                                              software engineer. “This
   ings reports posting a 400+% rise in           the new Microsoft, it’s ironic, then,       means that there isn’t an adversarial
   profits over a year ago. And although          that this is exactly how many of its        relationship between teams that can
   Brin and Page have claimed that the            Silicon Valley neighbors are starting to    lead to longstanding animosities and
   only thing they’re serious about is            view it. They claim it’s gotten too big,    information hiding.”
   search, the company has been devel-            too powerful, too fast, and is stifling        There are also several specifics.
   oping more and more software tools             innovation elsewhere by skimming               The 20% time policy. Google’s soft-
   and offering them for free.                    away the cream of the talent pool.          ware engineers get to spend 20% of
      Shareholders and users tend to                 Then there’s the future. As we go to     their work time (or one day a week)
   love that.                                     press, Google has just announced plans      on technological projects of personal
      Back to the motto, though: “Don’t           for a second stock offering expected to     interest, rather than their active com-
   be evil.” It sounds positively childlike,      raise another $4 billion in cash. Where     pany projects. This isn’t an option,
   reflecting the idealism and even               will it go? Speculation
   naivety with which Brin and Page               is rampant, and includ-                                  The Sidebar in Google
   went into business, plus their desire          es mobile and Internet                                   Desktop is a modular
   for Google to be counted among the             phone service, an online                                 group of utilities, some
   good guys. On the other hand, it’s             payment service, its own                                 Internet-connected, similar
   conceivable that in addition to hav-           browser, and a software                                  to Apple’s new Widgets,
   ing a clear idea of what they wanted           suite aimed at competing                                 only for the PC.
   Google to be, they also had a model in         with Microsoft Office.
   mind for what they didn’t want it to              A backlash against phe-
   become in the process: Microsoft.              nomenal success is in-                                   but mandatory, and it’s
      For years, Microsoft has been re-           evitable, but perhaps the                                bearing fruit. Giving smart
   ferred to by many as “the evil empire,”        most telling (or ominous)                                people a certain amount
   and practically anyone on the street           indicator of Google’s fu-                                of freedom doesn’t just
   can tell you why: its domineering              ture comes from Bill                                     fight job burnout and
   presence, draconian business prac-             Gates, in a recent inter-                                keep them fresher and
   tices, and its seeming love of crushing        view with Fortune maga-                                  more energized the rest of
   competition, for starters.                     zine: “[They’re] more like                               the time. It can also lead
      Microsoft is still a monolith, but a        us than anyone else we                                   to innovations that might
   funny thing has happened over recent           have ever competed with.”                                not otherwise emerge and
   years. After slowed sales growth, a                                                        that can improve operations behind
   plague of antitrust lawsuits, and well-                                                    the scenes or join Google’s growing
                                                  Google’s DNA
   publicized delays in bringing out the                                                      arsenal of tools and services.
   successor to Windows XP, Microsoft                Want to know some of the things             This is exactly how Gmail came
   has become the devil we know, rather           that make Google tick? It’s more            about. The idea began as nothing



14 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                   ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




more than a Google user’s misgivings        maximum possible speed, Google                  was only a start. The Internet consists
over the limitations of her existing        developed new computer configura-               of more than just text pages written in
Web-based email account: It was diffi-      tions and search algorithms, and                standard HTML (Hypertext Markup
cult to manage efficiently, and she was     prunes the excess from pages to keep            Language) code. To expand its search
constantly forced to delete mail to re-     them streamlined.                               horizons and make more of the avail-
main under the 4MB storage limit.              4. Democracy on the Web works.               able data accessible, Google developed
Her complaint came to the attention            To determine how Web pages are               ways of including databases, graphic
of a Google engineer, who thought           ranked in terms of relevance, Google            images, and PDF (Portable Document
that developing a solution would            doesn’t rely on the number of hits the          Format) files and other document
make a great 20% time project. The          pages get, but by analyzing the number          formats, such as work created with
result was Gmail, an email service you      of other sites that link to them, and           Microsoft’s Office Suite.
can use and search from anywhere,           those pages’ place in the rankings.                8. The need for information
with gigabytes of storage capacity.         Using this method, Web sites are, in            crosses all borders.
   The Ten Things. Google’s manage-         essence, voting for their peers.                   More than 50% of Google’s
ment has codified 10 truisms that un-          5. You don’t need to be at your desk         searches are conducted by users out-
derlay the way it tries to do business      to need an answer.                              side the United States. Google pro-
and how it regards Google’s role on            The need for infor-                                           vides language tools
the Web.                                    mation transcends of-                                            that let users trans-
   1. Focus on the user, and all else       fice computers and                                               late foreign pages, and
will follow.                                wireless-enabled note-                                           while the results can be
   As Google has grown, it has used         book PCs. Google is                                              grammatically clunky,
one criterion to evaluate each potential    committed to bringing                                            you can usually under-
change: Will it benefit the end user? If    search results to cell                                           stand the point. As
not, it doesn’t happen. Nor should any      phones, PDAs, and                                                well, users can limit
changes erode what users have come to       even cars . . . and,                                             searches to pages in
expect: a straightforward interface, no     when necessary, devel-                                           any of 35 languages
waiting time on search results, results     oping new technolo-                                              and set the interface to
that haven’t been manipulated by            gies that make Web                                               display in any of 116
selling placement, and advertising that     pages viewable in gad-                                           (so far) languages . . .
remains relevant and unobtrusive.           gets that otherwise                                              although we suspect
   2. It’s best to do one thing really,     couldn’t display them.                                           that the Elmer Fudd
really well.                                   6. You can make             Google’s Desktop Search           and Klingon options
   Some search engines seem as              money without doing            functions bury Windows            will draw a very limited
though their primary goal is to dis-        evil.                          XP’s built-in search, which       user base.
tract you from what you showed up              This time, evil comes       won’t be improved until              9. You can be se-
to do in the first place. Drop by an-       down to something              the next operating system         rious without a suit.
other prominent site, and you’re            quite specific: adver-         release in 2006.                     This applies mainly
bombarded with news headlines, en-          tising. Because Goo-                                             to the corporate cul-
tertainment headlines, a list of the        gle refuses to let paid                                          ture, in which people
week’s new movies, links to horo-           ads create a conflict of interest that          don’t take themselves so seriously
scopes and a music service, weather         compromises the integrity of its search         that they never hear innovative ideas
and traffic reports, and more.              results, ads are labeled “Sponsored             that might get bogged down in a
   Google’s landing page looks as aus-      Links,” and no one can buy a higher             stricter hierarchy. Instead, even sug-
tere as ever. Although the company is       placement to override their page rank-          gestions that emerge from cafeteria
developing other products and ser-          ings. The company doesn’t permit ad-            conversations get tested and tried as
vices, you never get the sense that these   vertising to distract from search               soon as possible.
interfere with the original mission.        results, either. Ads are text-only, kept           As one employee posted in his blog,
   3. Fast is better than slow.             separate from the results, and appear           “[T]here isn’t a lot of ‘stop energy’ at
   Whenever Google provides you             only if relevant to the search terms.           Google. My colleagues in engineering,
with search results, near the upper            7. There’s always more informa-              marketing, etc. don’t react to new
right of the page you’ll see how long       tion out there.                                 ideas with ‘You can’t do that,’ but
it took. We’ve never seen one that             Google may have made a break-                usually with ‘cool’ and a tip as to who
has exceeded a fraction of a second.        through by indexing more Web pages              to talk to in the organization who is
To ensure that things move at the           than any other search engine, but this          likely to be of the most help.”



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 15
                                                        ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




      10. Great just isn’t good enough.         They install invisible programs that     business partners to adhere to them
      When it comes to technology,              launch ads at random or target you       and promotes them as good for the
   there’s no such thing as a moun-             with ads based on searches you con-      industry as a whole.
   taintop that, once climbed, means            duct or words you type while online.        In a nutshell, these six Software
   your job is done and it’s time to enjoy        Software principles. Speaking of       Principles are:
   the view. Instead, there’s always            underhanded tools for weaseling into     1. Software shouldn’t be concealed in-
   faster, better, and more accurate to         your computer and life, Google is op-       side other programs and install itself
   think of. Google’s ultimate goal is to       posed to them, as well. This includes       without your knowledge or consent.
   foresee needs that its users don’t yet       adware, spyware that gathers your           You should know what you’re get-
   realize they have.                           personal information and relays it to       ting and have the option of saying
      No pop-ups. Nobody likes pop-up           third parties, and more nefarious           no to anything you don’t want.
   ads. They’re the Web’s version of            malware (malignant code, often in the    2. Software should come with clear,
                                                                                            full disclosure of what it does and if
                                                                                            a third party is going to send any-
                                                                                            thing to you or receive information
                                                                                            about you.
                                                                                         3. If you no longer want a program, it
                                                                                            shouldn’t be harder to get rid of
                                                                                            than a brain tumor.
                                                                                         4. If a program impacts or alters your
                                                                                            user experience, it should identify
                                                                                            itself as the cause and inform you
                                                                                            as to why it’s doing so.
                                                                                         5. Programs that collect and relay
                                                                                            personal data should alert you to
                                                                                            what they’re doing, inform you
                                                                                            how your data will be used, and re-
                                                                                            quire your consent before sending
                                                                                            the information.
                                                                                         6. Software developers shouldn’t
                                                                                            allow their products to be bundled
                                                                                            with programs that don’t adhere to
                                                                                            these ethical standards.

   Gmail is just one of the innovations that arose from Google’s “20% time” policy.      With Liberty & Google For All?
                                                                                            Despite truism number 2 (it’s best to
   pushy salesmen who jam their feet in         form of viruses, Trojans, and/or         do one thing really, really well), it’s ob-
   your door. Google doesn’t accept             worms) that violates your rights, pri-   vious that Google’s plans for the future
   them from advertisers, period.               vacy, and can even assume partial        are huge and diverse. Its leaders would
      If it appears that pop-ups are lit-       control of your PC.                      be fools otherwise. Although the com-
   tering your screen while you’re vis-            We’ve reached a point where thou-     pany’s profits from its search engine’s
   iting Google, it may be a coincidence        sands, maybe millions, of users are      ad revenue have been impressive, all it
   of timing, with the ads coming from          finding it easier to scrap otherwise     would take to topple Google’s preemi-
   somewhere else. Some sites launch            good PCs that are clogged with junk      nence is for someone else to develop an
   ads that appear under your open              programs, starting all over again with   even better engine. When was the last
   browser window, and you don’t see            a new machine rather than attempting     time you used former top dog Lycos?
   them until later; others fire pop-ups        to clean up the old one.                    We just hope, as Google continues
   only when you leave the site and                In the interest of safeguarding       to grow, now under increasing share-
   move to your next stop.                      users, Google has codified six general   holder pressure, its leaders will con-
      In other cases, ads may come from         principles for developing and distrib-   tinue to stick to their guns . . . even if
   within your PC. Many music sharing           uting software. Google doesn’t just      they don’t accept ads for them. RS
   and other programs that are osten-           follow them in-house; the company
   sibly free come with a hidden price:         also encourages current and potential                                BY BRIAN   HODGE



16 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




              Test Drive
                                                                                     Google services. In fact, at any time, a
                                                                                     Google Labs feature may disappear or
                                                                                     change significantly. According to
                                                                                     Google, a tool may disappear from


             These Tools
                                                                                     Google Labs for many reasons. Often,
                                                                                     users find that a prototype just
                                                                                     isn’t stable yet or doesn’t work well
                                                                                     enough to remain on the Google Labs
       The Newest Ideas Are At Google Labs                                           page. Sometimes, Google notes that a
                                                                                     certain Google Labs project doesn’t
                                                                                     elicit many clicks, and Google will re-
                                                                                     move the tool for lack of interest.
                                                                                     Occasionally, Google must tem-
                                                                                     porarily remove a feature from the
                                                                                     Google Labs page because it is so pop-
                                                                                     ular that the vast amounts of Web
                                                                                     traffic it creates cause problems for
                                                                                     Google’s servers. Sometimes van-
                                                                                     ishing Google Labs prototypes will
                                                                                     reappear after further development,
                                                                                     but other times, Google simply aban-
                                                                                     dons an idea and it never returns.
                                                                                        These tools are often not as pol-
                                                                                     ished as more established, official
                                                                                     Google features, such as Google
                                                                                     Images or Froogle. You may occa-
                                                                                     sionally find a Google Labs project




A
          s you can see from the size    try out were Google Glossary (a quick
          of this issue, Google in-      way to find definitions), Google Voice
          cludes many features be-       Search (a phone-based search tool),
          yond its original, basic Web   Google Sets (which creates a full list
search engine. Google now includes       of related items from a few examples),
an image-search tool, links to news      and Google Keyboard Shortcuts               On the Google Labs page, you can try
headlines, newsgroups, and more.         (which let users browse search results      out several experimental tools that
Even with so many existing tools,        using a keyboard rather than a              Google has not officially launched.
though, Google engineers are not         mouse). Of these four original Google
content. They continue to develop        Labs experiments, two still exist.
new tools that may become standard       Google Glossary is now a standard           that doesn’t work as expected or that
Google features in the future. In        Google feature. Google Sets still ex-       doesn’t work at all. Remember that
Google Labs (labs.google.com), you       ists, but it has never left Google Labs.    the Google Labs tools are experiments
can try out the latest ideas from the    It is still officially an unsupported       and that they are still in development.
folks at Google.                         “experiment” of a Google engineer.          Google does provide the means to
                                            The tools on Google Labs pages are       communicate any problems or praise
                                         nothing more than prototypes de-            to the tool’s engineer. We will discuss
Lab Work                                 signed by Google employees. The             this in more detail later in this article.
 Google launched its Labs site in        Labs tools are not necessarily prod-        Finally, we should also note that
May 2002. The first tools users could    ucts that will ever become full-fledged     Google Labs projects may be slow to



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 17
                                                    ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




                                             Google Labs page. We’ll cover each of         example, if you click Edit for Top
                                             the Google Labs tools below. Please           Stories, you can choose how many
                                             keep in mind that Google often pulls          headlines appear by selecting from a
                                             existing Labs prototypes with no              drop-down menu. When you are fin-
                                             warning, and it also frequently adds          ished, click the Save button. If you do
                                             new Labs prototypes. For this reason,         not need to make any changes, click
                                             some of the features we cover may no          Close Edit.
                                             longer exist or may have graduated                To remove any items from your
                                             from the Google Labs area. Likewise,          home page, click the X button next to
                                             there may be newer Google Labs tools          it. For instance, when we created our
                                             that were not yet posted at press time.       page, Google automatically displayed
   One of the Google Labs prototypes            Personalize Your Homepage (www             the weather forecast for Happy, Texas.
   lets you personalize your Google          .google.com/ig). As of press time,            To remove this forecast, we clicked the
   home page to include the news             Personalize Your Homepage was the             X button next to Happy, TX.
   headlines, bookmarks, and other           most recent addition to Google Labs.              Finally, you can rearrange the items
   content that you use most.                This feature lets you create a start          on your home page by clicking and
                                             page from which you will find the             dragging them to a new location. For
                                             types of news stories, search tools,          instance, you might want to move the
   see improvements because Google en-       and other content that you have               Weather and News sections to the top
   gineers develop these projects in their   chosen. You can personalize this start        of the page, so you can see the fore-
   spare time. Although Google encour-       page to contain the tools and links           cast and headlines at a glance.
   ages this experimentation, each engi-     that you access most often. You must              When you are finished editing your
   neer’s priority is still the support of   have a Google Account to create and           home page, click the Save Page button
   current, non-Labs tools.                  save a home page.                             in the upper-left corner of the right
      By browsing the Graduates Of Labs         To get started, click Personalize Your     pane. The site will prompt you to log
   list on the Google Labs page, you can     Homepage. Click Add Content instead           in to your Google Account if you’re
   get an idea of some of the prototypes     if you’ve already personalized your           not already logged in.
   that were successful
   enough to capture the                                        Because Google Labs tools are still experimental, they
   attention of Google’s                                        may not always work as expected. Here, you can see that
   decision-makers. Past                                        Personalize Your Homepage didn’t work perfectly when we
   Google Labs experi-                                          tried it out. The Edit and Close (X) buttons didn’t display or
   ments that are now                                           function properly for the first news section.
   standard Google fea-
   tures include Google
   SMS (see “Message                                            page in the past. A           Google Extensions For Firefox
   Marvel” on page 81),                                         list of options ap-        (toolbar.google.com/firefox/exten
   Google Desktop Search                                        pears in the left pan-     sions/index.html). These extensions
   (see “Search Engine                                          el. Google divides         are small programs that you can load
   Jr.” on page 93), Goo-                                       your potential page        into your Mozilla Firefox browser to
   gle Groups 2 (see “Get                                       content into several       add special Google functions to the
   The Message?” on page 73), Google         categories (My Stuff, News, Business,         browser. These Firefox-compatible
   Deskbar (a Google search field on your    Technology, Sports, Lifestyle, Fun, and       tools include Google Toolbar, Google
   Taskbar), Web Alerts (email updates       Create A Section).                            Send To Phone, and Google Suggest.
   about new search results), Google Local      Click the arrow next to any of the            The Firefox Google Toolbar is very
   (see “In The Neighborhood” on page        categories to expand the list. You can        similar to the Google Toolbar already
   46), Google Glossary, and Google          then add items, such as Bookmarks,            available for Internet Explorer. (See
   News Alerts (see “Read All About It” on   Movies, BBC News, and Weather, to             “Tool(bar) Time” on page 88 for more
   page 38).                                 your personalized page. Any content           information about the standard, IE-
                                             you choose will appear in the right           compatible Google Toolbar.)
                                             pane, in a preview of your page.                 With Google Send To Phone, you
   Now Testing
                                                To change individual items on your         can send short segments of text from a
     As of press time, there are many        page, such as Top Stories or Weather,         Web page to your cell phone as a text
   prototypes available for testing on the   click the Edit link for that item. As an      message. To use Google Send To



18 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                   ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




Phone, you just highlight the text you      more horse-related results and fewer          download. Once you install the Google
want to send, click the cell phone icon,    Ford-related results than the average         Web Accelerator, if you have a broad-
type the phone number in the To field,      user would get. Your search results           band connection, your pages should
choose your phone’s carrier from the        should get more accurate the longer           load faster. Google accomplishes this by
Carrier drop-down menu, and click           you use Personalized Search.                  dedicating specific servers to handling
the Send Message button.                       Now let’s say that one day you do          Google Web Accelerator traffic, storing
   Because text messages are short,         want to search for sites about Ford           copies of or prefetching pages you visit
you will not use Google Send To             Mustangs, but you’re getting too many         often, letting your system download
Phone to send lengthy news articles or      results about horses. Simply click Turn
similar items. Instead, this tool is most   OFF Personalized Search For These
useful for sending phone numbers,           Results from the page of search results.
addresses, movie times, and other in-       If you don’t see that link at the top of
formation you might look up online.         the page, you know that your person-
   Finally, you can use Google Suggest      alized results didn’t differ from what
with Firefox. You can learn more about      any other user would see.
Google Suggest later in this article. Of       Google Video (video.google.com).
the three Firefox extensions, Google        Google Video is similar to Google
Suggest is the only one that does not       Images, except that it searches for video
require you to download and install         content rather than still images. You
software. To use the Firefox Google         can search only for videos that you can
Toolbar or Google Send To Phone,            play on your computer by selecting the        Google Video is a new tool that lets you
downloadable utilities are required.        Playable Video radio button, or you           search for playable videos and TV listings.
                                            can select the All Video radio button to
                                            search for all video, including television    only changes to a Web page rather than
                                            content that is not online.                   the entire content, and compressing
                                               If you choose All Video, you will          data. Google Web Accelerator has a
                                            see thumbnail images of still shots           counter that shows you how much time
                                            from television shows and a brief de-         you’ve saved by using it.
                                            scription. If you click the thumbnail,           We were not able to try out Google’s
                                            you will see larger still images from         Web Accelerator because the project
                                            that episode, as well as excerpts of the      had already reached its maximum ca-
                                            script taken from closed captioning.          pacity. A message on the project’s page
                                            On the left side of the page, Google          indicated that Google planned to in-
                                            Video may also show air times for the         crease the number of users that its
You can add items such as bookmarks         program under About This Show.                Web Accelerator can support.
to favorite sites, movie listings, news     You may need to click Edit Location              My Search History (www.google
headlines, and even RSS (Really Simple      to enter your ZIP code. Google Video          .com/searchhistory). If you choose to
Syndication) or Atom feeds to your          is a very new tool, and we found that         activate this tool, which recently be-
personalized home page.                     we couldn’t get any listings for our          came part of Google’s Personalized
                                            ZIP code, so the usefulness of this fea-      Search, you can access records of your
                                            ture depends on your geographic lo-           previous searches. This could be useful
   Personalized Search (www.google          cation and the participation of your          if you are conducting academic re-
.com/psearch). This is another Google       local TV stations.                            search, looking for genealogy records
Labs tool that gives you access to more        In addition to results from TV             online, or doing other long-term work
personalized content and requires you       broadcasts, you will also see online          in which you might want to see which
to have a Google Account. If you sign       videos that you can play. If you can          searches you’ve already done. Once
up for Google’s Personalized Search,        play a video, a play icon will appear         you activate My Search History, you
Google will retain records of your pre-     next to the video’s title. To play these      can view past searches by signing into
vious searches. As it learns more about     videos, you will need to download and         your Google Account and clicking
the types of searches you run, it will      install the Google Video Viewer (video        Search History. If you want Google not
adjust the results of future searches       .google.com/video_download.html).             to store some searches, click Search
accordingly. For instance, if you fre-         Google Web Accelerator (webaccel           History and Pause. To begin storing
quently run searches related to horses,     erator.google.com). Google Web Accel-         search data again, click Search History
Personalized Search should return           erator is another tool that requires a        and Resume.



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 19
                                                     ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




      If you forgot to pause this feature                                                 phone’s screen. Use the phone’s
   or know that you no longer need                                                        keypad to type the product for which
   records of certain searches, click                                                     you want to search. Then select the
   Search History and Remove Items.                                                       Search button. You can use the arrow
   Select the checkbox for any searches                                                   keys on your phone to browse the on-
   you don’t want to save and click the                                                   screen search results.
   Remove button. Finally, to protect                                                        Google Compute (toolbar.google
   your privacy, remember to always log                                                   .com/dc/offerdc.html). As you’ve
   out of your Google Account when                                                        noticed, most of Google Labs’ proto-
   you are finished if others will use the                                                types are designed to help you in
   same computer.                                                                         some way. Google Compute is the
      Google Ride Finder (labs.google         Google Ride Finder shows available taxis    exception in that it’s designed to let
   .com/ridefinder). You can use this         and shuttles for select cities. Here, you   you help others. By installing Google
   tool to find a ride, such as a shuttle     can see a map of the available rides and    Compute, you can donate your PC’s
   service, a taxi, or a limousine. This      contact information for each company.       unused processing cycles to research.
   service is currently only available in                                                    You may have heard of SETI-
   selected areas, including Atlanta,                                                     @home (setiathome.ssl.berkeley
   Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Mil-           in other scholarly works). Google           .edu), a well-known distributed-
   waukee, New York, Phoenix, San             Scholar serves as a giant catalog of        computing project. SETI stands for
   Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, and        academic literature. This project is        the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelli-
   Washington, D.C.                           quite popular but still growing and         gence. Project volunteers donate their
      Google Maps (maps.google.com).          will likely see more improvements           processors’ unused cycles to process
   Google Maps is similar to other online     before it officially becomes a stan-        radio signals in hopes of discovering
   mapping services, such as Yahoo!           dard Google feature. For a detailed         abnormal, possibly extraterrestrial
   Maps (maps.yahoo.com) or MapQuest          description of Google Scholar, see          signals. This type of computing
   (www.mapquest.com). One of the             “Smart Searches” on page 59.                power would normally require a su-
   most striking differences, though, is         Site-Flavored Google Search (www         percomputer, but through distrib-
   that you can view satellite imagery as     .google.com/services/siteflavored           uted computing, many computers
   well as basic maps. For more details       .html). This is a prototype available to    can combine their processing power
   about using Google Maps, see “Are We       Web site owners and administrators.         to create a “virtual supercomputer.”
   There Yet?” on page 55.                    You may have seen Google search
      Google Suggest (www.google.com          fields on some third-party Web sites;
   /webhp?complete=1&hl=en). Google           the Site-Flavored variety is similar,
   Suggest is an interesting tool that pro-   but you can customize the search field
   vides suggestions of keywords as you       to return results that are more in line
   type. These keywords appear in a           with the content of your Web site.
   drop-down menu underneath the                 Froogle Wireless (labs.google.com
   main search field. To learn more about     /frooglewml.html). This is a mobile
   Google Suggest, see “Helpful Hints”        version of Froogle (froogle.google
   on page 30. Google Labs also features a    .com), a Google tool that lets you
   Japanese version of Google Suggest.        search for products and prices online.
      Google Scholar (scholar.google          Froogle Wireless lets you search for
   .com). Google Scholar is a tool that is    deals online using a WML (Wireless          Google Maps is unique in that it
   useful primarily to students and re-       Markup Language)-enabled cell               not only can show you maps for
   searchers, although anyone willing to      phone. The benefit to using Froogle         locations and routes but also satellite
   wade through scholarly works may           Wireless is that you can do compar-         imagery of the area.
   find some benefit to this Google Labs      ison shopping while you’re at a store.
   project. Google Scholar searches only      You can easily compare the price              Google Compute works in a similar
   scholarly literature rather than all on-   you’d pay in town to the price you’d        manner, except that instead of do-
   line sources. Scholar returns results      pay online.                                 nating your CPU’s unused cycles to
   not only for free online content but          To use Froogle Wireless, you need        the search for aliens, you donate your
   also subscription-only content and         to use your cell phone’s built-in           computer’s untapped potential to sci-
   print-only articles (which Google          browser to visit wml.froogle.com. A         entific research. Currently, Google
   Scholar identifies through citations       search field will appear on your            Compute donates your CPU’s spare



20 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                  ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




processing power to Folding@home                                                         Others link. Some tools, such as
(folding.stanford.edu), a project that                                                   Google Compute, require a software
models protein-folding, the process                                                      download and will also include a
by which proteins form in the body.                                                      Download Now link.
When an error occurs in protein-                                                            As you might expect, you can give
folding, the result is often a medical                                                   engineers feedback about their tools by
disorder. Folding@home seeks to find                                                     clicking the Give Us Feedback link for
the mechanism by which various dis-                                                      the corresponding Google Labs proto-
eases, such as Alzheimer’s, develop.                                                     type. This will launch a window to
For those of us who know very little                                                     compose a new message in your email
about science or medicine, donating                                                      client. The To or Address field will au-
our processors’ unused cycles to re-       If you want to discuss your opinions          tomatically contain the email address
search may be one of the only ways         about or seek help with one of the            of the appropriate Google engineer.
we can truly contribute to important       Google Labs tools, you can join a             You can send any thoughts you may
medical research.                          Google Group. A Google Group is               have about how the tool works, what
   Google Sets (labs.google.com/sets).     available for each of the items               issues you experienced, what you liked,
Finally, the last of Google Labs’ pro-     currently in Google Labs.                     what you didn’t like, or how Google
jects is Google Sets, one of the orig-                                                   could improve the tool.
inal Google Labs prototypes back in                                                         If you aren’t quite ready to share
2002. The Google Sets page provides        test on the Google Labs page, you will        your thoughts with the engineers but
you with five blank fields in which        also find links to technical papers about     would like to discuss a Google Labs
you can type a series of words or          Google technology. You can read these         tool with other users, click the Discuss
phrases that are related in some way.      by clicking Here Are Some Papers to-          With Others link. You can browse the
You then click either the Large Set or     ward the bottom of the Google Labs            messages others have posted about the
                                           page or by visiting labs.google.com/pa        Google Labs service. If you want to
                                           pers/index.html. You’ll find all types of     post your own thoughts or questions,
                                           scholarly works about how Google              you will first need to log in. You can do
                                           works. Some examples include “The             this by clicking the Sign In link in the
                                           Google File System,” “Query-Free              upper-left corner of the Google Groups
                                           News Search,” “Who Links To Whom:             page. If this is the first time you’ve vis-
                                           Mining Linkage Between Web Sites,”            ited a particular Google Group, you
                                           and “Hierarchically Classifying Docu-         will need to join the group by clicking
                                           ments Using Very Few Words.” These            Join. Follow the on-screen instructions
                                           articles are quite in-depth, but if you’re    to create a Google Account. You will
                                           prepared to dive into the mathematics         need to type your current, non-Google
                                           and research involved, some are a fasci-      email address and select a password.
Google Scholar searches for published
                                           nating read.                                  For more information about using
scholarly papers. You can view the
                                                                                         Google Groups, see “Get The Mes-
paper if it is available online, and
                                                                                         sage?” on page 73.
Google Scholar can also display other      Your Two Cents
articles that cited the work.
                                              Because Google Labs tools are still
                                                                                         Put On Your Lab Coat
                                           prototypes that are not yet polished
Small Set (15 Items Or Fewer) button       and ready for actual release, the engi-          Google Labs offers many unique
to see a list of words or phrases that     neers may need feedback about their           and interesting tools. Many of them
Google thinks are related. Each word       tools. You may have noticed a bug in          will eventually move to become fully
or phrase in the list is hyperlinked. If   one of the Google Labs tools, or you          supported Google features. There is
you click the link, you will see a         may have thought of a way that the            no need to wait to try out the latest
Google Web Search list of hits for that    engineers could improve on one of             experiments at Google. With a visit to
word or phrase. This can be a useful       the offerings.                                Google Labs, you can take advantage
tool if you need to find terms or con-        Each of the listed tools on the            of advanced search tools that haven’t
cepts that are related to a topic you      Google Labs page has a brief descrip-         yet made their official debut. RS
are researching.                           tion of the prototype, followed by the
   Other Goodies In The Lab. In addi-      original date of release, a Give Us                                       BY   KYLEE DICKEY
tion to the many prototypes you can        Feedback link, and a Discuss With



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 21
                                                      ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




          Privacy Please
                                                                                             identifying information with other
                                                                                             companies unless Google has your
                                                                                             consent. The only other times Google
                                                                                             will share your personal information is
                                                                                             if the company uses a trusted third-
       Google’s Privacy Policy Serves & Protects                                             party to process the information on its
                                                                                             behalf; if law requires the company to
                                               don’t require any personally identifying      do so; or if Google has reason to think
                                               information, but that doesn’t mean            that sharing your information is neces-
                                               they aren’t collecting nonpersonally          sary to protect the rights, property, or
                                               identifying information. Google keeps         safety of Google, its users, or the public.
                                               tabs on what sorts of search queries
                                               users are making at its site; the compa-
                                               ny’s analysts then look for patterns in
                                               the queries to see if there are ways to
                                               improve its search offering.
                                                  Google typically asks for personally
                                               identifying information when you
                                               create a new account for one of its fea-
                                               tures. For instance, if you get an invite
                                               to create a Gmail account and go to set



   I
        n 2004 the Federal Trade Com-          one up, Google asks for your name and
        mission reportedly received more       ZIP code. Also, when you create an ac-
        than 635,000 complaints of iden-       count for Google’s Blogger tool, the site     Some of Google’s tools (such as Blogger,
        tity theft and consumer fraud.         prompts you to enter your email ad-           for example) require you to enter
   Monetary losses in these claims sur-        dress. The good news is that anytime          personally identifying information
   passed $547 million. With that in           Google asks you for personally identi-        when creating a user account.
   mind, it’s important to know exactly        fying information, the site always tells
   how Google will use the information         you how your info will be used.               The third-party businesses that Google
   you submit when using the site’s fea-                                                     hires to process your personal informa-
   tures and what Google is doing to en-                                                     tion are legally bound by contract to
                                               Information Sharing
   sure your information stays private.                                                      abide by Google’s privacy policy and
   That’s where Google’s privacy policy           Google devotes a section of its pri-       keep your information confidential.
   comes in. To view the policy, click the     vacy policy to the conditions under
   About Google link at www.google.com         which the company would share cer-
   and then click the Privacy Policy link at
                                                                                             As You Like It
                                               tain personally identifying or non-
   the bottom of the About Google page.        personally identifying information you            When you first visit Google, the site
                                               submit. First of all, it is Google’s policy   saves a cookie on your computer’s hard
                                               never to rent or sell any personally          drive. A cookie is a small file that iden-
   Collect Data                                                                              tifies your computer and alerts Google
      Google classifies the data it collects                                                 of your preferences, such as how many
   from its users into two categories: per-                                                  search results you want per page and
   sonally identifying information and                                                       the language in which these pages
   nonpersonally identifying information.                                                    should be displayed. It also tracks what
   The former is data that can identify you                                                  you search for. For instance, if you
   individually, such as your name, ad-                                                      search for “hard drives” one time, the
   dress, or email address, while the latter                                                 next time you type the letter H in the
   is data that does not identify you, such                                                  search box the term “hard drives”
   as your browser type, browser language,                                                   should pop up if the AutoComplete
   the IP (Internet Protocol) address used                                                   feature is enabled in your browser. This
   for a query, or the date and time you                                                     will save you the few extra seconds of
   submitted a query.                          You can view Google’s privacy policy by       typing the entire word or phrase. RS
      Online tools such as Google Search,      clicking the link found at the bottom of
   Google Toolbar, and Google News             the About Google Web page.                                                  BY SAM EVANS




22 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                  ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




      How’d They Do
                                                                                       as a spider or a bot, the software races
                                                                                       through the billions of Web pages that
                                                                                       make up the WWW (World Wide
                                                                                       Web) and returns copies of the docu-


         That?
                                                                                       ments to Google. In addition to
                                                                                       making an initial survey of each page,
                                                                                       Googlebot returns to sites from time to
                                                                                       time to get updated page information.
   Google’s Simple Interface Masks A Powerful                                          Google relies on a number of charac-
                                                                                       teristics, including the site’s impor-
                 Search Engine                                                         tance, when determining how often to
                                                                                       send spiders out to sites.
                                                                                          Google creates an index based on
                                           aren’t many Web searchers who aren’t        the words it finds (and the PageRank
                                           familiar with this multibillion dollar      rating; more on this later) among
                                           corporation’s Web search tool. (And         these pages and then stores the pages
                                           for the record, Google did get its start    themselves on different servers.
                                           in a dorm.)                                 Thanks to this setup (and, most likely,
                                              Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Goo-         thanks to other tweaks or technologies
                                           gle’s co-founders, met at Stanford          that Google hasn’t made public),
                                           University in 1995 and began working        Google’s search engine provides an-
                                           on the search engine that later became      swers extremely fast. After all, when a
                                           Google. The most important part of          query sails into the index servers, the
                                           the search engine was the technology        index software doesn’t need to retrieve
                                           that allowed them to rank pages.            the pages from out on the ’Net.
                                           Instead of focusing on a large com-            Instead, it turns to this well-
                                           pany whose employees would deter-           organized database and then calls up
                                           mine Web site rankings manually,            the stored pages.
                                           Brin and Page developed algorithms
                                           and software that could rank pages
                                                                                        Google Schmoogle

T
         hanks to Google’s simple inter-   automatically. Web crawlers, or pro-
         face and casual, colorful head-   grams that scour the Web cataloging
         line font, a person unfamiliar
         with Google might mistake it
                                           the contents of Web servers, weren’t
                                           unheard of, but Google’s page-               N     ot everyone craves the high rank-
                                                                                              ings that drive traffic to their
                                                                                        Web sites. Some Web site administra-
for a wimpy search engine running out      ranking methods were. Instead of fo-
of a college kid’s dorm room. But be-      cusing on the number of times a              tors don’t want the general public
cause the search engine boasts such        keyword appeared on a Web page (or           poking around their sites, while others
phenomenal accuracy and speed, there       other such factors which Web admin-          simply want to keep certain, sensitive
                                           istrators could manipulate), Google’s        Web pages off Google’s radar screen.
                                           PageRank technology focused such             If you’re trying to camouflage some or
                                           factors as the number and importance         all of your Web pages, you’ll need to
                                           of pages that linked to the page in          add a Robots.txt document to your
                                           question.(Of course, it also uses page       server, which instructs Web crawlers
                                           content technology to supplement its         to ignore the page or site. You can
                                           new method.) We’ll show you what             configure the Robots.txt file to wave
                                           makes Google tick.                           off only Google crawlers or all other
                                                                                        engine crawlers. You can find Google’s
                                                                                        detailed instructions for removing
                                                                                        your site from its index by clicking
                                                                                        About Google on the main page and
Wondering whether you’re visiting a
                                           Behind The Scenes                            then clicking Webmaster Info,
page that has a high Google PageRank?         Googlebot is Google’s Web crawler;        Removals. If you have additional ques-
You can check at a glance if you have      it’s also the software that keeps Goo-       tions about Robots.text files, check
installed the Google Toolbar.              gle’s database up-to-date. Also known        out www.robotstxt.org. ❙



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 23
                                                       ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




      Don’t worry: When you click a
   search result’s link, you’ll visit the       Google Goggles
   true Web site, not a page stored on
   Google’s servers. Google uses its
   stored pages only to create the search       Y  ou won’t increase your page’s Google PageRank much by simply spraying po-
                                                   tential keywords all over the place. But, according to Google, you can have an
                                                impact by making your pages “Google-friendly.” Here’s a few ideas Google’s
   results page, which displays 10 (by de-
   fault) search results. Each search re-       Webmaster Guidelines section and Help Center provide:
   sult includes portions of the sentences
   that feature your search term, a link         1. One of the most important PageRank factors is the number of sites (that have
   to the page that has your search term,           high PageRanks) that link to yours. Make your online content worth linking to.
   and other information, including the          2. Add a site map (a single-page, hyperlinked index of the pages within your site).
   page’s size and, in some cases, the              You can also add your site map to Google’s index via Google Sitemaps
   date it was created. Google generally            (www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/stats).
   finds search results and provides the         3. Don’t use shady tactics. In particular, don’t hide tons of keywords on your Web
   main search results page in less than            page. If you’re putting text in your page’s code but not letting that text appear
   0.2 seconds.                                     on the page, you’re heading in the wrong direction.
      Google takes speed seriously. And it       4. Make sure that Google is aware of your site. You can ensure that crawlers scan
   should: An increasing number of                  your new site by submitting it to Google via its Submit Your Site page
   Americans are adopting broadband                 (www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl).
   Internet access, but many other resi-
   dents in and out of the United States
   continue to rely on slower dial-up con-      click the first unsponsored link on the       is analyzing. PageRank considers each
   nections. So Google keeps an eye out         search results page (the search result        backlink to be a vote for the Web site
   for opportunities to deliver search          that Google deems to be the best match        it’s analyzing, but not all votes are
                                                to your query), it loads faster than          created equal, of course. Pages that
                                                other pages, including the search result      have high numbers of votes create
                                                just below it.                                more valuable votes than less impor-
                                                   That’s prefetching at work: Google         tant Web pages.
                                                plugs some HTML (Hypertext Markup                Backlinks are only part of the equa-
                                                Language; the programming language            tion, however. Google uses a cus-
                                                used to construct most Web pages)             tomized version of the text-scanning
                                                code into its search results page that        process that many other search en-
                                                commands the page to download the             gines use (checking to make sure the
                                                top search result’s page to your com-         search term is actually on the page).
                                                puter right away. As a result, the page is    According to Google, its Hypertext-
                                                already on its way to you while you           Matching Analysis tool considers a
                                                browse the list of search results. If (and    variety of Web page features when
                                                when, Google’s betting), you click the        scanning for text. (For example, it
                                                top search result, your computer will         notes a word’s location on the page
                                                display it almost instantly instead of        and also pays attention to fonts.) The
                                                downloading it a few kilobits at a time.      higher your page’s PageRank, the
                                                                                              more likely it will appear near the top
   Submit your site map to Google to
                                                                                              of a searcher’s search result list.
   make sure the company’s crawler covers       Climbing To The Top Of The List                  Google’s PageRank assigns a rank
   every page in your Web site. If you don’t
                                                   Google doesn’t reveal all of its cards     to each result on a 10-point scale (10
   have a site map, you can create it with
                                                when it explains how Google’s search          being a very important search result).
   Google’s free Sitemap Generator.
                                                engine determines a Web site’s rela-          If you want to know how PageRank
                                                tionship to your query, but it makes          numbers your search results, you can
   pages faster than it already does. One of    no bones about PageRank’s backlink            check them out by downloading and
   these tricks is called prefetching. If you   identifier playing a huge role in the         installing Google’s Toolbar, which in-
   use a browser that supports prefetching      process. When Google’s PageRank               tegrates with your Web browser and
   (such as Firefox or Mozilla, both of         analyzes a page, it counts the page’s         generally sits near the browser’s ad-
   which are available free at www.mozilla      backlinks, which are links from other         dress bar. The PageRank feature isn’t
   .org), you’ll find that whenever you         Web pages to the page that PageRank           visible by default, but you can enable



24 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          ALL ABOUT GOOGLE




it easily. Click the Toolbar’s Google          Web crawlers with manual site list-          search Outlook for a particular email?
button and then click Options. When            ings. But many users rely on Google’s        If you’ve had it with Outlook’s search
the Toolbar Options window appears,            automatic, adaptable system.                 feature, simply enter your search term
click the Options tab and then select                                                       into the Google query box that in-
the PageRank Display checkbox                                                               tegrates with Outlook’s interface.
under Page Information. When you
                                               The Search Never Ends                        Although the company launches new
click the OK button, PageRank will                Although Google started with Web          products regularly, almost all of them
appear on the Toolbar. Hold the                search and continues to refine its Web       have search features. No matter how
cursor over the PageRank icon to see           searching techniques, it’s also applying     far Google wanders into the digital
the page’s exact rank.                         its understanding of search technology       world, we doubt that it will forget
   Not all Web search services use a           to a host of other uses, such as Google      its roots. RS
fully automated ranking system.                Desktop 2, which searches for files on
Many services, such as MSN, mix                your computer’s hard drive. Need to                                      BY JOSHUA   GULICK




            M any traditional searchtoservicesand horo-
            news, stock quotes, sports scores,
                                               clog their
                main pages with links popular Web sites,
                                                                     Google’s main page, on the other hand, has far
                                                                     more white space than content. But more impor-
                                                                     tant than its simple interface is what powers that
            scopes. Some searchers enjoy these features, but         unassuming Google Search button: one of the
            many aren’t interested in distracting material.          fastest, most accurate search engines on the ’Net.



                                5| Search Results                                     1| Web surfer
          The reasonably clutter-free search results
                                                                                          Different Web
        page lists the top 10 results, as well as a few
                                                                                      Surfers bring dif-
              sponsored results. Don’t worry about
                                                                                   ferent search term
                     mistaking a sponsored link for a
                                                                                      strategies to the
                     genuine search result, however.
                                                                                       table. They also
                 Google separates sponsored results
                                                                                    bring different lan-
                         from general search results.
                                                                                  guages and, in some cases, question-
                                                                                     able spelling skills. Google’s search
                                                                                       engine must adapt to all of these
                                                                                    strategies, languages, and quirks to
                           4| Document Servers                                       find the most relevant Web pages.
                           Here the your query draws pages
                           from the index’s information to
                           create the search results page that
                   you’ll see. The servers add a small portion
  of text (which contains your search term) to each search
                                                                                     2| Search query
  result before passing the finished product along.                                       You’ll start the
                                                                                      search by typing a
                                                                                   search term into the
                                                                                   query box. Don’t un-
                        3| Google Index                                                derestimate your
                                                                                       role in the search: The better you describe
             Google’s array of index servers                                       your query, the more accurate your search re-
     match your search words to Web pages.                                            sults. Also, Google will drop some common
    The servers scan their own presorted index of                                        search words when you click the Google
  Web pages. The servers update the index periodically via Web                     Search button. If you absolutely must include
  crawlers that search the ’Net for changed and new pages. The                      “the” in your search term, use quotes to indi-
                  index includes more than 8 billion Web pages.                           cate its importance (“the power surge”).



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 25
   TH E    SEARCH




                 Gateway To
                                                                                          and click the Google Search button or
                                                                                          press ENTER. Google displays a list of
                                                                                          results it deems relevant to your
                                                                                          search with the most relevant pages


                  The Web
                                                                                          listed first. Alternatively, you can click
                                                                                          the I’m Feeling Lucky button to skip
                                                                                          the results and load the most relevant
                                                                                          Web page (or, to be more accurate,
                     How Google Can Help You                                              what Google thinks is the most rele-
                                                                                          vant Web page).
                       Find What You Need
                                                                                          Results
                                                                                             Depending on your search terms,
                                                                                          you may only have a handful of re-
                                                                                          sults or you may receive millions of
                                                                                          returns. In the upper-right corner of
                                                                                          the results page, you’ll see a rough es-
                                                                                          timate of total results for any search
                                                                                          string. If we’re looking for informa-
                                                                                          tion about the (possibly) upcoming
                                                                                          fourth Indiana Jones film, we might
                                                                                          search for Indiana Jones 4. Doing so
                                                                                          returned 3,770,000 results when we
                                                                                          tried this search. Before you break out
                                                                                          in a cold sweat wondering how you’re
                                                                                          ever going to visit all 3,770,000 pages,
                                               The Interface



   S
              ince its 1998 inception,                                                    remember that terms are sorted by
              Google has grown from a             Compared to Yahoo!, Google’s            relevance (in this case, the first result
              Menlo Park garage in             home page is Spartan. The company’s        was from an entry in the Internet
              California to a sprawling        colorful logo is the only graphic on the   Movie Database). Usually by the time
              corporate campus. As the         front page. By default, www.google         you make it through the first 20 or so
   company has grown, so have the ser-         .com takes you to Google’s Web             results, you’ll notice the relevancy
   vices and products it offers. Today         search. Directly below the Google          drop to a point where you feel com-
   Google lets you scour the Web for           logo, however, are links to the compa-     fortable ignoring any further results.
   news and pictures, get driving direc-       ny’s other search services: Images,        The twentieth result, for instance, is a
   tions, edit digital images, and fly (vir-   Groups, News, Froogle, and Local.          Web page on the Entertainment Zone
   tually speaking of course) from the         You can also bring up links to addi-       Web site that lists the movie’s release
   Eiffel Tower to the Pyramids in about       tional services by clicking the More       date as July 1, 2005 which kind of
   five seconds.                               link. We cover all these options in        makes you wonder how accurate the
      Whatever growth and success the          later articles, but we’re going to stick   confirmed cast list is.
   company has, however, it owes to its        to searching the Web here.
   Web search. Even today, despite all of         To begin a search using
   its products and services, if you’re vis-   Google, just enter relevant
   iting Google it’s probably because          search terms in the text field
   you’re looking for something on the
   Web. It’s only appropriate then to
   look at Google’s search feature before      When two results come from
   we start talking about all the extras       the same site, Google indents
   the company offers. We’ll cover all              the less relevant result. If
   the basics you need to know to effec-         additional results from the
   tively use Google, and we’ll offer              same site are present, you
   some general tips that’ll make                  can view them by clicking
   searching the Web more efficient.            the More Results From Link.



26 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                         THE SEARCH




                                                             Google saves a copy of       info box if you’re looking for the
                                                             nearly every page it         most recent information.
                                                             indexes on its own              As the name implies, the Similar
                                                             servers. If for some         Pages link lists Web sites similar to
                                                             reason you can’t             those in the search results. For instance,
                                                             access a Web page, you       TheRaider.net is an Indiana Jones fan
                                                             can usually load             site, so clicking Similar Pages will list
                                                             Google’s cached              other Indiana Jones fan sites.
                                                             version. Search terms           In some instances, you may notice
                                                             are highlighted making       indented results. For instance, when
                                                             them easy to find.           we search for Disk Defragmenter
                                                                                          Stalls, the second result appeared in-
                                                                                          dented because it was from the same
                                                              not the page may be         Web site as the first result. The in-
                                                              useful. The preview         dented Web site is the one Google de-
   Placement in Google’s search re-         text always includes at least one or two      termines to be less relevant. If there
sults is not for sale, but Google does      of the search terms and the words im-         are additional entries from the same
sell ads on its results page. Ads on        mediately surrounding them. Beneath           site, you can view them by clicking
Google, however, are a far cry from         the preview text is the page URL. While       the More Results link that may appear
the flashy, distracting ads you find        this doesn’t link back to the page, it can    beneath the indented entry (as was
elsewhere. Google ads are small, dis-       be useful in determining whether or           the case with this search).
creet, and usually relevant to your         not a result is relevant. Next to the URL
search terms. Ads typically appear far      is the size of the page and, occasionally,
                                                                                          Search Quirks
to the right of the results, but they can   the date on which Google last indexed
appear above the results in a blue box.     it. Usually, the date only appears on            Now that we know how to view the
In either case, these links are clearly     items that Google indexed within the          results, we can work on getting better,
marked as Sponsored Links. All ads          last few days. Finally, the entry ends        more relevant results. Before we begin
on Google are text-only ads. There are      with two links, one to a cached version       offering tips, however, it’s a good idea
no pictures or (shudder) animated           of the page and another to a link that        to take a closer look at the basic work-
graphics to distract you.                   lists similar sites that could contain        ings of Google’s Web search.
   You may also notice additional in-       more information.                                Every search engine has its own
formation above the search results. In          The Cached link displays a saved          particular quirks. For instance, Google
some cases, Google offers tips that it      version of the page from Google’s             automatically searches for Web sites
thinks may help you with your search.       servers. Cached pages are especially          containing all the specified search
In some cases, Google may pass along        nice when trying to find pockets of           terms. If you search for John York ru-
links to relevant news articles or stock    information on a larger Web page              ined 49ers (which by the way returned
information when appropriate.               (such as trying to find a particular          4,810 hits indicating the hostility
Searching for a geographical location       term in a large online glossary) be-          many fans feel toward the current
may turn up a link to Google Maps.          cause each search term appears high-          owner), Google will only return pages
   Each individual result consists of       lighted. Furthermore, Google’s cache          that include all four terms. If you want
several parts. Here’s a result from our     serves as a nice backup if the real page      Google to return pages with any of the
previous example:                           suddenly becomes unavailable or if            above terms, use the word OR be-
   Welcome to TheRaider.net                 important information suddenly dis-           tween each term (in all caps).
   Interview with Max McCoy: The            appears from the live site. An info box          Aside from operators such as OR,
author of the four latest Indiana           appears above the cached version of a         Google is not case sensitive. That
Jones novels. ... Indiana Jones film in     Web site and includes the date the            means smart computing and SMART
the making? Monday, August 1, 2005          page was last cached, a link to the cur-      COMPUTING return exactly the
(Indiana Jones 4) ...                       rent page, and a link to a text-only          same results. The order of the search
   www.theraider.net/ - 83k - Aug 2,        version of the page. Cached pages are         terms you use, however, can affect
2005 - Cached - Similar pages               sometimes a day or two old and in             your search results.
   The page title (Welcome to The           some cases even older. Frequently up-            It’s worth remembering that
Raider.net) provides a link to the page     dated sites and more popular sites            Google automatically excludes com-
in question while the preview text of-      seem to be cached more often. Check           mon words such as “with” and
fers some indication as to whether or       the date the page was cached in the           “how.” You’ll notice common words



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 27
                                                                  THE SEARCH




   Google Directory

   G       oogle makes it easy to find the information you need in
           a timely matter, but what happens when you have time
   to kill online? Searching the Web is like surfing with blinders
                                                                               WinXP-related Web sites. Each subcategory includes a
                                                                               number in parenthesis next to it. This number indicates the
                                                                               number of Web sites within that category.
   on. You never know what interesting distractions you might                      Google lists sites in the Google Directory according to
   be missing.                                                                 Google’s Page Rank (a complicated formula to determine a
       If you’re looking for a little distraction, Web directories are a       page’s relevance). So the ODP may not list sites in the same
   fun way to browse the Web. You’ve probably never heard of                   order. Furthermore, Google’s Directory is probably a little
   the ODP (Open Directory Project), but it bills itself as the                easier to navigate than the ODP, as the Google Directory
   largest human-edited Web site directory on the Web. The ODP                 lists categories in strict alphabetical order (not always the
   employs an army of volunteers to maintain its Web directory,                case with the ODP).
   so listings are accurate and relevant.                                          In some subcategories you’ll notice a list of related cate-
       While you may not have heard of the ODP before, you’ve                  gories. These are categories that have some overlap with the
   probably used its directory. The Google Directory                           current category. They’re often fun to explore although
   (www.google.com/dirhp) is nothing more than a copy of                       they’re sometimes a bit off-topic. The Windows XP subcate-
   the ODP. Don’t worry though; Google isn’t stealing ODP                      gory lists four related categories that include Windows 2000,
   content (that would be evil, and we all know how Google                     Windows ME, and Windows NT.
   feels about evil). Rather, Google is one of many Web sites                      As you start drilling down within a category, you’ll notice
   that have an agreement with the ODP.                                        a new feature in the search engine (which appears at the top
       Given that the ODP is edited by humans, it contains a                   of each page). You can search within a given category for a
   fraction of the sites stored on Google’s servers, but the sites             particular term or terms. Searching for Windows XP in the
   listed in the ODP are likely to be better quality sites.                    Computers category, for instance, will display all the articles
   Because of this, you’ll notice a few differences in Google                  in the Windows XP subcategory we explored earlier, along
   Directory results compared to Google Web Search.                            with any relevant sites from other subcategories within the
       The fun of a directory, how-                                                                           Computers category. If you de-
   ever, comes from exploring rather                                                                          cide you want to search the en-
   than searching. You can find the                                                                           tire directory, click the Google
   Google Directory by clicking the                                                                           Directory logo to return to the
   More link above the search field                                                                           home page. You can also search
   and clicking Directory. The                                                                                the Web from within a category
   Google Directory contains 15                                                                               or subcategory by selecting the
   main categories: Arts, Business,                                                                           Search The Web option before
   Computers, Games, Health,                                                                                  clicking the Search button.
   Home, Kids And Teens, News,                                                                                   If you do decide to search the
   Recreation, Reference, Regional,                                                                           directory, you’ll notice that results
   Science, Shopping, Society, and                                                                            are displayed in the same format as
   Sports. In addition, there’s a                                                                             Google’s Web search. Links to
   World category containing Web                                                                              cached pages and links to similar
                                                    The Google Directory includes a search
   sites from other countries around                                                                          pages are still available when
                                                    engine, but because sites in the directory
   the world.                                                                                                 searching the directory (although
                                                    come from the Open Directory Project’s
       Each main category contains                                                                            they are not available if you’re just
                                                    Web site directory, you’ll get somewhat
   several subcategories. Within each                                                                         browsing the directory). This is an-
                                                    different results searching Google Directory
   subcategory, you’ll find related                                                                           other benefit of using the Google
                                                    than you would using Google’s Web search.
   Web sites along with additional                                                                            Directory, as the ODP doesn’t offer
   subcategories. The structure lets                                                                          these features when displaying its
   you start with a very broad area of                                                                        search results.
   interest, such as Computers, and focus in on a narrower topic.                  At press time, the ODP claimed to have 5,104,466 sites in-
   From the Computer category, you can drill down through the                  dexed. That may seem like a lot, but remember that a search
   Software, Operating Systems, Microsoft Windows, and                         for Indiana Jones 4 returned more than 3.7 million hits on its
   Windows XP subcategories to focus on sites relating to                      own. Nonetheless, 5 million pages are more than enough to
   WinXP. The Windows XP subcategory includes six additional                   keep you busily exploring the Web on those rare occasions
   subcategories and four related categories along with 25                     when you don’t have anything in particular to search for. ❙



28 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                             THE SEARCH




                                                            Clicking Similar Pages lists         There are a number of basic tricks
                                                            Web sites similar to a             you can use to narrow a search if you
                                                            particular result. This is a       need to. Placing multiple words in
                                                            handy way to find other            quotes tells Google to search for an
                                                            Web sites you may be               exact phrase. This can be especially
                                                            interested in.                     handy when looking for information
                                                                                               about a specific error message. You
                                                                                               can also use the minus sign (-) im-
                                                             Finally, Google’s stem-           mediately proceeding a term to re-
                                                          ming technology automat-             move any results containing the
                                                          ically includes results that         term. For instance, if you’re using
                                                          contain a different form of          the search string Dodge but aren’t
                                                          a search term. For in-               interested in trucks, search for
                                                          stance, singular forms of a          Dodge -Trucks. We’ll cover more ad-
are not highlighted in the search re-          word aren’t omitted if you search               vanced search strategies in “One In A
sults. If a discarded word is important        using a word’s plural form.                     Billion” on page 31.
to your search, place a plus (+) imme-
diately before it.
                                                Better Searching                               Know-It-All
   In some instances, Google will sug-
gest alternative search terms. This is            Now that we know a little about                 As we said earlier, the most impor-
most often used to correct spelling. If        how Google’s Web search operates, we            tant thing Google offers is its search
you search for Micosoft, for instance,         can focus on finding the best possible          feature. As you become more com-
Google will ask “Did you mean:                 search terms. Obviously, given the              fortable using Google, you’ll realize
Microsoft.” Click the link to search           amount of information on the Web,               just how much knowledge it puts
using Google’s suggestion. In some             the more precise you can be the better.         within a few quick clicks. So the next
instances, Google may suggest an al-           Use multiple terms to narrow your               time you find yourself wondering
ternative even if all the words are            search and try to pick unique terms             what string theory is all about, forget
spelled correctly. For instance, if you        relevant to your search string. If you’re       about hitting the local library. The
search using our John York example             looking for information about a truck,          answers are just a search away. RS
above, Google will ask if you meant            don’t just search for Dodge. Include
John York Gained 49ers rather than             the make, model, year, and even the                                         BY   CHAD DENTON
John York Ruined 49ers.                        color, if that’s important to you.


Set Your Preferences

W       hen you visit Google, you have the option of setting
        personal preferences. Because these preferences can
help you find more relevant information, we recommend
                                                                        Filtering. Of course, if you prefer, you can turn filtering off
                                                                        completely by selecting Do Not Filter My Search Results. As
                                                                        Google points out, no filter is 100% effective, but its SafeSearch
taking a few minutes to set these options.                              Filter can help dramatically reduce explicit content.
   Start by clicking the Preferences link that always appears              To adjust the number of results displayed per page, se-
to the right of the search field. Here you can select a language        lect 10, 20, 30, 50, or 100 from the drop-down list.
from the Interface Language drop-down list box. This option             Increasing the number of results per page, however, may
affects the Google interface only and doesn’t affect search re-         slow down the time it takes the page to download if you
sults. The next section, Search Language, does affects your re-         have a dial-up connection. By default, Google displays 10
sults. If you select the Search Only For Pages Written In These         results per page.
Language(s) option, Google will not display Web pages                      Finally, by checking the Open Search Results In A New
written in a language you haven’t selected.                             Browser Window checkbox, Web pages will open in a new
   In the SafeSearch Filtering section, you can set restrictions        browser window any time you click a result. When you’re done
on the types of results Google returns. By default, this option is      setting your preferences, click the Save Preferences button.
set to Use Moderate Filtering. At this setting, Google removes          Google should confirm that it’s saved your preferences.
explicit images from Google Images searches, but it will not               Remember that your preferences are stored on a cookie.
block explicit contents from other types of searches. If you            That means if you clean out your cookies or visit Google from
want to block all explicit content, set the filter to Use Strict        another computer, your stored preferences will be gone. ❙



                                                                                             Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 29
                                                             THE SEARCH




              Helpful Hints
    Google Suggest Streamlines Your Search Time

                                                Real Simple
                                                   As you type your search query into        As you type your search query, Google
                                                the box on Google Suggest, you will          runs a series of algorithms to determine
                                                see a list of 10 results that changes        what you’re searching for.
                                                with every character you type. This is
                                                Google’s way of trying to guess what
                                                you’re searching for and save you the        search topics to try and find the one
                                                time of writing out the full term. For       you’re looking for.
                                                instance, if we wanted to search for
                                                DVD burners, we would enter the first
                                                                                             Safety First
                                                “D.” Google uses a set of algorithms to
                                                produce the top 10 search results that          If this talk about cookies has you
                                                start with “D” in hopes that it can cor-     hungry, we can’t help out with that,
                                                rectly predict the term you’re searching     but we might be able to clue you in to
                                                for. Then when you enter the “V,”            Google’s privacy policy and how it ap-



   L
            et’s face it; Internet Explorer’s   Suggest runs those algorithms again          plies to Google Suggest. For starters,
            AutoComplete feature is pretty      and finds the top 10 search results for      we should point out that similar to
            handy. It’s much easier to type     “DV.” As you get more specific, so will      Google’s basic search function, Google
            just the first few letters of a     Google’s suggestions. In fact, by the        Suggest does monitor what you’re
   Web address and pick the page you’re         time we entered “DVD b” into the             searching for. Google Suggest com-
   looking for out of the AutoComplete          search field, Google had already listed      municates with Google while you type
   lineup than to type the whole address        “DVD Burners” as the first suggestion        your query, allowing Google to keep
   yourself. Google is working on a sim-        for us. All we had to do was click it, and   track of such information as what
   ilar feature for its search engine called    Google directed our browser to a typ-        you’re searching for and which sug-
   Google Suggest; you can try it out at        ical search results page for our query.      gestion you chose. But Google knows
   www.google.com/webhp?complete                   As we mentioned, this Google fea-         how to keep a secret; any personally
   =1&hl=en. In the meantime, here’s            ture is similar to Internet Explorer’s       identifying information is kept confi-
   a quick rundown of what Google               AutoComplete feature in that it is           dential, and Google Suggest is covered
   Suggest does and how you can use it to       trying to predict what you’re going          under the privacy policy Google offers
   harvest a few extra seconds from your        to type, but there are also some             all its users. (For more information,
   day as you search.                           differences. The big one is that             see “Privacy Please” page 22.)
                                                                IE’s AutoComplete only           Google Suggest is a quick, easy way
                                                                searches through infor-      to streamline your search time. It uses a
                                                                mation you’ve previ-         set of algorithms in combination with
                                                                ously typed and that has     the search information you provide to
                                                                been saved to a cookie       predict what you’re searching for, and
                                                                file on your hard drive.     saves you the time of typing the entire
                                                                Google Suggest, on the       query. And although some Google tra-
                                                                other hand, will search      ditionalists may have a tough time
                                                                its entire database of       tearing themselves away from the
                                                                                             home page they’ve come to know and
                                                               Google Suggest                love, Google Suggest is sure to help
                                                               works similarly to the        those willing to give it a try. RS
                                                               AutoComplete feature
                                                               in Internet Explorer.                                      BY SAM EVANS




30 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                        THE SEARCH




     One In A Billion
                                                                                          instance, you could enter both terms
                                                                                          in this field. Finally, the fourth field
                                                                                          lets you specify any terms you want to
                                                                                          omit. For instance, returning to our
     Advanced Search Options Help You Find                                                Los Angeles Kings example, you may
                                                                                          opt to omit Sacramento and Lakers to
           What You’re Looking For                                                        prevent Google from returning pages
                                                                                          that refer to both the Los Angeles
                                                                                          Lakers and Sacramento Kings.
                                                                                             You can accomplish all of the op-
                                                                                          tions above from the Google home
                                                                                          page using operators. Words enclosed
                                                                                          in quotation marks, for instance, are
                                                                                          treated as an exact phrase. Thus “Los
                                                                                          Angeles Kings” returns the same re-
                                                                                          sults as typing Los Angeles Kings into
                                                                                          the exact phrase field of the Advanced
                                                                                          Search page. Placing a minus sign (-)
                                                                                          directly before a term eliminates any
                                                                                          results containing that word. For in-
                                                                                          stance, typing the search phrase Los
                                                                                          Angeles Kings –Sacramento –Lakers



L
        ast we checked, Google’s index        Instead of using operators, the             will omit any results that reference
        included more than 8 billion       Advanced Search page lets you                  Sacramento or the Lakers. Finally,
        Web pages. That means no           specify certain options. When you              separating words using OR (in all
        matter what you’re searching       click the Search button, Google auto-          caps) returns results that contain
for, you’re probably going to find         matically formulates a search string           any of the terms separated by OR.
hundreds if not thousands or millions      using the proper operators. This page          Searching for “Africa OR Europe” re-
of results using regular keywords.         is the easiest way use Google’s ad-            turns the same results as entering
Learning to use Google’s advanced          vanced options.                                Africa Europe in the third field of the
search features can help narrow those         The first four fields on the Ad-            Advanced Search page.
results and make your search results       vanced Search page let you specify                Of course, you can sometimes
more relevant.                             search terms. The first field is similar to    achieve the best results by using a
   In the previous article, we explained   the search field on Google’s home page.        combination of fields. For instance, if
how Google’s search engine works and       Google will return Web sites that in-          you’re planning a vacation and can’t
provided some basic tips to help you       clude all the words entered into this          decide between the Caribbean or
find what you’re looking for. Now          field. The second field is more precise        Rome, you could type Vacation in the
that we have the basics out of the way,    and lets you search for a specific             first search field on the Advanced
we can show you how to utilize some        phrase. It’s more efficient, for instance,     Search page and Caribbean Rome in
of those more advanced options.            to use the second field if you’re looking      the third field.
                                           for information about the Los Angeles
                                           Kings NHL hockey team. Searching for
Advanced Search                            the phrase Los Angeles Kings in the
                                                                                          Further Refinement
   Like most search engines, Google        second field returned 867,000 results,            Below the various search fields,
relies on numerous operators to con-       while searching for Los Angeles Kings          Google provides additional options to
duct advanced searches. An operator        from the search field on the Google            refine your search. For instance, se-
is a special word or symbol that           home page returned 4,260,000 results.          lecting a language from the Return
changes the way Google conducts a          (The 32nd result was actually a page           Pages Written In drop-down menu
search when used in a specific con-        about the King Tut exhibit’s Los               will only return results written in the
text. We’ll cover operators later, but     Angeles stopover.)                             selected language. If you set your
for now let’s start by clicking the           The third field returns results that        Preferences (click the Preferences link
Advanced Search link that appears to       match at least one of the words pro-           next to the search field on the Google
the right of the search field on the       vided. If you’re interested in informa-        home page) to return results in En-
Google home page.                          tion about either Africa or Europe, for        glish, then English should be selected



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 31
                                                              THE SEARCH




                                                                           Google’s            they don’t take into account any search
                                                                           Advanced            criteria provided elsewhere on the
                                                                           Search page is      page, which is why Google uses sepa-
                                                                           the easiest way     rate search buttons for these features.
                                                                           to use the site’s   Also note that you can include any do-
                                                                           advanced            main prefix such as www. In some in-
                                                                           search features     stances, you may receive some different
                                                                           to narrow your      results depending on whether or not
                                                                           searches.           you include the prefix. A Web page
                                                                                               that links to barnesandnoble.com, for
                                                                                               instance, may not appear in a search
                                                                                               for www.barnesandnoble.com.
                                                                                                  Finally, at the bottom of the Ad-
                                                                                               vanced Search page, you’ll find links to
                                                                                               specialty search engines. We’ll cover
                                                                                               these in more depth later in this issue.

                                                                                               Advanced Search Strings
   by default, but you can select Any            4 640 in the exact phrase search field,
   Language if you prefer.                       and intel.com in the domain field.               Google’s Advanced Search page
      Next, you can choose to limit results      (When you use this option, specify a          lets you narrow the focus of your
   to specific file types or omit certain file   domain name only because not all              search without having to worry about
   types. On the File Format line, select        Web pages have a URL that begins              using specific operators. Nonetheless,
   Only from the drop-down list if you           with www.) You can also use this op-          it’s a good idea to become familiar
   want to limit results to a specific file      tion to omit results from a given do-         with search operators, which let you
   type or select Don’t to omit results of       main by selecting Don’t in the                skip the Advanced Search page, pro-
   that file type. Available file types in-      drop-down menu instead of Only.               vide additional features, and, as you’ll
   clude Adobe Acrobat PDF, Adobe                   Finally, you can enable Google’s           see in a bit, let you enter more accu-
   Postscript, Microsoft Word, Microsoft         SafeSearch filter. Explicit results           rate search terms.
   Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Rich         aren’t usually a problem that most               You’re already familiar with basic
   Text Format.                                  Google searchers run into, but de-            operators such as quotation marks,
      The next option lets you limit re-         pending on your search criteria, they         “OR,” and minus signs. Google some-
   sults to Web pages updated within a           can be. SafeSearch helps to eliminate         times omits common words (such as
   specific time frame. By default, this         explicit content, although as Google          “and”) from a search or, in some
   option is set to Anytime, but you can         points out, no filter is 100% effective.      cases, includes results where a term
   select Past 3 Months, Past 6 Months,          SafeSearch may be enabled by default          appears in links to the page but not on
   or Past Year. This is a handy way to          if you selected Use Strict Filtering in       the page itself. The plus sign (+) is one
   eliminate outdated search results that        your Preferences.                             way to ensure each result will contain
   would otherwise appear.                          At the bottom of the page are two          a specific word on the page. You can
      If you need to, you can specify            Web page-specific options. Enter a            use other operators to emulate some
   where in a Web page search terms              URL in the Similar field and Google           of the other preferences found on
   should appear by selecting an appro-          will return results similar to that spe-      Google’s Advanced Search page.
   priate option on the Occurrences line.        cific Web site. For instance, if you’re          For instance, the “site:” operator lets
   The default option is Anywhere In The         shopping online at Barnes & Noble and         you search a specific domain name. If
   Page, but additional options include In       want to find other online bookstores,         you’re looking for specifications about
   The Title Of The Page, In The Text Of         you could enter www.barnesandnoble            Intel’s Pentium 4 640, for instance, you
   The Page, In the URL Of The Page,             .com in the Similar search field. If you      could enter “Pentium 4 640” specs
   and In Links To The Page.                     enter a URL in the Links field, Google        site:intel.com. Note that there are no
      The Domain line can be very handy          will return Web sites that link to the        spaces between the operator and the
   if you need to search for information         specified URL. (In this case, if you          term that immediately follows. This
   on a specific Web site. For instance, if      enter www.barnesandnoble.com, you’ll          operator is identical to the Domain op-
   you want to find specifications for           see a list of Web sites that contain links    tion in the Advanced Search page.
   Intel’s Pentium 4 640, you could enter        to www.barnesandnoble.com.) Note                 The Advanced Search page lets you
   specs in the first search field, Pentium      that because these sites are site-specific,   specify where Google should look for



32 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          THE SEARCH




specific results. You can, for instance,
have Google search for terms in the
title, the text, the URL, or links to a
specific Web page. The “intitle:” and
“inurl:” operators provide a similar
function. If you can remember the title              Searching for
of a Web page but not its URL, the            weather forecasting
“intitle:” operator is extremely helpful.      history (top) yields
The “inurl:” operator is helpful in                759,000 results.
finding Web sites that contain a spe-         Using the “allinurl:”
cific term or terms in its URL.               operator (bottom)
   If you’re looking for Engadget            reduces the number
but can’t remember its URL, type              of results to just 11.
intitle:engadget to locate the Web site.
The “intitle:” operator, however, only
works for a single term. If you needed
to find the Smart Computing home
page, for instance, and you tried
searching for intitle:smart computing,
Google would return Web pages with
Smart in the title and Computing any-
where on the page. This will get you        but this isn’t the
where you’re going, but the “allintitle:”   best search be-
operator provides a more efficient op-      cause it’s searching
tion. This option will only return re-      for pages that con-
sults with both “smart” and                 tain Rome, New,
“computing” in the title. The “inurl:”      or Zealand. En-
operator works in a similar way to the      closing New Zea-
“intitle:” operator, only it looks for      land in quotes in
specific terms in URLs. The “allinurl:”     the third field does
operator works in the same manner as        not help matters at
the “allintitle:” operator.                 all. Using operators, however, you            Numerical ranges are helpful if
   At the bottom of the Advanced            can easily cobble together a more ef-      you’re looking for products within a
Search page are two search fields where     ficient query by typing vacation           certain price range, defining a histor-
you can find Web pages similar to a         Rome OR “New Zealand.”                     ical search to specific years, or
specific page or pages that link to a                                                  looking for notebooks within a cer-
specified page. You can also use this                                                  tain weight range. If you’re looking
                                            Advanced Operators
feature in a standard search using the                                                 for historical information about your
“related:” and “link:” operators. If you       Although operators occasionally         hometown, but you want to narrow
want to find Web sites similar to barnes    provide more flexibility, they don’t       your search to specific years, separate
andnoble.com, you’d type related:           provide all the features found on the      the low-end and high-end of the
www.barnesandnoble.com. Typing              Advanced Search page. There is no          range by two periods (with no
link:www.barnesandnoble.com returns         operator to limit returns to a specific    spaces). For instance, if you’re
pages that link to the URL.                 language, for instance, or an operator     looking up historical information
   In some instances, using operators       to limit results to recently updated       about Ontario, Calif., and want to
can result in a more exact search           Web pages.                                 focus on the years between 1890 and
than you’d get using the Advanced              There are operators, however, that      1925, you’d type Ontario, California
Search page. For instance, if you’re        provide features not found on              1890..1925. This search string results
planning a vacation to either Rome          Google’s Advanced Search page. For         in 1,010,000 English language pages.
or New Zealand, you can try en-             instance, you can search numerical         Omitting the date range increases the
tering vacation in the first field and      ranges, include synonyms in a search,      number of pages to 15,300,000
Rome New Zealand in the third field         define a word, get stock quotes, and       English language pages. Our numer-
of the Advanced Search page. You            find information about a Web site          ical search included an old brochure
may find some helpful information,          using special operators.                   dating back to 1910 and a Web page



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 33
                                                          THE SEARCH




   from the city’s official Web site that     information including Google’s                 If we narrow our focus to concen-
   includes a brief history of the city.      cached version of the page. You can         trate on the use of radar in weather
      Sometimes it’s possible for a search    also bring up Web sites similar to          forecasting, things change dramatically.
   to be too specific. For instance,          the specified site, Web pages that          Adding radar to our “allinurl:” query
   if you’re looking for information          link to the site, Web pages the site        above doesn’t yield any results.
   about a new car and you search for         links to, and Web pages that contain        Running a general search for “weather
   “car,” you receive about 172,000,000       the URL of the Web site.                    forecasting radar history” yields
   English language results. Unfort-             In some instances, this information      1,370,000 results, many of which are
   unately, this search omits any Web         can be handy for research. Google’s         current local forecasts. Viewing cached
   sites that use the term automobile in-     cache, for instance, can provide you        versions of these pages, we see that the
   stead of car. To bring up synonyms         with information about a Web site           word “forecasting” is often found only
   for car (such as automobile) place a       when the site is inaccessible. The          in links to each page. To rectify this
   tilde (~) directly in front of the word    ability to see who links to a certain       problem, we can either place a plus
   car (for instance: “~car”). This search    URL can be very helpful if you’re run-      sign next to “forecasting” or place
   expands the number of results to           ning a Web site, such as a personal         quotes around “weather forecasting.”
   373,000,000 English language sites         blog, and you want to see who, if           The first option reduces the number of
   and adds a few additional sites to the     anyone, is linking to your site.            results to 214,000. Adding quotes re-
   first page of results.                         Finally, you can bring up the           duces the results to just 35,500. Both
      Google has additional special           cached version of a Web site by             methods, however, have several results
   search features that most people           using the “cache:” operator. To view        in common, including the first result,
   don’t even know about, much less           Google’s cached copy of www.smart-          an article written for Weather Bureau
   use. For instance, you can use             computing.com, you’d type cache:            personnel in 1947 introducing them to
   Google to look up the definition of a      www.smartcomputing.com. If you              the (at the time) brief history of radar.
   term. If you stumble across a word         add additional words after the URL,            There are other things you can do to
   online and you’re not sure what it         Google will highlight any instances         limit your search. If you want some
   means, visit Google and use the “de-       of the word or words that appear on         basic background information about a
   fine:” operator followed immedi-           the cached version.                         subject, for instance, you can search
   ately by the term in question. For                                                     online encyclopedias such as MSN
   instance, to find a definition for the                                                 Encarta or Wikipedia. To search
                                              Results Matter
   term flash memory, you’d type                                                          Wikipedia, for instance, you can enter
   define:flash memory.                           Why bother using Google’s ad-           the search string weather forecasting
      If you know a company’s ticker          vanced features at all? To illustrate the   radar history site:en.wikipedia.org.
   symbol, use Google to pull up a com-       usefulness of Google’s advanced fea-        This search string provided us with 80
   pany’s stock information using the         tures, we ran a hypothetical test to        results including entries for meteo-
   “stocks:” operator. Type stocks:msft to    show you how using the proper oper-         rology and weather forecasting. Many
   display the latest stock quotes for        ators can influence your results.           of the entries provided good general
   Microsoft. You can list quotes for mul-        If we’re looking for information        background, but didn’t focus a lot on
   tiple companies by adding additional       about the history of weather fore-          the use of radar. Nonetheless, clicking
   symbols. For instance, stocks:msft intc    casting, the search phrase “weather         the Cached link to view a copy of each
   brings up information for both             forecasting history” will turn up           page with your search terms high-
   Microsoft and Intel. Alternatively, you    759,000 results. Many of the early re-      lighted lets you narrow in on relevant
   can type one or more ticker symbols        sults are highly relevant. The very first   portions of each entry, letting you
   into the search engine (minus the          link is a question from a USA Today         gleam information from several entries.
   “stocks:” operator) and click Search.      reader looking for links about weather
   Click the link at the top of the page to   forecasting history. Nonetheless, we
                                                                                          Find What You Need
   view the stock quotes.                     might be able to narrow our search
      The “info:” operator provides in-       considerably by using the “allintitle:”        As you can see, there are reasons for
   formation about a specific Web site.       or “allinurl:” operators. The search        the advanced search options Google
   Typing info:www.smartcomputing             query “allintitle:weather forecast his-     provides. You may not need to pull out
   .com for instance, returns a link to       tory” turns up no results, but the query    all the stops when looking for movie
   the Web site, a brief synopsis of          “allinurl:weather forecast history” re-     times online, but it’s good to know
   what you’ll find on the site, and the      turns 11 results, all of which appear       they’re there when you need them. RS
   Web site’s URL. At the bottom of           highly relevant. Our USA Today article
   the page are links to additional           is still the first link listed.                                       BY   CHAD DENTON



34 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                        THE SEARCH




         Image Search
                                                                                            Google displays 20 thumbnail im-
                                                                                         ages after most image searches. Below
                                                                                         each thumbnail you’ll see information
                                                                                         related to the image, including the im-


           Elements
                                                                                         age’s file name, the image size in pixels,
                                                                                         and the original image’s file size.
                                                                                         Google also lists the image’s URL so
                                                                                         you have an idea of where the picture
         Google’s Not Just For Text Anymore                                              originates. Some of the best parts of
                                                                                         Image Search’s results are what you
                                                                                         don’t see, such as duplicate images,
                                                                                         icons, advertisements, or buttons that
                                                                                         might be on the same site as the image.
                                                                                            If you click a thumbnail, Google
                                                                                         displays a new page with a split
                                                                                         screen. The top frame shows the
                                                                                         image thumbnail, and if you click this
                                                                                         small image, Google shows you the
                                                                                         full-size image. The top frame also in-
                                                                                         cludes a URL that leads directly to the
                                                                                         original image; in contrast, the larger
                                                                                         bottom frame displays the Web site
                                                                                         showing the image in its original con-
                                                                                         text. If you prefer, you can remove the



T
        he World Wide Web doesn’t           perform searches with ease. To find an       top frame by clicking Remove Frame,
        work on words alone, and            image using this interface, all you have     a command that lets the bottom
        Google’s developers knew it,        to do is type the name of your search        frame fill your screen. If you’d rather
        which is why a few years ago        subjects, and then click Search Images.      go back to your Image Search results,
the site began integrating a powerful       In a flash, you’ll see a page loaded with    simply click Image Results.
image search component. Now when            small thumbnail images that lead to the         The engine’s guts. As Google works
you need an image in a hurry and you        Web sites or graphic libraries where the     to find and display your results, you
have no idea where to start looking,        images reside.                               won’t see all of the search engine’s
you can turn to Google and find it in          Immediately after you perform a           electronic gears grinding. There’s a lot
just seconds, no matter how obscure         search, you’ll see a blue bar near the       going on behind the scenes to make
the subject—because with Image              top of the screen that displays the          Image Search happen.
Search, you can use keywords to sift        number of results Google located                Image searches aren’t easy to per-
through more than 1 billion Web-            using your keywords. You’ll also see a       form because search engines are tradi-
based images.                               number that tells you exactly how            tionally constructed to work with
   As with word searches, the Google        much time the search consumed. Just          text. Because most images on the Web
Image Search engine offers a straight-      below these numbers, Google lists            don’t have text in them, Image Search
forward process for finding online          a Show option where
images. And that, in a nutshell, is the     you can click Large,
beauty of Google. You don’t need to         Medium, or Small;
be a Web surfing aficionado or pure-        click a size and Google
blooded geek in order to use Image          filters your results to
Search, and you certainly don’t need        match certain image
to be a computer expert to value its        size dimensions.
simplicity, either.
                                                Google Image Search
                                              displays your results as
Almost Effortless                                  thumbnail images.
  Google’s Image Search uses a clean              You can click these
and intuitive interface that helps novice    thumbnails to see larger
and advanced computer users alike              versions of the images.



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 35
                                                            THE SEARCH




                                                             The Advanced Image           SafeSearch filter that will sort out
                                                             Search options are easy      adult material. With one or more of
                                                             to use and will help you     these tools, you’ll quickly be able to
                                                             quickly filter out many      change your search parameters and
                                                             irrelevant results.          find the images you really want.
                                                                                             For example, let’s say you want to
                                                                                          find a range of full-color images of
                                                                 Basic inquiries. But     the Hilton hotel located in Paris.
                                                              what exactly makes a        Using a basic keyword search, such as
                                                              basic keyword search ef-    “Paris Hilton,” you’ll get mostly mod-
                                                              fective? With Google,       eling snapshots of the yellow-haired
                                                              the answer is easy. The     socialite, some of which might not be
                                                              greater number of effec-    appropriate for younger viewers.
                                                              tive keywords you pro-         But using advanced options, we
   must try to deduce the image’s con-         vide in the search text box, the better.   cleaned up this search in a hurry. In
   tents by using other factors. Most of          It takes practice to figure out what    the Related To All Of The Words text
   those factors are related to text on the    makes for effective keywords, but ba-      box, we typed “hilton,” and in the
   Web site that stores the original           sically, the more precise and unique       Related To The Exact Phrase text box
   image. Image Search uses the site’s         the words are, the more likely your        we entered “Paris France.” Because
   URL, the image file name and folder         results will be accurate. For example,     we wanted only color images, from
   name, page content, page title—none         using “cat” as a keyword will return       the Coloration drop-down menu, we
   of which, of course, necessarily de-        millions of very varied images. Type       selected Full Color. And to prevent
   scribe the image.                           “calico kitten,” however, and you’ll       the possibility of any explicit mate-
      Google’s search also looks for           see a results list that’s much more fo-    rial, we also clicked the Use Strict
   image ALT tags that a Web site de-          cused. Notice that we didn’t include       Filtering option.
   signer might use during a site’s con-       words such as “the” or “this” because         This search was much more ac-
   struction. These tags might provide a       Google throws out ultra-generic            curate, as Google returned dozens
   description of the image for older          words, anyway.                             of images and maps of the Hilton
   browser versions that can’t display                                                    hotel in Paris. And thanks to the fil-
   images, or for browsers with the                                                       tering option, no adult-oriented im-
                                               Sophisticated Searches
   image display option disabled.                                                         ages appeared.
      How does Google find and sift               When basic keyword searches wind           You should keep in mind that the
   through all of this data and then re-       up providing you with too many un-         SafeSearch filter in Google Image
   turn your results so quickly? The an-       related results, you can use the ad-       Search is powerful but imperfect.
   swer is that it doesn’t—not in real         vanced search capabilities within          There are three SafeSearch settings:
   time, anyway. Google uses automated         Image Search. These tools will help        No Filtering, Use Moderate Filtering,
   software that continually downloads         you refine and hone your searches so       and Use Strict Filtering.
   text from Web sites all over the world,     that Google will know what you’re             If you select No Filtering, Google
   and then it stores that text in large-ca-   looking for.                               won’t censor results at all. If you
   pacity index computers. Those index            Using the advanced Image Search         choose Use Moderate Filtering,
   computers act just like the index in        features, you can spec-
   the back of a nonfiction book.              ify image size, file type,
      When you use Image Search,               coloration, domain,
   you’re actually searching the indexed       and you can apply a
   data, which is why sometimes you see
   either outdated image information, or
   you find that Google isn’t yet listing               After you click a
   an image that you’re sure is online.              thumbnail, Google
   Those problems aside, Google’s                 displays a screen with
   Image Search is so massive that it will       the thumbnail on top
   point you to thousands, even millions            and the main image
   of images related to your keywords, a             below. You can tell
   fact that makes this tool very handy          Google to remove the
   during your online adventures.                top frame at any time.



36 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          THE SEARCH




                                                        Google offers three levels of      Google’s part, because all Google
                                                        image filtering to prevent         does is let you view these images on
                                                        explicit images from popping       the Web.
                                                        up onto your screen. The              But it means you should take pre-
                                                        filter works only for English      cautions if you plan to download and
                                                        language searches.                 use an image for your own purposes.
                                                                                           If you see an image that you find
                                                         want a small- or medium-          useful, you can follow the thumbnail
                                                         sized image for email pur-        back to the Web site that’s storing the
                                                         poses, this filter helps you      image to see if there are any indica-
                                                         weed out large images you’d       tions that the image is copyrighted.
                                                         need to resize.                      If you don’t see any notice of copy-
                                                            In addition to the Size op-    right, don’t assume that it’s OK for
                                                         tion, you can use the File        you to download the image and in-
Google will omit most explicit images         Type drop-down menu to sort by JPEG          corporate it into a product brochure
from your list of results. This is the        (Joint Photographic Experts Group),          you’re designing. Not only is this
default setting for Image Search. The         GIF (graphics interchange format), and       kind of behavior rude and insensitive
Use Strict Filtering option should re-        PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file         to the person who created the image,
move all explicit images from your            formats. This option is useful when          but you might also be using an image
image search results, and it will apply       you know the image you’re looking for        that doesn’t have a clearly marked
SafeSearch filtering to your ordinary         is in a specific format, or when you         copyright notice.
Google Web searches, too.                     want to download an image and you               The only way to be sure you’re not
    Like all filtering services, SafeSearch   only want one file type.                     violating copyright laws when you
makes mistakes. That means poten-                The Domain filter lets you limit          use an image from the Web is to con-
tially offensive images might appear in       Image Search results to one Web site or      tact the site’s owner and ask for per-
your list of results even when you’re         domain. For instance, you could search       mission. Once you have a go-ahead
using the Moderate or Strict settings.        only domains such as .edu or .com, or        from the image’s creator, you won’t
You should also know that SafeSearch          you could search only CNN.com for a          have to worry about being on shaky
filters out explicit material only if         specific news image. This option is es-      legal ground.
you’re executing searches in English.         pecially useful when your searches turn
So if, for example, you run a few             up too many unrelated images from all
                                                                                           At The End Of The Day
searches in Spanish, SafeSearch won’t         over the Web, or when you know for
filter your results at all.                   sure that an image is located on a spe-         When the Web was in its infancy,
    Engaging other options. The other         cific Web site or domain.                    finding multiple images on one subject
advanced search options are useful,              Breakin’ the law. In addition to the      often took a lot of investigative work.
too. For example, if you want to re-          possibility that Google will lead you        In the era of Google’s Image Search,
strict your results to images of a spe-       to explicit material no matter what          finding a specific graphic or image is as
cific size, you can use the Size              SafeSearch option you engage, Image          easy as typing a few keywords. With
drop-down menu and select Small,              Search might also point you to other         just a little practice you’ll be able to
Medium, or Large, which means that,           potentially problematic graphics.            find the exact images you’re looking
respectively, you’ll see results of 150 x     Because Google’s robotic image in-           for with minimal frustration. RS
150 pixels or smaller, images with di-        dexing scheme is so effective, it often
mensions between 150 x 150 pixels             links to images protected by                                       BY   NATHAN CHANDLER
and 500 x 500 pixels, or images bigger        copyright. That’s no crime on
than 500 x 500 pixels.
    The Size option is one of Image
Search’s most valuable capabilities, be-               Someone took the time to
cause without it, Google will list im-                  create the images you see
ages of all sizes in your results. If                   on Image Search, and that
you’re looking for a high-quality image             means those images could be
you can print at home, you’ll want to               protected by copyright. Don’t
sort out the smaller images, many of               reproduce the images you find
which contain far too little data to let             with Google until you obtain
you create a clear print. And if you just                the creator’s permission.



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 37
                                                            THE SEARCH




     Read All About It
                                                                                          The first is the use of computer-based
                                                                                          algorithms to determine which stories
                                                                                          receive headlines. The second is the
                                                                                          inclusion of articles from various
               Google Offers Personalized News                                            sources for each news event.
                                                                                             As opposed to traditional online
                                                                                          news sources, which rely on editors to
                                                                                          decide which stories deserve coverage,
                                                                                          Google News does not have any news
                                                                                          editors. Instead, it takes advantage of
                                                                                          computer algorithms to calculate
                                                                                          which news stories are most relevant
                                                                                          and deserve top coverage. Because no
                                                                                          actual person selects the stories that
                                                                                          Google News will list, the algorithms
                                                                                          remove much of the subjectivity of
                                                                                          news selection.
                                                                                             Google News’ algorithms take sev-
                                                                                          eral factors into account. First, it
                                                                                          makes use of clustering algorithms
                                                                                          that try to determine which articles
                                                                                          are about the same topics. You can
                                                                                          see how this works on the Google
                                                                                          News page. Under Top Stories you
                                                                                          will see that each story has a main
                                                                                          headline and brief excerpt. There are
                                                                                          also links to two other stories about
                                                                                          the same event, links to other publica-
                                                                                          tions’ accounts of the event, and a
                                                                                          link to a list of all related stories. The



   G
              one are the days when we           every 15 minutes to provide the most     text in these articles is not identical,
              had to wait for the evening        recent headlines.                        so Google had to use a clustering al-
              news to learn what happened           In theory, journalism should be ob-   gorithm to analyze the articles’ words
              in the world. Today, thou-         jective and communicate only the         and determine which are related.
   sands of news sites post new articles on      facts without reflecting a viewpoint.       Google News also uses an algo-
   the Web throughout the day, providing         However, authors make decisions          rithm to rank the newsworthiness of
   us with the most current news. Many           about which facts to include or em-      topics. It does this by analyzing the
   people have a series of sites they check      phasize, and news editors decide         number of news sites that cover the
   to get the latest news related to their ca-   which stories to publish, as well as     story, the placement of that story on
   reers and personal interests. Google          which receive the most prominent         those sites, the number of hits the
   News (news.google.com) gives users a          placement in their publications. This    stories receive, and the ranking of
   unique glance into current events and         often results in articles presenting     the sites which run the story. Stories
   offers several ways to receive the news.      slightly different perspectives, even    with the highest scores from the al-
   Google News is still in beta release, so      if the content itself is objective.      gorithm receive the highest place-
   keep in mind that some of the features        Furthermore, our view of events is in-   ment in the list of headlines on
   we cover may change between press             fluenced by where we live. For ex-       Google News.
   time and the time you read this.              ample, CNN.com (www.cnn.com)                Because Google News groups re-
                                                 often places a different emphasis on     lated stories together, you can
                                                 events in Iraq than England’s BBC        choose to read more than one ac-
   Newsworthy Notes                              News (news.bbc.co.uk) does.              count of an event for a more bal-
     Google News scans approximately                Google News can help you get a        anced view of the news. You can also
   4,500 news sites for articles posted          more balanced account of the day’s       use Google News to see how news
   within the past 30 days. According to         events. There are two reasons for the    coverage varies across the world or
   Google, it searches for new stories           relative objectivity of Google News.     how the nature of a story has



38 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                       THE SEARCH




                                                                                     The Advanced News Search lets you
                                                                                     narrow your search according to
                                                                                     criteria such as the news source and
                                                                                     publication date.


                                                                                     in the upper-right corner of the
                                                                                     Google News page. The Find Results
                                                                                     section has a gray background and
                                                                                     has the same fields you will find in
                                                                                     other advanced Google searches. The
                                                                                     available operators under Find
                                                                                     Results include With All Of The
                                                                                     Words, With The Exact Phrase, With
                                                                                     At Least One Of The Words, and
                                                                                     Without The Words.
                                                                                        For instance, if you want to find
                                                                                     news articles that contain informa-
                                                                                     tion about both caffeine and dia-
                                                                                     betes, you would type caffeine
                                                                                     diabetes in the With All Of The
                                                                                     Words field. Google News would
evolved over time. To read coverage       about a politician or current event        search for articles that contain both
of current events from around the         have evolved. You can often see how        words, although they may not neces-
world, click the News link under the      sentiment changes toward a given           sarily appear side by side in the text.
Google logo on Google’s home page         person or topic over time. Although        If you want them to appear together,
(www.google.com). Then use the            some Google News users will never          use the With The Exact Phrase field
Top Stories drop-down menu under          see a need to read multiple accounts       instead of the With All Of The
the Google News banner to select          of the same story or sort articles by      Words field.
one of the 22 available international     date, these Google News tools are             There are also search operators
editions (such as U.S., U.K., or          very useful for people who strive for      specific to Google News. These in-
Australia). Click the Go button. The      the most balanced account of cur-          clude News Source, Location, Occur-
top Google News headlines for that        rent events.                               rences, and Date. You can use the
country’s edition will appear.                                                       News Source operator to find an ar-
   You can also see how a story has                                                  ticle that appeared on a specific news
evolved over time. To do this click the
                                          News Clues                                 site. To do this type the name of a
All (Number) Related link beneath an         Just as Google’s Web Search has an      news site, such as USA Today, in the
article’s headline and excerpt. Then      Advanced Web Search option, Google         Return Only Articles From The News
click Sort By Date in the upper-right     News has an Advanced News Search.          Source Named field. Google News
corner of the screen. For instance, we    This tool lets you create a set of con-    will then limit its search results to
sorted stories about a tropical storm     ditions, also known as operators, for      those that appeared in that publica-
by date. We could see that early arti-    your search. For instance, you might       tion. Similarly, you can perform a
cles merely mentioned the growing         limit the period of time in which an       Location search by typing the name
storm in the Atlantic Ocean. As we        article was posted, or you might           of a country or state in the Return
followed the articles through time, we    choose to include only articles from       Only Articles From News Sources
could see how the coverage became         publications based in a certain            Located In field.
more urgent as the storm gathered         country. You can often find more re-          The Return Results Where My
force and headed for land. We could       liable information by performing an        Terms Occur drop-down menu lets
see not only that the knowledge about     Advanced News Search than by using         you select where in the article your
the tropical storm increased but also     a basic Google Web Search because          search terms appear. You can choose
that the type of coverage it received     Google News only searches news sites       from Anywhere In The Article, In
changed as the storm intensified.         rather than all Web sites.                 The Headline Of The Article, In The
   Sort By Date is also useful if you        To access these advanced options,       Body Of The Article, or In The URL
want to see how the news stories          click the Advanced News Search link        Of The Article.



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 39
                                                            THE SEARCH




      Finally, you can search by Date.           drop-down menu. Next, use the            Terms column to perform a quick
   First, select either the Return               How Often drop-down menu to in-          search of all the articles published
   Articles Published or Return Articles         dicate whether Google News should        about that topic in the past 30 days. If
   Published Between radio button.               check for new articles Once A Day,       you want to change any of the search
   If you choose Return Articles                 As It Happens, or Once A Week.           criteria for one of your Google Alerts,
   Published, you will select how re-            Finally, type your email address in      click the corresponding Edit link.
   cent the articles must have been              the Your Email field and click Create    Type new words in the Search Terms
   published (Anytime, Last Hour, Last           Alert. Click the Google Alerts link to   field or select new criteria from the
   Day, Past Week, or Past Month).               return to the Google Alerts page.        Type or How Often drop-down
   If you choose Return Articles                    Before you receive any Google         menus. When you are finished, click
   Published Between, you will use               Alerts, you will need to follow the      the Save button. If you want to re-
   drop-down menus to select a range             instructions Google sent to you in a     move one of your Google Alerts, click
   of dates from which the articles              confirmation message. When you           the Delete link. To eliminate the
   may have been published. Because              receive this message from Google         Google Alert, click the OK button in
   Google News only covers recent sto-           Alerts (googlealerts-noreply@google      the resulting dialog box. By default,
   ries, you can only search for articles        .com), click the first link to confirm   Google Alerts sends HTML (Hyper-
   published within the past 60 days.            that you want to receive Google          text Markup Language)-based mes-
                                                 Alerts. Click the second link if you     sages to your email address. If you
                                                 want to cancel the Google Alerts re-     would like to receive basic, text-only
   On Alert                                      quest. When you click the confirma-      messages, click the Switch To Text
      Google News also offers a tool             tion link, the Google Alerts Manage      Emails link in the upper-right corner
   called Google Alerts, which can no-           Your Alerts page will load automati-     of the page.
   tify you by email when it finds new           cally. You can create additional
   articles about topics of interest to          Google Alerts by typing words or
                                                                                          Be Your Own News Editor
   you. To use this tool, click the News         phrases in the Search Terms field,
   Alerts link on the left side of the           selecting a search type from the Type      One of the most useful tools
   Google News page. You can use the             drop-down menu, choosing a search        Google News offers is a customized
   Create A Google Alert box to set up a         frequency from the How Often             news page. You can automatically
   new Google Alert, or if you have a            drop-down menu, and clicking the         receive the headlines most impor-
   Google Account, you may wish to               Create Alert button.                     tant to you. Imagine receiving a
   click the Sign In To Manage Your                 You will also see a list of all the   newspaper with not only sections
   Alerts link, which will let you main-         Google Alerts you’ve created. Click a    such as World, Sports, and Enter-
   tain and manage a set of alerts. If you       hyperlinked item from the Search         tainment but also Biking, Italian
   choose to sign in, you will need to
   click a pair of links to read the Terms
   Of Service and Privacy Policy. After
   you read these, click the I Have Read
   And Agree To The Terms Of Use
   Start Using Google Alerts button.
   Then follow the instructions on-
   screen to log in.
      If you choose not to sign into a
   Google Account, type the words for
   which you want to search in the
   Search Terms field. By default, your
   Google Alerts will include only
   searches of Google News. However,
   you can also choose Web, News &
   Web, or Groups from the Type


     You can use Google Alerts if you want
     email notifications when Google finds
                  articles of interest to you.



40 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                      THE SEARCH




Greyhounds, and Environmental             about topics of your choosing. To get         Then right-click the appropriate field
Engineering. Perhaps you’d have an        started click Add A Custom Section.           in your feed reader and click Paste.
entire section of the paper devoted       Type any words for which Google                  By using feeds you can receive
to your favorite musician. With           News should search in the Keywords            Google News headlines in the same
Google News you can create a news         field. For example, if you wanted your        place that you receive all your other
page that delivers the stories that       personal page to have a section with          news headlines and feeds. In fact, you
matter most to you.                       news stories about arthritis, you             could even receive Google News head-
   If you haven’t used Google News’       would type arthritis in the Keywords          lines through another online news site
customization options before, you         field. Use the Stories drop-down              that supports feeds. For example, you
will see the Standard News version of     menu to choose how many headlines             could configure My Yahoo! (my
the page. Click the Customized News       Google News should list for this new,         .yahoo.com) to serve Google News
link in the upper-right corner of the     custom category. Click Add Section            headlines on your My Yahoo! page.
page to create your own personal          when you are done.                               There are a couple of downsides to
news page. Then click Edit This              Finally, you can click and drag sec-       using feeds rather than visiting the
Customized Page. In the Edit This         tions to change the order in which            Google News page. First, whereas the
Customized Page box, you will see         they appear. When you are done cus-           Google News page displays the top
the each of the news sections, such as    tomizing your news page, click the            headlines for each news event, the
World, U.S., and Sci/Tech, in the         Save Layout button. Then click Close          Google News feed will deliver only
order in which they will appear on        in the upper-right corner of the Edit         one top headline for each event.
your personalized Google News page.       This Customized Page box.                     Second, feeds are not available for
To change the content of any of these                                                   non-English editions of Google News.
sections, click the linked title of the                                                 This limits feeds to editions such as
section. To remove the section, select
                                          Get Your Feed Of The News                     U.S., U.K., Australia, and other
the Delete Section checkbox and              Finally, one of the latest changes         English-based editions.
click Save Changes.                       to Google News is the addition of
   If you would rather make changes       News Feeds. To use this feature, you
to the section, select an edition, such
                                                                                        The News That’s Best For You
                                          will need separate software called a
as U.S., U.K., or Canada English,         feed reader, or you will need a Web              The great benefits of many of
from the Edition drop-down menu.          site that supports RSS (Really Simple         Google’s online tools are often that
If you would like to change which         Syndication) or Atom feeds. RSS and           they give you a lot of control over the
news section appears in that portion      Atom are both technologies that let           type of information the search engine
of your personalized page, choose a       you choose the publications for               retrieves. Google News follows this
different news category from the          which you would like to read head-            trend, letting you choose the news
Section drop-down menu. Finally,          lines on a regular basis. Your feed           categories that most interest you.
use the Stories drop-down menu to         reader will automatically deliver             With Google News you can create a
choose how many headlines Google          those headlines, short summaries,             single news source that serves you ar-
News should list for the category.        and links to the news articles.               ticles from a variety of sources about
When you are finished, click the Save     Instructions for using these feed             the topics you really care about. RS
Changes button.                           readers will vary, so you’ll need to
   If you want to add one of Google’s     follow the documentation for the                                        BY   KYLEE DICKEY
standard sections (World, U.S.,           program or service you use. At some
Business, Sci/Tech, Sports, Enter-        point you will need to enter the URL
tainment, Health, or Top Stories),        for the feed. To do this, right-click
click Add A Standard Section. Once        the RSS or Atom link on the left side
again, select an Edition, Section, and    of the Google News page. (Check
the number of Stories that Google         your feed reader’s documentation to
News should display in the results.       find out which standards the reader
Then click Add Section.                   accepts.) Then click Copy Shortcut.
   What is potentially more useful
than Google News’ standard sections,
though, is its custom sections. You            In the Edit This Customized Page box,
can actually create your own custom            you can rearrange the sections of your
sections of your news page that will              Google News page and add unique
summarize the most recent news                                       news categories.



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 41
                                                                THE SEARCH




           It’s Not Cheap,
                                                                                                 also employs the familiar Google
                                                                                                 search technology. Google’s spider-
                                                                                                 esque software crawls the Internet,
                                                                                                 making note of Web sites that sell


              It’s Froogle
                                                                                                 products. When you run a search,
                                                                                                 Froogle checks these sites for the
                                                                                                 product you want. If a site has what
                                                                                                 you want, Froogle will include it,
                  Your One-Stop Online Shop For                                                  along with other pertinent product
                                                                                                 and distributor information, in your
                      Finding The Best Deals                                                     search results. Much like Google’s
                                                                                                 Web search, a Froogle search will dis-
                                                                                                 play your results based on relevance
                                                                                                 to the search terms you’ve entered.
                                                                                                    To perform a basic search from
                                                                                                 Froogle’s home page, type the item
                                                                                                 you’re looking for in the search box
                                                                                                 and click Search Froogle or simply
                                                                                                 press ENTER. For example, say we
                                                                                                 wanted to search for a new keyboard:
                                                                                                 We’d simply type keyboard in the
                                                                                                 search box and click Search Froogle.
                                                                                                 Of course, if you happen see the
                                                                                                 product you wanted to search for in
                                                                                                 the Recently Found Items section, just
                                                                                                 click it, and you’ll be taken directly to
                                                                                                 the search results for that item.

                                                                                                 Advanced Search


   S
           ure, your spouse may have               same. While it displays the typical
           blushed when you tried to talk          Google Search box, it also proudly              If the basic Froogle search just isn’t
           that Girl Scout down a buck or          posts the definition of the term              doing it for you, you can try the ad-
           two on those Thin Mints, and            “Froogle” right beneath the search sec-       vanced search. To get there, click the
   the kids were a little embarrassed when         tion, as well as listing 25 of the most re-   Advanced Froogle Search link just to
   you asked the cashier at McDonald’s if          cent items searched for on Froogle. Just      the right of the Search Froogle button.
   that was as low as he could go on those         to the right of the Search button, you’ll       You’ll first notice that there are
   Happy Meals, but let’s face it, money           notice tiny links to Advanced Froogle         four boxes in which you can enter
   doesn’t grow on trees.                          Search, Preferences, and Froogle Help.        search terms instead of just the one
      If you believe frugal is an adjective        The seemingly obligatory links to             on the basic search option. If you
   that accurately describes you (though           Froogle’s sister sites (Google Web,           enter your terms in the first box,
   your family might call you downright            Images, Groups, and News) line the            Froogle will include products whose
   cheap), Google’s beta price compar-             top of the search box.                        descriptions contain those words in
   ison program, Froogle, has your name
   written all over it. It uses Google’s
   search technology to locate numerous
                                                   Basic Search
   online stores that sell the item you               Froogle not only looks much
   want to buy. You can then compare               like the main Google Web site, it
   the stores’ prices to get the best deal.

                                                        Froogle’s home page proudly
   First Impressions                                    displays the definition of the
      You may notice that the Froogle                term “froogle” along with some
   home page (www.froogle.com) is sim-                 recently found items. Anyone
   ilar to its sister sites, but not exactly the                 need a pond pump?



42 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     THE SEARCH




                                                  The Advanced Froogle Search          Finally, there is a group of three
                                                  offers a number of options        options that each have a pair of
                                                  that let you manipulate           radio buttons you can use to cus-
                                                  variables. You can, for           tomize the display of your results
                                                  example, control the number       page. The first option lets you
                                                  of results shown on each page     choose whether you want your re-
                                                  and the format in which           sults grouped by stores or if you
                                                  Froogle displays your results.    want to show all the products. When
                                                                                    we had the setting on Group By
                                                                                    Store, a search for “optical mouse”
                                                   searches. We’d input values      returned 58,500 matches from 32
                                                   for the lowest and highest       different stores. We switched the set-
                                                   prices, but when we clicked      ting to Show All Products and ran
any part of the product description.      Search Froogle, our search wouldn’t       the same search. This yielded 59,700
The box below that is the Exact           yield any results. While this feature     results, though it was only from 18
Phrase section. Use this if you want      will no doubt be helpful when it is       stores. As you can see, this didn’t ap-
your results to include only products     working properly, don’t put too           pear to drastically change our search
that have the exact phrase you’re         much stock in it right now.               results, but it is one more thing you
searching for in their product descrip-      The next thing you can adjust is       can play around with when you’re
tions. The next option you have is to     the Occurrences feature. This drop-       searching for the perfect widget.
perform a search that includes all        down menu lets you choose which              The next setting is View. Use it to
products that have at least one of the    products to include in your results       choose whether you want to look at a
words you’re searching for in their       based on where your search query          page in List View, which will give you
descriptions. You can use the final       appears in the product description.       the most information, or as a grid,
box to narrow your results by en-         You can choose to view results that       which will shorten the page by giving
tering words that you don’t want to       have your query only in the title of      the bare-bones information, such as
see in your search. For instance, if      the product, only in the description      price and the number of locations, and
you’re looking for a PCI Express          of the product, or in either the title    omit the less relevant information,
video card and don’t want to waste        or the description of the product         such as product descriptions. (You can
your time sifting through comparably      you’re looking for.                       still see the product description in Grid
priced AGP (Accelerated Graphics             Another useful tool right below        View; just click the product you want
Port) video cards, you may want to        the Occurrences drop-down menu is         to learn more about.)
enter PCI Express in the exact phrase     the Category drop-down. Froogle              As you can see, there is a lot to
box and then enter AGP in the             groups the online businesses it           soak up in the List View. If you
Without These Words field.                searches into various categories. You     don’t necessarily need all the infor-
   Just to the right of the All Words     can use this menu to choose which         mation that displays in List View or
search box you’ll notice a couple         group of enterprises you want to          if your scrolling finger is a bit out of
more search options in the form of        search based on the type of product       shape, you might find the Grid View
drop-down menus. The first adjust-        you’re looking for. Say you want a        a little easier to manage. The Froogle
ment you can make is the number of        new mouse for your computer, and          search remains the same; changing
results you want to view per page.        not some food for your pet boa con-       views in no way affects the number
Froogle will show as few as 10 or as      strictor. You can select the
many as 100 results per page.             Computers category from
   To the right of the results menu,      the list, and you will now
you have another drop-down menu           search only the computer
that lets you choose how you want to      and computer parts sellers
view your results. You can sort by the    for the term “mouse,” and
best match to your search query, from     not every seller in Froogle.
the lowest price to the highest price,
or vice versa.                                  The List View gives you
   In theory, the next adjustment you          tons of information and
can control is the price range you’re           reviews on the product
looking for. However, we couldn’t get            you’re seeking and the
this feature to work on our test               online stores that sell it.



                                                                                   Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 43
                                                            THE SEARCH




                                                         SafeSearch is a handy way to      Shopzilla.com or the 97 reviews
                                                         filter out inappropriate Web      found on ResellerRatings.
                                                         sites from your search results.      Next to the store rating is an Add
                                                                                           To List link. If you have a Google ac-
                                                                                           count and click this link, the product
                                                          products answering your          automatically gets added to your
                                                          query. Each of these items       Shopping List. Your Shopping List is
                                                          comes with quite a bit of        simply a list you can set up to mon-
                                                          information. Let’s analyze       itor products. If you don’t have the
                                                          the data you receive from a      green to spend right now, this is a
                                                          typical result in List View.     great way to keep an eye on a poten-
                                                          Proceeding from top to           tial purchase. Other cool Shopping
                                                          bottom, the first thing you      List features include the ability to
                                                          notice is a link that displays   make notes about products you’re
   or quality of the results you get; it        the make and model of a product.           monitoring and the ability to sort the
   just displays the results a little differ-   During our optical mouse search,           products in your Shopping List by the
   ently. Instead of giving each result         the first product we saw was the           highest to lowest price, lowest to
   its own line in the middle of the            Logitech MX510. If you click the           highest price, the date the items were
   page, the grid view now fits three           link, it takes you to the product’s        moved to your Shopping List, or in
   products where one fit in the list           page on the Web site of the store di-      alphabetical order by product title.
   view. This view doesn’t suggest any          rectly below it. For instance, at the         On your results page, there is a
   online stores to buy from like the list      time of print, the MX510 was selling       column on the left that offers a few
   view, nor does it contain the part of        for $49.87 at Office Depot. When we        simple tools to sort your search re-
   the description that includes your           clicked the main link, we were taken       sults. Think of this as an advanced
   search terms, but you still get the av-      to the MX510 page on the Office            Froogle search that is slightly wa-
   erage product rank and access to the         Depot Web site.                            tered down. Although you can’t se-
   reviews written about the product,              Just under the link you’ll see the      lect the number of results you view
   not to mention the link that will take       price and the seller. Next to the          on a page or the level of filtering you
   you to the page containing the links         name of the seller is a ranking.           would like, there are a number of
   of all the online suppliers and the          Froogle uses a 0 to 5 scale that           options you can take advantage of.
   prices at which they have your               buyers can use to rank the online          The first of these lets you switch be-
   product listed.                              store from which they purchased the        tween the Grid View and List View
      The final option you can manipu-          product. In this instance, Office          with a single click. The next adjust-
   late is SafeSearch. If you’re searching      Depot currently scored a 3.7 out of a      ment lets you choose the criteria by
   for something in the presence of little      possible 5 points. When you click          which you can sort your results. As
   ones, it’s a very good idea to enable        the rating, you can view customer          with the advanced search, you can
   SafeSearch. This screens Web sites that      reviews of the store. These reviews        choose between sorting your results
   Froogle searches for inappropriate           are written by customers who have          by price or by relevance to your
   content and deletes all references to        used the Office Depot online store         search query. While the advanced
   sites that contain sexually explicit con-    through various Web sites, including       search had a section that would
   tent. If you go into your Google prefer-     Shopzilla.com, ResellerRatings.com,        allow you to set a low and a high
   ences, you can choose how strictly you       and NexTag.com. While
   want SafeSearch to filter. SafeSearch’s      this page only lists a few of
   Strict Filtering setting automatically       the customer reviews, it
   filters out both explicit text and im-       does offer links enabling
   ages. Moderate Filtering is the default      you to read all 425,000 re-
   behavior; it filters out only explicit im-   views of Office Depot on
   ages. Naturally, No Filtering turns
   SafeSearch off completely.
                                                        Froogle lets you view
                                                      thousands of ratings of
   How To Interpret Your Results                        various online stores
     After you run a search with                         from other Internet
   Froogle, you’ll be greeted with many                  shopping Web sites.



44 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                        THE SEARCH




                                                     The guide on the left side          listed that carry the product you’re
                                                     of the results page lets            looking for.
                                                     you customize your                     Beneath some of the product im-
                                                     search and your view to             ages you’ll see product ranking and
                                                     best suit your needs.               review links. These are very similar
                                                                                         to the scores and reviews for the
                                                                                         online stores. For instance, that
                                                     upcoming holidays or spe-           Logitech MX510 optical mouse we
                                                     cial occasions.                     were looking at earlier has an av-
                                                        Right below the line that        erage rating of 4.4 out of 5. This
                                                     lists the price, seller, and        score is based on 86 reviews, all of
                                                     the link to add the product         which you can read by clicking the
                                                     to your Shopping List is a          links located in the reviews page to
price between which to search, we           brief blurb from the seller’s Web site       which you are taken when you click
had trouble getting it to return re-        that contains your search term in            the product rating.
sults. In this section of the results       bold. You can View the
page, there’s a similar price range         entire product descrip-
filter, only this filter worked just fine   tion by clicking the link
for us. You can also choose which           at the top of each
category and subcategory you want           product listing. Beneath
to search or the online store you           this description you’ll
want to visit.                              see a link to other no-
                                            table sellers and the
                                            prices they are charging
Shopping List & Wish List                   for the product. If these
  If you’re into dropping not-so-           suppliers have been
subtle hints for birthday gifts, then       ranked using Froogle’s 0
you’ll love the My Wish List feature        to 5 scale, those rank-
of Froogle’s Shopping List. When            ings will also be dis-
you view a product in your Shopping         played. If there are other
List, you’ll see an In Wish List            suppliers that carry the
checkbox in the lower-left corner.          product, those will be included in a         If you click the product ranking link,
When you check that box, the item           link at the very bottom of the               you can see what other people thought
not only stays in your Shopping List,       product description. This is a               of the product you’re considering.
but also goes to your Wish List. The        generic-looking link that will say
Wish List is similar to your Shopping       something such as, “Compare 18
List, but has its own URL that you          items priced from $19.95 to $29.95.”
                                                                                         A Shopper’s Paradise
can give to your friends or family, so      Of course, the number of items and              We would definitely call Froogle a
they have access to gift ideas for          the prices will vary depending on            bargain shopper’s paradise. It’s basi-
                                                              what you’re looking        cally like shopping hundreds, even
                                                              for, but the link tells    thousands, of stores from your own
                                                              you that Froogle has       computer desk. Froogle’s advanced
                                                              found suppliers in         search options really allow you to get
                                                              addition to the few        specific with your query so that you’re
                                                                                         not sifting through a bunch of irrele-
                                                                                         vant results, and you can get a great
                                                                                         balance of product and supplier in-
                                                              The Froogle Shopping       formation by adapting the view to suit
                                                              List is an easy way        your needs. The bottom line is simple:
                                                              to monitor products        Whether you call yourself cheap,
                                                              you’re interested in,      thrifty, or economical, you’re sure to
                                                              even if you’re not         love Froogle. RS
                                                              prepared to buy
                                                              right away.                                           BY SAM EVANS




                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 45
                                                          THE SEARCH




               In The
                                                                                       Barber in the What box and that ad-
                                                                                       dress in the Where box. If you plan
                                                                                       on searching from the same location
                                                                                       for most of your searches, click the


           Neighborhood
                                                                                       Remember This Location box. This
                                                                                       should save the location as a cookie
                                                                                       on your computer. Every time you go
                                                                                       to Google Local, your saved location
    Google Local Helps You Find Everything From                                        should automatically appear in the
                                                                                       Where box. You can get as specific as
             Pizza Places To Pet Stores                                                you want with your location. If you
                                                                                       enter your street address along with
                                                                                       your city and state, not only will you
                                                                                       get all the results you would if you



   G
             oogle Local came about in         referencing every business genre        were searching your town, but you
             March 2004. Sergey Brin,          using Google’s 8 billion-Web-page       will also have easy access to step-by-
             co-founder of Google, said        index will take a while.                step directions from your doorstep to
             of the project, “Google’s                                                 the business you’re looking for.
   goal is to connect searchers with the
                                               Using Google Local
   information they need whether it’s
                                                                                       Keep It Local
   halfway around the world or in their           A wonderful aspect of Google Local
   neighborhood.” Google Local differs         is its simplicity. From the Google         Right below the search bar of the
   from Google’s normal Web search in          home page, click Local located just     Google Local search results page
   that while the usual search gives you       above the search line. Enter what       you’ll see an orangeish-yellow stripe.
   the most relevant search results            you’re looking for in the What box      On the left side of the stripe, it says
   worldwide, Google Local will give           and then enter your address in the      Local in bold, and on the right side, it
   you the most relevant results from a        Where box. For instance, if we were     says Search Within and then gives
   specified area. Though this innova-         looking for a place to get a haircut    you a few different choices ranging
   tion can help you now, it is still in the   near our home base at 131 West          from 1 mile to 45 miles. This is the
   beta stages of testing. After all, cross    Grand Drive, Lincoln, NE, we’d type     search radius. Your current selection
                                                                                       will be in bold. Our current selection
                                                                                       is 45 miles. If we didn’t want to drive
                                                                                       more than 15 miles one way, we
                                                                                       could click the 15 mile option just to
                                                                                       the left of our current 45 mile radius.
                                                                                       Now the only results that will be dis-
                                                                                       played are those within 15 miles of
                                                                                       the search location.
                                                                                          Along with this, it is important
                                                                                       to remember that Google Local
                                                                                       searches in much the same way
                                                                                       Google Web does. Google Web lists
                                                                                       search results in terms of relevance,
                                                                                       and so does Google Local. With that
                                                                                       in mind, don’t be surprised if your
                                                                                       first search result is 13.4 miles away,
                                                                                       while your second search result is
                                                                                       1.7 miles away. Based on your search
                                                                                       criteria and Google’s search formula,
                                                                                       Google determined the business 13.4
                                                                                       miles away from you was more rele-
                                                                                       vant than the place 1.7 miles away,
                                                                                       so be sure to check all of your results
                                                                                       carefully if you’re looking for the



46 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                         THE SEARCH




best combination of usefulness                                                                  the owner listed the business
and proximity.                                                                                  himself, and Google hasn’t had
                                                                                                the opportunity to cross refer-
                                                                                                ence the contact information, in
Get Specific                                                                                    which case it would be wise for
   Immediately below the Search                                                                 you to double check with your
Within stripe, you’ll notice a blue                                                             local yellow pages.
band that has various sponsored
links and a brief description of
                                                                                                Local Maps
what these links are. This is sim-
ilar to the sponsored links you                                                                     Arguably the coolest feature
would find on other Google                                                                       of Google Local is its implemen-
pages. Right below that you may                                                                  tation of Google’s maps. These
notice a line that says Show           Click the marker to bring up a dialog box                 interactive charts can let you
Only. If you search for a fairly       containing that business’ contact information.            zoom in until you’re practically
general topic, as we did with                                                                    on the rooftop of the business
Barbers, oftentimes Google Local                                                                 you’re looking for.
will allow you to break down the                                                                    You can also easily find direc-
category into more specific sub-                                                                 tions using Google Local. If you
categories using the Show Only                                                                   conducted a search using your
feature. For our search for                                                                      whole address rather than just
Barbers, we have the option to                                                                   your city and state, you should
show only Barbers or show only                                                                   automatically get directions to
Beauty Salons in our requested                                                                   any business that appears on
area. This will remove a lot of the                                                              your results list. There are two
irrelevant places and streamline                                                                 ways you can view these direc-
your search results to better fit                                                                tions. One way is to click the
your needs.                                                                                      Directions link that is located
                                                                                                 right under the address. This
                                                                                                 should take you to a screen that
Listings                               Google Local’s results automatically show a business’
                                                                                                 has just about everything you’ll
                                       contact information, as well as links to view
   Below the Show Only line we                                                                   need to find that business, such
                                       directions and references of the establishment.
finally get a peak at our first re-                                                              as a map with the route high-
sult. The first 10 results are as-                                                               lighted and step-by-step direc-
signed a letter and pinpointed on a           Google found the location of this es-        tions written out for you. Google also
map to the right of the listings. If you      tablishment from two references. The         gives you the travel distance and ap-
have more than 10 results per page,           first is www.hellolincoln.com, a Web         proximate time it will take you to reach
you’ll notice that those after the 10th       site that uses the Yellow Pages from         your destination along with links to
listing will be represented on the map        Lincoln, NE, to list the address of          print or email the page as needed.
with a black dot on their respective          local businesses.                               To view directions another way,
red markers.                                     Google also found the same address        you can click the appropriate marker
   Google Local’s listing gives the           for The Walter Beauty Salon listed on        on the map to the right of the list-
name of the establishment and the             www.skincareus.com, so that site is          ings. A dialogue box will pop up
phone number below that. Below the            also listed under its references. It’s not   with the name, phone number, ad-
phone number, you may notice a line           uncommon to spot a business in your          dress, and directions to and from the
that says References. Google Local            search results that has no references.       business. If you’re trying to figure
gathers information from numerous             Don’t necessarily discount it just be-       out how to get there, click the To
Web sites and yellow page directories         cause it doesn’t have a reference.           Here link. Next, enter the address
among other sources. The Reference            Since this is still a work in progress,      you’re starting from if it’s not al-
section will give you a link to all the       Google is still listing businesses.          ready in the text box and click Get
Web sites that cross reference the            However, businesses are also allowed         Directions. This should take you to
contact information for that business.        to enroll themselves in the Google           the same page as the first process
For instance, the first listing in our        Local program. If you see a business         and give you the same printing and
search is The Walter Beauty Salon.            with no references, it could be that         emailing options.



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 47
                                                              THE SEARCH




                                                              and locations of barbers         though it did let us sort these results
                                                              sprinkled throughout our         alphabetically or by distance.
                                                              search result, very few of          The main downfall on Super Pages
                                                              them actually have their         is that its maps just aren’t as cool. And
                                                              own Web site. If they do,        that’s not to say they won’t get the job
                                                              there usually isn’t a pro-       done, because they should be more
                                                              blem finding their phone         than adequate. But the Google Local
                                                              number or address. If            maps that hybridize satellite imaging
                                                              these shops don’t have           with street labels are just plain cool.
                                                              their own Web site, of-             It’s a little tougher to pick a favorite
                                                              tentimes it’s tough to find      between these two. Google Local has
                                                              contact information for          the edge in maps, but Super Pages does
                                                              them from a Web search.          offer a helpful outline of related prod-
                                                              You usually have to go to        ucts. This is basically an enhanced ver-
   The Search Within filter lets you filter out               an online yellow page site       sion of Local’s Show Only filter. If you
   results that are too far away.                             for more help.                   want to view barbers, just click barbers;
                                                                 Although a Google             however, during your search, Super
                                                              Web search can give you          Pages also searches for businesses in re-
                                                              more search results than         lated categories such as Barber Schools
                                                              Google Local, it’s impor-        and Barbers’ Equipment & Supply
                                                              tant to remember the             Stores. While you might not need that
                                                              adage that bigger isn’t          information, Super Pages displays it in a
                                                              better. While the sites          tactful way so that it doesn’t invade in-
                                                              you’re looking for will          formation about your primary search.
                                                              probably be sprinkled               Google Local is a wonderful beta
                                                              somewhere in your hun-           program that makes finding places
                                                              dreds of thousands of            easy. It has helpful interactive maps
                                                              search results, Google           that let you print or email with just a
                                                              Local does a better job of       couple clicks. The satellite maps can
                                                              giving you the most in-          even let you zoom in far enough to
   The Show Only adjustment lets you get rid of               formation on the busi-           find the roof of the business you’re
   businesses that aren’t exactly what you’re looking for.    nesses that fit your search      looking for. If you’ve been using a
                                                              the best.                        Google Web search or even an online
                                                                                               yellow page database, you owe it to
   Google vs. Google                                                                           yourself to give Google Local a try. RS
                                                  Google Local vs. SuperPages.com
      You might be wondering just how
   different Google Local is from a                  While the functionality of Google                                     BY SAM EVANS
   normal Google Web search. We de-               Local might be more
   cided to test both and compare our             helpful than the extra re-
   results. We filtered our Google Local          sults Google Web will turn
   search by showing only barbers                 up, it’s a little tougher to
   within 15 miles of our location. This          pick a favorite when com-
   only gave us about 110 search re-              paring Google Local to an
   sults, but practically all were barber         online yellow pages Web
   shops and all were within 15 miles of          site such as Super Pages
   our location.                                  (www.superpages.com).
      Our Google Web search was a little          This site allowed us to
   different. We searched for “Barbers            search locations anywhere
   Lincoln, NE.” This search yielded              from 1/2 to 100 miles
   267,000 results. The first Web site            from our address. We
   our search listed wasn’t even a barber         chose to search within 15
   shop, but instead was the Web page             miles, just as we did for     Google Local is a neat beta program designed to
   for the Board of Barber Examin-                Google Local. Super Pages     help you find locations for practically any business
   ers. While there are a few names               only gave us 77 results,      or service you can dream up.



48 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                      THE SEARCH




   Google Answers
                                                                                     place of certain types of professional
                                                                                     advice, such as queries relating to
                                                                                     medical, financial, or legal matters.


                   Call On A Professional                                            Answer Hunters
                For Your Toughest Questions                                             Because Google Answers relies on
                                                                                        flesh-and-blood human rsearchers,
                                                                                        its fact-finding process is a little
                                                                                        more involved than something
                                                                                        such as Ask Jeeves (www.ask.com).


Y
       ou remember Mr. Know-It-                                                         The Q & A process is essentially a
       All. Maybe you called him                                                        simple one. When you post a ques-
       Mr. Smartypants, but we can                                                      tion, it’s fair game to every
all remember the kid with all the                                                       Researcher. When a Researcher ac-
answers. With his right hand seem-                                                      cepts a question and begins to
ingly constantly in the air, Mr.                                                        track down the answer, the ques-
Know-It-All dispatched questions                                                        tion is locked for a given amount
ranging from “Where is Tim-                                                             of time, meaning no other
buktu?” to “What is the Second                                                          Researcher can provide an answer.
Law of Thermodynamics?” without                                                            Other registered users (people
breaking a sweat. While you strug-                                                      who use Google Answers just like
gled through your homework, Mr.                                                         you) are free to post their own an-
Know-It-All, that walking, talking                                                      swers as comments, and if you’re
fountain of knowledge, was work-                                                        satisfied with one of these answers,
ing ahead at a breakneck pace.                                                          you can cancel your question as
   Thanks to Google Answers, you                                                        long as it hasn’t been locked or an-
can hire Mr. Know-it-all and put                                                        swered (you’ll still have to pay a
him to work on your questions.                                                          50-cent listing fee).
Although the search engine itself                                                          Although some Researchers
does an admirable job scouring                                                          have expertise in a particular field,
the World Wide Web for answers                                                          don’t assume a Researcher who
to your most perplexing questions,         common sense should deter you             answers your question about the
technology can only go so far; Google      from asking questions such as “Does       Valley of the Kings is a scholar in
is only as effective as the person using   that cute girl in the third row even      Egyptian history. Google Answers
it. That’s not exactly the most com-       know I exist?” there are certain types    thoroughly screens potential Re-
forting feeling when you need to           of questions Google Answers frowns        searchers with test questions and
know if a particular tidbit of knowl-      up and may even remove. Avoid             guarantees Researchers are experts at
edge is accurate.                          asking any questions that:                locating information from both on-
   A crack team of “more than 500          • May seek private information            line and offline resources. Each
carefully screened Researchers” con-          about individuals                      Researcher should also have top-
stitutes the heart and soul of Google      • Request advice about engaging in        notch communication skills, but
Answers. Even though Researchers              illegal activities                     Google Answers lets Researchers field
are independent contractors (mean-         • Sell or advertise products              questions about subjects in which
ing they’re not on Google’s payroll),      • Refer or relate to adult or lewd        they possess little or no intimate
Google takes this service very seri-          content                                knowledge. Either way, Google
ously and has a number of safeguards       • Pertain to homework or exam             Answers offers a refund process if
in place to ensure the answers you re-        questions (earn that degree, son)      you’re not satisfied with your answer.
ceive are correct.                                                                      To ensure its service remains first-
   Before you rely on Google An-             Also, Google requests you send an       rate, Google Answers regularly evalu-
swers as your all-encompassing au-         email regarding any specific questions    ates Researchers and their answers.
thority on the universe’s greatest         about Google or Google Answers to         Before they even answer a single ques-
mysteries, understand there are            answers-support@google.com. Finally,      tion, Researchers undergo a thorough
limits to its power. Although a little     don’t expect an answer to take the        screening. Once a candidate becomes a



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 49
                                                                 THE SEARCH




   bona fide Researcher, Google editors             Here To Continue. Enter a nickname                 25% plus a 50-cent nonrefundable
   can spot-check the Researcher’s an-              (at press time, your Google Answers                listing fee. You can set a price be-
   swers and return your question to the            nickname is unchangeable) and select               tween $2 and $200 for your question.
   system if they discover a problem with           the type of email notification you                 Setting a higher price will make your
   the particular answer. Finally, Re-              want to receive regarding activity with            question more attractive to Re-
   searchers who receive enough negative            your questions. Click the checkbox                 searchers, and it’s almost essential if
   feedback or have a certain number of             next to I Accept and Create My                     you have a very difficult question; a
   questions returned will no longer be al-         Google Anwers Account.                             Researcher will probably not spend
   lowed to answer questions as a part of              Once you create your Google                     five hours digging up information
   Google Answers.                                  Answers account, you’re ready to start             about Evel Knievel’s favorite motor-
                                                    asking questions. On your Google                   cycle tires for $3.50. Also, Researchers
                                                    Answers account page, click the Ask A              will usually provide more thorough
   Riddle Me This
                                                    Question link in the upper-right part              answers for more compensation.
      You have your question in mind                of the page. Enter a subject for your              Click How Do I Price My Question?
   and decide it’s time to call in a pro-           question; this can be very broad, such             for more tips, but the adage “You get
   fessional. First, open a                                                                                             what you pay for” is a
   Web browser with an                                                                                                  good rule of thumb.
   active Internet con-                                                                                                    Select a category and,
   nection and go to an-                                                                                                if applicable, subcate-
   swers.google.com.                                                                                                    gory for your question.
   Click Login In Or                                                                                                    Our backpacking ques-
   Create A Google Ac-                                                                                                  tion may include the
   count. If you’ve never                                                                                               Sports And Recreation
   used Google Answers,                                                                                                 category and Travel
   click Sign Up Now! to                                                                                                subcategory. Next, click
   create a Google ac-                                                                                                  Continue To Payment
   count (this also gives                                                                                               Information.
   you access to the fol-                                                                                                  You’ll enter your
   lowing Google ser-                                                                                                   credit card information
   vices: Google Alerts,                                                                                                on the next page. Goo-
   Gmail, Froogle Shop-                                                                                                 gle charges your card
   ping List, Google                                                                                                    after 30 days or for
   Groups, Personalized                                                                                                 every $25 you spend,
   Search, Google In                                                                                                    whichever is sooner.
   Your Language, and                                                                                                   After you enter your
   Google Web APIs).            Think of your account page as home base for all of your Google Answers needs.           card information, you
   Enter your current                                                                                                   can click Pay Listing
   email address and                                                                                                    Fee And Post Question
   choose a password. In the Word                  as “Backpacking in Europe.” However,                to post your question (Google Answers
   Verification section type the charac-           you’ll want to be more specific and                 will then take you to a confirmation
   ters you see in the field provided.             provide as many details as possible in              page) or Go Back And Edit Question if
   Click Terms Of Service if you wish to           the Question field. For example, if                 you want to tweak your question. You
   read the TOS. Otherwise, click I                you’re planning a backpacking vaca-                 can preview your question at the
   Have Read And Agree To The Terms                tion across Europe and want to know                 bottom of this page before you post it.
   Of Use and then Create My Account               how much money to bring for hostels,                Once your question posts, it will re-
   to proceed.                                     helpful details to include might be the             main active for one month.
      Google will send an email to the             cities you’ll likely stay in and the
   email address you provide to activate           number of other people accompanying
                                                                                                       Elementary, My Dear Watson
   the account. Click the first link in the        you on your trip.
   body of the email to activate your ac-             Next, set a price for your question.                Google Answers will send you an
   count (if you’re using a Web-based              This is what you will have to pay                   email when a Researcher answers
   email account, we recommend open-               when a Researcher answers your                      your question, requests clarification,
   ing a separate Web browser). After              question. The Researcher will receive               or if a Google Answers user has left a
   activating your account, select Click           75% of the price, and Google rakes in               comment. You can also check your



50 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                         THE SEARCH




account profile for this information.       (between $1 and $100) for your Re-             another Researcher to take a stab at
When you log in, your account page          searcher. Researchers receive 75% of           your question (you won’t be charged
should show “Needs Attention” next          your original amount offered, but              another 50 cents for a listing fee). Click
to the question that has been an-           they receive 100% of the tip you leave.        Request A Refund if you simply want
swered or needs clarification. Click           You may not be satisfied with your          your money back. List the Question ID
the link, and Google Answers should         answer initially, but instead of immedi-       in the appropriate field and state why
indicate if the Researcher has either       ately giving a poor rating or requesting       you want a refund. Click Submit
answered your question or requested         a refund, click Request Answer                 Request to complete the request.
clarification. If the Researcher asks       Clarification, explain your concerns,
you to clarify your question, click the     and click Post Request. If this avenue
                                                                                           And That’s Their Final Answer
Clarify Question button, enter any          leads to a dead end or you’re simply
new information the Researcher re-          not satisfied, you can leave a poor              As you can see in the “Google An-
quested, and click Post Clarification.      rating and request a refund.                   swers Put To The Test” sidebar, Google
   If a Researcher has answered your           To request a refund, you need your          Answers generally provides what it
question and you’re pleased with the        Question ID number. On your account            promises. And perhaps one of the best
result, click Rate Answer and give the      page, click the question for which you         parts of Google Answers is that many
Researcher an appropriate rating.           want a refund and look at the header.          Researchers will list the searches they
Click the drop-down box and choose          The Question ID number is listed               used to arrive at their answers. Study
a rating between one and five stars.        below the line that indicates when the         their methods, and you could be on
Add a comment in the field below,           question expires. Next, go to answers          your way to finding answers yourself. RS
and if you’re particularly pleased with     .google.com/answers/refundrequest.
your answer, you can leave a tip            Click Repost My Question if you want                                      BY   VINCE COGLEY



  Google Answers Put To The Test
    J ust for fun, we thought we would see if this Google service could put its money where its mouth is. We registered for
      our own account and posted three questions for the Google Answers team. To test the Researchers’ mettle, we posed
    three types of questions. Without further ado, we introduce:

  The Softball. We wanted our first question to be relatively      stumper. Not only did the Researcher correctly answer our
  simple yet require a little legwork from a Researcher. In this   question, our answer contained links for additional informa-
  case, we were interested in discovering how fast someone         tion about Keuning and the band itself.
  could answer our question.
  Question: “When was baseball’s Triple Crown invented?”           The Screwball. Sometimes, it’s not a Researcher’s fault. In this
  We offered: $5                                                   instance we feigned confusion over a question we asked and
  Result: A Researcher took a stab at this question as a com-      hoped a Researcher would recognize the mistake and pro-
  ment, and we thought it was a reasonable response. Never         vide the right answer.
  ones to turn down a freebie, we cancelled the question and       Q u e s t i o n : “Did Alan Shepard say any famous words or
  only paid Google’s mandatory 50-cent listing fee.                quotes when he became the first man in space?” (It seems
                                                                   like a simple a question, and you can find plenty of Alan
  The Fastball. Realizing many people often take facts gleaned     Shepard quotes littered across the Web. But Shepard was
  from online sources as Gospel, we tried to devise a question     only the first American in space. Russian cosmonaut Yuri
  that might take our researcher outside the imaginary bound-      Gagarin was the first man in space.)
  aries of the World Wide Web.                                     We offered: $3
  Question: “What high school did The Killers’ guitarist (not      Result: Zoinks! Within a mere five minutes, a Researcher
  bassist) graduate from?” (One of our in-house illustrators at-   caught on to our tricks, properly identifying Comrade
  tended Pella Community High School, the same school as           Gagarin as the first man in space (but we should add that
  the big-haired rocker, Dave Keuning. We have the yearbook        the question did trip up a couple of Researchers). Feeling a
  to prove it.)                                                    little guilty, we modified our question in search of a Gagarin
  We offered: $15                                                  quote, and we received a couple of Gagarin quotes in a com-
  Result: Our $15 bounty for this question must have been a        ment. After a couple of days, a Researcher posted an official
  suitable offer, because it took our Researcher just under 90     answer, and we had our Gagarin quotations in hand. ❙
  minutes to answer what we thought was a pretty good



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 51
                                                        THE SEARCH




             The Ultimate
                                                                                      engines link to content without re-
                                                                                      stricting the information that appears,
                                                                                      but if you enter a search term into
                                                                                      Google Print, you won’t find many


             Card Catalog
                                                                                      search results that display entire books.
                                                                                      Google likens its service to a vast on-
                                                                                      line card catalog: The search engine
                                                                                      helps users find books that have infor-
             Google Print Is A Digital Bookshelf                                      mation about their search topics. Once
                                                                                      you locate a book via Google Print,
                                                                                      you’ll probably need to buy the book
                                                                                      or check it out of a library.
                                                                                         What makes Google Print so useful
                                                                                      is that you can search a database (that
                                                                                      draws from a variety of institutions
                                                                                      and publishers) from a single search
                                                                                      engine instead of poking around at
                                                                                      local libraries or visiting multiple
                                                                                      bookstore Web sites. Another plus is
                                                                                      that Google Print helps you find
                                                                                      books you might miss if you searched
                                                                                      the old-fashioned way: Bookstores
                                                                                      carry a limited numbers of titles,
                                                                                      which means you might never see
                                                                                      books from small-time publishers.
                                                                                      Because Google doesn’t charge book-
                                                                                      sellers for adding their titles to the
                                                                                      Google Print index, small presses are
                                                                                      lining up to participate right along-
                                                                                      side large publishers.




   A
              lthough doomsayers fore-      behind and find a device that has a
                                                                                      Where Google Gets Its Books
              casted the demise of books    screen—a far cry from a book’s easy-
              when personal computers       to-flip pages.                               Until Google stopped adding books
              first flooded the consumer       Although you won’t find a ton of       to its index (see the “Copyright
   market, the talk never turned into re-   books floating around the Internet        Trouble” sidebar to read more about
   ality. Real-world bookstores and print   ocean, you can search for many of-        why the search engine’s ambitious
   publishers continue to thrive even as    fline books from the comfort of your      plans are temporarily on hold), it
   other content providers, such as the     home office, thanks to Google. The        pulled titles from a select group of
   music industry, scramble to prevent      search engine behemoth, whose mis-        publishers and libraries. The Google
   the Internet and home PCs from           sion is to “organize the word’s in-       Print Library Project and the Google
   dragging down offline sales.             formation,” recently jumped from          Publisher feed Google Print’s capabil-
      That’s not to say that book pub-      its online stronghold and landed          ities. The Print Library’s pool isn’t ex-
   lishers aren’t watching the music        squarely in the offline world. Thanks     panding at the moment; Google has
   industry’s dilemma with concern.         to Google Print (print.google.com),       already selected several libraries,
   But books haven’t caught on in the       you can search offline books via a        including Harvard University and
   Internet world as fast as other con-     nearly identical search interface to      Stanford University libraries and The
   tent, in part because the digital book   Google’s Internet search engine.          New York Public Library.
   format changes the way a person                                                       The Google Publisher Program reg-
   reads. Whereas a home user can listen                                              ularly adds to its stable of publishers.
   to digital music on a portable music
                                            Google Goes Offline                       Google accepts titles from both small
   player (which is fast replacing the        Google Print lets you search for        and large publishers and adds a Buy
   portable CD player), a digital book      books via the Internet, but it isn’t an   This Book link to search results. As a
   reader must leave the traditional book   online library. Other Google search       result, small publishers who can’t



52 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                              THE SEARCH




afford to promote all of their titles          domain book to a Print searcher,              Gmail email account, you can use it
can finally do so without any real in-         which means you can find a book via           in lieu of a Google Print account.)
vestment. Google doesn’t charge pub-           your search term, flip to the first page,     Google tracks searches, which means
lishers for this service, as it draws          and then read it from digital cover to        that if you log into your Google Print
revenue via advertising.                       digital cover. Of course, you’d prob-         account and then search, Google will
    Publishers who have already scanned        ably rather read the book while sitting       be able to associate your account
their own books to PDF (Portable               in a comfortable chair—keep in mind           name with your searches.
Document Format; Adobe’s digital               that Google targets the search engine
document image format, which dis-              at visitors who want to find books
                                                                                             Searching, Searching
plays documents via the free Adobe             rather than read them online. Thus,
reader available at www.adobe.com)             Google Print delivers only a tiny por-           You’ll find Google Print in Google’s
can simply send the PDFs to Google.            tion of the page in which your search         More, More, More section. (Click
But many publishers don’t have the fa-         term appears when it finds entries in         More on the main page to find this
cilities to scan books, so Google also ac-     library books that still maintain copy-       area.) If you’ve searched for Web sites
cepts book shipments from publishers.          rights. Publishers, however, must             via Google’s main page, you won’t
(Google has its own scanning facili-           loosen up a little when they agree            have any trouble hunting down books;
ties.) Publishers can also send a list of      to let Google index their books:              the interfaces are nearly identical.
titles to Google, in which case Google         You’ll find that most let you view the        Type in your search term, click the
locates the books at a library and then        search term’s page, as well as a few          Search Print button (or press the
scans them.                                    nearby pages.                                 ENTER key on your keyboard), and
                                                  Google also prevents users from            you’ll see a list of books. Each listing
                                               abusing its index by blocking some            includes a photo of the cover (if avail-
Protect Copyrights                             pages of certain books. You can find          able), the title, author, year the edition
   Although some library books fall            some viewable pages of most books,            was published, number of pages, and a
into public domain (in which case              but if you run across a search result         short clip containing your search
Google can scan them without in-               that blocks access to pages you want          term. Not surprisingly, the right side
fringing copyright), publishers own            to see, you may be able to unlock the         of the search page includes Google’s
the copyrights to their books. Google          pages by registering for a free Google        ubiquitous Sponsored Links column.
Print can display all of a public              Print account. (If you have a Google          Instead of display adds for books, the


  Copyright Trouble

 G     oogle Print draws its
       books from two pro-
 grams: the Google Print
                               certain pages so Google
                               Print searchers can’t read
                               the entire book
                                                               added to the database)
                                                               opt out of the Print
                                                               Library Project. It also
 Publisher Program and             But the Print Library       stopped scanning copy-
 the Google Print Library      Project (which scans both       righted material from li-
 Project. The Print            public domain books and         braries—putting much of
 Publisher Program hasn’t      copyrighted books but           the Print Library Project
 run into any copyright        tightly restricts page views    on hold. (Public domain
 problems as it’s an opt-in    so that searchers can’t         books remain fair game.)
 program: Publishers who       read much of the text) hit      Google pointed out in its
 want to add their texts to    a speed bump. Publishers        blog (googleblog.blogspot
 Google Print’s searchable     complained that Google,         .com) that its use of opt-
 database simply send          which scanned books             out programs (as op-
 Google the books (or PDF      from certain libraries, was     posed to opt-in pro-
 versions of the books) or     actually scanning some          grams) isn’t new. For ex-
 give Google permission to     books without the pub-          ample, Web site adminis-
 retrieve the books from a     lishers’ permission. Google     trators can opt out of
 library. Once Google          responded by letting pub-       Google’s index of Web
 scans the text and adds it    lishers (and any other          sites. Google plans to re-
 to the database, the          copyright holders who           sume scanning all library
 search engine giant blocks    don’t want their material       materials in November. ❙



                                                                                            Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 53
                                                                   THE SEARCH




                                                                                                    the book’s ISBN (International Stan-
    SafeSearch                                                                                      dard Book Number).
                                                                                                       If you can tell by the brief blurb on

    I  f you have children in
       the house or simply
    don’t want to accidentally
                                   setting, which doesn’t filter
                                   most text but does filter
                                   images. To adjust the
                                                                   button. SafeSearch applies
                                                                   to Google Print, as well as
                                                                   other Google searches. ❙
                                                                                                    the main search results page that you
                                                                                                    have the right book and wrong page
                                                                                                    (for example, you see a book that
    view adult content when        SafeSearch set-                                                  probably covers the topic in which
    you search for informa-        tings, visit                                                     you’re interested, but the result’s
    tion via Google, you can       Google’s                                                         blurb isn’t in the area of the book that
    take advantage of              home page                                                        interests you), click the faded More
    SafeSearch, Google’s ex-       and then click                                                   Results From This Book link under-
    plicit content-filtering       Preferences. If                                                  neath the blurb. Google Print then
    tool. As Google’s Help         you want                                                         lists all instances of your search term
    Center points out, the         SafeSearch to                                                    and the corresponding page numbers.
    tool might not catch           check for both
    every bit of adult-oriented    text and im-
    material out there, but        ages, click Use
                                                                                                    Results
    parents will probably be       Strict Filtering                                                    Thanks to Google Print’s interface,
    glad to have it available.     and then click                                                   you can easily find books without
        SafeSearch is enabled by   the Save                                                         knowing the title or author name
    default at the Moderate        Preferences                                                      (“What was the name of the book?
                                                                                                    Something Mockingbird?”) and dis-
                                                                                                    cover other books that you wouldn’t
   columns generally tout products that              Book take you directly to the book’s           have found in your local bookstore.
   relate (in best-case scenarios) to your           listings at online retailers. The Book         Google Print temporarily stopped
   search term.                                      Pages section links to copyright info          adding certain books to its vast collec-
      You can learn more about one of                and may also link to chapter ex-               tion just before we went to press, due
   these search results by clicking the              cerpts or an index. The About This             to concerns about protecting copy-
   book’s title. Once you click the link,            Book link takes you to a page that             rights (see the “Copyright Trouble”
   you’ll see whatever text Google Print             includes a synopsis, a Reviews sec-            sidebar), but Google Print’s search
   is willing to make available, as well             tion that generally includes one-line          feature remains available. RS
   as Book Pages and Buy This Book                   testimonials, and a Bibliographic
   areas. The links under Buy This                   Information section that includes                                         BY JOSHUA   GULICK



     Copyright Print Account

    G     oogle tries to avoid
          copyright infringement
    in a number of ways, in-
                                        free Google Print account. (If
                                        you have a Gmail email ac-
                                        count, you can use your user-
                                                                            Create A Google Account
                                                                            link at the bottom of the re-
                                                                            striction message and then
                                                                                                              tains a link. Click the link to
                                                                                                              verify your account.
                                                                                                                 Keep in mind that Google
    cluding restricting access to       name and password.)                 enter an email address and        tracks your searches once
    certain books. When you                If you encounter this re-        password. You’ll also need to     you sign into a Google ac-
    browse your search results,         striction and want to sign up       enter a special one-time          count. If you don’t want
    you’ll find that some results       for an account, click the           password that appears in the      Google to associate your
    let you view mul-                                                                window. Finally, read    searches with your username,
    tiple pages, while                                                               the Terms Of Service     you’ll need to log out and
    others will let you                                                              and Google’s Privacy     settle for the search results
    view only a small                                                                Policy and then click    that don’t require a Google
    portion of the text.                                                             I Have Read And          account. Also, you can click
    And in some cases,                                                               Agree To The Terms       the View Unrestricted Page
    the Google Print                                                                 Of Use. Create My        link to view other pages
    blocks access to the                                                             Account. Next,           within the book, but these
    book and demands                                                                 Google will send you     pages probably won’t include
    that you sign into a                                                             an email that con-       your search term. ❙



54 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     THE SEARCH




                 Are We
                                                                                     get you across town or from coast
                                                                                     to coast.
                                                                                        Getting started is easy. After you
                                                                                     load the site in your Web browser,


                There Yet?
                                                                                     you’ll see a map of the United States,
                                                                                     and at the top, three tabs: Maps,
                                                                                     Local Search, and Directions. Al-
                                                                                     though Google separates these tabs
  Google Maps Revolutionizes Online Mapping                                          for clarity, they’ll usually retrieve the
                                                                                     same results for given keywords; for
                                                                                     example, typing “pizza in Chicago”
                                                                                     on the Maps tab shows the same
                                                                                     results as a Local Search with the
                                                                                     same keywords.
                                                                                        Better control. After you run a few
                                                                                     basic searches you might think
                                                                                     Google Maps is just like other map-
                                                                                     ping sites. But there are plenty of fea-
                                                                                     tures here you’ll find only on Google,
                                                                                     including maps that are much easier
                                                                                     to manipulate than with other sites, a
                                                                                     greater range of detailed search re-
                                                                                     sults, and perhaps best of all, maps in-
                                                                                     tegrated with satellite imagery.
                                                                                        For starters, Google makes map
                                                                                     searches easy. Many mapping sites are
                                                                                     completely exasperating because they
                                                                                     use clunky interfaces—first, you find
                                                                                     the map you want, and then you zoom
                                                                                     in to take a closer look. But then you
                                                                                     want to pan west, and that’s when the


G
      oogle revolutionized Web           any references to Google Maps on            problems begin: Every time you click
      search technology, working as      Google’s primary search page, partly        West, the site loads the map all over
      a trusty guidepost for bewil-      because (like so many of Google’s           again, so slowly it feels as if you’re pan-
dered users trying to find their         offshoots) this one is still in beta, or    ning in slow motion.
way around on the Web. The site’s        test, form. Click More, and you’ll see         Google Maps bypassed this method
massive success meant that it was only   a long list of extra Google capabili-       and instead introduced so-called
a matter of time before Google           ties, including Google Maps.                draggable maps. You don’t have to
branched out with tools to help             Once you find the Google Maps            click an arrow to see portions of the
people get around in real life, too.     link, you’ll be privy to a new world—       map adjacent to the area you’re
Thus, we have Google Maps (maps          literally—of location information.          viewing. All you have to do is click the
.google.com), a mapping site com-        Here, you’ll find maps aplenty in-          map and drag it, pulling it the way
plete with many innovative and           cluding detailed information for the        you’d slide a paper map across a
typically Google-esqe touches that       United States, Canada, Japan, and           tabletop to see areas too far away for
make it more fun and easier to use       the United Kingdom, as well as satel-       your eyes. Double-click any area of
than many traditional Web-based          lite imagery with fewer details for         the map to center it.
mapping tools.                           other areas of the globe. As with              You don’t even need your mouse to
                                         other online mapping sites, you can         scroll through the scene. Use the arrow
                                         zoom out to get a stratosphere-level        keys to scroll, or to pan even faster, use
Get Lost                                 view or zoom in for a plethora of de-       the HOME, END, PAGE UP, and
  If you’ve never heard of Google        tails. You can also use Google Maps         PAGE DOWN keys. The plus key (+)
Maps before, don’t worry, you’re         to find specific businesses, complete       and minus key (-) come in handy, too,
not the only one who’s unfamiliar        with contact information and ad-            letting you zoom in and out faster than
with the territory. You won’t find       dresses, and driving directions to          with the mouse pointer.



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 55
                                                                 THE SEARCH




      More information. Many                                                                                   a broad swath of the area and
   mapping sites also make                                                                                     highlights main thorough-
   it difficult to access detailed                                                                             fares in yellow, so you in-
   information about area busi-                                                                                stantly know which streets
   nesses or attractions. Google                                                                               carry the highest volume
   Maps, on the other hand,                                                                                    of traffic. It also clearly de-
   simplifies this process by in-                                                                              notes one-way streets with
   tegrating place names and                                                                                   large arrows.
   phone numbers into a list                                                                                       If you want to refer to text-
   that appears on the right side                                                                              based directions, all you have
   of your map.                                                                                                to do is look to the right side
      For example, if you want                                                                                 of the page, where Google
   to find golf courses in New                                                                                 displays step-by-step instruc-
   Orleans, you would type golf                                                                                tions for finding your desti-
   courses in New Orleans and                                                                                  nation. Click the numbers to
                                      You can click and drag any part of Google Maps to scroll
   click Search. The site displays                                                                             the left of each step, and
                                      through an area. A slider on the left side of the page lets
   a map of the city with lettered                                                                             Google magnifies the step
                                      you zoom in and out for better views.
   balloons indicating every golf                                                                              so you can see exactly how
   course. Those balloon icons                                                                                 to navigate your turns. Just
   also appear on the right side                                                                               above these directions you’ll
   of the screen next to the golf                                                                              see a Reverse Directions link,
   course names and phone                                                                                      which flip-flops the start-
   numbers. Click the course                                                                                   ing and ending points, and
   name, and you’ll see an ad-                                                                                 at the top of the page you’ll
   dress, and if it has one, a Web                                                                             see one-click links that let
   site URL.                                                                                                   you magnify the start and
      You’ll also see links called                                                                             end addresses.
   Directions To Here and From                                                                                     Snazzy satellite graphics.
   Here. Click To Here and type                                                                                Most mapping sites already
   a start address, and Google                                                                                 offer color maps and text di-
   Maps will list driving direc-                                                                               rections. However, Google
   tions to get to the course.                                                                                 takes the mapping concept
   Click From Here and type a                                                                                  further. Click the Satellite
   destination, and Google Maps       Google Maps quickly finds businesses in your area. You’ll see icons      button, and you’ll see a map
   will tell you how to get from      denoting business locations, as well as phone numbers and driving        composed of satellite images.
   the course to a bar or restau-     directions on the right side of the map.                                 Instead of squiggly lines
   rant where you can relax after                                                                              standing in for city streets and
   your round.                                                                                                 highways, you see the roads
      Google plots your route with the          regular map graphics, satellite im-                   themselves. As you can imagine,
   starting point as a green balloon and        agery, or a combination of both. All                  photos convey a lot of information
   displays a purple line that connects to      three versions offer different pros and               missing from regular maps. Photos
   your red destination balloon icon.           cons for your mapping sessions, and                   reveal the lay of the land in hills, trees,
   Click either icon and a smaller win-         to switch between the different map                   and other landmarks that you won’t
   dow pops up, displaying a magnified          styles, just click the buttons named                  see with traditional mapping systems.
   portion of the area in the immediate         Map, Satellite, or Hybrid on the top                  Plus, it’s just way cool to be able to
   area around your destination or              right of your screen.                                 zoom in on your house knowing that
   starting point. This feature helps you          Google Maps’ regular color graphic                 these pictures were taken from high
   more effectively start and end trips         maps look different than those from                   above Earth.
   with tricky directions.                      other mapping sites. Load a map for a                     Detail level varies depending on the
      Myriad maps. In addition to all of        specific intersection in your town and                area you search. In general, you’ll find
   its helpful directional and business         you’ll see what we mean. With most                    more detail in areas with large popu-
   information, one of Google Maps’             sites, you’ll simply see a tiny section               lations. Zoom in on cities, and you
   most useful and compelling features          of a typical map with hard-to-read                    can get close enough to see individual
   is its variety of maps, which include        icons. In contrast, Google displays                   cars. Countryside photographs reveal



56 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          THE SEARCH




plenty of detail for planning trips                                                             who subscribe to Hot Or Not. If
or just to satisfy your curiosity.                                                              you want to get an idea of how
   Click Hybrid and Google su-                                                                  many subscribers live in a specific
perimposes many map elements,                                                                   zip code, you can find them in-
such as streets and street names,                                                               stantly, complete with a photo
onto the photos you see. In some                                                                and a link to help you meet your
cases, this layout gives you the                                                                potential date.
best of both worlds, helping you                                                                   House Hunting—Take an aerial
better visualize the area you’re                                                                tour of homes and apartments in a
viewing, with road names that                                                                   city where you’d like to relocate
guide your eyes when you have                                                                   using HousingMaps (www.hous
trouble identifying certain areas                                                               ingmaps.com), which combines
on a satellite image. If you’re                                                                 Google Maps with real estate list-
looking for landmarks in an area    Request driving directions and Google Maps connects         ings on Craigslist (www.craigslist
that’s undergone development in     your start and end points and also provides text-based      .com). Using HousingMaps, you
the past couple of years, you       instructions right next to the map.                         can quickly find housing descrip-
might notice that the photos are                                                                tions complete with pictures and
outdated. That’s because Google                                                                 contact information.
currently uses older photographs                                                                   Crime Alerts—Check out the
for some locations; eventually                                                                  Chicago Crime (www.chicago
Google will update these areas to                                                               crime.org) site, which uses Goog-
reflect changes.                                                                                le Maps to help you see a crime
                                                                                                map of the city. You can sort
                                                                                                crime by type (try first-degree
Endless Possibilities                                                                           murder) and then see which part
   Google Maps is so powerful                                                                   of the city has the highest inci-
and so easy to use that it provides                                                             dent rates. You can even click
endless productivity and fun for                                                                each crime to see the time and
Web site developers and Web en-                                                                 date it was reported.
thusiasts. Many of these folks      So-called “mashups” combine Google Maps with other             Cheaper Gas—Tired of wasting
combine Google Maps with other      software capabilities. This Cheap Gas mashup helps you      gas to find the cheapest fuel in
software tools to create so-called  find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood.                 your city? Take a look at Cheap
mashups, which are sometimes                                                                    Gas (www.ahding.com/cheap
useful, sometimes just-for-fun                                                                  gas), a site that combines Gas-
programs that exploit Google                                                                    buddy (www.gasbuddy.com) with
Maps’ power. Here are a few of                                                                  Google Maps. Pick your city name
our favorite mashups.                                                                           from the drop-down menu, and
   Web Sightseeing—No time to                                                                   you’ll see map complete with cur-
take a vacation? Go sightseeing                                                                 rent gas prices listed next to
through your PC. This repository                                                                fuel station names and addresses.
(googleglobetrotting.com) of                                                                    You can even sort by unleaded
Google Maps points you to vir-                                                                  and diesel.
tual destinations all over the                                                                     Virtual Pedometer—Ever won-
world. You can check out Rod                                                                    der exactly how far you’re walking
Stewart’s mansion, Disney-Land,                                                                 or running during a workout, and
and the San Diego Zoo. Or cruise                                                                how many calories you burned?
over to Michael Jackson’s           There are many Google Maps mashups on the Web.              Another developer combined
Neverland Ranch, Area 51, the       Google Globetrotting lets you visit famous sites            Google Maps with some nifty pro-
White House, the World Trade        from around the globe.                                      gramming to create the Gmaps
Center site, among thousands                                                                    Pedometer (www.sueandpaul.com
of others.                                                                                      /gmapPedometer) site. Click a few
   Hot Spots—Clever developers            Google Maps to create Hot Maps                   waypoints, turn on the calorie counter,
combined the Hot Or Not (www              (hotmaps.frozenbear.com) so you can              and feel like you’re getting exercise sit-
.hotornot.com) personals site with        find, roughly, the location of people            ting at your PC.



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 57
                                                                 THE SEARCH




                                                                                             It’s A Blast—One of the more omi-
    The Evils In All Routes                                                               nous mashups we found will let you
                                                                                          map potential nuclear bomb damage.

    I  f you set out for Phoenix and wind up in Anchorage, you might want to reeval-
       uate the driving directions you found on that free online mapping site. Well,
    let’s hope no mapping site ever sends you on a goose chase quite this wild, but
                                                                                          Load the High-Yield Detonation
                                                                                          Effects Simulator (meyerweb.com
                                                                                          /eric/tools/gmap/hydesim.html) and
    you should be aware that different mapping sites do offer varying opinions on         you can see a blast radius superim-
    the best way to get from point A to point B, and one set of instructions may be       posed across any area you choose.
    much more efficient than others. We used three mapping sites—Google Maps,             You can also change the bomb yield
    Yahoo! Maps, and Mapquest—to see how proposed routes differed. We entered             to see how big a bomb would have to
    a number of different start and end points and found that there’s no doubt these      be to cause complete devastation in a
    sites offer very different, and often imperfect, driving advice with significant      specific metropolitan area.
    mileage and driving time variations. Thus, it’s best to double-check your results        Cell Phone Detective—Your cell
    with a printed atlas.                                                                 phone consistently loses its signal at
                                                                                          a specific area in your city, and you
                           Estimated Distance Estimated Drive Time                        can never figure out exactly why.
                                                                                          Now you can locate your provider’s
    Starting point #1
                                                                                          towers to see if you’re simply too far
    Google Maps            7.7 miles               16 minutes
                                                                                          away to obtain a strong signal.
    Yahoo! Maps            6.9 miles               15 minutes
                                                                                          Mobleidea built a cell phone tower
    Mapquest               6.49 miles              15 minutes
                                                                                          locator site (www.cellreception.com)
    Route #2                                                                              that lets you find towers and fig-
    Google Maps            2,906 miles             48 hours                               ure out which provider uses them.
    Yahoo! Maps            2,951 miles             45 hours, 24 minutes                   You can even click the tower to see
    Mapquest               2,912 miles             43 hours                               its exact location and height above
                                                                                          the ground.
    Route #3
                                                                                             Orange Barrel Finder—Combine
    Google Maps            457 miles               9 hours 13 minutes
                                                                                          two powerhouse tools—Yahoo Traffic
    Yahoo! Maps            464 miles               7 hours 8 minutes
                                                                                          Map and Google Map—with weath-
    Mapquest               455 miles               7 hours 49 minutes
                                                                                          er data, and you get a site (traffic
    Route #4                                                                              .poly9.com) that lets you see weather
    Google Maps            1,439 miles             28 hours                               and traffic information in one snap-
    Yahoo! Maps            1,447 miles             22 hours 15 minutes                    shot. Click the warning icons and you
    Mapquest               1,448 miles             22 hours 14 minutes                    can view detailed information on
                                                                                          traffic delays in your city.
    Route #5
    Google Maps            310 miles               6 hours 12 minutes
    Yahoo! Maps            310 miles               5 hours 39 minutes                     Final Destination
    Mapquest               311 miles               5 hours 33 minutes
                                                                                             Google Maps has a lot of Google-
    Route #6                                                                              ish traits, such as simplicity, fun,
    Google Maps            413 miles               9 hours 1 minute                       and innovation, all of which make
    Yahoo! Maps            414 miles               6 hours 21 minutes                     this site very different from other
    Mapquest               417 miles               6 hours 48 minutes                     online mapping tools. Even though
                                                                                          the beta version is a little rough
                                                                                          around the edges, it’s still powerful
                                                                                          enough to help you find business
    Route Details                                                                         information, driving directions, and
    #1 - South 70th and Pioneers to North 12th St. and Vine Street (Lincoln, NE)          more, in a matter of seconds, all
    #2 - Times Square Hilton to Haight St. and Ashbury St. in San Francisco               of which will come in very handy
    #3 - Oklahoma Sooners football stadium to Nebraska Cornhuskers stadium                the next time you’re plotting out
    #4 - Crawford, TX to Washington, D.C.                                                 an adventure. RS
    #5 - Philadelphia to Boston
    #6 - E 16th St & Pegram St in Charlotte, NC to Bruce St & W 2nd St in Lexington, KY                       BY   NATHAN CHANDLER




58 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                         THE SEARCH




                                                                                                             free online content can
                                                                                                             hinder research. Think
                                                                                                             of Google Scholar as an
                                                                                                             online catalog rather
                                                                                                             than a portal to articles.
                                                                                                                If an article is avail-
                                                                                                             able online, you can
                                                                                                             click its title. However,
                                                                                                             if you see “[citation]”


Smart                                                                                                        in front of an article’s
                                                                                                             title, Google Scholar
                                                                                                             found the title cited in
                                                                                                             another article but has


Searches
Google Scholar Pinpoints Scholarly Research
                                                                                                             not found an online
                                                                                                             copy of the work.
                                                                                                                Google offers tools
                                                                                                             to help you find copies
                                                                                                             of articles not avail-
                                                                                                             able through Google
                                                                                                             Scholar. First, if you



A
          s a scholarly research tool,      Google Scholar’s algorithm deter-             see a Library Search link next to a
          Google’s Web Search can           mines how well-accepted a scholarly           title, you can click the link to search
          produce unreliable and irrel-     work is based on how many other arti-         for libraries that hold a print copy of
          evant links. For instance, a      cles cite it. For this reason, a student’s    the article.
Web Search for prescription drug            thesis that is not cited elsewhere will          If you click the Web Search link
studies will often produce links to on-     rank lower than a journal article cited       under the listing, Google will auto-
line pharmacies rather than research.       in 15 other scholarly papers.                 matically perform a Web Search for
Google has a special tool called Google        The algorithm also factors in au-          the article. It performs this search
Scholar (still in beta release) that can    thors. It gives greater weight to arti-       based on the first listed author’s name
help users search for scholarly articles.   cles written by people who authored           and the first word or words of the ar-
                                            many other scholarly works. Finally,          ticle’s title. In some cases, it may also
                                            Google Scholar’s algorithm also de-           include keywords from your original
Uncover Lost Resources                      termines search rankings based on an          Google Scholar search. Sometimes,
   Google Scholar includes only             analysis of an article’s text for key-        this Web Search provides a link to the
scholarly literature, such as abstracts,    words, as well as the number of hits          article at a site not crawled by Google
peer-reviewed papers, and theses.           the online article receives.                  Scholar. The Web Search may also
Most of the work is from academic              Although this algorithm often pro-         produce a link to a site where you
publishers, professional organiza-          duces the most influential articles, it is    may buy a copy of the publication.
tions, and universities. Nonscholarly       not without its faults. Because older            If you simply want more informa-
sites, such as blogs, online pharma-        articles are likely to have been cited        tion about the title before buying or
cies, company Web sites, and per-           more times than newer articles, we            checking out a print copy, click the
sonal Web pages, should not appear          found that older research often               Cited By link under the article’s listing.
in Google Scholar’s search results.         ranked much higher than the newest,           Here, you can browse other papers that
   You can access the Google Scholar        most groundbreaking research. There           cite the article. In many cases, these ar-
page at scholar.google.com. The             are ways, though, to improve your             ticles will summarize some of the re-
Google Scholar page looks very similar      search results, which we will cover           search contained in the first article.
to the main Google page, with a search      later in this article.                           Google Scholar often provides links
field, a Search button, and a few links.       Beyond free content. Google Scholar        to articles with restricted access for
   Search results are listed in order of    not only lists freely available online        which you need a subscription to the
relevance, as determined by an algo-        content, but also subscriber- and print-      publication. Google Scholar requires
rithm. Similar to how the Google Web        only articles. This can be irritating         that publishers provide an abstract if
Search algorithm considers a site’s         when you don’t have instant access            the full text is not freely available.
popularity based in part on the             to what could be a promising article.         However, we often found that pub-
number of Web pages that link to it,        But unnecessarily restricting results to      lishers did not follow this rule.



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 59
                                                            THE SEARCH




      Your library may have a subscrip-         Google Scholar. To brush up on per-         name. Include quotes around the full
   tion to publications containing re-          forming a Google search, especially         name for more accurate searches. You
   stricted-access articles. In addition,       using operators, see “One In A Bil-         can also add an author operator to a
   your library may make some of its            lion” on p. 31. There are also special-     search. To do this, simply type author:
   holdings searchable through Google           ized search tools available in Google       and the author’s name (use quotation
   Scholar and available online to pa-          Scholar.                                    marks around the name if it is more
   trons. For the most complete access to          To access Google Scholar’s special       than one word). Then type keywords
   articles, you should indicate any insti-     search options, click the Advanced          for which you’d like to search, for ex-
   tution with which you are affiliated.        Scholar Search link or go to scholar        ample, author:“LJ Cooper” histamine.
   Once you configure Google Scholar            .google.com/advanced_scholar_search.           On the Advanced Scholar Search
   for your institutional affiliation, if       Here you can add operators (search          page, the next operator listed is
   additional content is available through      criteria) to searches. Each field on the    Publication. If you know the journal in
   your library, you will see links to hold-    Advanced Scholar Search page is for         which the article appeared, you can
   ings at your library. You should also        one of the operators. Those under Find      search only articles from that publica-
   gain access to restricted-access articles    Articles, which appear in front of a        tion. You may need to use some trial
   if your library has a subscription to        bluish-green background, are the same       and error to find the journal you’re
   the publication’s online content.            operators you’ll find in an Advanced        looking for because citations abbreviate
      To gain access to your institution’s      Search in Google’s basic Web Search.        journal names in various ways. For in-
   resources, click the Scholar Prefer-         In addition, you will also find the         stance, the Journal of Applied Mathe-
   ences link on the main Google Scholar        Scholar-specific Author, Publication,       matics may be abbreviated as J of App
   page. Type the name of your univer-          and Date operators.                         Math or Jnl of Appl Math.
   sity or other institution in the                To search for an article by author,         Finally, you can restrict searches
   Institutional Access field and click the     type the author’s name in the Return        by date. This is especially useful
   Find Institution but-                                                                                    if you want only the
   ton. If your library is                                                                                  most recent research
   signed up with Google                                                                                    on a specific topic. As
   Scholar, you will see it                                                                                 we mentioned earlier,
   in a list. Make sure its                                                                                 Google Scholar tends
   checkbox is selected. A                                                                                  to favor older articles.
   message on the page                                                                                      To restrict a search by
   also indicates that you                                                                                  date, type a start and
   may need to log in                                                                                       end year in the Return
   with a library pass-                                                                                     Articles Published Be-
   word, use a campus                                                                                       tween fields.
   computer, or configure
   your browser to use a
                                                                                                            Higher Education
   library proxy. Specific
   instructions for gain-                                                                                      Google Scholar can
   ing access to your in-                                                                                   provide search results
   stitution’s resources                                                                                    that are far more de-
   through Google Schol-                                                                                    pendable than those
   ar vary from institu-                                                                                    achieved through a
   tion to institution so        You can use the Advanced Scholar Search to narrow search results by        regular Google Web
   you will need to check        Author, Publication, and Date, as well as other criteria.                  Search. Because of its
   with a librarian for de-                                                                                 focus on academics
   tails. Make sure you                                                                                     and scholarly work,
   have cookies enabled (so Google              Articles Written By field and click         Google Scholar is mainly geared to-
   Scholar will save your preferences)          Search Scholar. Most authors’ names         ward the academic world. Google
   and click the Save Preferences button.       are indexed with first initial, middle ini- Scholar’s listings are still far from
                                                tial, and last name. However, if you        complete, but they do provide a
                                                don’t get the results you want, you         useful starting point for students
   Scholar Search Tips
                                                should experiment with other varia-         and researchers. RS
      Many of the basics of using Goo-          tions, such as first initial and last name
   gle’s Web Search also apply to using         or first name, middle initial, and last                                BY KYLEE DICKEY




60 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                           THE SEARCH




                     Boutique
                                                                                          .com/bsd). Google also offers a U.S.
                                                                                          Government Search (www.google
                                                                                          .com/unclesam) that helps you find
                                                                                          information from government agen-


                     Searches
                                                                                          cies and a University Search (www
                                                                                          .google.com/intl/en/options/universi
                                                                                          ties.html) that lets you find informa-
                                                                                          tion from educational institutions.
                   Specialty Search Engines                                                  You can access specialty searches di-
                                                                                          rectly by entering the proper URL, or
                Help You Narrow Your Search                                               you can click the Advanced Search link
                                                                                          next to the search field on the Google
                                                                                          home page (as well as on most other
                                                                                          Google search pages). The specialty
                                                                                          searches are listed near the bottom of
                                                                                          the Advanced Search page (along with
                                                                                          links to Google Print and Google
                                                                                                Scholar, which we cover on pages
                                                                                                   52 and 59, respectively).

                                                                                                   Red, White & Blue
                                                                                              Sometimes it feels like government
                                                                                             Web sites are designed more to ap-
                                                                                              peal to some sort of arcane set of
                                                                                            regulations than for ease of use.



E
        very member of the driving             on Windows XP, searching the entire        Google’s U.S. Government Search pro-
        public has experienced it at           Web is going to yield some results         vides an alternative to the endless
        one time or another: the in-           about running Firefox on Linux. A          browsing of government Web sites.
        ability to find our keys when          better approach is to use a specialized    The U.S. Government Search can be
we’re running late for an appoint-             Google search engine to focus only on      helpful for finding mundane items
ment. Usually, we manage to find               Microsoft-related Web sites. When          such as tax forms, but most of us al-
them by focusing on the part of the            we searched for Firefox on Google’s        ready know that we can find such
house where we think our keys are              home page, we received 34,900,000          forms on the IRS’ site. The real useful-
most likely to be. If we last came in          results. Using Google’s specialized        ness of Google’s U.S. Government
came in through the kitchen door,              search engines to focus on Microsoft-      Search is when you’re not even sure
there’s a good chance our keys are             related Web sites, however, produced       where to begin looking.
somewhere in or near the kitchen. If           just 4,150,000 results. In other words,       Actually, even finding tax forms is
we’re smart we check there first,              using the Microsoft search page elimi-     simpler when using a specialized Google
rather than start off by looking               nated some 30 million results. Still an    search than when trolling the IRS’ site
through the entire house.                      awful lot to sort through, of course,      unaided. A simple search for “1040”
   Sometimes trying to find informa-           but only about 11% of the sites we         using Google’s specialty search engine
tion online feels like finding a lost set of   might have had to check out.               returns a link to the most recent version
keys. And just as when you’re searching                                                   of Form 1040 from the IRS Web site
for your keys, you can improve your                                                       atop the search results. Directly below
chances of finding what you’re looking
                                               That’s Our Specialty                       the link to Form 1040 is a link to instruc-
for if you can search a subset of the             Google offers six specialty Web         tions on how to properly fill out the
Internet rather than trying to search          searches, four of which deal exclu-        form. In contrast, searching for “1040”
the entire thing. Google makes this            sively with computing platforms:           from Google’s home page returns plenty
possible by offering several specialty         Microsoft Search (www.google.com           of pages from tax preparation sites such
search engines that target particular          /microsoft.html), Apple Macintosh          as eSmartTax and MSN Money, but the
subsections of the Internet.                   Search (www.google.com/mac.html),          IRS link wasn’t even included in the first
   For instance, if you’re looking for         Linux Search (www.google.com               200 results. Adding “Form” and “IRS” to
information about running Firefox              /linux), and BSD Search (www.google        the search string produced a few links to



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 61
                                                             THE SEARCH




   sites with information about Form 1040        Again, Google’s specialty searches           Linux, and BSD searches sometimes
   (some of which may link to the official       provide a bit of extra help by letting       prove more helpful than a Microsoft-
   form), but we still didn’t note a direct      you zero in on a specific operating          specific search. For instance, if you
   link to the IRS Web page in any of our        system. If you’re having problems            want to know whether you can access
   results. Even restricting a search for        with an application in Windows, you          a FAT32 external hard drive in OS X,
   “1040” to the IRS’ Web site (www              can search Windows-related Web               Google’s Apple Macintosh Search is a
   .irs.gov) didn’t produce the kind of effi-    sites. If you can’t get KDE working on       good place to start. Searching for
   cient results we got from Google’s U.S.       BSD, you can avoid those pages that          “OS X FAT32” on Google’s home
   Government Search.                            discuss making KDE run on Linux.             page produces 132,000 results. The
       Browsing through government Web              In some ways, Microsoft may be            same search using Google’s Apple
   sites can be especially frustrating when      the most useless of the specialty            Macintosh Search yields only 27,300
   you’re not even sure which govern-            searches. Given the widespread use           results, the very first one of which was
   ment agency you need to deal with.            of Microsoft’s products, it’s entirely       entitled “Are FAT32/NTFS File
   For instance, if you’ve never had a           likely that results from searching           Systems Handled By Mac OSX?”
   passport and suddenly need one, you           Google’s home page will closely              which sounds exactly like what we’re
   may not know where to begin looking           match results from Google’s (sup-            looking for. As it turns out, the link
   for information. Searching for                                                                       points to a forum where the
   “passport” on Google’s home                                                                          topic is discussed and thor-
   page results in a bunch of ir-                                                                       oughly answered.
   relevant links, many related to                                                                         Linux is becoming popular
   Microsoft’s Passport service.                                                                        with some power users who
   The same search on Google’s                                                                          have the patience and desire
   U.S. Government Search,                                                                              to learn it. If you’re one of
   however, returns a page from                                                                         those determined to give
   the U.S. Bureau Of Consular                                                                          Linux a try, you’ll want to
   Affairs (a part of the State                                                                         keep Google’s Linux Search
   Department) with all kinds of                                                                        in mind. You’ll find, for ex-
   information about obtaining                                                                          ample, that configuring a
   a passport, and no mention of                                                                        home network in Linux is
   Microsoft’s Passport service.                                                                        very different from config-
       Note that the standard op-                                                                       uring a home network in
   erators we’ve discussed else-                                                                        Windows. Searching for
   where in this issue also apply       Can’t remember a specialty search page’s URL? No                “Configure Home Network”
   in all the specialty searches.       problem. You can access any of the specialty searches           from Google’s home page is
   Placing a minus sign (-) in          from the Advanced Search page. Just scroll to the bottom        going to return a lot of
   front of a term, for instance,       of the page and click the proper link.                          Windows-related informa-
   prevents Google from dis-                                                                            tion. In fact, our first result
   playing results that include                                                                         was “Home Network With
   that term. Placing “OR” (in all caps)         posedly more specific) Microsoft             TCP/IP And Microsoft Windows.”
   between words tells Google to search          Search. Searches for a specific              Obviously, this isn’t helpful if you’re
   for one word or the other. Placing a          Windows error message, for in-               trying to get your home network up
   search string in quotes tells Google to       stance, will likely return results from      on Linux. You’ll need to weed
   search for a specific phrase rather           Microsoft-related Web sites only.            through approximately 7,300,000 re-
   than individual words. For a list of          Therefore, using Microsoft Search            sults to find the ones that may be rele-
   other operators that may be relevant,         probably won’t return better or              vant to you. The same search from
   see “One In A Billion” on page 31 of          more focused results. As we men-             Google’s Linux Search yields a still
   this issue.                                   tioned earlier, the Microsoft Search         voluminous but much more manage-
                                                 may be most useful when looking              able 241,000 results.
                                                 for help about a cross-platform ap-             BSD is similar to Linux. In fact,
   OS Skills
                                                 plication (such as the previously            many of the applications that run on
       Sometimes finding help with a par-        mentioned Firefox) that’s running            Linux also run on BSD. KDE is a pop-
   ticular software problem can be diffi-        on Windows.                                  ular desktop environment used on both
   cult, especially if the application runs         Because other operating systems           Linux and BSD. Thus, searching for
   on more than one operating system.            are less popular, Google’s Apple,            KDE from Google’s home page is likely



62 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                           THE SEARCH




to result in plenty of information about      York at Buffalo, you won’t get results         educational institution, searching for
running KDE on Linux, but relevant            from the State University Of New               “Transcript” from Google’s home
BSD information may be harder to              York at Stony Brook.                           page is a worthless exercise, much
come by. Running the same search                 If you don’t see your college or uni-       more frustrating than helpful. Such a
from Google’s BSD Search eliminates           versity listed, you can nominate it for        search returned 29,600,000 results and
more than 7 million results. The general      inclusion by clicking the Add Your             most of the results on the first page
search returns KDE’s home page                Campus To This List link. Google will          didn’t even refer to academic tran-
(www.kde.org) as the first result. The        ask you for some information in-               scripts. Adding “Academic” to the
first result from the BSD Search comes        cluding your name, email address, and          query reduced the number of results
from the same domain, but it                                                                         to 7,570,000, but finding the
returns pages relevant specifi-                                                                      right page for your university
cally to BSD (more specifi-                                                                          among all those results is next
cally, a derivative of BSD                                                                           to impossible. Even adding
known as FreeBSD).                                                                                   “University Of Nebraska” to
   As we mentioned, you can                                                                          the search string didn’t get us
use special operators to re-                                                                         the results we wanted. The
fine your search, but we                                                                             first link (from 53,900 results)
should also note that there                                                                          took us to the University’s
are no Advanced Search                                                                               College Of Law. The correct
pages linked to specialty                                                                            link didn’t appear on the first
searches. The Advanced                                                                               page of results at all.
Search links next to the                                                                                Searching for “Transcripts”
search field on specialty                                                                            from the Google’s University
search sites take you to the                                                                         Search page, however, reduced
same Advanced Search page                                                                            the number of results to just
you can access from Google’s        Google has a reputation for turning its logo into a work of      17,800, and the first result pro-
home page. As a result, any         art. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that the Google logo       vided the information we
searches conducted from the         changes to reflect the specialty search page.                    needed. We did note, however,
Advanced Search page will                                                                            that the University Search fea-
search Google’s general data-                                                                        ture effectively just searches a
base and be equivalent to a search            the name and location of your school.          college or university’s domain name.
conducted from Google’s home page.            Google encourages you to have fellow           That means you can accomplish the
You’ll need to use special operators          classmates or graduates suggest the            same search from the home page if you
on the specialty search page in order         school as well. Inclusion in the list is       know the school’s domain name by
to take advantage of Google’s ad-             strictly at Google’s discretion, so don’t      using the site: operator. in other words,
vanced search options.                        assume that just because you provided          typing transcript site:unl.edu from
                                              the information your school will defi-         Google’s home page produces the same
                                              nitely be listed.                              17,800 results.
Search Your Alma Mater
                                                 If Google lists your school, click the
   Have you ever had to have your             proper link to go to the specialized
                                                                                             Divide & Find
former college mail out your acad-            search page for that school. In addi-
emic transcripts? If so, you know how         tion to the search field, you’ll see a            The idea of dividing the Internet
difficult finding the right information       couple of links to Google Groups and           into subsections is appealing when
on your college’s Web site can be.            Google Alerts. Google suggests using           you’re searching for information re-
Once again, Google’s there to help.           Google Groups to create a discussion           lated to a specific topic. After all, who
   Last time we checked, Google’s             group for your school or using Google          wants to sift through information
University Search consisted of 788            Alerts to receive email updates about          about Microsoft’s Passport service
colleges and universities each with its       your school. (For more information             when you’re trying to plan a trip to
own unique search page. You can se-           on Google Groups, see page 73 in this          Italy? The specialty sites we explored
lect your school from a list of schools       issue. For more information about              here aren’t for everyday use, but it’s
located at www.google.com/universi            Google Alerts, see page 10.)                   worth remembering that they’re an
ties.html. This ensures that if you              Obviously, if you need to have              often-helpful option. RS
want to find out more about admis-            your transcripts from the Universi-
sions at the State University Of New          ty Of Nebraska mailed to another                                          BY CHAD DENTON




                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 63
   STAY     CONNECTED




           It’s Not Email,
                                                                                       subject so that it’s easy to follow the
                                                                                       flow of the discussion.
                                                                                          Although Gmail is still in beta and
                                                                                       accounts are invitation-only, it is


              It’s Gmail
                                                                                       much easier to get a Gmail account
                                                                                       now than it was in the past, and if you
                                                                                       are lucky enough to get one, this ar-
                                                                                       ticle will help you get the most out of
      How To Master Google’s Web-based Email                                           the service.


                                                                                       Establish An Account



   Y
               ou’ve mastered email, so      would never have to delete a single
               now are you ready for         email, and for most users the 2.5GB          There is a possibility that Gmail
               Gmail? Most of the hype       of space that comes with each free        will be out of beta by the time you
               surrounding Google’s          account is more than enough room          read this, in which case all you’ll need
               Web-based email service       to meet that goal.                        to do is visit mail.google.com to sign
   is due to the scarcity of its accounts       Better still, Google uses the search   up for an account. Otherwise have a
   when it was first rolled out (see the     technology it’s famous for to search      friend with a Gmail account send you
   “I Want My Gmail” sidebar for more        Gmail accounts, letting users sift        an invitation, click the link in the in-
   on that), and most of its popularity is   through thousands of messages in a        vitation email that you received and
   due to the massive amount of storage      fraction of a second. The service also    the account creation page opens in
   space Gmail offers. Google’s plan         organizes messages by “conversa-          your Web browser. You can also sign
   was to create a service where users       tion,” grouping messages on the same      up for an account using your mobile
                                                                                       phone. Click the Sign Up For Gmail
                                                                                       Using Your Mobile Phone link in the
                                                                                       lower right corner of the Gmail home
                                                                                       page and follow the instructions.
                                                                                          On the Account Creation page, the
                                                                                       First Name and Last Name you enter
                                                                                       will appear in all outgoing emails, and
                                                                                       the six- to thirty-digit login name you
                                                                                       choose will be part of your Gmail
                                                                                       email address. Don’t be surprised if
                                                                                       the login name you want is already
                                                                                       taken, and click the Check Availability
                                                                                       button to see if the one you typed is
                                                                                       still open so you don’t have to retype
                                                                                       everything on the page later.
                                                                                          Type in and confirm the password
                                                                                       you will use to access the account,
                                                                                       pick a security question and answer,
                                                                                       and fill in the Word Verification box
                                                                                       before clicking the button at the
                                                                                       bottom of the page to create your ac-
                                                                                       count. When the next page appears,
                                                                                       click the I’m Ready – Show Me My
                                                                                       Account link and you are automati-
                                                                                       cally logged into your Gmail account.

                                                                                       Establish Basic Settings
                                                                                          Now that you have an account, it’s
                                                                                       time to set things up according to your
                                                                                       preferences. Click the Settings link in



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the upper-right corner of the page. If       option that way unless you feel the              through them in order so you can get
you want to use a different name on          feature is annoying. It simply shows             the most out of Gmail.
outgoing messages than the one you           a small portion of the entire message
signed up with, click the Accounts tab,      beside each subject line.
                                                                                              Compose Mail
click Edit Info, choose the Use A               The Signature text box lets you
Business Name Or Nickname radio              add a block of text that appears at                 Only the person who invited you
button, and enter the new name.              the end of each email you send. This             knows that you have a Gmail account,
   To change your reply-to address           is great for business users who want             so let’s email other people to tell them
(the address other people see                                                                      the good news. Click Compose
when you send emails from                                                                          Mail and enter the email address
Gmail) click Accounts and click                                                                    of the person you want to write to
Add Another Email Address. Click                                                                   in the To box. Eventually you’ll
Specify A Different “Reply-To”                                                                     build up a Contacts list, which
Address and enter the address you                                                                  we’ll discuss later, and in the fu-
want to use instead of your Gmail                                                                  ture when you begin typing an ad-
address. For example, if you enter                                                                 dress, a pop-up box appears
me@myemailaddress.com in the                                                                       containing all of your stored con-
text box and select the radio                                                                      tacts that contain the letters you
button next to it, all messages sent                                                               are typing. When this box appears,
from your Gmail account will look                                                                  if you see the address you are
like they come from me@mye-              Use the formatting tools to modify text just like         typing, press the Down arrow key
mailaddress.com. This is useful if       you would with a word processor.                          until the address is highlighted
you don’t want to use Gmail as                                                                     and then press Enter to automati-
your primary email account but                                                                     cally add it to the To box.
need to use it for sending messages                                                              You can email up to 100 people at
when on the road.                                                                             once by entering several addresses in
   Use the Maximum Page Size drop-                                                            the To box, each separated by a
down menu to choose how many                                                                  comma or semicolon. Or you can
conversations you want to have dis-                                                           click the Add Cc entry and add ad-
played on a single page in conversa-                                                          dresses there if you want to create a
tion view. The default is 50, but if you       Use the More Actions menu to                   Carbon Copy list of recipients. When
have a small monitor 25 conversa-              perform a number of operations on              emailing multiple people using those
tions may fit more comfortably, and if         selected emails.                               two methods, everyone who gets the
you have a large monitor selecting                                                            message can see the email addresses of
100 can save you some clicks.                                                                 everyone else who got it, and that is
   We recommend selecting the Key-           to append their name and contact in-             not always ideal. If you want to hide
board Shortcuts On radio button to           formation to each outgoing message.              all your recipients’ email addresses,
enable that handy feature, which is             If you need to change any of the in-          enter your email address in the To
discussed in detail in the “Gmail            formation that you entered when you              box, click Add Bcc, and enter every-
Shortcuts” sidebar.                          signed up for the account, such as               one else’s email addresses in the Bcc
   The Personal Level Indicators option      your password or the security ques-              box. Bcc stands for Blind Carbon
lets you mark messages with a double-        tion, click the Accounts tab and use             Copy, and it’s an indispensable tool
carat (>>) if they were sent only to         the link in the Google Account                   for those using Gmail for business.
your address, or with a single carat (>)     Settings section to make the necessary              Type a subject in the Subject box
if they were sent to a group of people       edits. Be aware that you can never               and type your email in the text box
or a mailing list. This is useful for        change your login name. To get a dif-            below that. If you are writing a long
weeding out spam, or unsolicited email       ferent one you must open a com-                  email or need to get offline quickly,
(usually marketing messages sent to          pletely new Gmail account.                       click Save Draft and it is saved for
numerous addresses) or for keeping                                                            later editing. Be careful not to click
your personal messages visually sepa-                                                         the Discard button, which scraps the
                                             Working With Email
rated from those generated by any                                                             current email and dumps you back to
mailing lists to which you subscribe.           You’ll find all of the controls you           the mail Gmail page without any
   Snippets are enabled by default,          need to send and read email on the               warning. You’ll also notice a row of
and we recommend you leave the               left side of the interface, so let’s step        icons at the top of the text box that



                                                                                             Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 65
                                                        STAY CONNECTED




   provide access to a number of word          people in the form of attachments, and
                                                                                              Inbox
   processing tools including bold,            Gmail users are free to append up to
   italics, underline, highlighting, and       10MB of files to each email they send.            Before long, people will start
   other features. If you don’t under-         To do this, click Attach A File and nav-       sending messages to your Gmail ac-
   stand what a particular icon repre-         igate to the file you want to attach, click    count, and you can view and manage
   sents, place the mouse cursor over it       the file’s name to highlight it, and click     these files by clicking Inbox. A list of
   and a tooltip box appears under the         Open. You can add several files as long        emails and conversations appears,
   cursor that displays the icon’s name.       as you don’t exceed the 10MB overall           with the most recently received at the
   Also, if you apply formatting and           limit by clicking Attach Another File          top, and they all follow the same
   want to get rid of it, highlight the for-   and repeating the process. If you acci-        basic format.
   matted text and click the Remove            dentally attach the wrong file to an              On the far left of each entry is a
   Formatting icon.                            email, click the Remove link next to the       checkbox that lets you select the email
      Most of the formatting tools are         file’s name to drop it from the list.          for further processing without actu-
   self-explanatory, but the Link feature          When you’re done composing the             ally opening the message. You can se-
   is an exception. It lets you turn a se-     email, click Send to transmit it. This         lect multiple emails this way, and
   lected block of text into a hyperlink so    process takes only a few seconds if            we’ll talk about what to do with se-
   you don’t have to paste the messy-          you have no attachments, but if you            lected entries shortly.
   looking link directly into the message.     included attachments you may have                 Next to the checkbox is a white
   For example, if you want to include a       to wait several minutes for the mes-           star, which turns into a yellow star
   link to www.youhavetocheckout               sage to be sent depending on the size          when clicked. Starred emails are dis-
   thiswebsite.com into your message,          of the files and the speed of your             played in the Starred folder, which
   you could type the words click here,        Internet connection. Don’t close the           makes them very easy to find, and
   highlight them, click the Link icon,        window until you see a message                 we’ll discuss that feature later, as well.
   and type www.youhavetocheckout              telling you the email was successfully            Next to the star is the name of the
   thiswebsite.com in the text box before      sent, and don’t worry about saving a           person or company who sent the email,
   clicking OK. The text “click here”          copy—it’s automatically added to               and if a number in parenthesis appears
   now turns blue with an underline to         your Sent Mail folder, attachments             next to the name it means this email is
   indicate that it is a hyperlink, and        and all.                                       part of a conversation, or a series of
   when the recipient clicks it, his Web
   browser will open www.youhave
   tocheckoutthiswebsite.com.                    I Want My Gmail
      The formatting tools are only avail-
   able if you use Gmail’s default Rich
   Text mode. Click Plain Text to switch
   to that mode, which only lets you type
                                                 I  n the spring of 2004, when the Gmail beta went public and accounts were
                                                    nearly impossible to get, Sean Michaels founded the Gmail Swap Web site
                                                 (www.gmailswap.com). Although he already had an account, some of his friends
   plain text. This is helpful if you are        didn’t, and he was dismayed when he started scouting around to see how people
   sending email to somebody who can’t           were getting accounts. “The only thing I could find was eBay,” says Michaels,
   open rich text emails, which is the           “where invitations were selling for as much as $115. This crass commercialism re-
   case at many businesses as well as            ally bothered me, so I created Gmail Swap with the idea that creative, kind, and
   some products such as some email              nice people might be able to find other like-minded folk, and find an invitation
   software for PDAs.                            that way.”
      Gmail has an integrated spell-                The site is all but defunct now that accounts are easy to get but saw more
   checker that you can access by clicking       than 300,000 visitors a day at its peak. Here’s a list of some of the more memo-
   the Check Spelling link on the far right      rable swaps that Michaels knows were completed:
   side of the message box. Potentially            Someone who offered to “call his mom and tell her he loved her” was very quickly
   misspelled words are highlighted in             offered an account
   yellow, and you can click the word to
   make a pop-up box appear that con-              A bodyguard in Chicago guarded someone for a day
   tains suggested alternatives. Just click        A live tarantula
   the word on the list that you want to           Home-baked cookies
   use and it automatically replaces the
   misspelled word.                                A hot-air balloon ride in San Francisco
      One of the great things about email          A couple of people wrote and recorded original songs for the recipient. One of them
   is that it lets you send files to other         is still available at: www.hatheadmusic.com/listenframe.htm



66 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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emails to and from the same person re-       appear. If the entry is part of a con-      email in its entirety, complete with
garding the same subject. The number         versation, the most recent message in       all of the tags, headers, and other in-
in the parenthesis tells you how many        the exchange appears at the bottom,         formation that is so helpful when
messages are in that conversation.           layered on top of previous messages         doing this type of work.
   Next up are the carats that tell you      which can be read by clicking their            If the message you are reading has a
if the message was sent only to you          entries. If you want to quickly display     paperclip icon, the message has one
(two carats) or to a group of people         all of the messages on-screen at once,      or more attachments. You can read
(one carat), followed by the email’s         click Expand All.                           the name of the attached file at the
subject line in black, which is then            You can click Reply at the bottom        bottom of the screen and click
followed by a snippet of the message         of a displayed message to compose a         Download to save the file to your
in gray if that feature is enabled. This     response (which is then included in         computer. Note the file size listed
is followed by a paperclip icon if the       the conversation), or click Forward to      next to the download link; on slow
message or conversation contains an          pass the message along to someone           dial-up connections a large, multi-
attachment, and then the date the            else. Click the Print icon on the           megabyte attachment can take several
message was sent (or the time, if the        upper-right side of the message to          minutes to download, and you
message was received that day).              create a printer-friendly version of the    shouldn’t close the Gmail window
   You can click the email entry any-        entire conversation, and click the star     until the download is complete.
where to the right of the star to open it,   on any individual email to star it
but before we get into that let’s talk       (found on the upper-right side of the
                                                                                         Starred
about what you can do with selected          message, next to the sender’s name),
emails. These entries are highlighted in     which is handy if you don’t want to            Clicking the Starred link on the left
yellow, and if you click one of the en-      star the entire conversation.               side of the screen accesses a special
tries in the More Actions drop-down             You can access most of the features
menu at the top of the Inbox, such as        on this screen by clicking the More
Mark As Unread, Add Star, or Move To         Options link at the top of an open mes-
Trash, the effects of those features apply   sage. This displays a string of entries
                                                                                            AdSense
to all of the selected emails. You can
also archive email or report it as spam
by clicking one of the corresponding
                                             that let you Reply to, Forward, or Print
                                             the message as normal, but you can also
                                             click Reply All to respond to everyone
                                                                                            N      otice the Sponsored Links
                                                                                                   that pop up on nearly every
                                                                                            single Gmail page? The ads pay for
buttons to the left of the More Actions      the email was sent to. Click Add Sender        your “free” account, but they also
box. There are several options next to       To Contacts List to transfer an email          represent what some consider the
Select on this screen (just under the        address to that list automatically, or         service’s dark side. Gmail scans all
Archive and Report Spam buttons), in-        click Trash This Message if you want to        of the messages contained in the
cluding All, None, Read, Unread,             get rid of an individual email without         currently displayed conversation
Starred, and Unstarred. Note that when       trashing the entire conversation.              and uses keywords from the mes-
you select an email entry with a number         Use the Report Phishing option              sages to send targeted ads to your
in parenthesis, you are selecting the en-    when you receive an unsolicited email          computer. That means you get
tire conversation, and any actions you       that contains a phishing scam, where           ads that are relevant to what you
take will apply to every email within        a thief asks you to send him detailed          are discussing, but it also means
that conversation.                           personal information while posing as           that Google is always reading over
   Clicking Archive appears to delete the    a legitimate company such as eBay or           your shoulder.
selected emails and conversations from       even Google. If you have reason to                The technology driving all of this
the list, but don’t panic—they’re actu-      believe an email is attempting to de-         is called AdSense, and its contro-
ally dumped into the All Mail folder.        fraud you in this way, click Report           versy goes beyond targeted ads. If
   If you receive an unsolicited email,      Phishing to pass the email to the             Google is using your emails about
select it and click Report Spam to           Google team so they can flag similar          your upcoming vacation to pitch
move it to your Spam folder. This also       messages as potential phishing emails         ski gear and reduced lodge rates to
passes it along to the folks at Google       for other Gmail users.                        you, some wonder what is stopping
for analysis.                                   Sometimes it is necessary to see           them from letting others—namely
                                             the raw data contained in the email if        the government—use the tech-
                                             you are troubleshooting or working            nology to create a detailed per-
Read Messages & Conversations
                                             with your ISP (Internet service               sonal profile. Google claims it is
  When you click an entry, the mes-          provider) to solve a problem.                 doing no such thing and refuses to
sage or conversation it contains will        Clicking Show Original displays the           comment further. ❙



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 67
                                                       STAY CONNECTED




   folder that holds virtual copies of all                                              change that person’s contact informa-
   the email starred in your Inbox and                                                  tion or add some notes. Clicking Add
   All Mail folders. You can manipulate                                                 More Contact Info opens entries for a
   and read the messages here just like                                                 contact’s address and phone numbers.
   you can in the Inbox, but this folder                                                   If you already have an email pro-
   makes it easy to keep track of impor-                                                gram such as Outlook Express that
   tant messages and conversations. If                                                  has a contact list, you can save a lot of
   you want to take an entry out of the                                                 time by exporting the list from the
   Starred folder, select it and click the    If you accidentally flag a message as     email software into Gmail. You need
   Remove Star button at the bottom left      Spam select it and click Not Spam to      to create a CSV (Comma Separated
   of the screen.                             retract the report.                       Values) file to import this informa-
                                                                                        tion, so refer to the documentation
                                                                                        that came with your email to follow
   Sent Mail
                                                                                        the steps for creating such a file. In
     The Sent Mail link takes you to a                                                  Outlook Express 6 click File, expand
   repository of every email sent from                                                  Export, click Address Book, click
   your account. Once again, managing                                                   Text File (Comma Separated Values),
   messages here is identical to man-                                                   and click Export. Choose a file name,
   aging messages in the Inbox.                                                         click Next, select all of the fields you
                                                                                        want to include for each entry, and
                                              Filters let you create rules that         click Finish.
   Drafts
                                              automatically sort incoming messages.        To get the file into Gmail, click
      If you click Save Draft in the                                                    Contacts, click Import Contacts, click
   Compose Mail window, Gmail saves                                                     Browse, and navigate to the CSV file
   the message to the Drafts folder. To
                                              Trash                                     you just created. Click it, click Open,
   delete a draft, select it and click           Messages and conversations re-         and click Import Contacts. They
   Discard Drafts. Otherwise simply           moved from any folder other than the      should all show up the next time you
   click the entry for any draft to edit      Spam folder are sent to the Trash         access the Contacts list.
   and send it just as we discussed in the    folder. You can fix mistakes by se-
   Compose Mail section.                      lecting an entry and clicking Move To
                                                                                        Labels
                                              Inbox, or get rid of an entry perma-
                                              nently by selecting it and clicking the      Labels provide a convenient way to
   All Mail
                                              Delete Forever button at the bottom       organize messages by category, ur-
      All Mail works precisely as it          of this section.                          gency, or any other method you
   sounds—you can access every mes-                                                     dream up. Click Edit Labels in the
   sage you receive, send, archive, or                                                  Labels menu below the links on the
   save as a draft from this screen. Click
                                              Contacts                                  left (you may have to click the arrow
   any drafts (labeled with red text) to         You can easily keep in touch with      to the left of Labels to see this menu),
   edit and send them, and if you want        friends, family members, and col-         enter a name for the label in the
   to reinstate a message or conversation     leagues thanks to Gmail’s Contacts        Create A New Label box, and click
   to the Inbox, select it and click Move     list. The Frequently Mailed tab nar-      Create. Do this as many times as you
   To Inbox.                                  rows down the list to the people you      like. If you want to delete a label, click
                                              talk to most often, while clicking All    the name of the label in the Labels
                                              Contacts displays the entire list. Just   menu, then click the Remove Label
   Spam                                                                                 “label name” button, which appears
                                              select the entries for the people you
       Gmail has a decent built-in spam       want to email, click Compose, and         both above and below the Labels se-
   filter, but you are free to flag any un-   type away. Get rid of entries by se-      tion. To change the label’s name, click
   solicited messages and send them to        lecting them and clicking the Delete      the Edit Labels link in the Labels
   this Spam folder. If you make a mis-       button at the bottom. You can also        menu, click the Rename link, and
   take, select the entry and click the Not   add contacts manually by clicking the     make the adjustment. You can also
   Spam button at the bottom of this          Add Contact link in the upper right       remove labels from here as well, by
   screen. To permanently delete spam         and typing their email addresses. You     clicking the Remove link.
   to free up storage space, select it and    can also click a person’s name and           Any time you see the More Actions
   click Delete Forever.                      click Edit Contact Information to         drop-down menu, you can use it to



68 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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apply any label you’ve created to any                                                      button and type the email address
message or conversation. By clicking
                                            Filters                                        you want to forward the messages to
the label’s name in the Label menu on           Filters let you apply rules to a mes-      in the text box. If you want to keep
the left, you can quickly access every      sage so it’s handled a certain way de-         copies of these messages in your
message to which that label is as-          pending on the email address, subject          Gmail account, select either Keep
signed, making labels work much like        line, or other factors. To set up a filter,    Gmail’s Copy In The Inbox or
folders do in Windows.                      click Settings in the upper right of the       Archive Gmail’s Copy on the drop-
                                            screen, click the Filters tab, and click       down menu. If you want to delete all
                                            Create A New Filter. Enter the infor-          emails after they are forwarded select
Invite A Friend
                                            mation you want to filter in the appro-        Trash Gmail’s Copy instead.
   If you want to introduce a friend to     priate text box or boxes (which include           The POP Download section lets
the joys of Gmail, enter his email ad-      From, To, Subject, Has The Words,              you set up the account for direct ac-
dress in the Invite A Friend box and        and Doesn’t Have) and click Next Step.         cess to your Gmail messages via soft-
click Send Invite. Just remember that       Now use the check boxes (such as Skip          ware such as Outlook Express. Click
you have a limited number of invites        The Inbox and Star It, among others)           the Email POP For All Email radio
(although the current 50 per account        to determine how you want Gmail to             button if you want to download all
is extremely generous). If you don’t        handle each message that contains the          messages that are already in the ac-
see the Invite A Friend box you’re out      filter data you just entered. Click            count in addition to all future mes-
of luck until Google allocates some         Create Filter when you are done, and           sages. Select the Enable POP Only For
invitations to your account, which is       remember that you can create as many           Mail That Arrives From Now On to
done randomly.                              filters as you like. To edit an existing       prevent the software from accessing
                                            filter, open the Filters tab and click Edit    existing messages. Use the When
                                            next to the filter’s entry, or click Delete    Messages Are Accessed With POP
Additional Features
                                            to completely disable the filter.              drop-down menu to select what you
  We’ve just covered the basics so far,                                                    want to do with the messages once
but Gmail offers a number of ad-                                                           you receive them, as described in the
vanced settings and options that can
                                            Forwarding & POP Access                        previous paragraph, and click Save
help you manage your email.                       The main downside to Gmail—and           Changes when you are done.
                                                           to all other Web-based             You also must configure your email
                                                           email services—is that          software to connect to the Gmail ac-
                                                           you must be connected           count, and the procedure for that
  Gmail Shortcuts                                                                          varies from program to program.
                                                           to the Internet to read

 W       ith Keyboard Shortcuts enabled, Gmail works
         almost as efficiently as a good standalone
 email program. Here are a few essential shortcuts to
                                                           emails you’ve already
                                                           received. Fortunately
                                                           Google lets Gmail users
                                                                                           Click Configuration Instructions in
                                                                                           the Forwarding And POP tab for de-
                                                                                           tailed instructions if you use Outlook,
 keep handy:                                               forward messages and            Eudora, or Netscape Mail.
                                                           access their accounts
        Enter or o Expand Conversation                     using POP (Post Office
                 n Next Message
                                                                                           Don’t Forget The Add-Ons
                                                           Protocol), meaning it is
                 p Previous Message/Select Search Box      possible to use an email           Gmail apparently wasn’t enough
                 k Move To Newer Conversation              client such as Outlook          for Google, and they’ve enhanced the
                  j Move To Older Conversation             Express to compose and          service with a helpful Gmail Notifier
                 u Return To Inbox                         read messages when you          add-on (www.google.com/down-
                 x Select Conversation                     are offline.                    loads) along with integration with
                 s Star Conversation                          To forward messages          Google’s Picasa 2 photo organization
                 r Reply                                   to a non-Gmail ac-              and sharing software (www.picasa
                 a Reply All                               count, click Settings and       .com). Keep a close watch at the
                 f Forward                                 select the Forwarding           Google and Gmail sites for more en-
                  ! Report Spam                            And POP tab. If you             hancements, as Gmail is always
  g followed by a Go To All Mail Folder                    want to forward in-             evolving. There’s no telling what fea-
  g followed by s Go To Starred Folder                     coming messages to a            tures it will support by the time it is
  g followed by c Go To Contacts Folder                    different account, select       rolled out publicly. RS
  g followed by d Go To Drafts Folder                      the Forward A Copy Of
   g followed by i Go To Inbox                             Incoming Mail To radio                                    BY   TRACY BAKER



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 69
                                                         STAY CONNECTED




        Faster Than A
                                                                                                                  You don’t have
                                                                                                                  to accept
                                                                                                                  invitations from
                                                                                                                  people who


       Speeding Email
                                                                                                                  want to add
                                                                                                                  you to their
                                                                                                                  Friends List.


                Keep In Touch With Google Talk                                             a microphone and speakers or a headset
                                                                                           with a microphone to take advantage of
                                                                                           this feature. Headsets are ideal because
                                                                                           they provide the privacy of a typical
                                                                                           phone call. Analog products, such as
                                                                                           Plantronics’ .Audio 40 ($24.95; www
                                                                                           .plantronics.com), are an inexpensive
                                                                                           option if your computer has a sound
                                                                                           card with microphone and headphone
                                                                                           jacks. But we recommend digital USB
                                                                                           headsets, such as the Logitech Premium
                                                                                           USB Headset 350 ($49.99; www.log
                                                                                           itech.com), because they provide supe-
                                                                                           rior sound quality and work with any
                                                                                           computer that has a USB port.


                                                                                           Sign Up



   R
              emember the first time you        many competing products it is also            You need an invitation-only Gmail
              used email? That strange          advertising-free.                          account to use Google Talk, but those
              feeling of sending a letter in-                                              are very easy to come by these days
              stantaneously to anyone you                                                  and Google also recently established
                                                Basic Features
   liked, all without having to pay                                                        an automated system that lets any
   postage? IM (Instant Messaging) soft-           Google Talk provides anyone with        mobile phone user instantly receive a
   ware is designed to let you communi-         a PC and an Internet connection with       Gmail invitation. Just go to www
   cate with someone even faster than           instant IM and voice-chat capabilities.    .google.com/talk and click the Get An
   that, and all without having to spend        The service currently only lets you        Account link. Enter your mobile
   a dime beyond the price of your              communicate with other people who          phone number in the first text box,
   Internet connection and perhaps the          use Google Talk and not with people        enter the word that is displayed in the
   price of the IM client. As long as the       who use other IM clients.
   people you want to chat with have the           IM lets you participate in what
   same software installed, you can let         amounts to an email conversation.
   them know when you’re online, send           You type lines in a text box, press
   text messages back and forth in-             ENTER, and what you type instantly
   stantly, and even have a voice chat if       appears in a chat window on your
   you have the right software.                 screen and on the screens of any other
       Google Talk (free; talk.google.com)      Google Talk users you had selected be-
   is that software. It may not yet be as       fore sending the message. This window
   full-featured or as popular as some          keeps a running log of the chat session
   of the established instant-messaging         so you can easily scroll through the
   programs, such as ICQ 5 (free; www           conversation, and it’s easy to message
   .icq.com), Yahoo Messenger (free;            individuals or groups of people.
   messenger.yahoo.com), or MSN Mes-               The voice component of the service
   senger (free; messenger.msn.com), but        works quite a bit like a phone call and    Be sure to let Google Talk manage the
   it’s definitely worth a look, and unlike     has terrific audio quality, but you need   microphone sensitivity.



70 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     STAY CONNECTED




second text box, and click Send Code.                                                      you can manage such information
Google sends a text message to your                                                        as your password, name, and other
cell phone that contains the code,                                                         Gmail data.
which you can then enter on the next                                                          Choose the Blocked entry to access
Web page that appears to activate                                                          the list of names that you’ve removed
your Gmail account.                                                                        from your Friends List (more on that
   Once your Gmail account is up and                                                       later). To restore a contact to your
running, go to www.google.com/talk                                                         Friends List, click the appropriate entry
again, only this time click Download                                                       in the Name box and click Unblock.
Google Talk. You can save the in-                                                             Google Talk saves a text file con-
                                            You can invite others to use Google
stallation file to your Desktop and                                                        taining your recent chat sessions. If you
                                            Talk, but they need a Gmail account.
double-click its icon to proceed, or                                                       don’t want to save this information,
click Run when the Internet Explorer                                                       choose the Privacy entry on the left
File Download dialog box appears to         you want Google Talk to load each              and remove the check mark from the
automatically download and install          time Windows starts up, select the Start       Save Recent Chat History checkbox.
the software.                               Automatically When Starting Windows            The program also automatically adds
   When installation is complete,           checkbox, and if you want to use Gmail         people that you email frequently via
launch the program and a Sign In            by default when you click email links,         Gmail to your Friends List; to pre-
window appears. Enter your Gmail            check the Open Gmail When I Click              vent this deselect the Add People I
username in the Username box and            Email Links option. If you leave the           Communicate With Often To My
your Gmail password in the Password         latter checkbox blank, Windows will            Friends List checkbox.
box and click Sign In. If you don’t want    open your default email program, such             The Notifications entry on the left
to do this every time you launch Google     as Outlook Express, instead of Gmail           lets you tell Google Talk how to alert
Talk, be sure to select the Remember        when you click an email link.                  you when a new message or call comes
Me On This Computer checkbox, but               In the Friends List section, click Sort    in. If you want silent notifications, re-
keep in mind this will let anyone using     Friends By Name if you want them               move the check marks from the Play
the computer access your account.           listed that way instead of in the order        Sounds options. If you only want sound
   Once your account is set up you can      in which you added them. Also, check           and don’t want pop-up text alerts, de-
invite current Talk users to join your      the Hide Offline Friends checkbox to           select the Show Notification options.
Friends List or nonusers to get started     only display online users in the Google           Few home users will need to access
using Google Talk. Click Add Friend at      Talk interface. Another useful option          the Connection entry, as it is only
the bottom of the Google Talk box,          is the Hide Gmail Contacts Not On              used if your computer requires a
enter the email address of the person       My Friends List box, which keeps your          proxy to access the Internet. If this is
you want to invite (you can enter mul-      Gmail contacts list from cluttering up         the case at work, select the Use The
tiple addresses in the box as long as       the Google Talk interface. Clicking the        Following Proxy radio button and ask
each is separated using a semicolon),       Account Settings button takes you to           your IT department for the host, port,
and click Next. You can also click the      the Google Accounts Web page, where            and authentication information you
Choose From My Contacts button and                                                         need to enter in the appropriate fields.
easily add invitees from your Gmail                                                           The Audio entry lets you adjust voice
Contacts list before clicking Next.                                                        chat settings. Use the drop-down menu
Click Finish to return to Google Talk.                                                     in the Input section to select your
   Each invitation includes a Gmail                                                        microphone or headset and for best re-
account invitation so your friends can                                                     sults fill in the Automatically Adjust
get connected right away. Note that                                                        Microphone Sensitivity checkbox. Also
the Gmail invitations are deducted                                                         select the appropriate device in the Calls
from the number of invitations that                                                        checkbox. (Use Default Device or your
are assigned to your Gmail account,                                                        sound card if you want to listen using
but inviting other Gmail members                                                           computer speakers.)
doesn’t count against this limit.
                                                                                           Start Talking
Configuration
                                            The General Settings let you tell                 Now it’s time to adjust availability
  To configure Google Talk, click           Google Talk to start and log you in            settings to let others know whether
Settings and select the General entry. If   each time Windows loads.                       you are available for chatting, busy,



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 71
                                                       STAY CONNECTED




   or anything in between, thanks to the                             Custom status
                                                                                           Voice Chat
   ability to add custom messages. Click                             messages let you         If you and the person you want to
   the Down arrow under your name to                                 give people           talk to have headsets (or microphones
   access the list and click a selection to                          specific reasons      and computer speakers), you can ini-
   activate it so that others see it on                              for being             tiate a voice call by clicking the tele-
   their computers. To create a custom                               unavailable.          phone handset icon next to her name
   Available message, click the Custom                                                     or by clicking the Call button in the
   Message entry with the green circle                                                     chat window. Your computer and
   next to it. To create a custom Busy        along with any replies you receive,          her computer will ring just like tele-
   message, click the Custom Message          and you can use the scroll bar to            phones until she answers the call by
   entry with the red circle next to it.      scroll backward and forward through          clicking the Answer button or denies
   Type the message you’d like other          a conversation if it extends beyond          the call by clicking the Ignore button.
   users to see, press ENTER, and the         the chat window.                             Click Mute to mute the call and click
   new message is activated and will be          It is possible to initiate multiple       End Call to hang up.
   available in your message drop-down        conversations at once; just click
   menu in the future. There is no way        multiple contact names to open sep-
   to edit or delete an individual custom     arate chat windows for each person.
                                                                                           Integrating Google Talk
   message (changing the text creates a       Talk automatically stacks these win-            There are many popular IM pro-
   new entry), but you can delete all of      dows and lets you rearrange or move          grams, and there are nearly as many
   your custom messages by clicking           them to other parts of the screen by         popular programs designed to consoli-
   Clear Custom Messages in the drop-         dragging and dropping them. Click            date all of those IM accounts under a
   down menu.                                 the gray bar at the top of a chat win-       single, unified interface so users can
      There are a few other important         dow to collapse it, making room for          avoid opening scads of windows at
   entries accessible via this menu. Sign     more windows. When you finish                once to chat with their friends. It is easy
   Out signs you completely out of            chatting, click the X button in the          to incorporate Google Talk into pro-
   Google Talk, which makes you ap-           upper-right corner of the window to          grams such as Trillian Pro 3 ($25;
   pear Offline to other Google Talk          end the connection.                          www.ceruleanstudios.com), Gaim
   users and also lets you sign in under a       A contacts who is online and avail-       (free; gaim.sourceforge.net), and Psi
   different account, which is handy if       able for chatting has a green icon next      (free; psi.affinix.com) as long as you
   multiple people use the same com-          to her name. A red icon indicates that       know what settings to use. Google has
   puter. The Show When I Am Chat-            she is busy, and a gray icon indicates       detailed integration instructions for a
   ting option is turned on when clicked      that she is offline. A yellow icon ap-       variety of popular consolidation pro-
   (this is indicated by a check mark         pears if she is online but her com-          grams at www.google.com/support/talk
   next to the entry) and displays a key-     puter has been idle for more than 10         in the Third Party Applications section.
   board icon in the other person’s chat      minutes. To contact someone who is           Click the More link in that section for a
   window whenever you are typing,            busy, offline, or idle, click the Email      complete list.
   showing them that you’re in the            button in the chat window or the en-
   process of responding.                     velope icon next to her name to send
      You can right-click entries in your     her an email.
                                                                                           More To Come
   Friends List to open a menu with a                                                         Google Talk was still in beta at press
   few additional options. Click Rename                                                    time, meaning it is in limited public
   to change the contact’s name on your                                                    release but that Google is still working
   list or click Remove to add them to                                                     out bugs and adding new features. The
   the Blocked Contacts list.                                                              company has already announced that
                                                                                           it is working on ways to let Google
                                                                                           Talk users communicate with users of
   Instant Messaging
                                                                                           other software, and that it would like
      To send instant messages, click the                                                  to add rich text features in the future
   name of any contact in your Friends                                                     to let users spice up the look of their
   List and a chat window appears. Type                                                    messages. As with Gmail, it looks as
   what you want to say in the text box                                                    though Google is just beginning to tap
   at the bottom of the window, press                                                      Google Talk’s potential. RS
   ENTER, and Talk sends the message.         Click the phone icon to call someone,
   It also appears in your chat window        then click End Call when the call is over.                               BY   TRACY BAKER



72 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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                  Get The
                                                                                     Groups button to go to the Google
                                                                                     Groups Beta site. The site is officially a
                                                                                     test version, and the Google spokes-
                                                                                     person we talked to did not give us an


                 Message?
                                                                                     official release date. We ran into a
                                                                                     couple minor glitches when trying it
                                                                                     out, but overall Google Groups is
                                                                                     well-organized and easy to use.
                                                                                        Given the number of groups that
       Google Groups Makes It Easy To Share                                          Google Groups contains, the home
                                                                                     page is deceptively simple. Navigation
                Interests Online                                                     links to other Google sites are located
                                                                                     just below the banner, beneath which
                                                                                     sits a search engine for searching
                                                                                     Google Groups only. (If you want to
                                                                                     run a Web search, you’ll need to return
                                                                                     to Google’s home page.) Below the
                                                                                     search box you’ll find a login area, fol-
                                                                                     lowed by a list of topics. Topics are
                                                                                     grouped into broad categories, and
                                                                                     they include Arts And Entertainment,
                                                                                     Computers, Home, Recreation, Science
                                                                                     And Technology, Business And Fi-
                                                                                     nance, Health, News, Regions And
                                                                                     Places, and Societies And Humanities.
                                                                                        Pick any topic, and you’ll see the
                                                                                     topic’s Group Directory page, which
                                                                                     has a consistent look and feel across
                                                                                     each topic. For a change of pace, we
                                                                                     forego checking out the Computers
                                                                                     category and select Recreation, where
                                                                                     we see an index list of nearly two
                                                                                     dozen topics ranging from Antiques
                                                                                     to Guns to Travel. The numbers in




W
              hat do an Indonesian acoustic guitar player and a
              NASCAR fan have in common? No, there’s no
              punch line. You have something in common with
              them too, provided each of you has Internet access.
You’re all able to go to one online meeting hub to chat, trade
advice, and gather information on hundreds of thousands of
diverse topics.
   Google Groups is a free Web- and email-based forum that lets
you communicate with your next-door neighbors and faraway
strangers through discussion groups. Groups are arranged by
subject matter, and they range from the practical to the esoteric.
No matter what you’re interested in, Google Groups is certain to
offer a subject group that fascinates you.


Let’s Get Started
  The best way to get a feel for Google groups is to dive right in   Google Groups lets you communicate with hundreds of
and browse the site. Head to www.google.com and click the            thousands of people around the world.



                                                                                   Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 73
                                                         STAY CONNECTED




   parentheses next to each                                                                                by exact phrase or by ex-
   topic indicate how many                                                                                 cluding words, and you
   groups are devoted to                                                                                   can search by subject line
   that topic, and they can                                                                                or message date.
   be in the single digits
   or much, much larger.
                                                                                                           Join & Subscribe
   Groups are also indexed
   by Region, Language,                                                                                       While you were brows-
   Activity, and Members.                                                                                  ing through the site, you
      For instance, at the                                                                                 may have come across
   time this article was writ-                                                                             a message in a specific
   ten—and because groups                                                                                  group that tells you only
   are so active, the numbers                                                                              members are allowed to
   are certain to change by                                                                                post to that group. Yes,
   the time you read this—                                                                                 you can access any of the
   the Recreation category                                                                                 public content on Google,
   included more than 400                                                                                  but some groups have re-
   groups based in Europe                                                                                  strictions on how you can
   and 56 in Canada. And                                                                                   interact with a group, and
   you don’t have to be an                                                                                 there are other features
   English-speaker to take                                                                                 that you can use only if
   part, either; there are          To participate fully in group discussions, you’ll need to create a     you have created a Google
   Japanese, Serbo-Croatian,        Google account and log in.                                             account. To participate
   and Portuguese groups,                                                                                  fully, you’ll need to both
   to name just a few. The                                                                                 join the service and sub-
   index also shows how many groups             Internet. (See “The History Of Usenet”         scribe to various groups.
   are active versus those that are a bit       sidebar for more information.)                    To “join” Google Groups means
   dormant, and how large the groups               While it’s interesting to browse the        that you create an account with
   tend to be. Perhaps surprisingly, most       groups to see what’s there, certainly          Google. (If you already have a Google
   of the recreation groups have fewer          you aren’t going to be interested in all       Account, such as when you signed up
   than 10 members, although a few are          of them. That’s where the search en-           for a Froogle Shopping List or Google
   practically virtual arenas with more         gine comes in handy. Given Google’s            Answers, you can skip this step. And
   than a thousand members each.                popularity as a search engine, it              Gmail users can sign on to the Google
      Okay, enough with the numbers.            should come as no surprise that                Groups service by submitting their
   It’s the groups themselves that make         Google includes a useful tool for              usernames and passwords.) On the
   the site so interesting. Below the           searching Google Groups, too. Head             home page, click the Join link next to
   broad index list is the first page of the    back to the Groups home page and               New Users. Enter your email address,
   group listings. For example, in the          click the Search Groups button or              choose a password, and retype it for
   Recreation category’s main page, we          find it at the top of almost any Google        verification. Create a nickname if
   see a woodworking group, a poker             Groups page. Type in a keyword and             you’d like and type the characters you
   group, and a video arcade group,             click the Search button. In our ex-            see on the screen into the Word
   among others. We checked out the             ample, we typed the keyword mort-              Verification box; this helps protect
   woodworking group, where we found            gage, and we turned up 151 groups,             against automated programs signing
   a plea for help with a warped tabletop,      including Mortgage Rates, Real Estate          users up for unwanted email. Then,
   a recommendation for sandpaper,              And Mortgage Service Marketing                 click the Create My Account button.
   and tips on running air compressors.         Focus Group, and Mortgage Loans.                  Within seconds, you’ll receive an
      The first 15 groups are on the first         You may also want to tailor your            email message asking you to verify
   page, with other group listings on sub-      results by taking advantage of the ad-         your email address and activate your
   sequent pages, and the groups appear         vanced search feature. Next to the             account. Click the link in the email,
   to be in no particular order. You may        Search button is a small text link,            and you’ll be transported to a Web
   see that some of the groups have             Advanced Groups Search. Click it, and          page that thanks you for verifying
   somewhat confusing names, such as            you’ll have much more control over             your account. You’re now an official
   rec.games.frp.dnd, which is a hold-          the results Google returns to you.             Google Groups member. Head back
   over from the earlier days of the            For instance, you can search messages          to the home page, click the Members:



74 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     STAY CONNECTED




Sign In link, enter your email address         Oops—we made a mistake. We                   “b”—so you might expect that the
and password, and click Sign In.            signed up for a promising-looking               groups may be a tad difficult to navi-
   Joining Google Groups doesn’t            group related to jobs in our home               gate. But for the most part they aren’t,
mean that you can access all groups,        state, but it turned out to be packed           once you understand what you’re
however. Some groups are restricted,        with hot, hot, hot money-making of-             looking at.
which means that you must be invited        fers and thinly disguised ads for                  Message topics are organized by
to join them in order to participate,       pyramid schemes. (Do you really be-             date, with the most recent topic
and that includes basic tasks such as       lieve you can receive up to 105%                listed first. In this case, topic refers to
reading messages. Other groups,             rebates on all your purchases?)                 the subject line of the message, not
while not completely private, ask you       Fortunately, it’s easy to unsubscribe           the broad category the group falls
to become a member before you can           from groups. At the top of the group’s          into. For example, consider a group
perform tasks such as posting mes-          main page, click the Unsubscribe Or             devoted to discussing a specific NHL
sages to other members. To partici-         Change Membership link, and on the              hockey team. The group falls under
pate in these types of groups, you          membership page, click the Unsub-               the Recreation category and Sports
need to subscribe to them.                  scribe button.                                  topic (it appears as Recreation >
   The first time you sign in to Google                                                     Sports in the Google category
Groups, you’ll see a My Groups page                                                         listing), but when we’re talking
                                            Read Messages
listing all your groups—at this point,                                                      about topics here, we’re talking
the list is empty—and a search engine          OK, we’re back in business. We’ve            about messages devoted to specific
for locating groups. Once you’ve            found a group we’re interested in, and          subjects, such as the team’s signing
located a group that interests you,         it’s on to reading its content. If you          of a new player or a discussion of the
you’re ready to join it. Depending          chose to view message by email, you’ll          general manager’s competency.
upon the type of group, you’ll see ei-      see them in your email inbox. But if               On a group’s home page, you’ll see
ther a Subscribe To This Group link         you chose No Email or if you want to            two links near the top: Viewing Titles
or a Join This Group link at the top of     view messages on the Web in addition            Only and View With Message Text.
the group’s home page. Click this link.     to viewing them by email, you can do            The first time you use the service, we
   On the left of the sign-up page,         so on the Google Groups site.                   recommend you click Viewing Titles
you’ll see a series of radio buttons that      The entire Google Groups database            Only because this lets you see many of
give you options for reading group          contains more than a billion mes-               the various topics at a glance. We also
messages. These options vary by group,      sages—that’s right, billion with a              recommend you click Sorted By Date
but they can include No Email (you
read the messages on the Web site),
Abridged Email (you receive a sum-          Netiquette (Internet Etiquette)
mary of the messages posted each day),
Digest Email (up to 25 messages are
bundled into one message and shipped
to your email inbox), and Email (each
                                            E    very society has customs and norms
                                                 for communicating, and the Internet
                                            is no different. If you’re relatively new to
                                                                                            hear your sales pitch. People are increas-
                                                                                            ingly sensitive to unsolicited commercial
                                                                                            email, and what’s perceived as spam may
message is sent directly to your inbox).    communicating with online groups, or            get you banned from a group.
Select the desired radio button and         you simply want to brush up on your                DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LET -
type the nickname you’d like to use.        manners, here are a few tips.                   TERS. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE
   In addition, you may find that               Look before you leap. The best way to       SHOUTING. Enough said.
joining some groups requires moder-         learn how to communicate appropri-                 Remember you’re communicating
ator approval. Some groups are mod-         ately online is to watch what others are        with real people. The old saying goes
erated, meaning that a person reads         doing. Read numerous posts to get a feel        that on the Internet, no one knows
and approves your messages before           for a group’s style and content before          you’re a dog. It’s intended to mean that
they are posted to the group. If a          you jump in with your own comments.             almost anyone can go online and say
group moderator requests that you           And, be sure to do a thorough search of         anything, but it’s also a good reminder
explain why you want to be in the           a topic before you create a post. There         that there are real people on the other
group, you’ll find a place to type that     are few things more annoying to long-           side of your computer screen. When you
information. Click the Apply To This        time users than to see the exact same           have a difference in opinion on a topic
Group button. Once your subscrip-           discussion appear ad nauseam.                   you feel passionately about, take a deep
tion has been accepted, the group               Avoid advertising overtones. Sure, you      breath and remember the other person
listing appears on the page you see         have the perfect doohickey for a widget-        has feelings that go with those (in your
when you sign in to Google Groups.          loving group, but folks aren’t online to        humble opinion) misguided thoughts. ❙



                                                                                           Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 75
                                                            STAY CONNECTED




                                                                                             by sending email to one address,
                                                                                             which we’ll discuss in the next section
                                                                                             on creating groups.) You likely won’t
                                                                                             be able to do this if a group is a
                                                                                             Public-Usenet group. Usenet groups,


                                                                                             The History Of Usenet

                                                                                             W        ay back when in 1979, a group
                                                                                                      of students at Duke University
                                                                                             found a way to communicate among
                                                                                             computers by posting messages to a
                                                                                             network. That network was called
                                                                                             Usenet, and it blossomed into a place
                                                                                             where users could discuss tens of
                                                                                             thousands of topics. Topics fell into
                                                                                             high-level domains, such as Sci (science-
                                                                                             related) and Comp (computer-related);
              Start your own group and keep it as public or as private as you wish.          groups had names such as alt.artcrime
                                                                                             and comp.unix.programming; and
                                                                                             users had special software, called news
   Of First Message because this will             that subject? Click the star again to      readers, to access Usenet material.
   make it easier to read through a               deactivate it.                             Usenet contains gems such as this one
   thread, or topic, the first time.                  Another way to track messages of       from Tim Berners-Lee, posted in 1991:
      Click the topic line of a message           interest is to turn on a Group Alert.         “ In article <6...@cernvax.cern.ch> I
   that interests you. In the tree on the         Google lets you input a keyword or         promised to post a short summary of
   left, you’ll see a list of all the messages    keywords, and when messages appear         the WorldWideWeb project. . . . The
   related to that topic, including who           that contain those words, Google           WWW project merges the techniques
   created the post and when it was               will send you an email notice. Go to       of information retrieval and hypertext
   posted. In the main body of the page,          www.google.com/alerts?hl=en or click       to make an easy but powerful global
   you’ll see the messages themselves. If         the Groups Alerts icon in the left nav-    information system. . . . The project
   the thread is a relatively long one, the       igation pane of almost any Groups          started with the philosophy that
   messages exist on more than one                page and type the keyword in the           much academic information should
   page, and you can use the Start Of             Search Terms box. In the Type drop-        be freely available to anyone. It aims
   Topic, Older, Newer, and End Of                down menu, select Groups, and in the       to allow information sharing within
   Topic links at the top or the bottom           How Often drop-down menu, select           internationally dispersed teams, and
   of the page to move through all the            the frequency of the alert, such as As     the dissemination of information by
   messages. Each message has a reply             It Happens or Once A Week. Lastly,         support groups.”
   link at its bottom, and you can use            click the Create Alert button and just        As the Internet became more acces-
   this link to post a message to the en-         sit back and wait for messages to ap-      sible to the public, so did these post-
   tire group. To reply directly to the au-       pear in your email box.                    ings. Deja News, which has since folded,
   thor, to forward the message, or to                When you’re ready to start a new       began storing Usenet posts, and the
   perform other actions, click the Show          topic, return to the group’s home          Deja.com service allowed users to
   Options link at the top of each mes-           page and click the Start A New Topic       search, respond, and post newsgroup
   sage and click the desired task.               link at the top. A prepopulated mes-       messages through an easy-to-use Web
      One of the neat features of Google          sage screen appears with your name,        site. In early 2001 Google announced it
   Groups is the ability it gives you to          the group’s name, and your language        was acquiring Deja.com’s Usenet
   track topics. Click the star next to a         filled in. Type a subject line, type the   Discussion Service, which at the time in-
   topic, and it turns yellow; you’ve just        message, click the Preview button and      cluded about 500 million archived mes-
   added the topic to your list of fa-            edit your message, and click the Post      sages dating back six years. Google has
   vorites. When you next log on to the           Message button. That’s all there is to     continued to add more Usenet content
   site, new posts to that topic appear           it. (Some types of groups also let you     to its Google Groups service, and it now
   on your My Groups page. Tired of               communicate with the entire group          boasts more than a billion messages. ❙



76 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                    STAY CONNECTED




also called news-                                                                                        Google Group com-
groups, resemble                                                                                         munity. Choose the
virtual online bul-                                                                                      preferred radio but-
letin boards where                                                                                       ton and click Create
you post messages                                                                                        My Group.
for everyone else to                                                                                        The next step is
see. You used to do                                                                                      to add members to
this with software                                                                                       the group. You can
called a newsreader.                                                                                     do so yourself by
Now that Google            Star important topics, so they don’t escape your notice.                      typing their email
has acquired Usenet                                                                                      addresses in the Add
and its archives,                                                                                        Members text box,
you participate in discussions through       Instead, you could use a Google           but to protect yourself from being ac-
the Google Groups service on the             Group. You might also want to create      cused by friends and family members
Web and not with your own software.          a group to find and communicate           of spamming, you may opt to choose
   Before you start a new topic,             with people on an obscure topic.          the Invite radio button instead. In this
though, it’s a good idea to search the           To create your own group, go to       case, each potential member receives
messages to see if someone has al-           the left navigation pane on almost any    an email invitation and must respond
ready created a thread for this topic.       Google Groups page and click the          before becoming an official member.
On the group’s main page, type a key-        Create A New Group link toward the        Select a Default Subscription Type—
word and click the Search This Group         bottom of the page. First, you’ll need    the default value of Email is just
button. You can sort returned mes-           to determine a name for the group.        fine—and create a welcome message.
sages by date or by relevance and click      Type one in the Group Name box,           Click Done.
a message to see other messages in the       and Google will automatically create         Not surprisingly, once the group
same topic.                                  an email address based on the group       is created, as the owner you’ll be
   And, in the “everyone makes mis-          name. This is the address that you can    able to manage it. On your My
takes” department, there may come            use to communicate to the group by        Groups Page, click the Manage but-
a time when you create a post and            sending email, instead of or in addi-     ton next to the group name. You can
realize you want to remove it. While         tion to creating public postings, de-     perform a variety of tasks here, in-
you won’t be able to yank it out of a        pending on how the group is set up        cluding changing how others access
recipient’s email box, you can re-           and how individuals elect to receive      the group, whether the group is
move it from the archives on the             postings. Enter a group description in    listed in the Google archives or di-
Web site. Log onto the site and lo-          the text box.                             rectory, and whether messages are
cate the post. Click its Show Options            One of the key decisions you need     moderated. You can also view the
link. One of the options, available          to make is how public you want the        membership directory and, when the
only to the poster, is Remove. Click         group to be. Do you want to approve       group has served its purpose, re-
it, click any confirmation buttons,          postings before they are sent? Do you     move it entirely.
and your unwanted posting is on its          want everyone to be able to see the
way to oblivion.                             group messages or only members?
                                             Do you want to set this up as one-
                                                                                       Watch Your Privacy
                                             way communication from you to                It’s a big world out there, and it
Create A Group                               the group? Depending on your pref-        will take some time for you to ex-
   Google Groups is a great way to           erence, you will select the radio         plore it through Google Groups. But
carry on conversations with strangers,       button for the appropriate group          know that as you do, no one will be
but it’s also useful for communicating       type. A Public group is one where         able to exploit your privacy. The site
with small groups of friends and             anyone can read the archives, and         lets you hide your email address so
family members. For instance, sup-           members can post messages. An             that a spammer can’t collect it. So if
pose you’re a member of a chess club         Announcement-Only group is one            an email lands in your inbox from an
or other group that meets locally.           where anyone can read messages, but       Indonesian guitar player claiming
When plans change or you need to get         only the moderator posts. And a Re-       you’ve won free NASCAR tickets,
a message to the entire group, you           stricted group is one where you invite    you can rest assured that Google
could try a phone tree or email list,        people to join, and only they can post    Groups isn’t the cause. RS
but the process can be lengthy, and          and read messages; your group is
it puts the burden on the sender.            virtually invisible to the rest of the                            BY   HEIDI ANDERSON



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 77
                                                     STAY CONNECTED




          Google Mobile
                                                                                         usually associated with PDAs) will see
                                                                                         53.3 million units sold in 2005 and
                                                                                         swell to sales of 278.7 million in 2009.
                                                                                            Anticipating success on the content
                                                                                         side of things is a bit trickier. Using the
            Google Comes To The Small Screen                                             Web on mobile phones and PDAs pro-
                                                                                         vides neither the quickest nor the most
                                                                                         thorough results, at least not compared
                                                                                         to what you’re used to getting from the
                                                                                         Internet using a full-fledged browser
                                                                                         on your desktop computer. That chal-
                                                                                         lenge is evident in an M:Metrics (www
                                                                                         .mmetrics.com) survey from March
                                                                                         2005, which found that only 12.7% of
                                                                                         mobile subscribers used their Web-en-
                                                                                         abled phone or PDA to access news
                                                                                         and information through a browser.
                                                                                         On the other hand, a Jupiter Research
                                                                                         (www.jupiterresearch.com) report
                                                                                         from February 2005 projected that mo-
                                                                                         bile content would generate $1 billion
                                                                                         in revenues in 2005 and more than
                                                                                         double that amount by 2009. So it’s
                                                                                         possible that as content grows, usage
                                                                                         will grow along with it.
                                             Booming Business


   G
              oogle knows it’s popular. It
                                                                                         Late Bloomer
              knows getting things done         Success for the mobile Internet
              becomes difficult when         search business depends on two                With increasing device sales, a
              you’re without the luxury of   things: more people buying Web-en-          growing number of Web sites opti-
   its search-engine services. And Google    abled handhelds and more people be-         mized their pages for viewing on
   knows that it can follow you wherever     coming interested in content that’s         those devices’ tiny screens. As busi-
   you go, at least if you have a Web-       optimized for those devices. On the         nesses warmed to revenue-generating
   ready mobile phone or PDA. If you         device side, research firm Gartner          possibilities, such as advertising and
   have such a device, you’re the target     (www.gartner.com) announced in              charging users for premium content,
   audience for Google Mobile, a small-      August 2005 that PDA sales are on the       major Web portals such as Yahoo!
   screen version of Google’s Web site.      rise. Gartner also predicted in July        (www.yahoo.com) and Microsoft’s
   With Google Mobile you can find all       2005 that the global market for smart-      MSN (www.msn.com) were quick to
   sorts of crucial information, whether     phones (mobile phones that combine          get involved. Although far from being
   it’s the weather forecast, current        cell phone functionality with features
   news, the address for the nearby Papa
   John’s, a photo of the latest Chrysler,                                                       If you want to show off your
   or an entire encyclopedia article                                                                          new car but
   about Abraham Lincoln; in other                                Google Mobile                               don’t have a
   words, almost anything.                                        offers a clean, tiny                        photo of it or if
      We’ll explain how Google Mobile                             interface that’s                            you want to stare
   fits into today’s world of mobile de-                          really a portal to                          longingly at the
   vices and competing services, whether                          the big, wide                               car you wish you
   your device is capable of using the                            Web; from here                              could buy,
   site, and how to use Google Mobile to                          you can search                              Google Mobile’s
   find what you need. We’ll also pro-                            for full Web sites,                         Image search
   vide a little background information                           mobile Web sites,                           option is the
   about how the site works compared                              pictures, and                               perfect portable
   to similar sites.                                              local information.                          way to go.



78 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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                                                                                                Call On Google
 Search By Numbers                                                                                 To get started with Google Mobile,
                                                                                                simply open the Web browser on your

 A      word is often easier to remember than a cluster of numbers, which is why some
        organizations use phone numbers that match their names. The fictional GET-
 ACME is a good example, where on a numeric keypad you’d actually press 438-2263 to
                                                                                                device and access the Web address
                                                                                                www.google.com/xhtml. This launches
                                                                                                the version of Google that uses
 make the call, but as long as you remember GET-ACME, you’re good to go. Google                 XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Mark-
 Mobile wants you to have that concept in mind when performing certain searches on              up Language), a form of the more fa-
 its WML (Wireless Markup Language) page, www.google.com/wml. For example, when                 miliar HTML code that Web designers
 you type 68742 Google translates the search as one for the keyword “music.”                    use to create pages viewable on a va-
     To use this feature, access www.google.com/wml and select either Number Entire             riety of devices, such as a phone’s tiny
 Web or Number Mobile Web. With either selection you can use numeric search; the                screen. You won’t see on your mobile
 difference is in the results. Number Entire Web does just what it says: It searches the en-    phone the full version of Web pages
 tire Internet. Number Mobile Web, by contrast, serves up cell-phone friendly results,          that you’re used to seeing on a desktop
 which are shorter for easier navigation. On-screen buttons also help you navigate. ❙           computer because Google runs the
                                                                                                pages through its own WML (Wireless
                                                                   If you select Number         Markup Language) proxy server,
                                                                   Mobile Web on Google         which formats large-screen pages so
                                                                   Mobile’s main WML            that small screens can handle them
                                                                   (Wireless Markup             more easily. The typical LCD (liquid-
                                                                   Language) page, you          crystal display) on a handheld device
                                                                   can do quick numeric         offers a 150 x 150-pixel resolution, and
                                                                   keypad searches; in this     if you tried to view a full-size Web
                                                                   example, we typed            page on a screen that small, you’d have
                                                                   668437 for movies.           to do a lot of scrolling up, down, and
                                                                                                sideways. You can also select the
                                                                                                Mobile Web radio button prior to
a comprehensive mobile Web portal,               Popular browsers include Microsoft’s           searching if you want to stick with
MSN Mobile (mobile.msn.com) ar-                  Pocket Internet Explorer (www.mi               Web sites that are already optimized
rived early, in June 1999. Less than a           crosoft.com), Qualcomm’s Eudora-               for handhelds.
year later, in May 2000, Yahoo!                  Web Browser (www.eudora.com), and                 If your browser doesn’t support the
launched Yahoo! Everywhere, a ser-               Opera’s self-named browser for Win-            main www.google.com/xhtml page, try
vice more akin to Google Mobile than             dows Mobile or its newer Opera Mini            accessing www.google.com/wml. This
Microsoft’s offering, and the pre-               (www.opera.com). Of course, the de-            WML version of the search page offers
cursor to today’s popular Yahoo!                 vice must also support the browser. If         access to both the complete Web
Mobile (mobile.yahoo.com).                       you’re not sure what your PDA or               searches found on the XHTML search
   Google wasn’t ready to join the               phone is capable of when it comes to           page, as well as mobile Web searches for
crowd until March 2005, when Google              Internet access, check the device itself       phones that support WAP (Wireless
Mobile (mobile.google.com) made its              or the accompanying manual.                    Application Protocol) 1.2 (a standard
debut. And it wasn’t until June 17,                 Devices that support a Web brows-           that lets different types of wireless de-
2005, that Google brought Web search             er typically come with a browser al-           vices communicate across common
to the table. Google Mobile’s impressive         ready installed. The Treo 600 and              networks). Your phone might support
comprehensiveness, however—the fact              Treo 650 smartphones from Palm                 both the XHTML and WML pages, so
that it attempts to serve the same 8 bil-        (www.palm.com), for example, ship              try them to see what works best for you.
lion-plus Web pages to your handheld             with the Blazer Web Browser installed          The benefit of using the WML page is
that it serves to your desktop PC, not           and ready to use. Similarly, Web-              that you can use the number pad on de-
just select portions of the Web—would            capable BlackBerry devices from                vices that lack keyboards to perform
seem to make up for its late arrival.            Research In Motion (www.rim.com)               searches; see the “Search By Numbers”
                                                 come with the proprietary Black-               sidebar for more information.
                                                 Berry Browser. For this article we
What You Need                                    used a Treo 650 and the Blazer Web
  To use Google Mobile on your PDA               Browser 2.0. For screen shots we used
                                                                                                Big Searches, Small Interface
or mobile phone, you must have a                 PdaReach 1.52 from June Fabrics                  Although there’s no getting around
Web browser installed on the device.             (www.junefabrics.com).                         the limitations of the tiny screen size,



                                                                                               Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 79
                                                           STAY CONNECTED




   Google Mobile marks the most signif-              nutshell information and a search
   icant step yet toward putting the en-             box for finding local showtimes)
   tire Web in the palm of your hand in           • Stock Quotes (we were surprised to
   a format that’s easy for small devices            find that this feature didn’t make it
   to manage. You might be annoyed to                to Google Mobile)
   find that some Google sites and ser-
   vices are absent from Google Mobile.              On the other hand, you might be
   However, many of them are available            surprised at just how much you can
   through Google SMS (Short Message              do on the small screen. We can’t
   Service); check out “Message Marvel”           begin to tell you how to explore
   on page 81 for details. As of press            more than 8 billion Web pages, so do
   time, here’s a partial list of items that      your own exploring and see what            If you’re looking up a business with
   Google Mobile does not support:                Google Mobile can deliver. Here’s a        multiple locations, click the Local radio
   • Calculator (Google Mobile doesn’t            list of shortcuts and services that        button and search for business name,
      include the same calculator as does         work well on Google Mobile as of           city, and two-letter state abbreviation;
      Google)                                     press time:                                you’ll receive information about each
   • Currency Conversion (if you search           • Definitions (to find definitions for a   location and an area map.
      a conversion string, such as 10 USD            word, in the search box type define
      in GBP, Google Mobile searches the             followed by the word)
      Web but doesn’t do the conversion)          • Google Local Beta (this is especially
   • Gmail Beta (mail.google.com;                    nifty for mobile users; select the         You can also set your search-filtering
      Google’s email service isn’t yet               Local radio button, and in the          preferences in Google Mobile the same
      ready for Google Mobile)                       search box type a business or per-      way you can in Google. You can stick
   • Google Maps Beta (maps.google                   son’s name followed by the city and     with the default Moderate option,
      .com; however, search Google                   two-letter state abbreviation)          choose the Strict Filtering option, or
      Local Beta and, depending on what           • PhoneBook (you can type a last name,     turn filtering off altogether. Changing
      you’re looking for, Google Mobile              city, state; a business name, city,     your language preference, however,
      often provides a map to help you               state; or a complete phone number,      takes a little more effort. First you need
      find your way)                                 including the area code, and bring      to know the two-letter code that corre-
   • Movies (if you search a movie name,             up the same listings on Google          sponds to the language you prefer; you
      Google Mobile doesn’t provide                  Mobile as you’d get using Google)       can find these codes at www.google
                                                                                             .com/apis/adwords/developer/ad
                                                                                             words_api_languages.html. Then,
   The Froogle Mobile Googler                                                                when you access Google Mobile, type
                                                                                             www.google.com/xhtml?hl=XX where
                                                                                             XX is the two-letter language code.
   I  f you haven’t tried Google’s full-
      sized Froogle Beta Web site
   (froogle.google.com), try it out be-
                                                                                             More! More! More!
   fore you make your next significant
   purchase. The site helps you find the                                                        Sometimes it seems that not a week
   lowest prices for goods from all                                                          goes by without Google launching a new
   kinds of online retailers. If you like                                                    service, so if you like Google Mobile,
   what you see, try out the mobile ver-                                                     you can be fairly sure that additional
   sion of Froogle (wml.froogle.com)                                                         features will debut in the coming
   the next time you find yourself spon-                         Although not nearly         months. In the meantime, take a look at
   taneously shopping.                                           the same as the full-       some other mobile-related information
       The mobile version doesn’t provide                        fledged Froogle beta,       in this issue. For example, if you live to
   live links to the online retailers it cites,                  the mobile version of       blog, look for mobile blogging informa-
   but it does provide the same price list-                      Froogle (wml.froogle        tion in “Meet Blogger” on page 97. RS
   ings you’ll find on the Froogle beta                          .com) lets you search
   site. We tested a few searches ranging                        everything from                                       BY   CAL CLINCHARD
   from accordions to Monet prints to                            accordions (shown
   Frank Zappa CDs, and the mobile                               here) to Zappa and
   Froogle worked as advertised. ❙                               compare prices.



80 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     STAY CONNECTED




  Message Marvel
                                                                                          few more seconds to type google.com
                                                                                          and access the site, and then a few
                                                                                          more seconds to type your query into
                                                                                          the search field. By then, the traffic
                                                                                          might be uncongested and the weather
                Google Meets Text Messaging                                               changed! Google SMS, in contrast,
                                                                                          frees you to keep focusing on the road
                                                                                          or engage in conversation while you
                                                                                          bring up the SMS client quickly and
                                            address to another, convert weight            type the query. Most phones, such as
                                            measures and other calculations, or get       the Nokia 6682, put SMS messaging
                                            movie times for your local Cineplex.          right on the main menu of the phone
                                            The reason this conjoining of Google’s        where it only takes one click.
                                            multibillion-item Internet database              “Search is a hot issue in mobile
                                            and a relatively simple text-messaging        technology right now because there is
                                            service works so well is that the queries     only so much screen real estate, and
                                            are simple, yet the results are useful for    no one likes squinting at these small
                                            mobile device users. This is especially       screens,” says Yankee Group’s Zawel.
                                            handy if you’re out on the road and           “All eyes are on Google and Yahoo! to
                                            can’t get to an Internet-connected PC.        figure out the best way to search from
                                               So, imagine this scenario. You’re          a mobile [device], and Google SMS is
                                            stuck in traffic, wondering if you            one option. Google may have advance
                                            should visit your lake cabin for the          services for the high-end phones, but
                                            weekend. Using Google SMS, you can            this is the low-end answer for the
                                            get a weather forecast for the 55343 ZIP      masses. SMS is the lowest common
                                            code just by text messaging the phrase        denominator for searching.”
                                            weather 56501. Or, if you just discov-
                                            ered that the movie theater showing
                                                                                          Challenges, Competition


L
        ow-tech text messaging? Meet        “King Kong” is full, you can find a
                                                                                          & The Google SMS Outlook
        the high-tech superpower,           showing just by text-messaging king
        Google. In a marriage made in       kong san francisco. The power behind             Of course, even as the lowest com-
        mobile technology heaven,           these search results all resides in           mon denominator, Google SMS is not
Google, with its immense Internet data-     Google’s servers, which help Google           a perfect mobile search service. While
base, offers a simple text messaging ser-   SMS turn your phone into a portable           the syntax for most text searches (such
vice for cell phones called Google SMS.     search agent. To perform a query, just        as “address 56501”) is easy to remem-
You may already use SMS (Short Mes-         type the search term and send the text        ber, Google SMS also lets you perform
sage Service), a service that lets you      to 46645 (or “GOOGL”).                        more advanced searches, such as
send short text messages via mobile            A second reason why Google SMS             finding the population for a foreign
phones. Often, the text message re-         works so well is convenience. Sure,           country (“population pakistan”) or
sponse comes back quickly, so you           most cell phone users know all about          looking up the price for an item at
could send the phrase “meet for lunch?”     SMS and texting (sending a text mes-          Froogle.com, Google’s shopping inter-
to a friend and receive the reply “sure     sage). New phones such as Motorola’s          face for finding the lowest price on a
what time” a moment later. SMS has          RAZR line have gone well beyond that          product. To perform a Froogle search,
been amazingly popular with cell            simple communication method. They             you’ll need the exact name of the item
phone, smartphone, and PDA users.           offer a robust WAP (Wireless Appli-           or, say, a book’s ISBN (International
According to Yankee Group wireless          cation Protocol) client; WAP is a stan-       Standard Book Number). Most people
and mobile director Adam Zawel,             dard that lets different types of wireless    don’t keep that information handy,
about 190 million people send SMS text      devices communicate across common             so the more advanced searches are not
messages every day in the United States.    networks. In fact, on the trendiest and       as useful.
   What Google SMS means for mo-            coolest phones, the WAP browser is               Google SMS might also change some
bile phone users is you can type a short    amazingly fast, running at the same           user perceptions as loyal Google fans
query into SMS and get the search re-       speed or faster than a dial-up modem.         wonder why the company is offering
sults back in about one minute. You            The problem is that it still takes sev-    such a low-tech solution. Zawel noted
can look up directions from one             eral seconds to start a WAP browser, a        that large companies, such as Disney or



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 81
                                                           STAY CONNECTED




   ESPN, always move slowly with                                                                         complex search is much easier
   innovative technology because                                                                         through a Web interface,” he
   they want to make sure it’s a                                                                         notes. “It’s easy because the de-
   proven commodity before they                                                                          vice is always with you, but the
   attach their brand to it. If users                                                                    small screen and keyboard
   understand that all the power is                                                                      makes searching harder, even
   online and the messaging inter-                                                                       through an SMS client.”
   face is for convenience only, it                                                                         A future version of Google
   will succeed.                                                                                         SMS may simplify searches
      Google SMS has some com-                                                                           with more abbreviated syntax
   petition, though. For example,                                                                        (“pop” instead of “popula-
   Yahoo! offers the Yahoo! SMS                                                                          tion”). The service could do a
   service, which works similarly                                                                        better job of parsing data so
   to Google SMS. To use it, you                                                                         that, even if you misspell a
   just send the SMS query to                                                                            name (by entering tom criuse,
   92466 (or “YAHOO”) and wait           The Google SMS site contains a helpful advice section,          for example), you’d still get
   a minute or so for the results.       as well as a printable tips sheet that’s in PDF format          the search results you’re look-
   The main difference between           and is designed to fold and fit into a wallet.                  ing for. And, Google could
   Yahoo! SMS search and Google                                                                          eventually improve the Google
   SMS is that Yahoo! offers a                                                                           SMS search categories, adding
   wireless hotspot directory. For mobile        searches. For example, you can type just       hotspot queries, better airline look-
   phone users who happen to carry a             about any search term, such as inventor        ups, and the ability to convert cur-
   laptop or handheld, the hotspot di-           telegraph, to get results that are similar     rency, which is currently on Google’s
   rectory is handy because you can              to what you’d see if you were using            “to do” list. At some point, if Google
   search from hotels, airports, or from         Google on your desktop computer.               can fix a few holes in the service,
   any location where you really need to         These question-and-answer types of             add more search features, and make
   Web surf. Also, the search query is           searches, which Google appropriately           searches easier, cell phone users could
   easy to remember: It’s just “wifi” plus       refers to as Q&A queries, let you find         start using the text-messaging client as
   the ZIP code that you want to search.         the populations for countries and cities,      often as they use Google.com.
      Another competitor is 4Info.com,           the birthday for a celebrity, a movie’s
   which offers a free SMS search. With          running time, and more. The impor-
                                                                                                Walkthroughs
   4Info.com you simply send your                tant thing to remember about Q&A
   queries to 44636. 4Info seems to do a         queries is to put the search term first,          For guidance in performing searches
   better job with phone book searches           followed by the proper name. So, for           with Google SMS, here are a few walk-
   and offers a wireless hotspot locator         example, enter birthday tom cruise and         throughs to help you find the coolest
   (“hotspot 56501”), jokes (using the           not tom cruise birthday. Interestingly,        and most useful information. For each
   straightforward query “joke”), flight         the celebrity search is hit or miss.           walkthrough, try experimenting with
   times (name of airline plus the flight           Google SMS is still in an early stage       variations on the search terms, using
   number), and even sports stats for            of development, and it’s technically one       different locations, the full name for
   your favorite players (“tiger” for            of Google’s famous beta (prerelease test       cities instead of the ZIP code, or dif-
   Tiger Woods).                                 version) applications. It works fine,          ferent celebrities from the ones we sug-
      Even though these advanced                 but there’s room for improvement.              gest. Remember that your phone most
   searches are powerful, Google SMS             According to David Ferris from Ferris          likely will save SMS messages in your
   does have an edge in terms of raw             Research, the jury is still out on whether     messaging client’s outbox, so you
   speed because most searches take              people really want to do searches from         can reuse them without having top
   about one minute or less before you           mobile phones with its small screen and        type the term or even the Google SMS
   get the results sent back to your phone.      awkward keyboard. In testing, he has           address again.
   Also, Google has done a better job            found that Google SMS does not work               Note that we used a Motorola
   than its competitors of explaining its        conveniently on higher-end phones              MPX220 for our tests; most phones
   queries at www.google.com/sms;                such as the Treo 650, most likely be-          follow a similar process. To send an
   Google also provides a printable tip          cause those devices have full keyboards        SMS message, first select your phone’s
   sheet at www.google.com/sms/tips.pdf.         instead of the truncated versions com-         messaging option. Look for the option
      Google SMS is also more power-             monly used for SMS text messag-                to create a new message. In the To:
   ful when it comes to experimental             ing. “Overall, the ability to perform a        field, enter 46645. Then, in the body of



82 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          STAY CONNECTED




                   On a Motorola MPX220,                 The Froogle search                               To get a four-day weather
                   text messaging is available        through Google SMS is                               report, type the search
                   right on the main screen           wildly erratic. A search for                        term weather followed by
                   just by going to the Text          a Nokia 6682 gives you                              your city and state.
                   Messages option.                   a price on an antenna,
                                                      not the new phone. Some
                                                      generic searches work                               You can search for movie
the message, enter the syntax we de-             (such as “f dvd player”), and                            times by typing the name
scribed below for each walkthrough,              others don’t seem to produce                             of the movie plus your
making any changes you see fit. After            the best results. For example,                           ZIP code or city and state.
you type the message, use your phone’s           if you want to buy Adobe
send option. Your phone will send the            PhotoShop CS2 and type price
message. Depending on how your cel-              photoshop, you’ll get a book on
lular carrier works (Verizon works dif-          mastering PhotoShop. It’s cool                           Or, you can check the
ferently than Nextel, for example), you          to experiment with different                             run time for a movie
will usually receive an SMS reply in             terms, though, such as “f ball”                          such as “Crash” by typing
about one minute. In some areas, how-            (which sends back an exercise                            runtime crash.
ever, the reply may take as long as 10           ball price) or “price condo”
minutes. Also, on some phones that               (which returns a kitty condo
also use email messaging, you may                stand of all things).                                    Local searches for
need to use a send-and-receive option                Location and directions.                             hospitals, post offices,
to get the new SMS reply from Google.            This is where the real power of                          and libraries help
   Weather. To get a four-day weather            Google comes into play. Google                           mobile phone users
forecast, start your SMS client and              has an extensive map database,                           stay more mobile.
create a new message. You can type               so even if you type in an ob-
weather followed by your ZIP code or             scure address, there’s a high
weather followed by your city and                percentage chance that Google SMS             as tom cruise real name and get the
state. Don’t bother with commas or               will know where you want to go. To            results back as an SMS message
other punctuation because Google                 search for a location, type the street ad-    from Google. A few phrases we tried
SMS generally ignores any characters             dress plus the city and state. There’s no     included “birthplace tom hanks”
other than letter and numbers. If you            syntax for telling Google SMS that you        (Concord, Calif.), “who wrote blink”
happen to be traveling in a foreign              want the location, it just knows what         (Malcolm Gladwell), and “who won
country, you can convert Celsius                 you want based on the fact that you are       Daytona” (Richard Petty). There’s a
temps to Fahrenheit (or vice versa) by           typing an address. For directions, enter      certain satisfaction in getting answers
entering the temperature followed by             to between the address, state, and city       out of this massive encyclopedia.
the phrase fahrenheit in celsius.                and the second location. For example,
   Froogle. Froogle is Google’s Web              if you sent the message 102 grove street
                                                                                               Other Searches
site for looking up product prices on            minneapolis mn to 1501 fifth street
the Internet. The idea behind Froogle            duluth mn Google SMS would provide               To perform any calculation, just
is that you can find the lowest price            step-by-step instructions on how to get       type the syntax you want to use, such
for products. This search works amaz-            there. (Our sample trip takes about           as 500 * 500 (to multiply the two num-
ingly well as long as you type the               four hours, by the way.) A few other          bers) or sqrt 555 (to find the square
product name correctly. So, for ex-              handy location look-ups include en-           root of 555). There’s no need to enter
ample, you can just search for a cell            tering a ZIP code or area code to see         an equal sign. To find a movie time,
phone, but Froogle works better if you           the city covered, and placing a “g” be-       use the name of the movie and your
search for a specific phone, such as the         fore a city name (for example, g              ZIP code or city. You can find hospi-
Motorola RAZR, by typing price razr.             chicago), which returns the first             tals, libraries, and post offices by
You might know that the RAZR is al-              Google listing. For Chicago, you’ll see       typing the search terms plus the city
ways in all caps; Google ignores capi-           the city newspapers listed along with a       and state (for example, library buffalo
talization, so you can keep everything           quick description of each.                    mn). Keep trying, and you might be
in lower case. So, the shortcut for                  Q&A queries. Experimenting with           surprised what Google SMS serves up;
Froogle is just the letter “f” followed          Google SMS can lead to some inter-            the possibilities are almost endless! RS
by the product name, and you can use             esting results. For any Q&A query,
a capital or lowercase.                          you can just type any phrase, such                                      BY JOHN BRANDON




                                                                                              Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 83
                                                          STAY CONNECTED




              Hello, It’s Me
                                                                                            but as with many other aspects of life
                                                                                            on the Web, Google is leading the
                                                                                            charge toward a better Internet expe-
                                                                                            rience with its Hello software.

                 Google’s Communications Tool                                               Say “Hello” To Hello
                   Lets You Share Pics, Too                                                     Hello is a free IM client that is sim-
                                                                                            ilar in most ways to many of its com-
                                                                                            petitors. Hello allows you to chat in
                                                                                            real time with other users across town
                                                                                            or around the world. The difference
                                                                                            between Hello and other IM clients,
                                                                                            however, is that Hello also lets users ex-
                                                                                            change print-quality digital photos
                                                                                            with any other Hello user and chat
                                                                                            about them as if separated only by a
                                                                                            coffee table. Email is a more traditional
                                                                                            method of online photo-sharing
                                                                                            among individuals, but not only does it
                                                                                            take more time to receive feedback on
                                                                                            the photos, it can take a tremendous
                                                                                            amount of time to send a high-quality
                                                                                            photo, especially for those using a dial-



   A
            ccording to a recent Pew             rest of us? As for businesses, today’s     up Internet connection. Large image
            Internet and American Life           (and undoubtedly tomorrow’s)               files also clog up inboxes, assuming the
            Project (www.pewinter                system administrators prefer IM, so        recipient’s email service provider per-
            net.org) survey, teenage             there could well be a shift in focus to-   mits receiving them at all. To top it off,
   Internet users tend to keep in touch          ward real-time communication over          sending photos via email requires that
   with peers through IM (instant mes-           the Internet. For consumers, there are     recipients have the appropriate soft-
   saging) and view email as a way to            already many IM clients available,         ware installed to view the file. Hello
   communicate with parents or institu-          most of them free. Yahoo! and              does away with all of those problems.
   tions. What does this mean for the            Microsoft both offer popular options,          Hello is designed to share and view
                                                                                            photos, so you can send dozens, even
                                                                                            hundreds of high-resolution photos
                                                                                            quickly, regardless of your Internet
                                                                                            connection speed. The photos are ini-
                                                                                            tially resized, if necessary, for optimal
                                                                                            on-screen viewing, eliminating the
                                                                                            hassle of waiting for every picture to
                                                                                            load before deciding which one you
                                                                                            want; the downloaded copies, by con-
                                                                                            trast, are restored to a higher resolu-
                                                                                            tion suitable for excellent, vivid
                                                                                            print-outs or saving to your hard
                                                                                            drive, CD, or DVD. You can give the
                                                                                            photo-sender your feedback right away
                                                                                            via Hello, and even see which photo
                                                                                            the sender is currently looking at.
                                                                                                Hello offers 128-bit encryption, so
                                                                                            you can be sure that you and the users
   While you’re chatting with a friend, you can see what pictures you’re sharing on the     you select are the only ones viewing
   left, what your friend just said on right, and what you’re typing in the bottom-right    your photos. After downloading
   corner of the tab. You can also save, scroll through, or remove pictures you’ve sent.    photos, you can use Google’s Picasa



84 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                       STAY CONNECTED




(also free) to organize                                                                                  www.hello.com and click
them. If you have both                                                                                   the Download link in the
Picasa and Hello, the im-                                                                                toolbar on the left.
ages you download auto-                                                                                     The Hello Download
matically go to your Picasa                                                                              page asks you to create an
folders for you to edit them                                                                             account. Your username is
as you please.                                                                                           the name that people will
   If you’re into blogging,                                                                              see when you’re online and
Hello has a free plug-in                                                                                 will be used as your identity
called BloggerBot that au-                                                                               while you’re on Hello.
tomatically resizes pictures,                                                                            Select a unique username,
adds comments, and for-                                                                                  password, and an email ad-
mats pictures for posting                                                                                dress. (Be sure to re-
on your blog. If you’re al-       If you have a Blogger account, you can “chat” with that account        member each of these three
ready a Blogger member            and send pictures that you can use in your blog.                       pieces of information be-
when you install Hello,                                                                                  cause they give you access
BloggerBot will be added                                                                                 to Hello’s services.) Re-
to your friends list so you                                                                              produce the letters dis-
can start posting pictures                                                                               played in the box toward
right away. For more infor-                                                                              the bottom of the form and
mation on Picasa or                                                                                      click Submit. The software
BloggerBot, see the respec-                                                                              will attempt to download
tive articles in this issue.                                                                             immediately. If you’re
   Hello is worth having for                                                                             using WinXP or have cer-
its picture-sharing capabili-                                                                            tain security measures in
ties alone, but it can do                                                                                place, the download might
more. Some IM clients let                                                                                not start right away; in this
you choose an avatar, a                                                                                  case, you might be asked to
graphical representation of                                                                              first install ActiveX. Follow
yourself that is visible to       Whenever you’re viewing a Web page that you want to share              the onscreen prompts to
other users. With Hello, you      with a friend, use the Share In Hello tool in Internet Explorer to     install ActiveX; the Internet
can use any photo in your         send a link to a friend. Then you can use Hello’s Friend’s View        Explorer version that
library as your visual profile    tool to follow your friend around the Web.                             comes with WinXP Service
that others see when you in-                                                                             Pack 2 provides a bar at the
troduce yourself over the                                                                                top of your browser that
Internet. If you have a Web cam at-            300MHz processor, 64MB of RAM,                 you can click to allow the installation.
tached to your computer, you can use           50MB of free hard drive space, and             When the Hello software download
Hello to send instant snapshots to other       Internet Explorer 5.0. If you’re unsure        completes, click Install on the window
users without having to download them          of what your system has, click Start,          that pops up to begin the installation.
from your digital camera. Hello also lets      Control Panel and double-click the                Start the Hello setup process by
you surf the Web or shop online with a         System icon. The General tab displays          reading and agreeing to the software
friend from the comfort of your own            information about your operating               agreement. By default the installer puts
home. Finally, Hello has a history file as-    system, processor speed, and memory.           the software in its own program folder.
sociated with it that remembers not only       To find out how much hard drive                You can change the installation desti-
what photos you’ve viewed, but the con-        space you have, open My Computer,              nation if you wish, but the default
versations you’ve had in the past so you       right-click the hard drive icon, and se-       works fine. Click Install, and the pro-
can remember what files you’ve sent            lect Properties; on the General tab            gram does the rest. At the end of the
and what you said about each picture.          under Capacity you’ll see how much             setup process, a series of checkboxes
                                               space is in use and how much is avail-         lets you control how you want the
                                               able. Finally, to find out which version       software to start. If you leave Run
How To Get & Install Hello                     of Internet Explorer you’re using, open        Hello checked, the program will start
   In order to install Hello on your           IE and select About Internet Explorer          automatically when you click Finish. If
computer, you’ll need Windows                  from the Help menu. If your system             you leave Run Hello When Windows
98/Me/2000/XP and, at minimum, a               has everything Hello requires, go to           Starts checked, the software will start



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 85
                                                            STAY CONNECTED




   automatically whenever                                                                                     Registration,” from sender
   you boot your computer.                                                                                    invites@picasa.com. If
   Checking Create Shortcut                                                                                   you’re using anti-spam or
   On Desktop will place a                                                                                    junk email filters, check
   Hello shortcut link on your                                                                                these carefully; the message
   Desktop that lets you start                                                                                may be filtered as unwanted
   the program more easily.                                                                                   mail, but it’s perfectly safe
   Finally, checking Add                                                                                      to open. Click the link indi-
   Shortcut To Quick Launch                                                                                   cated (you may need to
   will add a shortcut icon to                                                                                temporarily disable any
   the Windows Quick                                                                                          pop-up blockers you have
   Launch menu on the left                                                                                    running) and allow the
   side of your Taskbar, next                                                                                 window to open. It will tell
   to the Start button. After         The main window of Hello that comes up when Hello starts                you that you’ve successfully
   selecting the options you          shows you which of your friends are online, a bit about their           activated your account. You
   want, click Finish and             profile, and some of the things you’ve sent them in the past.           can save the email or delete
   you’re all done.                                                                                           it and start using Hello.
                                                                                                                  Now that Hello is up and
                                                   this icon. If you’re logged in, the icon     running, you’ll see the software’s main
   Start Working With Hello
                                                   is blue; if you’re not logged in, the        window, which uses a tabbed menu
      The first time you run Hello, a              icon is gray. You can start Hello by         structure. Every process or conversation
   window pops up telling you some fea-            double-clicking the grey icon.               you have running is visible on the tabs
   tures of the software. If you’re reading           At this point you should quit and         along the top of the window, just below
   this article, you’ll already know this in-      restart the software because there’s one     the toolbar (we’ll come to that in a bit).
   formation, so close this window.                more step you’ll need to complete be-        At first, the only tab visible is the Friends
   When the Hello login screen appears,            fore you can run Hello. Google wants         tab. You’ll only have one or two names
   enter the username and password you             to be sure you’re who you say you are,       in this portion at first, until, of course,
   created earlier. If you didn’t create an        so the software will ask you to verify       you start to make more acquaintances.
   account, click the link to Hello’s Web          your email address. A browser window         This Friends tab shows all of your active
   site and create one. Also, if you ever          will pop up displaying the email ad-         conversations and indicates which of
   lose your password, you can click the           dress you provided. Click the Verify         your Friends are on- and offline. To start
   Lost Your Password? link and it will be         Email button. A new page will let you        a conversation, simply click a friend’s
   sent to the email address you provided          know that a confirmation email has           username and the Chat button. This will
   during registration.                            been sent. The process should be in-         open another tab that contains interfaces
      The two checkboxes in this window            stantaneous. Log in to your email ac-        for exchanging text messages and
   let you control how Hello behaves               count and open the message with the          photos. You can move through various
   following your initial setup. The               subject line, “AutoReply- Picasa             ongoing conversations by simply
   Remember My Password checkbox                                                                clicking the appropriate tab along the
   will keep your password handy so that                                                        top of the window, allowing you to carry
   you don’t have to input it every time                                                        on multiple conversations at once. If you
   you start the software. Automatically                                                        have a Blogger account, you can “chat”
   Log In is only selectable if you elect to                                                    with that account and send pictures to
   have the software remember your                                                              post on your blog. See “Meet Blogger”
   password and will allow the software                                                         on page 97 for more information.
   to skip the login screen and take you                                                            If you’re working with another
   online automatically. If you want to                                                         program and Hello is running in the
   change these options later on, you can                                                       background, new pictures or mes-
   do so by clicking Tools and Options in                                                       sages will pop up in small alert win-
   Hello. Once the software starts up, a                                                        dows along the bottom of your screen
   small blue sunflower-like icon will ap-         To send an invitation to a friend to         as Hello receives them. You won’t
   pear in the System Tray, the small area         start using Hello, click Invite. You’ll then have to stop what you’re doing to ac-
   on the toolbar in the bottom right of           be asked to enter the Hello name or          knowledge these alerts, but you will
   your screen. You can access Hello any-          email address of your friends. Hello will    always know exactly what’s going on
   time it’s running by double-clicking            send invitations to those you list.          in Hello without having to sit there



86 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     STAY CONNECTED




and stare at it. To return to Hello,                                                 When you start Hello, you will be asked for
simply click the alert window and                                                    your username and password. You can elect
you’ll be up-to-date in seconds.                                                     to skip this by checking the Remember
   If someone sends you an invitation to                                             Password and Login On Launch checkboxes.
chat, it will pop up as a new tab on the                                             If you forgot your password, click Lost Your
main window. Messages appear in the                                                  Password? and it will be sent to the email
window on the top right; you type                                                    account you registered with.
replies in the window on the bottom
right. Pictures you’ve selected to send
will appear in the left half of the chat                                                      After you’re all done chatting and
window. To send pictures while chat-                                                       sending pictures, you can quit actively
ting, click the Send Pictures button in                                                    working with Hello in one of three
the top-left corner of the chat window.                                                    ways. Closing the main window
Hello will then ask you where the pic-                                                     doesn’t actually stop the program;
tures are. You can choose from either                                                      rather, it leaves the program running
Picasa or Windows Explorer. (To learn                                                      in the background and the active Hello
more about Picasa, see “It’s Not Picasso,                                                  icon in the System Tray. You’ll still be
But It’s Close” on page 108.) Find the                                                     online so others can see you and send
picture you want. Each image you select                                                    messages to you. Alternatively, if you
appears in the Hello window along with                                                     want to turn off the software com-
options to remove, save to your hard                                                       pletely, click File and Logout. The de-
drive, or scroll through the pictures.                                                     activated Hello icon will remain in the
   Once you start sharing photos, you’ll                                                   System Tray. Finally, if you want to
see a small thumbnail-sized window                                                         completely turn off the software and
pop up in the main picture window.          If you want to make any changes to the         remove the Hello icon from the
This is the Friend’s View window. If        way your Hello software performs while         System Tray, click File and Exit. You
you click the small green Play button in    its running, you’ll need to select             will be asked if you’re sure you want to
the Friends View window, you’ll move        Options from the Tools menu. From              proceed. If you always want to turn
through pictures as your friend sees        there you can change everything from           Hello completely off by this method
them, allowing you to share everything      alerts to startup options.                     rather than letting the program run in
about viewing the photos.                                                                  the background, check the Exit Hello
   After installing Hello, you might no-                                                   Always checkbox.
tice a new toolbar with a single icon in    Tools menu lets you make changes to
Internet Explorer. It’s called the Share    many of your preferences for how Hello
                                                                                           Don’t Say Good-Bye To Hello
In Hello function. With this tool, you      behaves. The User Interface Options let
can take a snapshot of the Web page         you change how the software behaves               Hello can do much more than
you’re currently viewing and send it to     when you receive or send messages,             we’ve covered here, and hopefully
your friends, similar to the way you’d      such as audio or visual alerts. Another        you’re intrigued enough to start
send a picture. The good part is that       notable option is Automatic Saving. By         looking at the software a little more
the image of the Web page you send          default, Hello uses the MY PIC-                closely for yourself. It’s a great pro-
acts like a Web link, so that when the      TURES\HELLO folder as your primary             gram with a multitude of features
recipient clicks the image it brings up a   image directory. If you want to change         that can make your Web-browsing
fully functional Web page.                  it, you can use the Automatic Saving op-       experience more enjoyable now and
   So far, we’ve dealt mainly with tools    tion to specify a different folder for this    in the years to come. RS
you can see as icons in the main            purpose. Finally, if you want to change
window. You can perform each of these       the picture of yourself that others see or                                BY   DAVID MILLER
operations and more with the toolbar        your personal profile, click Edit Profile.
along the top of the window. We don’t
have enough space to go through them
all, but there are a few worth men-                                                 If you have Picasa, Hello can search your
tioning. The File menu contains options                                             Picasa folders for images to send. If you don’t
to save conversations, print conversa-                                              have Picasa, you can learn more about it in
tions or photos, log out, and exit the                                              the article in this issue or you can simply find
program. The Options item on the                                                    pictures using Windows Explorer.



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 87
   GO O G L E      TO O L S




           Tool(bar) Time
                                                                                           Google or I’m Feeling Lucky search
                                                                                           using one or more keyword(s), but you
                                                                                           can also use the Google Search box to
                                                                                           search the current Web site you are vis-
                                                                                           iting, Google Images, Google Groups,
                                                                                           News, and Froogle.
              Make Your Browser A Powerhouse                                                  Popup Blocker. Now that Microsoft
                                                                                           has added its own pop-up blocker to
                                                                                           Internet Explorer, the Toolbar’s
                                                                                           blocker isn’t quite as snazzy as when it
                                                                                           debuted, but we like to think of this as
                                                                                           having too much of a good thing. We
                                                                                           can’t say if pop-up ads will ever go
                                                                                           away, but whether you make nice with
                                                                                           Microsoft or go with Google, both
                                                                                           blockers should be up to the task.
                                                                                              AutoLink. How many times have
                                                                                           you had to find the address of a new
                                                                                           local bistro with an online map ser-
                                                                                           vice? When you click the Toolbar’s
                                                                                           AutoLink button, a recent addition to
                                                                                           this handy browser add-on, the Tool-
                                                                                           bar automatically links you to an on-




   I
          t checks your spelling. It’s multi-    Web browser as a house and the            line map. You can also use AutoLink
          lingual. It can find locations on      Toolbar as the perfect roommate. This
          maps faster than you can say           is the roommate who only requires a
          “Vasco da Gama.” Google Tool-          broom closet for living space, can find
          bar is an add-on for the Internet      virtually anything, keeps annoying
   Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web               door-to-door salespeople from both-
   browsers that may be small in stature         ering you, and is fluent en español.
   (both in terms of file size and the space     And this wonder roommate doesn’t
   it occupies in a browser window) but          charge you a dime for these services.
   delivers amazing performance.                    Google Search. Like the Web site,
      A handy, free support application          Google Search is the keystone that
   that adds a full bag of functionality to      holds Google Toolbar together. Not
   your Web browser shouldn’t come as a          only can you execute a standard
   tremendous shock when you consider
   the company that designed it has
   branched out from simply searching the
   Web to assisting us in many of our on-                                                  Finding maps for U.S. street addresses
   line endeavors. In a lot of ways, you can                                               isn’t the only trick up the multitalented
   think of the Google Toolbar as a bite-                                                  AutoLink feature’s sleeve.
   sized version of the Google’s home page
   with a few extra bells and whistles. Be-
   cause it’s free software you can down-                                                  to connect a package’s tracking num-
   load and install quickly (even with dial-                                               ber with its delivery status, find a ve-
   up Internet access), Google Toolbar, in                                                 hicle’s history according to its VIN
   the beta stages of its third version, could                                             number, and convert publication
   be the best add-on you don’t have.                                                      ISBNs (International Standard Book
                                                 Google takes plenty of opportunities      Numbers) to Amazon.com listings. At
                                                 to notify you when you have to submit     press time, you could only use Auto-
   Powerful Package                              information from your computer over       Link with U.S. addresses.
     To understand how helpful and un-           the Internet or if a particular feature      AutoFill. As if your spouse weren’t
   obtrusive the Toolbar is, think of your       may involve privacy issues.               dangerous enough with that credit



88 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                       GOOGLE TOOLS




card, AutoFill completes your address                                                       page. This feature is more for fun
and credit card information with a                                                          than anything, but it’s a quick, inter-
single click, greatly reducing the                                                          esting, and illustrated look at how
amount of the time the professional                                                         Google’s algorithms determine a Web
shopper in your family has to spend                                                         page’s importance. See the “If Google
at the online checkout lane. Enter                                                          Ran The Web” sidebar for an enter-
your information once in the Tool-                                                          taining look at Google’s approach to
bar’s Options dialog box, and Auto-                                                         the Internet.
Fill takes care of the rest. According to                                                      Highlight/Word Find. These are
Google, your credit card information                                                        two separate functions, but they es-
is password-protected.                                                                      sentially do the same things. The
   WordTranslator. This new feature                                                         Highlight button can be particularly
is great for anyone curious about                                                           useful when you’re trying to find a
other languages. WordTranslator is                                                          search term amidst an ocean of irrele-
another new Toolbar feature that                                                            vant text. For example, if you searched
gives the heave-ho to language dic-              You can completely fill out the            for “Cajun swordfish recipe” and go
tionaries. When you hover your Win-              AutoFill settings, or you can limit the    to a Web page containing several
dows pointer over an English word,               information to just those items that       recipes, you can quickly sift through
WordTranslator displays its transla-             you’re comfortable sending out.            the unwanted recipes by looking for
tion in any of the following languages:                                                     the highlighted content. The Word
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified),                                                       Find button takes you to the first oc-
French, German, Italian, Japanese,                                                          currence of a word on a particular
Korean, and Spanish.                                                                        page. You can continue to click the
   SpellCheck. Email, online chat                                                           Word Find button, and the Toolbar
rooms, and forums are notorious for                                                         will find subsequent instances of
being rife with spelling mistakes.                                                          the word.
SpellCheck is a new feature that cor-                                                          Auto Update. Just as Google itself
rects spelling mistakes when you type                                                       strives to improve, periodic updates to
into a Web form, such as an email                                                           the Toolbar bring new features and
message or discussion forum post.                                                           (usually) an improved browsing expe-
SpellCheck has an AutoFix option                                                            rience. Google Toolbar even does all of
that works like AutoFill. A single click                                                    the heavy lifting for you, automatically
can correct all of your text at once.                                                       installing updates so you don’t have to
   Address Bar Browse By Name. By                The Browse By Name feature can take        worry about constantly checking for
now, most words have their own                   you immediately to a Web site that         new versions. Downloading the appli-
Web site, and this feature, which is             corresponds to a word you type in your     cation once should do the trick.
only available for the                           Web browser’s address bar.
Internet Explorer version
                                                                                                       Toolbar Unleashed
of Google Toolbar, takes
you to the Web site of any                                                                                Even if you don’t plan
word you type in the ad-                                                                               on using everything the
dress bar. For example,                                                                                Toolbar offers, you can
typing shoes in the ad-                                                                                download and install it
dress bar takes you to                                                                                 quickly. (And if you really
www.shoes.com. If you                                                                                  don’t like it, uninstalling it
type a word that doesn’t                                                                               is even easier.) You can
have a URL such as floc-                                                                               download it at toolbar
cinaucinihilipilification,                                                                             .google.com or start at
Browse By Name auto-                                                                                   Google’s home page (www
matically displays the                                                                                 .google.com) and click the
term’s search results.                                                                                 More link. Under Google
   PageRank Display. In                                                                                Tools, click Toolbar. At
short, this is what Google        SpellCheck flags words you’ve misspelled in Web forms.               the Toolbar’s Web page,
thinks of a particular Web        Ironically, it flags itself.                                         click Download Google



                                                                                           Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 89
                                                        GOOGLE TOOLS




   Toolbar and then click Run to begin           To fire up the Toolbar for Firefox,    button. Although the settings for the
   installing the Toolbar or click Save to    go to toolbar.google.com. The system      Popup Blocker, SpellCheck, Word-
   save the installer on your computer to     requirements for Firefox are slightly     Translator, and AutoLink are essen-
   run at a later time.                       different from Internet Explorer; al-     tially preferences, you’ll need to
      To use the Toolbar with Internet        though the Firefox Toolbar is com-        complete the AutoFill Settings be-
   Explorer, your PC needs to run             patible with Mac OS X 10.2+ and Red       fore you can use the feature.
   Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and at               Hat Linux 8.0+, it isn’t as friendly         On the Browsing tab, click Auto-
   least Internet Explorer version 5.5.       with Windows OSes (operating sys-         Fill Settings and complete the Name
   For the SpellCheck and AutoLink            tems). You’ll need either Win2000         and Primary Address sections. Next,
   features, you’ll need at least Internet    with at least SP3 (Service Pack 3) in-    choose whether you want AutoFill to
   Explorer 6.0.                              stalled or WinXP. You’ll also need to     use the address you just entered as
      If WinXP displays a Security Warn-      have Firefox 1.0+.                        a primary address or an alternate
   ing dialog box before launching the           Click Download Google Toolbar          address when Web pages ask for a
   installer, click Run. Next, you’ll need    and Agree And Install. Before pro-        shipping address. If you select An
   to select a Google site to use for your    ceeding, Firefox should alert you with    Alternate Address, click the Add/Edit
   searches. For U.S. users, this is simply   a Software Installation dialog box in-    Alternate Address button, add the al-
   google.com, which is selected by de-       structing you to only install software    ternate shipping address, and click
   fault. International users should select   from trusted sources; click Install       OK. Including your credit card in-
   the appropriate country from among         Now. The installer will automatically     formation is an optional step, but if
   the list. If you have any Internet         run, and the Extensions dialog box        you trust Google with this, click
   Explorer windows open, make sure           that opens will notify you when you       Add/Edit Credit Card. In the Credit
   Close All Internet Explorer Windows        can restart Firefox.                      Card Information dialog box, com-
   Automatically is selected. Click Agree        When you restart Firefox, it auto-     plete the required information and
   & Continue.                                matically loads another dialog box        click OK. Click OK in the AutoFill
      At the Choose Your Configura-           that contains information nearly          Settings dialog box to wrap up your
   tion step, carefully read about your       identical to the Choose Your Config-      AutoFill settings.
   options regarding the Toolbar’s ad-        uration step if you were installing the      The other two tabs, Search and
   vanced features; it isn’t the typical      Toolbar for Internet Explorer. Select     More, offer you more preferences to
   boilerplate you see in most end user       your search site (www.google.com for      customize your Toolbar. Select the
   license agreements. To use the             domestic users), click either Enable      options you want and click OK. You
   Toolbar’s advanced features, the           PageRank Display or Disable Page-         can return to the Toolbar Options di-
   Toolbar has to relay information           Rank Display, and click Finish.           alog box as frequently as you want.
   about the sites you visit to Google.                                                    The Google Search box may be the
   Although Google does not provide                                                     most pedestrian of the Toolbar’s fea-
                                              Super Surfing
   personally identifiable information                                                  tures, but it could be what you use
   to third parties, you should read             Whether you fancy Firefox or are       most. The search box saves you the
   Google’s Privacy Policy (see “Privacy      inclined to use Internet Explorer,        time of returning to Google’s home
   Please” on page 22 for more infor-         you’ll find that both versions of the
   mation) and the Toolbar Privacy            Toolbar are virtually identical. Click
   Policy (there’s an embedded link at        the Options button to customize and
   the Choose Your Configuration              start your Toolbar experience. On
   step) if you’re concerned about            the Browsing tab of the Toolbar
   sending information from your              Options dialog box, you can disable
   computer to Google. Select either          any of the following features by
   Enable Advanced Features or Dis-           clearing the check mark in their re-
   able Advanced Features and click           spective checkboxes: Address Bar
   Finish to complete the installation.       Browse By Name, Popup Blocker,
      Once installation is complete,          PageRank Display, SpellCheck,
   Internet Explorer should automati-         WordTranslator (disabled by de-
   cally restart with the Google Toolbar      fault), AutoFill, and AutoLink.
   appearing just below the Address              With the exception of Address Bar
   bar. On the page that loads, you can       Browse By Name and PageRank               Your silent ally, the Popup Blocker
   click the Take A Quick Tour link for       Display, you can adjust settings for      stamps out pop-up ads in the
   a rundown of the Toolbar’s features.       each feature by clicking its Settings     background as you blissfully surf along.



90 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                    GOOGLE TOOLS




page to perform a Google search. Type
a search term in the box from any         If Google Ran The Web
Web page you’re visiting and press
ENTER. For Google searching tips, see
“Gateway To The Web” on page 26.
Think of the Google Search box as a
                                          C     onsider briefly Google’s own
                                                assessment of the Toolbar’s
                                          PageRank display: “Wondering
                                                                                         Microsoft (www.microsoft.com). Your
                                                                                         one-stop shop for nearly everything
                                                                                         under Microsoft’s giant umbrella,
portable version of Google you can        whether a new Web site is worth your           Microsoft’s Web site is a staple in our
take with you to any Web page.            time? Use the Toolbar’s PageRank dis-          computing diet. With a 9/10 rating,
   In addition to a general Google        play to tell you how Google’s algo-            PageRank agrees.
search, you can add buttons that will     rithms assess the importance of the            eBay (www.ebay.com). Online auc-
search other Google sites. For ex-        page you’re viewing.” Although we’re           tioneer eBay is usually the first place we
ample, when you click Options and         grateful for Google’s wonderfully ef-          visit for ancient relics, hard-to-find
the Search tab, you can add Google        fective algorithms, how does one re-           knickknacks, or grilled cheese sandwich
search buttons to your Toolbar by         ally assess a word as subjective as            artwork. We’re fairly certain that
checking their respective checkboxes.     “important”? With that in mind, we             PageRank is a closet eBayer because it
If you want to search Google Images       visited some of our favorite Web sites.        gave the site a 9/10.
for Edgar Degas paintings, type Edgar     And just in case our boss happens to           The Internet Movie Database
Degas in the search box, but click the    be reading this, all of that Friday after-     (www.imdb.com). This Web site is al-
Google Images button instead of           noon Web surfing was for research              most as much fun as playing “Six
pressing ENTER. Follow the same           purposes. Honest! Without further              Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and is perfect
procedure to search Google Groups,        ado, here are 10 noteworthy Web                for double-checking if that cameo role
Froogle, or the Web site currently dis-   sites and PageRank’s take on them:             in a particular flick was one of our fa-
played in your browser (if applicable),   Google (www.google.com). It’s                  vorite actors. PageRank also liked it,
or to run an I’m Feeling Lucky search.    almost silly to cover the ins and outs         scoring it an 8/10.
   Blocking pop-up ads can save you a     of Google in this issue without listing        Snapfish (www.snapfish.com). There
mountain of time, but there are some      it as a favorite site, and PageRank            are plenty of online photo storage sites
Web sites that use pop-ups for addi-      seemed to agree, rating Google a per-          that let you share and print your digital
tional content, and Google’s Popup        fect 10/10.                                    photos, and we chose Snapfish to see if
Blocker occasionally blocks these, too.   CNN (www.cnn.com). As journalists              PageRank approved. According to
If you’re visiting a Web page with        ourselves, we like to stay abreast of          PageRank, which scored Snapfish a
useful pop-ups, click the Popup           the latest happenings around the               7/10, finding a home for your digital
Blocker button on the Toolbar. Its        world. We typically turn to CNN’s              photos is pretty important.
message should change from “XX            Web site for a quick rundown of the            Smart Computing (www.smart
blocked,” where XX is the cumulative      day’s current events. PageRank also            computing.com). We admit that
number of pop-ups it has blocked          thought the media giant was impor-             sometimes we’re not above a little
since installation, to “Popups okay.”     tant, giving it a 9/10 rating. CNN rival       shameless self-promotion, so we de-
When you visit a different Web site,      FOXNews.com? An 8/10.                          cided to see what PageRank thought
the Popup Blocker will resume block-      Amazon (www.amazon.com). What                  of our hard work. We were mildly im-
ing pop-ups.                              better way to relieve the stress of a          pressed to see PageRank hand Smart
   Using SpellCheck to correct an         long day at work than to plop down             Computing a 7/10.
email message is probably one of the      in front of an online retailer for a little    White House (www.whitehouse.gov).
easiest ways to see this feature in ac-   cybershopping? PageRank must think             Truthfully, we rarely surf over to the
tion. When you finish typing, click       otherwise because it gave poor                 leader of the free world’s Web site, so
the SpellCheck button. The Toolbar        Amazon.com a 0/10.                             our visit to the online Oval Office was
will point out misspelled words by        Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).           sparked more out of curiosity than any-
underlining them, bolding them, and       Whether you approve or disapprove              thing else. Apparently, Google is more
changing their font color. When you       of the online ticketing colossus’              important than our nation’s Executive
click these words, SpellCheck offers      sometimes hefty fees, Ticketmaster             Branch, because PageRank rated the
its suggestions and gives you options     remains the Web’s primary domestic             White House’s Web site a mere 9/10.
to ignore, edit, or add the flagged       portal to live music, sports, and the-         And in case you were curious, Web sites
word to your Dictionary. Click the        ater events. After the Amazon de-              for the House of Representatives and
SpellCheck button again to disable it.    bacle, we thought PageRank would               Senate both received 9/10 rankings,
   AutoLink takes an address on a         turn from Ticketmaster, but it                 while the U.S. Supreme Court’s site
Web page and summons the power of         handed out an 8/10.                            scored a 8/10. ❙



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 91
                                                           GOOGLE TOOLS




                                                                       Once Maps pins        settings, the Toolbar highlights any
                                                                    down a selected ad-      fields it can fill with AutoFill. Click
                                                                    dress’ location, you     the AutoFill button and OK when
                                                                    have a few more op-      AutoFill warns you about only using
                                                                    tions. In the upper-     it on sites you trust. If you clear the
                                                                    left corner of the       Don’t Show This Message Again
                                                                    map, there are four      checkbox, AutoFill will warn you the
                                                                    directional buttons      next time you use it. This feature
                                                                    that shift your view     works well with sites that don’t store
                                                                    of the map in the        your information or sites you visit for
                                                                    appropriate direc-       the first time.
                                                                    tion. A slider located      WordTranslator, Highlight, and
                                                                    just below the four      Word Find round out the Toolbar
                                                                    directional buttons      experience. To use these features,
                                                                    lets you zoom in         enable them in the Toolbar Options
                                                                    for greater detail or    dialog box. When you click the
                                                                    zoom out to see a        checkbox to enable WordTranslator,
   The best part about the Highlight feature is that it never       broader geograph-        Google prompts you that doing so
   runs out of ink.                                                 ical area. For driving   has privacy implications. To learn
                                                                    directions, locate the   more, click Help in the dialog box.
                                                                    To Here and From         Otherwise, click OK. Next, click
   Google Maps and Google Earth (see             Here links and click the link that ap-      Translator Settings, select the lan-
   “Are We There Yet?” on page 55 and            plies to you. End by adding either a        guage you want from the drop-down
   “A View From Above” on page 104 for           starting or ending address and clicking     menu, and click OK. To enable
   more information about these Google           Get Directions.                             Highlight and Word Find, click the
   features) to play Sacagawea to your              To see a satellite image of the ad-      More tab and put a check mark in
   Meriwether Lewis (or William Clark, if        dress, click Satellite in the upper-        each feature’s checkbox. Click OK.
   you prefer). Click the AutoLink button        right corner of the map. You can            To see English words translated, just
   (the button’s text may change to Look         navigate to a different part of the         hover your pointer over them.
   For Map) when you have an address             satellite image and zoom in/out just        Highlight and Word Find are fairly
   you want to look up. The Toolbar will         as you would in standard map view,          self-explanatory.
   turn all U.S. addresses on the current        but it may take the satellite image a
   page into links. Click the link you want,     few seconds to catch up. Finally,
   and Google Maps loads a map and flags         Google will graft street names onto
                                                                                             Browser Power
   the address whose link you clicked.           major streets in the satellite image if        At the end of the day, the Google
                                                 you click Hybrid.                           Toolbar is little more than an acces-
                                                    Using AutoFill after you’ve pro-         sory kit for Internet Explorer or
                                                 vided the proper information (pri-          Firefox, but it’s still one heck of a kit.
                                                 mary address, shipping address, etc.)       Considering how easy it to download,
                                                 is virtually automatic. When you’re at      configure, and use, the Toolbar is
                                                 a Web page that requires any infor-         available at a pretty competitive price.
                                                 mation you included in the AutoFill         (You can’t beat free.)
                                                                                                You probably won’t use every fea-
                                                                                             ture on the Toolbar. In fact, you
                                                              We located America’s           might not find it useful enough to
                                                              greatest ballpark by           keep. (If so, click the Google button
                                                              typing Wrigley Field           located to the left of the Toolbar
                                                              address in the search box      search box, point to Help, and click
                                                              and clicking the               Uninstall and Uninstall The Google
                                                              AutoLink button when           Toolbar.) Either way, the Toolbar is
                                                              Google finished its            stuffed with goodies waiting for you
                                                              search. Then we clicked        to sample. RS
                                                              one of the links it created
                                                              to bring up a map.                                        BY   VINCE COGLEY



92 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                       GOOGLE TOOLS




Search Engine Jr.
  Google Brings Its Expertise To Your Desktop

                                             hard drive packed with a
                                             lot of files. Although the
                                             search tool does come
                                             with an Indexing Service                                     You can download
                                             to help speed up your                                        Google’s personal
                                             local searches, it still re-                                 desktop search engine
                                             quires that you have a                                       from desktop.google.com.
                                             saved copy of the item in       Google Desktop takes
                                             question. Also, because         just a few minutes to
                                             this utility is focused on      download and install.        names, as well as the text
                                             your local hard drive, it                                    contents of compatible
                                             ignores your past Internet                                   file types and cached
                                             activity. If you ended your chat session      copies of Web pages and chat sessions.
                                             without saving it, or want to view a          Every time you enter a query, Google
                                             Web page you looked at last week, then        Desktop quickly checks the index and



F
       or the organizationally chal-         Windows’ Search isn’t much help.              instantly displays your results. Google
       lenged among us, finding files           Hello, Google Desktop. The Google          stores the index on your computer at
       on our computers can be a har-        Desktop personal search engine repre-         C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\
       rowing task. If the file system on    sents a more efficient way to find your       USERNAME\LOCAL SETTINGS\AP-
your computer resembles a cluttered          files among the jumbled heap that is          PLICATION DATA\GOOGLE\Goo-
garage in which you’re as likely to get      most of our computers.                        gle Desktop Search, Username.
tetanus as you are to find what you’re          Google Desktop does a better job           (Username refers to the administra-
looking for, then the Google Desktop         than Microsoft’s built-in tool in large       tor’s username and C: refers to your
personal search engine can clear the         part because it is faster, more com-          system’s primary drive or partition.)
confusion. (No shots required.)              prehensive, and best of all, automatic.          Google’s initial indexing of your
                                             Google’s personal search engine can           hard drive is not a quick process, how-
                                             quickly return results because it auto-       ever, and can consume a fair amount of
From The Internet To Your Desktop            matically creates a systematic guide to       system resources. For this reason
   Google’s Internet search engine           the contents of your hard drive and           Google designed the desktop search ap-
gained fame for its ability to quickly re-   caches (saves) compressed versions of         plication to perform its indexing while
turn relevant search results for billions    the other items you’ve viewed (such           your computer is idle, or in a powered-
of Web pages, but now Google is taking       as Web pages, emails, and chat ses-           on but not in-use state.
a whack at the comparatively minuscule       sions). Immediately after you install            File types. Google’s personal search
desktop. But wait, doesn’t Windows al-       the application, Google Desktop be-           engine also differs from Microsoft’s
ready come with a search utility?            gins creating this guide.                     built-in search tool in that it can search
   Goodbye, Rover. If you’ve ever tried         This guide, or index, is a kind of         a wider range of items. Google Desktop
to search for a file using Windows’          summary composed of your PC’s file            provides a full text search of your
built-in Search or Find utility,                                                           emails, computer files, chats, and the
then you know that Microsoft                                                               Web pages you’ve viewed. When the
has some catching up to do in                                   Hey Rover, can you         indexing process is complete, you’ll be
this area. When you attempt to                                  search my desktop          able to search Microsoft Outlook and
search for an item using this                                   and several billion        Outlook Express emails; Web pages;
search tool, the results can take                               Web pages seemingly        Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
several minutes to display, es-                                 instantaneously?           Netscape Mail, and Adobe PDF (Por-
pecially if you have a large                                    Didn’t think so.           table Document Format) files; the



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 93
                                                           GOOGLE TOOLS




                                                written and viewed is a valid concern.        direct your Web browser to the Google
                                                To address this, Google created Google        Desktop download page at desktop
                                                Desktop so that it can only be installed      .google.com. At press time Google was
                                                on a single user account and index the        offering the English Version 2 Beta and
                                                files created by that user. All other files   version 1.0 in a variety of languages. By
                                                created on different user accounts are        default this page loads with the English
                                                not indexed (unless they are purposely        (Version 2 Beta) highlighted.
                                                made available to all users). If privacy         Once you’ve viewed the Terms &
                                                is important, you should consider pro-        Conditions and Privacy Policy docu-
                                                tecting your Windows administrator            ments, click the Agree And Download
                                                account with a password.                      button. Click Save in the File Down-
                                                    If you can’t avoid prying eyes but        load dialog box, select a location for
                                                still don’t want others snooping              the file, and then click Save. Next click
                                                around, go to the Google Desktop              Run and the Google Desktop Installer
                                                home page and click Preferences. Click        should launch. It may prompt you to
                                                the Add A File Or Folder To Exclude           close some open applications, such as
   Once installation is complete, you can       from the Don’t Search These Items sec-        Internet Explorer or Outlook, before
   set your preferences in the subsequent       tion of the Preferences page. Next            continuing; click OK to comply.
   browser window.                              browse for the file or folder you don’t          Once installation is complete, you’ll
                                                want indexed, or enter its path. To           see a Web page prompting you to con-
                                                delete specific items from the index,         figure Google Desktop. You can set
   metadata (data describing the file, such     click the Remove Items link at the top        Google Desktop’s search box to appear
   as artist, date, and size) of music,         of any Google Desktop page. Click the         as the Sidebar, Deskbar, or Floating
   image, and video files; and AOL Instant      checkboxes next to the items you’d like       Deskbar. The Sidebar is a configurable
   Messenger chats.                             to remove, and then click the Remove          menu that appears on your Windows
      You can also download separate            Checked Results button.                       Desktop and displays email, news, a
   plug-ins for indexing other file types.          Compatibility. Google requires at         scratch pad, weather, photos, and the
   Third-party software developers can use      least a 400MHz Pentium or equivalent          Google Desktop search box. If you
   the Google Desktop SDK (Software             processor, and at least Windows 2000          want something a little more incon-
   Development Kit) for letting Google          Service Pack 3 or Windows XP. You’ll          spicuous, click the radio button for the
   Desktop index images, proprietary text       also need at least 128MB of RAM and           Deskbar (a search box anchored to
   and spreadsheet file formats, audio files,   1GB of available hard drive space.            your Taskbar), or the Floating Deskbar
   chats, and files from other email clients    The cached files that compose your
   that Google Desktop doesn’t already          index don’t consume nearly the same
   support. If you visit desktop.google         amount of space as their original
   .com/plugins, you can browse a list of       counterparts, but Google suggests that
   plug-ins for users and developers. Click     you make sure you have about 4GB of
   the Indexing link beneath the For Users      drive space available.
   heading at the left side of the page to          Google Desktop is fully compatible
   see a list of plug-ins that let Google       with Mozilla Firefox and Internet
   Desktop index items such as MP3 audio        Explorer versions 5.0 and above. The
   file metadata, Microsoft help files,         application also features partial support
   WordPerfect, and StarOffice files.           for other browsers, including Opera
      Privacy, please. For privacy reasons,     and AOL’s browser. As of this writing,
   Google Desktop doesn’t index net-            Mac and Linux users can’t run Google
   worked drives, so you aren’t able to         Desktop on their computers.
   search beyond the computer on which              Google also offers a business version
   you’ve installed the application. If         of its computer indexing technology,
   you’re the rare user who doesn’t need        called Google Desktop Search for
   to share your computer with anyone           Enterprise. (See “Google Desktop
   else, local privacy probably isn’t your      Search For Enterprise” on page 136 for
   top concern. For the rest of us, how-        more information.)                                You can view Google Desktop’s
   ever, preventing unauthorized users              Installation. Make sure you’re                search box as the Deskbar,
   from accessing everything we’ve              logged on as the administrator, then              Floating Deskbar, or Sidebar.



94 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          GOOGLE TOOLS




(an undocked search box).                                                                                 also sort your results by rele-
This page also lets you set                                                                               vance; click the Sort By
Google as your default search                                                                             Relevance link near the
engine and configure Google                                                                               upper-right corner of your
Desktop to search and index                                                                               Google Desktop results page.
your Gmail account if you                                                                                     Google Desktop also in-
have one. When you’re fin-                                                                                cludes the Quick Find fea-
ished, click the Set Preferen-                                                                            ture, which, when enabled,
ces And Continue button.                                                                                  begins displaying results for
   Next you’ll see the Enable                                                                             your query as you type. For
Advanced Features screen.                                                                                 instance, when you start
Google Desktop’s Advanced                                                                                 typing “wedding photos”
Features involve sending non-                                                                             into the Deskbar, Google’s
personal usage data back to                                                                               Quick Find window first dis-
Google’s servers. This data lets      Google Desktop displays the results stored on you computer          plays everything relevant
Google know which types of            first, followed by the Web results.                                 that begins with a “w.” The
news items you view in order                                                                              search results narrow with
to better tailor your Sidebar. If                                                                         each additional letter you
enabled, Google also collects informa-               Because the indexing occurs while          type, and your wedding photos may
tion about the errors you encounter               your computer is idle (for 30 seconds         appear in the Quick Find window
while working with Google Desktop,                or more) the process can take a long          after just typing “wed.” Google Desk-
similarly to WinXP’s error reporting              time if you use the computer fre-             top uses a second index and a new
feature. Keep in mind that none of                quently throughout the day. If you reg-       search algorithm to display these re-
Google Desktop’s options are depen-               ularly turn off your computer when it         sults so quickly.
dent on enabling these features, so click         is not in use, try leaving it on overnight       Get specific. Google Desktop, like
either Enable or Disable to continue,             until the index is complete. You can          Google’s Internet search engine, lets
depending on your preference.                     pause the indexing process any time by        you perform detailed searches using
   The next page indicates that Google            right-clicking the Google Desktop icon        advanced search operators, or sym-
Desktop is indexing your PC. Click the            in your Windows Desktop System Tray           bols and characters that enable special
Go To The Google Desktop Homepage                 and clicking Pause Indexing. If you           functions. You can search for exact
button to see the progress of the one-            don’t manually resume the process by          phrases using quotes, for instance, by
time indexing update. This page also              clicking the Resume Indexing option in        typing “computer virus” into the
shows you how many files Google has               the context menu, then Google Desk-           Deskbar and pressing ENTER. This
indexed so far, what types of files it has        top will resume automatically once 15         operator displays results that contain
indexed, and an estimate of how long              minutes has elapsed.                          that exact phrase. You can also ex-
the full index will take to generate.                In our test run of the indexing            clude specific words from your search
                                                  process, it took only about half an hour      by typing the minus sign (-) before
                                                  to index an 80GB hard drive con-              the word you want to exclude. For in-
                                                  taining 26,065 files.                         stance, typing holiday photos -2004
                                                                                                will likely return holiday photos from
                                                                                                every year on file except for 2004.
                                                  Forget Filing & Start Googling
                                                                                                   You can even narrow your email
                                                     Using Google’s personal search en-         search by typing subject:, to:, from:,
                                                  gine is fairly intuitive, just click the text cc:, or bcc:, followed (without a space)
                                                  box of your Sidebar, Deskbar, or              by the word(s) you want to find in the
                                                  Floating Deskbar, and then type your          appropriate fields. For instance, if you
                                                  search query. Press ENTER and your            type subject:virus and press ENTER,
                                                  default browser will launch and display       Google Desktop will display all emails
                                                  the results. At the top of the page,          that include the word “virus” in the
                                                  you’ll find numbered results for items        subject line. To search for individual
                                                  on your hard drive, followed by Web           file types, you’ll want to use the “file-
To view Google Desktop’s indexing                 results. Click the links for the num-         type:” operator. RS
status, right-click the System Tray icon          bered results to see them, with the most
and then click Index Status.                      recent results listed at the top. You can                             BY ANDREW LEIBMAN




                                                                                            Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 95
                                                            GOOGLE TOOLS




   Windows Desktop Search vs. Google Desktop

   I  n their quest for superiority, Microsoft
      and Google have crossed paths (and
   stepped on each other’s toes) on more
                                                 without entering the specific names, or
                                                 locations of any one file. We started by
                                                 typing music into the search boxes of
                                                                                                    Finally we tested each personal
                                                                                                 search engine by looking for specific file
                                                                                                 types. We typed .jpg into each search
   than one occasion. We took a look at          both Google Desktop and Windows                 box to find JPEG (Joint Photographic
   Windows Desktop Search (part of               Desktop Search. Google returned 180             Experts Group) image files and then
   Microsoft’s MSN Toolbar offering) and         files, and 12 cached Web pages. The             pressed ENTER. Windows Desktop
   Google Desktop to compare the user in-        top results were the most recent, and           Search returned 463 local results, while
   terfaces, features, and search results.       consisted mostly of
       Like Google’s personal search appli-      cached Web pages.
   cation, Windows Desktop Search cre-           The next dozen
   ates an index to quickly return search        items were text files        Is your Taskbar big enough for Windows Desktop Search
   results for your queries. You can view        that mentioned the           and Google Desktop?
   the status of the indexing after installing   word “music” in
   the MSN Toolbar Suite by right-clicking       them. We had to
   the Desktop Search icon in the System         scroll past more than 75 items before           Google Desktop displayed 773 results,
   Tray and then clicking Indexing Status.       we actually encountered an audio file.          seven of which were cached Web pages.
   You can also pause and restart the in-        The Windows Desktop Search re-                  Though both utilities showed thumb-
   dexing process in the context menu            turned just 126 results; however, the           nails of the image files they found,
   that appears when you right-click the         top three were WMA (Windows Media               Google’s search utility seemed to per-
   Desktop Search icon in the System Tray.       Audio) music files, followed by a               form the deeper scan, finding some
   To configure your indexing preferences,       healthy mix of text files, file folders,        JPEG images that Windows Desktop
   click the MSN logo in the MSN Search          and Windows Media Player playlists.             Search missed entirely.
   Toolbar and then click MSN Search             The results didn’t include any cached              In the end, though the results were
   Toolbar Options.                              Web pages. Windows Desktop Search’s             varied, the outcome wasn’t surprising.
       Currently, the Windows Desktop            list of supported file types states Web         Google Desktop’s strengths seem to lie
   Search is a bit more limited in its support   pages, but nothing about cached Web             in its wider range of searchable file
   for searchable file types. Supported types    pages you’ve already viewed.                    types, recalling the Web pages you’ve
   include a variety of text files, Microsoft        Next we tested Windows Desktop              viewed, and finding individual files.
   Word documents, Excel spreadsheets,           Search and Google Desktop with date             Windows Desktop Search benefits from
   Outlook and Outlook Express items,            queries. We typed 2004 into Windows             being able to integrate other Microsoft
   Web pages, and the metadata of music,         Desktop Search and pressed ENTER. It            products, and seems to have a better
   image, and video files. You can also in-      returned 1,426 results, the first hun-          handle on file folders, and file types (es-
   stall plug-ins for additional file types,     dred or so of which were folders that           pecially proprietary Microsoft file
   such as Adobe PDF (Portable Document          either had 2004 in the file name or             types). At this point, neither applica-
   Format) documents.                            contained files that had 2004, or 04 in         tion seems to be the ultimate desktop
                                                 the file name. Google Desktop re-               search utility, so to get the most com-
                                                 turned 1,011 hits, nine of which were           plete search capabilities, you might
   This Desktop’s Not Big Enough For Two
                                                 cached Web pages. Google’s results              consider using both Windows Desktop
     To see how the two applications             seemed almost devoid of folders, but            Search and Google Desktop. ❙
   compared, we installed both on a test         included a bevy or relevant documents
   computer and searched for files               dated from 2004.


                                            Google Desktop’s                                                         Windows Desktop
                                            Quick Find window                                                        Search can display
                                            can display results                                                      your results as
                                            before you’ve even                                                       quickly as Google
                                            finished typing.                                                         Desktop.




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                                                      GOOGLE TOOLS




          Meet Blogger                                                                    Humble Beginnings
                                                                                             It wasn’t all fun and games for the
                                                                                          folks behind the magic at Blogger. San
                                                                                          Francisco-based Pyra Labs started
Join The Web Log Craze With This Google Tool                                              Blogger in 1999, one year after Google
                                                                                          itself burst on the scene. By its own
                                                                                          admission, Blogger was successful, but
                                               bulletin boards, and online for-           the company took its lumps along
                                               ums, all of which share character-         with countless other companies
                                                   istics with blogs, cropped up          during the dot-com collapse that
                                                          years before “blog” became      began in 2000. The company ran out
                                                              ingrained in the Inter-     of money but managed to keep its ser-
                                                               net’s lexicon.             vice running virtually nonstop.
                                                                  You can use a blog         Then in 2002 Google wanted to
                                                                for a number of tasks.    buy Blogger and take the service
                                                              For example, you can        under its wing. Already boasting
                                                            post pictures and high-       hundreds of thousands of members,
                                                          lights of your next family      Blogger became a team within Goo-
                                                        vacation while you’re still       gle, and the rest is history.
                                                         on vacation (at the collec-
                                                           tive swooning of the post-
                                                                                          Blog This Way
                                                            card industry). You can
                                                           pontificate about current         Although you can create a mar-
                                                           events or simply provide       velously intricate masterpiece with
                                                          links to articles about the     Blogger with enough time, the nuts
                                                       events to readers. Essentially,    and bolts of setting up your own blog
                                                       you can use your blog to dis-      are remarkably straightforward. First,
                                                  seminate almost any kind of in-         open a Web browser with an active
                                                                                          Internet connection, head to Blog-


M
               aybe you’re the type of      formation you want, and maybe that’s
               person who has an opin-      why blogs are so appealing.                   ger’s home page (www.blogger.com),
               ion on everything from          Using Blogger, Google’s spin on            and click Create Your Blog Now.
               Keynesian economics to       the phenomenon, is almost as easy as          Enter the following information in
non-Euclidian geometry and isn’t            running a simple Web search. It only          the respective fields: User Name (this
afraid to share it with anyone. Per-        takes a few minutes to establish a free       is the name you’ll use to log on to
haps you like discovering strange           account, and you can use Blogger              your Blogger account), Password,
news stories on the Web and for-            Images to change your blog from               Display Name (this is the name you’ll
warding them on to your friends.            bland to extra spicy with lots
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a         of images. We’ll guide you
way you could cut out some of the           through the process of regis-
legwork and keep everyone informed          tering for an account, bring-
or entertained at the same time?            ing it to life with your ideas,
Google has a tool that can do just          and making it dance with pic-
that. It’s called Blogger.                  tures. We’ll even give you a
   Blogs (short for “Web logs”) are one     firsthand look at our Blogger
of the crazes sweeping the Internet.        blog—our own little corner
They come in all shapes and sizes, and      of cyberspace.
anyone with a computer and a little
spare time at his disposal can have his
own, usually for free. Although it’s gen-         You can create a Blogger
erally accepted that blogging pioneer        account, give your blog a title,
Jorn Barger coined the term “Web log”         and select a template for it in
in 1997, it’s difficult to pin down          about as much time as it takes
the genesis of the blog. Newsgroups,                   to check your email.



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 97
                                                          GOOGLE TOOLS




   The blog address you choose will be the URL others will             An empty canvas awaits your creative genius every time
   use to access your blog.                                            you create a new post.


   use to “sign” your blog entries), and        Preview Template below any of the            and let everything else be the icing on
   Email Address. Click the I Accept The        templates to see a larger example of the     the cake.
   Terms Of Service checkbox (after             template. When you decide on a design           Your first order of business should
   clicking the link to read the terms, of      that strikes your fancy, click next to its   be to familiarize yourself with the
   course) and click Continue.                  title and click Continue. Blogger will       Blogger Dashboard. Think of the
      On the next screen, you’ll name your      display the message “Your blog has           Dashboard as your base of operations;
   blog and give it its own URL. This is a      been created!” when your blog is ready       from the Dashboard, you can access
   lot like having your own Web site that       to go. Click Start Posting to put some       your blog, create another blog, and/or
   your friends and family can visit when       meat on your blog’s bones.                   edit your profile. Or, if you’re look-
   they’re surfing the Internet. As an alter-                                                ing for inspiration, head to the Dash-
   native, you can click Advanced Blog                                                       board to read blogs from others in the
                                                Lesson 1: Classroom Procedure
   Setup if you want to host your blog                                                       Blogger community.
   somewhere away from Blogger, but we             Let’s face it. You can gussy up your         After you register for a Blogger ac-
   only recommend doing this if you have        blog with endless photos                     count and return to the home page,
   a good working knowledge of FTP (File        (and truthfully, photo-
   Transfer Protocol) servers and third-        blogs—blogs consisting of
   party hosting (providing space for and       primarily images with very
   placing a customer’s Web page or site        little text—have populated
   on a commercial server). When you            the Web alongside tradi-
   enter a name and URL for your blog           tional blogs), but at the end
   and fill in the Word Verification field      of the day, bloggers who
   with the letters you see, click Con-         want their writing to shine
   tinue. Blogger will ask you to submit a      should first focus on the text
   different blog title and/or URL if an-
   other user has already claimed your
   first choice(s).                               Sing a song, recite a poem,
      Picking a predesigned template is the           or bellow a cheer with
   final step in creating your blog. Click        Audioblogger; it’s free, too.



98 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     GOOGLE TOOLS




sign in at the top of the page to access
your Dashboard. Enter your username        Blogger Mobile: Blogs To Go
and password in their appropriate
fields and click Sign In. You should
see the name of the blog you created
in the Blogs area at the top of your
                                           W        ith Blogger Mobile, you don’t need a computer to keep blogging. If your
                                                    mobile device, such as a cellular phone, PDA (personal digital assistant),
                                           or BlackBerry is capable of sending an email, you can update your blog with both
Dashboard page. Ambitious bloggers         text and photographs from pretty much anywhere within your wireless service
who feel like spilling their thoughts on   provider’s coverage area. (At press time, Verizon, AT&T, Cingular, Sprint, and
a variety of subjects can click Create A   T-Mobile were the only providers compatible with Blogger Mobile, but Blogger
Blog, and Blogger will guide you           claims it will be expanding the list in the future.)
through creating additional blogs.             True to the Blogger spirit, making mobile blog entries might initially seem like a
   Your profile. Before you dig in and     daunting task, but it’s not too difficult with a little practice. When you send an MMS
get your hands dirty with a little blog-   (Multimedia Messaging Service; a service that lets you send images, sound, and video
ging, you might want to edit your          in addition to text) message or email to go@blogger.com, Blogger creates a mobile
profile. Your profile can contain all      blog for you and sends you its URL and a code you can use to claim your mobile
the essential information (and some        post. Be aware that even though Mobile Blogger is free, you’re still bound to any fees
unessential information) your in-          your wireless service provider charges you for sending MMS or email messages.
quiring fans will doubtless want to            Your mobile blog can exist independently, or you can incorporate it into an ex-
know. To change it, click Edit Profile     isting blog. If you want a separate mobile blog, continue sending emails MMS mes-
on your Dashboard. If you select the       sages to go@blogger.com, and Blogger will continue to do all of the legwork and
Share My Profile checkbox, everyone        update your mobile blog. Just refer your readers to the URL Blogger sent you.
who visits your blog will be able to           To add mobile posts to a blog you already have, open a Web browser with an ac-
view the information you include. For      tive Internet connection and go to go.blogger.com. Enter the code Blogger emailed
example, you can change your display       you in the Claim Token field. In the Verify Your Registration field, type the randomly
name, add a photo or audio message,        generated string of characters you see just above the field and click Continue. On
and include information about your         the next screen, click Continue As This User. When Blogger asks you to claim your
location, job, and interests. When         mobile blog, click the Switch To “XXXX” radio button, where “XXXX” is your blog’s
you’ve finished updating your profile,     title, and click Continue. Blogger will send the post to your existing blog. Repeat
click Save Profile. You can edit your      these steps to add future mobile posts to your original blog. ❙
profile as often as you want.
   AdSense. Not only is Blogger free,
you can actually use it with Google’s      to what you see after you perform a          help you tackle a number of fairly
AdSense program to make money,             basic Google search. These ads are           specific questions. You’ll find
although you’ll need a healthy             relevant to your blog’s content, so          Blogger’s help section located just
amount of traffic to generate a            you won’t see ads for coffee ma-             below the Ad-Sense Invite.
worthwhile amount of income.               chines if you blog about exotic travel          The two links, Blogger Knowledge
Briefly, Google AdSense is a rev-          destinations. Inquisitive, entrepre-         (which at press time redirected us to
enue-generating program that posts         neurial bloggers can turn to “The Ins        Blogger Buzz, or buzz.blogger.com)
an ad column on your blog similar          & Outs Of AdSense” on page 132 for           and Blogger Help (help.blogger.com)
                                                      more information.                 each contain different useful informa-
                                                         Blogger Help. Using            tion. The two are aptly named: Blogger
                                                      Blogger is a lot like playing     Knowledge (or Blogger Buzz, depend-
                                                      chess. It doesn’t take long       ing on how you get to it) contains
                                                      to learn the basics, but be-      regular updates of blog-related hap-
                                                      coming a master takes a lot       penings inside and outside of the
                                                      of practice. Fortunately,         Blogger world, and Blogger Help
                                                      Blogger’s Help section is         covers all of the basics and has ad-
                                                      fairly robust and should          vanced tips for seasoned vets.

                                                      When you sign up for an
                                                      Audioblogger account, you
                                                                                        Lesson 2: Composition
                                                      have to list a primary phone        In truth, you can start blogging im-
                                                      number and a PIN number           mediately after you create your blog.
                                                      to claim your audio posts.        You’ll have to edit your profile and



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 99
                                                        GOOGLE TOOLS




   probably read a number of Help             juncture you view
   topics before you can construct a pol-     your blog with the
   ished blog, but there’s no reason you      new entry (click
   can’t start putting your thoughts          View Blog). First,
   down right away.                           click either Repub-
      After you have signed in, look at the   lish Index Only or
   Blogs area of your Dashboard page.         Republish Entire
   To create a new post, click the plus       Blog. For blogging
   sign (+) that appears to the immediate     newbies just get-
   right of your blog’s name. You can         ting their blogs off
   start typing in the field provided.        the ground, there
   Making a blog post is very similar to      isn’t an appreciable
   composing an email to someone with         difference between
   a Web-based email service, such as         these options. But
   Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Gmail.                 as a blog grows
      Start with a basic blog entry. Com-     larger and more            Blogger offers more than 2 dozen predesigned templates in
   pose an entry as long as you like by       complex, repub-            an effort to please your discriminating palate.
   typing in the empty field. When            lishing it in its en-
   you’ve finished, click Save As Draft       tirety may take
   or Publish Post. If you click Save As      longer than simply republishing                 of what your blog would look like if
   Draft, Blogger will save the entry and     its index.                                      you published your post in its current
   let you access it later for any revi-         There’s obviously a lot more to              state. This can be helpful if you want
   sions you feel it might need. When         blogging than dumping a bunch of                to see what a post will look like with a
   you sign on at a later time and click      text from your brain with furious               particular font or where a picture will
   the name of your blog on your              typing. By clicking on the Font and             show up amidst your text.
   Dashboard page, you will see any           Normal Size (these appear by default)
   posts you have saved as drafts. Click      drop-down menus, you can change
   the Edit button, make the necessary
                                                                                              Lesson 3: Graphic Design
                                              the font style and size of your blog
   changes, and click Publish Post. (You      posts. Likewise, the other buttons                 Shutterbugs, Bob Ross wannabes,
   can also click Delete instead of Edit if   should look familiar and apply var-             and anyone feeling visually inclined,
   you don’t want to keep a particular        ious formatting effects to the text of          take note: This is the juicy part for
   saved post.)                               an entry. Click the button with a               you. Even though text is a crucial part
      When you click Publish Post,            checkmark below the letters “ABC”               to any blog, the old adage “a picture
   Blogger will publish it on the Web and     to spell check a post you’re working            is worth a thousand words” rings es-
   notify you with the message, “Your         on. If you’ve applied several types of          pecially true for blogs that make
   blog published successfully.” At this      formatting to a block of text (for ex-          strategic use of images.
                                                            ample, you have blue,                Posting pictures to your blog used
                                                            bolded, italicized text)          to require a combination of two
                                                            and want to remove the            other Google programs, Picasa and
                                                            formatting, highlight             Hello, or a third-party image-host-
                                                            the text with your                ing site, but the good people of Blog-
                                                            cursor and click the              ger have considerably simplified the
                                                            eraser button to remove           process. To add an image to your
                                                            all of the formatting at          blog, click the Add Image button.
                                                            once.                             (It’s the button sandwiched between
                                                               If you click the Pre-          the Check Spelling and Remove
                                                            view link, Blogger will           Formatting From Selection buttons.)
                                                            show you a sneak peek             A new window will open that lets
                                                                                              you upload images to your entry. If
                                                                                              you have the image stored on your
                                                            Welcome to the                    PC, click the Browse button, find the
                                                            Dashboard, your point             right image, and double-click it. To
                                                            of origin for all things          add an image that already exists on
                                                            blogging.                         the Web, you need to cut and paste



100 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     GOOGLE TOOLS




By setting up a Mail-to-Blogger address, you can submit          Blogger Help (help.blogger.com) has tips for virtually
posts to your blog via email.                                    every skill level of blogger.


its URL into—drum roll, please—            the plus icon for creating new posts.       the three links in the section are
the URL field.                             Clicking Change Settings takes you          Google News and two Edit Me links.
   Next, decide on a text wrap option      to your blog’s settings page. (At the       To change them start at your
for your image in the Choose A             top of the page you should see the          Dashboard and click the Change
Layout area of the Blogger: Upload         Settings tab selected.) On the first        Settings icon. Click Template and
Images window. Sample illustrations        page, you can change your blog’s title      scroll down through the code until
will give you an idea of how the           and give it a description 500 or fewer      you see the line <!— Begin #sidebar
image will appear with your text.          characters in length.                       —>. Slightly further down you’ll see
Click Small, Medium, or Large for             There’s a veritable cornucopia of        the code for the Google News and
Image Size and make sure the Use           other settings you can access and ad-       Edit Me links. Using the Google News
This Layout Every Time? checkbox is        just by clicking the following links in     line of code as a guide, you can
empty if you want to use a different       the Settings tab: Publishing, For-          change the Edit Me links, add more
layout for subsequent images. Click        matting, Comments, Archiving, Site          links, and change Google News to a
Upload Image to finish adding a pic-       Feed, Email, and Members. For ex-           different site.
ture. When Blogger displays the mes-       ample, click Formatting, click Yes in          For a visual idea of where to look
sage “Your image has been added.”          the Show Title Field drop-down menu,        to make these changes, take a peek at
click Done.                                click Save Settings, and you can in-        the illustration at the end of this ar-
   When the image appears in your          clude titles with your individual blog      ticle. You can make plenty of other
blog entry’s text, Blogger should ini-     entries. To let all your visitors make      changes to craft a blog tailored to
tially place it at the beginning of the    comments about your blog entries            your interests and talents, and Blog-
text. You can click and drag the image     (not just other Blogger members),           ger Help will provide you with an
to where you would like it in your         click Comments, click Anyone in the         ample amount of guidance.
text. It can take a little practice, but   Who Can Comment? drop-down
the process isn’t difficult to master.     menu, and click Save Settings.
   Including pictures or other images         You can also make structural
                                                                                       Lesson 3: Public Speaking
with your blog’s text is a fantastic way   changes to your blog, but this requires        Blogger’s sister site, Audioblogger
to make your blog pop, but you can         some familiarity with HTML (Hyper-          (www.audioblogger.com), gives you
make other changes to your blog’s          text Markup Language, a language            the opportunity to post audio to your
appearance, as well. On your Dash-         that tells Web browsers how to dis-         blog from any phone. Posts can last
board page, click the Change Settings      play Web pages) code. One easy mod-         as long as five minutes; if your wit-
icon. The icon looks like a gear and is    ification you can make to your blog is      ticisms continue to flow, Audio-
located to the immediate right of          changing its Links section. Initially,      blogger gives you the option to record



                                                                                     Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 101
   another post at the end of a current     we’ve really only scratched the sur-    and have taken a long time to de-
   post. You can submit an unlimited        face of the many options available to   velop a sizable fan following. Re-
   number of audio posts when you set       you at Blogger.                         lease your own creative talents, and
   up an account with Audioblogger.            Above everything else, have pa-      Blogger will do the rest. RS
   And if that doesn’t pique your cu-       tience with your blog. The best
   riosity, placing an audio post is sim-   blogs didn’t spring up overnight, so                           BY   VINCE COGLEY
   pler than a text post.                   don’t be discouraged if it takes a
      To establish an account with          while to perfect your blog’s format
   Audioblogger, open a Web browser         and content. The most popular
   with an active Internet connection       blogs have been around for years
   and go to Audioblogger’s Web site.
   Click Start Audioblogging Now,
   enter your Blogger User Name and
   Password in their respective fields on
   the next page, and click Continue.
   Next, select the blog you want to
   post your audio to in the drop-down
   menu (if you only have one blog,
   Audioblogger selects it by default)
   and click Continue. On the Phone
   Info screen, enter the primary phone
   number you’ll be using to make
   audio posts (but you can make audio
   posts from other phone numbers)
   and choose a 4-digit PIN number.
   When you’ve filled these fields in,
   click Finish Setup.
      When you have a phone and PIN
   number associated with your Blog-
   ger account, dial (415) 856-0205
   (Audioblogger’s dedicated phone
   number at press time) and do your
   thing, following the voice prompts
   as needed.

   Your Final Exam
      Like any good teacher, we’ve given
   you the basic tools to build a blog as
   unique as you are, but the real chal-
   lenge is actually doing it. Although
   this article will help you with the
   ABCs of blogging, the rest of the al-
   phabet is waiting for you on Blog-
   ger’s Web site. Making text entries
   and adding photos are probably the
   most crucial pieces of the puzzle, but




102 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                           To allow any reader, even someone
                           who doesn’t have a Blogger account,
                           to make posts to your blog, start at
                           the Dashboard and click Change
                           Settings And Comments. Change Who
                           Can Comment? to Anyone, and click
                           Save Settings.

                                                                                 Your profile can tell your readers everything they
                                                                                 want to know about you (and maybe some things they
                                                                                 don’t). Starting at the Dashboard, click Edit Profile,
                                                                                 make your desired changes, and click Save Profile.




                                                           List your favorite Web sites in the Links section of your blog by changing
                                                           your template’s HTML. Use the highlighted text as an example.




After Blogger places an image in the blog entry you’re working
on, you can click and drag it to where you want it in the text.




                                     From the Dashboard, click Change Settings and Formatting. Choose
                                     Yes for the Show Title Field drop-down box and click Save Settings.




                                                                               Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 103
                                                        GOOGLE TOOLS




              A View From
                                                                                          with Google Maps, as well, so you can
                                                                                          get driving directions to and from
                                                                                          places all over the world.
                                                                                             I can see my house from here. The


                 Above
                                                                                          realism and detail of these images is
                                                                                          impressive. But before you try zooming
                                                                                          in on Jennifer Aniston’s poolside deck
                                                                                          chairs, keep in mind that these digital
    Explore Google Earth’s Satellite & Aerial Maps                                        images are static, and in some instances
                                                                                          several years old. The satellite and
                                                                                          aerial images that comprise Google
                                                         Keyhole had been develop-        Earth’s database were taken through-
                                                         ing a 3D Earth model and         out the last three years.
                                                         color satellite image database      Google Earth’s images come from a
                                                         called EarthServer since 2001.   variety of sources, most of which are
                                                         Google acquired Keyhole’s        public domain and available for use by
                                                         technology in October 2004       anyone. When you zoom in on a spe-
                                                          with an eye toward broad-       cific image that is copyrighted, the
                                                            ening its own suite of        copyright information appears at the
                                                              mapping products.           bottom to let you know where the
                                                                  You can download        image came from. Aside from the dif-
                                                                Google Earth from kh      fering image sources, the dates and
                                                                .google.com/down          times when the images were taken can
                                                                 load/earth/index.html,   also vary. An image of Yellowstone
                                                                  but you’ll need to be   National Forest taken during the spring
                                                                 connected to the In-     will look drastically different from an
                                                                 ternet to properly run   image of the forest taken in the fall. For
                                                                the program once it       this reason you may see sections that
                                                               has been installed. Goo-   vary in color. In many cases, the images
                                                              gle Earth consists of a     you see on Google Earth are combined
                                                             user interface application   like a patchwork quilt.
                                                         that lets you search for and        As you might expect, Google Earth
                                                     view virtually any place on          has more images of the United States



   G
              oogle’s                            Earth using a database of Keyhole’s      than any other country. However,
              bid to take over the world      images, as well as public domain and        Google Earth provides medium resolu-
              just took a turn for the lit-   chartered flight photographs. Google        tion images and 3D topographic data
              eral. On June 28th, Google      Earth uses 3D graphics and broadband        for the entire planet. You can view de-
   launched Google Earth, which is a          streaming technology to power its ad-       tailed road maps for the United States,
   searchable collection of satellite and     vanced navigation features. Google          Western Europe, Canada, and the
   aerial images from various providers       Earth also lets you view 3D buildings in    United Kingdom. Google Earth also
   that have been amalgamated to form a       dozens of major cities, as well as 3D       hosts high-resolution images of major
   virtual 3D Earth, complete with real-      mountains, valleys, and other               cities throughout the world, which lets
   istic elevations, 3D buildings for major   geographic features.
   cities, and fly-to animations. Google is      Google Earth is also in-
   offering free access to its beta version   tegrated with the Google
   of Google Earth, based on technology       Local search feature that lets
   from the recently acquired digital         you find hotels, restaurants,
   mapping company Keyhole.                   schools, parks, and other lo-
                                              cations. It’s designed to work
   The Key To Google Earth
     Like many of Google’s current offer-        Google Earth lets you label
   ings, Google Earth started out as                     and add your own
   a product from another company.              location-marking pushpins.



104 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                                                            From this image you can see the border
                                                                                            between a medium-resolution image
                                                                                            and a high-resolution one.




  You can view buildings for dozens of cities by enabling the 3D Buildings layer.           Among other things, the Measure tool
                                                                                            can help you improve your golf game.

you zoom in to street level and distin-      for a specific area, it’s likely that up-
guish people and cars. In addition, the      dates are on the way. If you’re curious
urban areas of 38 major U.S. cities fea-     about a specific area, download the ap-
ture 3D buildings. If you live in any of     plication and check it out for yourself.
the above (except Western Europe)
you’ll also enjoy the integrated Google
                                             Download & Installation
Local search feature.
   At press time, Google offered a com-         Google Earth has been tested to
prehensive visual map of the cities and      work with Windows 2000, a 500MHz
regions covered at earth.google.com          Intel Pentium III CPU, 128MB of                Google Earth’s 3D topographic data
/data.html. Google Earth also covers         system memory, 200MB of free hard              lets you view realistic landscapes.
more than 150 cities in the United           drive space, and a 3D-capable video
States with resolutions better than 3        card with 16MB of dedicated video
feet. We looked up Cambridge, Mass.,         RAM. For the best results, Google rec-        where you’d like to save the EXE file,
for which Google claims to have 6-inch       ommends Windows XP and a 2.4GHz               and then click Save and wait for the
resolution images, but we couldn’t           Pentium 4 CPU or AMD Athlon XP                10.4MB file to download. When the
zoom closer than 40 feet (eye altitude).     2400+, 512MB of RAM, 2GB of hard              download is complete, click Open if
Despite this we managed to fill our          drive space, and a video card with            prompted, or navigate to the file’s lo-
1,024 x 768 resolution display with          32MB of dedicated RAM. Monitor res-           cation and double-click it to launch
three cars parked side-by-side.              olutions should be set to 32-bit true         Google Earth’s installation Wizard.
   If you live in a rural or sparsely pop-   color with a 1,280 x 1,024 or higher
ulated area, you may only be able to         resolution. You’ll also need a broad-
                                                                                           Take Over The World
view blurry images from which you            band connection capable of 128Kbps
can distinguish little more than groups      (kilobits per second) bandwidth.                Once you’ve installed Google Earth
of buildings, trees, and roads. With            To install the free version of Google      and launched the application, you’ll
these medium-resolution images, indi-        Earth, start by visiting earth.google         immediately see the Google Earth UI
vidual buildings, cars, and people are       .com. Click the Get Google Earth (Free        (user interface). The main viewing
difficult to see. Google has announced       Version) link in the upper-right corner       pane of the interface shows a realistic
that it is adding updated images and         of this page, and then click the Down-        3D Earth model floating against a
terrain details on a rolling basis. So if    load GoogleEarth.exe button from the          subtle blanket of stars. You can use
you don’t see high-resolution images         next page. Click Save, choose a location      your mouse pointer to grab the 3D



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 105
                                                             GOOGLE TOOLS




                                                   Open, Email, and Print the maps as          Nautical Miles, and Smoots (named
                                                   they appear in the main viewing pane        after the Oliver R. Smoot, who was top-
                                                   of the Google Earth interface. From the     pled head over heels in 1958 to measure
                                                   Edit menu you can access Cut, Copy,         the Harvard Bridge at MIT). According
                                                   Paste, and Rename commands. The             to Google Earth, I drive 34,940 Smoots
                                                   View menu lets you add and remove           to and from work (give or take an ear).
                                                   on-screen items, such as the Compass,          Layers. As mentioned above, Google
                                                   Status Bar, Latitude/Longitude Grid,        Earth has several features common to
                                                   and Overview Map. You can also              traditional mapping applications that
                                                   switch between full-screen and win-         you can add as layers. Click the appro-
                                                   dowed views of your chosen area using       priate checkboxes in the Layers pane to
                                                   the View menu.                              display things such as 3D buildings,
   Google is constantly adding new                     The menu bar also features an Add       roads, parks, schools, hospitals, air-
   images to its Google Earth database.            command for placing your own anno-          ports, and shopping sites, to name a
                                                   tations, such as Placemarks, Image          few. You can also display statistics,
   planet and rotate it in any direction. If       Overlays, and Paths. The Help menu          such as crime rates, population, and
   your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can          item directs you to Google Earth’s          median income data, for a given area.
   use it to rapidly zoom in and out of the        Help Center, Bulletin Boards, and the
   image in the center of your viewing             upgrade page. (Only Google Earth Plus
                                                                                               Get What You Pay For
   pane. Double-clicking any region                and Pro subscribers have access to all of
   zooms-in by roughly a factor of four.           the features in the menu bar, but we’ll        Google Earth’s free offering is avail-
      Google Earth’s realistic 3D terrain          get to that in a moment.)                   able to anyone for personal and home
   data adds a whole new element to the                Tools. The Tools menu contains a        use, but individuals and businesses can
   boring old mapping formula. With                list of helpful items you can quickly add   also upgrade to Google Earth Plus and
   Google Earth, you can zoom-in on ge-            to Google Earth’s default layout, such as   Pro. Larger corporations might con-
   ographic locations, tilt the view and           a Web browsing pane and the Measure         sider one of Google Earth’s Enterprise
   explore the Grand Canyon, study the             utility. The GPS Device tool is unavail-    Solutions, such as Google Earth Fusion,
   crater at Mount Saint Helens, or just           able in the free version of Google Earth,   Google Earth Server, or Google Earth
   marvel at the Earth’s varied terrain.           but Google Earth Plus and Pro sub-          EC (Enterprise Client).
   Google Earth’s center console features          scribers can use it to import geographic       Google Earth Plus. Google’s step-up
   several navigation controls to help you         information from certain GPS devices.       from the free version adds Magellan
   take control of the 3D Earth model.                 The Measure tool is a handy feature     and Garmin GPS device support,
      In the center you’ll find a four-way         that lets you measure the distance be-      drawing tools, the ability to import
   directional control. If you click and           tween two points, or along a path that      spreadsheets, tracks, and waypoints,
   hold near the red dot in the middle of          you can draw directly onto the image. A     and lets you print images at better reso-
   the control, you can move the Earth             drop-down menu lets you choose units,       lutions. Google Earth Plus users get
   model by dragging your mouse in any             such as Miles, Kilometers, Inches, Feet,    email customer support that’s not
   direction. You can rotate the map using
   either of the circular arrow buttons to
   the left and right of the center console.
   The slider at the far right lets you tilt the
   map from a perpendicular overhead
   view to a nearly parallel view so you can
   view a profile of a given location’s
   topography or 3D Buildings (for select
   cities). The slider to the right lets you
   zoom in and out. To the lower right
   and left of the center console you’ll find
   the correction buttons for returning the
   map to its native orientation.
      Menu items. Toward the top of the
   window, you’ll find familiar menu
   items such as File, Edit, View, Tools,          MSN Virtual Earth’s image of the Statue of Liberty is on the left, while Google
   and Help. The File menu lets you Save,          Earth’s image is on the right.



106 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                          GOOGLE TOOLS




available to free version users. You can        go. This version features several tools      Printing Module, GIS Data Importing
also use the included drawing and               and options not available in the             Module, and more. The base license
sketch tools for annotating your maps.          others, such as high-resolution prints,      for Google Earth Pro costs $400 a
To upgrade, launch Google Earth, click          phone support, and the ability to mea-       year, but at press time Google was
Help and Upgrade To Plus, and follow            sure area and import up to 2,500 data        offering a free 7-day trial at earth
the instructions. A yearly subscription         points. Pro also features several pre-       .google.com/earth_pro.html. RS
to Google Earth Plus costs $20.                 mium modules that you can purchase
   Google Earth Pro. For commercial             for $200 each. You can select from the                               BY   ANDREW LEIBMAN
users, Google Earth Pro is the route to         Movie Making Module, Premium



   Google Earth vs. MSN Virtual Earth


   A     lthough Microsoft got a jump on
         the geo-spatial Web site market
   back in 1998 with its TerraServer data-
                                                high-to-medium resolution imagery
                                                for the United States.
                                                    The USGS (United States
                                                                                               MSN Virtual Earth. We started by
                                                                                            typing statue of liberty into the
                                                                                            Where box of MSN Virtual Earth’s in-
   base, Google Earth has certainly raised      Geological Society) supplies MSN            terface and clicking the Local Search
   the stakes. On July 25th Microsoft re-       Virtual Earth’s aerial images, while the    button. Although the button’s de-
   leased an answer to Google Earth in          application uses Microsoft’s MapPoint       scription was a bit misleading, MSN
   the form of MSN Virtual Earth                technology for displaying road maps         Virtual Earth loaded a monochrome
   (virtualearth.msn.com), which shares         and plotting trips. If the location         image of Liberty Island in less than
   TerraServer’s image database, but adds       you’re looking for has USGS Urban           five seconds. When we typed “eiffel
   many features found in Google Earth.         Area data available, then it will appear    tower,” we were greeted with a mes-
   Although both offerings are still in         in color. This is the case for MSN          sage saying that no results were
   beta form, we decided to explore the         Virtual Earth’s Featured Locations, or      found. A subsequent search for Paris
   advantages and disadvantages of the          specific areas of interest and dozens of    turned up a monochrome image of
   two application’s interfaces, image re-      highly populated areas. For all other       Paris, Illinois. The Statue of Liberty
   sults, and overall approach to this rev-     locations, MSN Virtual Earth relies on      image required a bit of zooming-in to
   olutionary new mapping technology.           Digital Ortho-Quadrangle data, which        get a good view, but overall MSN
                                                is a monochrome medium- to high-            Virtual Earth is fast, but seemingly
                                                resolution image.                           more accurate when searching for lo-
  World View                                        MSN Virtual Earth lets you switch       cations within the United States.
      Google and Microsoft have taken           between aerial and road map views by           Google Earth. Google’s application,
   mildly diverging approaches to map-          clicking the appropriate links in the       however, needed a bit more coaxing to
   ping with aerial and satellite photog-       upper-left corner of the window. If         show us the correct location. We
   raphy. Both MSN Virtual Earth and            you want to see the road maps lay-          typed “statue of liberty” into the text
   Google Earth are offering access for         ered onto the aerial images, click          box and clicked Search, but we got dif-
   free and require connections to the          Aerial Photo, click the adjacent Down       ferent results depending on the center
   Internet in order to tap into their re-      arrow, and then click Labels.               position of our view, none of which
   spective databases. MSN’s service dif-                                                   were near New York Harbor. When the
   fers in that it doesn’t require a separate                                               view was centered over a random loca-
                                                Apples & Oranges
   application that you must install and                                                    tion, Google Earth told us that there
   launch from your computer. Simply               Both Google Earth and MSN                were no results for our search. We did
   visit virtualearth.msn.com to load the       Virtual Earth have featured locations       manage to view the monument by
   interface directly into your browser.        and ready-plotted pushpins to de-           typing “new york, ny” and then using
      Like Google Earth, MSN Virtual            note places of interest. These loca-        the pointer to drag Liberty Island into
   Earth’s aerial photography coverage is       tions show off what the application is      view. As we zoomed in, the data took
   limited, but to a different extent. As       capable of, but they may not be rep-        just less than 30 seconds to load, but
   we mention in this article, Google           resentative of the application’s ability    the high-resolution result was sharp
   Earth features medium-resolution             to deliver relevant results and images.     and impressive. The Eiffel Tower was
   color images and terrain data for the        We tested the two mapping applica-          difficult to find, as well, and we ended
   whole planet. MSN’s service, on the          tions by searching for the Statue of        up typing “paris,” and dragging the
   other hand, currently only boasts            Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.               map around until it came into view. ❙



                                                                                           Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 107
                                                     GOOGLE TOOLS




                          It’s Not Picasso,
                            But It’s Close
                         Meet Picasa, Google’s Photo Organizer/Editor




   I
         f you’re looking for photo-        standard, the top choice of graphics      Corel’s Paint Shop Pro ($129;
         editing software, you live in a    professionals and anyone else who       www.corel.com) also has legions of
         time of plenty. After comparing    must have every conceivable feature.    satisfied users. Originally published
         a list of what you want your ed-      Its little sibling, Photoshop Ele-   by a company called Jasc, it’s been
   itor to do with what’s available and     ments 3 ($99.99) has one of the best    called “the poor man’s Photoshop,”
   how much you feel like spending,         cost-to-value ratios around, pro-       with a similarly wide feature set and
   you should have no trouble deciding      viding about 80% of Photoshop’s         a user interface close enough to in-
   on the right software for your needs.    functionality for around 16% of the     spire déjà vu.
      Adobe Photoshop CS2 ($599;            price. It’s all most home users will      Moving down the scale, the Mic-
   www.adobe.com) is the industry           ever need.                              rosoft Digital Image Suite ($99.95,



108 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                      GOOGLE TOOLS




www.microsoft.com)                                           called Blogger. Goo-       more than a few minutes even on a
covers a lot of basic                                        gle ended up liking        dial-up connection.
and intermediate ter-                                        Picasa’s organizer so
ritory in a guided                                           much that it bought          3. After the download is complete,
walk-through inter-                                          the company in July        you may have to click another Run
face, although we                                            2004 and retained          button to agree to another security
sometimes wonder at                                          Perkins to run it.         warning, and comply with the End
occasional, seeming                                             Still in version 1,     User License Agreement.
lapses in design judg-                                       and selling at a price
ment. Roxio Photo-                                           of $29.99, Picasa had         4. As the installation wraps up,
Suite (www.roxio                                             about 500,000 paying       you’ll have a few final options: cre-
.com) has similarly                                          users at the time, but     ating shortcuts on the Desktop and
moderate ambitions,                                          Google immediately         in the Taskbar’s Quick Launch sec-
and while it’s avail-                                        made it available as a     tion, etc. Click the checkboxes to de-
able by itself ($49.95,     Use the Options dialog box       free download. Ver-        select options you don’t want, then
but often heavily dis-      to include or exclude various    sion 2, released in        click Finish.
counted), it’s a hard-      document formats                 January 2005, added
to-beat bargain as          from scanning.                   more editing capa-            5. Once installation is complete,
part of the jam-                                             bilities, improved         your browser will open and, if you’re
packed Easy Media                                            search functions, a        connected to the Internet, take you
Creator suite ($99.95).                       collage maker, CD burning, and im-        to a Support page, where you can
   Notice we didn’t say an unbeat-            proved integration with Hello and         view a brief User Guide and search
able bargain. That’s a hard claim to          Blogger. As we go to press, the only      the Knowledge Base.
make for any photo software since             further update has been a bug fix
Picasa, Google’s editor, entered the          Google released this summer.
picture. Picasa covers a lot of basics,
                                                                                        Organizational Skills
does it well, and does it for free.                                                        Picasa was originally designed to
                                            Installation                                locate photos wherever they are and
                                               Picasa runs on Windows 98 and            provide immediate access to them
Mi Picasa, Su Picasa                        beyond, with humble system re-              from a central interface. Version 2’s
   Picasa is aimed at casual users          quirements, so you’ll likely have no        editing functions may overshadow
who want a straightforward, all-in-         compatibility problems. Down-               this a bit, but Picasa remains a ca-
one solution for organizing photos,         loading and installation is as              pable organizer.
performing quick fixes and minor            straightforward as it gets:                    The scan. The first time you
edits, and sharing pictures with                                                        launch Picasa, it announces that it’s
family and friends.                           1. Visit www.picasa.com and click         going to scan your computer to look
   Although the program now comes           the Free Download button.                   for photos. You can choose either to
from Google, it’s not entirely home-                                                    let it scan your entire system, in-
grown. Picasa (both as a software             2. This opens a File Download             cluding all attached drives, or to
company and its eponymous digital           Warning dialog box.
photo organizer) was the brainchild         Click the Run button.
of photography enthusiast Lars              The installer is com-
Perkins. At the time, Perkins was an        paratively tiny (just
executive at Idealab, a Pasadena,           3.16MB) so the down-
Calif., business incubator (support         load shouldn’t take
system for entrepreneurs) that also
helped launch such companies as
NetZero and eToys.com.                             The first time you
   In early 2004, Perkins met with           launch Picasa, you’ll see
Google to interest them in a utility            this scan alert. You’ll
his developers had designed for                never see it again, but
transferring photos from Picasa’s           Picasa continues to scan
Hello, an instant messaging pro-                   your system upon
gram, to Google’s Web log service                        each launch.



                                                                                      Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 109
                                                            GOOGLE TOOLS




                                                                                            Along the left side is the Folder
                                                                                         List. Picasa arranges this list ac-
                                                                                         cording to the creation date of the
                                                                                         folders containing your photos. You
                                                                                         can change this by clicking the View
                                                                                         menu, selecting Sort Folder List By,
                                                                                         and then choosing two other op-
                                                                                         tions: Recent Changes or the desired
                                                                                         folders’ Names.
                                                                                            To the right of the list is a large
                                                                                         section called the Lightbox. It dis-
                                                                                         plays a thumbnail of every image
                                                                                         Picasa has found, with the contents
                                                                                         of each folder shown together. You
                                                                                         can scroll through them using the
                                                                                         on-screen arrows or your keyboard’s
                                                                                         Up/Down arrow keys. To reduce
                                                                                         clutter, click the green triangle be-
                                                                                         side a folder’s name in the Folder
                                                                                         List; it will turn red and remove the
                                                                                         contents from the Lightbox. Each
   Library View: The Folder List is on the left, the Lightbox fills the right, and the   folder is designated by a separator
   Picture Tray and Output Options span the bottom. The green section is the             bar that turns blue when selected; at
   expanded Search tool.                                                                 the right end of each bar is an
                                                                                         Actions drop-down menu full of
                                                                                         folder-management tools.
   scan only your My Documents and               files. To change these defaults,           Click a thumbnail and, just below
   My Pictures folders, plus your                choose Options from the Tools           the Lightbox, you’ll see a line dis-
   Desktop. Picasa doesn’t move or               menu and click the File Types tab.      playing the photo’s name and such
   copy anything to a new location.                 In addition to the system scan,      properties as size and last modifica-
      Unless you reinstall, you’ll never         you can also import new pictures di-    tion date.
   see this alert again, but Picasa still        rectly into Picasa. The program            Using the Lightbox, you can orga-
   scans your system each time you               should automatically detect when-       nize pictures by dragging and drop-
   open the program. Fortunately,                ever you attach a device such as a      ping their thumbnails to new lo-
   you’re not stuck with the broadly             camera or memory card to your           cations in the Folder List. These
   defined scan parameters you see the           computer, or insert a photo CD. If      changes aren’t merely visual; you’ll
   first time. You can configure them            this fails, or if you want to use a     actually be moving these files on
   with much greater precision.                  scanner, click the Import button in     your hard drive.
      To specify where you want Picasa           the upper-left corner, use the drop-       You can also group pictures into
   to look, select Folder Manager from           down menu to select the appropriate     virtual folders by tagging them with
   the Tools menu. This presents you             device, and proceed. Unless you
   with Windows’ normal folder hier-             change the location in the Op-
   archy, letting you designate how              tions dialog box, Picasa saves
   Picasa treats each folder: Select it          imported images in the My
   and click the appropriate radio               Pictures folder.
   button so Picasa scans the folder                Library. When the launch
   once, ignores it, or monitors it for          scan is complete, Picasa opens
   any changes.                                  into Library View, which has
      You may also want to redefine the          three main sections.
   files that Picasa scans for. By default,
   it looks for most graphics file types
   and movies, as well, but omits GIF                   The Folder Manager lets you
   (Graphics Interchange Format) and                    specify scanning options for
   PNG (Portable Network Graphics)                                 individual folders.



110 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                         GOOGLE TOOLS




To fix red-eye, click and drag over the red area.
                                                                          The Straighten tool overlays your picture with a grid,
                                                                          making it easy to use any feature (like the back of a
                                                                          couch) as your reference point.


Labels. Let’s say you have several             and sorted them: You can print                  those photos that meet the criteria.
landscape photos scattered among               them, email them, etc. We’ll get back           The Search box expands automati-
various folders. By giving each photo          to these later.                                 cally, something you can also accom-
a Landscape label, they’ll not only               Whenever you select a thumbnail              plish with the Show/Hide button.
appear inside their original folders,          in the Lightbox, it also appears in             The expanded space provides buttons
but they’ll also appear grouped to-            the Picture Tray. Normally, you’ll              to search for starred photos or
gether, with Landscape added to the            see one at a time there, as clicking a          movies, and lets you narrow search
Folder List.                                   new picture replaces the previous               results by date. Any of the fields in
   There are different methods you             one in the tray, but sometimes you              the Label Properties dialog box
can use to create a label, but the             may want to output several pictures             (Caption, Date, Place Taken) will also
quickest one is to right-click the             at once. No problem, just click the             work as search criteria.
photo’s thumbnail and choose Add               Hold button after each photo you’ve
Label, then New Label, from the                added to the tray before choosing
context menu. This opens a dialog
                                                                                               Editing
                                               the next, and you can pile up as
box where you can type the label,              many as you want. Use the Clear                    Picasa poses little threat to Photo-
plus other criteria. (After you’ve cre-        button to empty the tray one photo              shop and other full-featured editors
ated a label, it appears in the Add            at a time (select the thumbnail in the          (you can’t clear up skin blemishes or
Label context menu, so you don’t               tray first), or all at once (click Clear        swap heads, for instance), but it of-
have to type it each time.) A photo            without selecting any).                                      fers several basic tools
can have more than one label, too,                Next to the Hold but-                                     that should be enough
so you can display it simultaneously           ton is a short row of                                        for anyone with modest
in multiple categories. For instance,          tools: two buttons to                                        editing needs.
some of your landscapes may also be            rotate pictures, and a                                         To access these fea-
vacation shots. To remove a label,             Star button, which lets                                      tures, double-click a
right-click the thumbnail and then             you mark your favorites                                      thumbnail in the Light-
select Remove From Label in the                for future reference.                                        box. This takes you out
context menu.                                     Track it down. Above                                      of Library View and
   Getting back to Picasa’s interface,         the right end of the                                         opens a larger copy of
at the bottom is the Picture Tray,             Lightbox is Picasa’s                                         the photo inside Edit
along with a row of Output Option              Search tool. As soon as                                      View. Here, Picasa con-
buttons and a few other tools. The             you type in a term such         Picasa’s editing tools       solidates your tools in a
Output Options determine the fate              as a photo’s name, the          are grouped in this          three-tabbed pane that
of your photos after you’ve edited             Lightbox displays only          tabbed pane.                 provides quick access



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 111
                                                              GOOGLE TOOLS




                                                                                          logical that you might want to work
                                                                                          on them at a higher zoom level …
                                                                                          but you can’t. As soon as you click
                                                                                          the Redeye tool, the photo shrinks to
                                                                                          fit the viewing area.
                                                                                             Rounding out the Basic Fixes are
                                                                                          one-click adjustments for Contrast
                                                                                          and Color, and I’m Feeling Lucky
                                                                                          (sound familiar, Googlers?), which
                                                                                          simultaneously tweaks color and
                                                                                          lighting. The Fill Light slider con-
                                                                                          trols brightness.
                                                                                             Tuning. These provide finer con-
                                                                                          trol over lighting and color. By ad-
                                                                                          justing the Highlights and Shadows
                                                                                          sliders singly or together, you can
   The Tuning Tab provides five controls for adjusting lighting and the picture’s         tweak a photo’s contrast with greater
   overall warmth.                                                                        finesse. The Fill Light slider appears
                                                                                          here, too.
                                                                                             Regrettably, there’s another sig-
                                                                                          nificant oversight here: the lack of a
                                                                                          button to toggle the effect off and on
                                                                                          to judge your progress. Yes, you can
                                                                                          use the Undo and Redo buttons, but
                                                                                          Redo doesn’t return the sliders to
                                                                                          their original position so you can
                                                                                          fine-tune your work from the point
                                                                                          you left off.
                                                                                             Color Temperature determines an
                                                                                          image’s overall tone. Drag the slider
                                                                                          left for cooler blue tones, to the right
                                                                                          for warmer yellows and oranges.
                                                                                             The Neutral Color Picker turns
                                                                                          your cursor into a dropper tool.
                                                                                          Click an item or area that you want
                                                                                          to use as a reference for white or
                                                                                          gray, and Picasa will balance colors
                                                                                          relative to your choice.
   Picasa’s Effects section previews its 12 filters in thumbnails.
                                                                                             Effects. This brings up 12 filters.
                                                                                          Some, such as Sharpen and Film
                                                                                          Grain, are more textural in nature.
                                                                                          Others, such as Warmify and Tint,
   to most of the tweaks you’ll want                 There’s also a fix available for     echo some of the previous controls,
   to make.                                        red-eye, the demonic look that re-     and then there are the obligatory
      Basic Fixes. Some of these are               sults when a flash reflects from       B&W and Sepia options. You’ll see
   simple, one-click adjustments;                  someone’s retinas. Just click and      thumbnail previews in the Effects
   others are more interactive. Crop               drag over the pupil, release the       pane, which, although small, might
   provides three standard print sizes             mouse button, and Picasa will turn     help you judge what’s worth trying
   and a free-size manual option.                  the red to neutral gray.               and what you can do without.
   Straighten overlays the photo with a              Unfortunately, Picasa suffers from      The first five effects are simple
   grid, making it easy to use any line            a gaffe in logic here. While in Edit   one-click changes, but the rest are
   in the picture as a reference point             View, you’ll notice a Zoom slider      interactive: Tint lets you select the
   while dragging a slider to tilt the             below the photo. Because red eyes      shade, and choose how much color
   image into alignment.                           might be small in the photo, it’s      from the original remains. With Soft



112 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                     GOOGLE TOOLS




Focus, Glow, and Focal B&W, you
can set the effect’s coverage area and
its degree of strength. Graduated
Tint is an adjustable top-down color
wash that will let you, for instance,
make the sky bluer, although the
gradation travels in one direction
only, so you can’t make the grass
greener. Only Filtered B&W is tricky
to work with, because color filters
affect black-and-white film in less
predictable ways.
   Hiding in plain sight. Edit View
also has a few tricks that aren’t as
obvious, such as the caption line be-
neath the photo; simply click and
start typing.
   Above the photo is a thin strip
that lets you select other photos
from the same folder without re-
turning to Library View. You can
also speed up your work by using the       The Print interface lets you print multiple copies or different photos, so you can
Hold button to load multiple pic-          use your photo paper efficiently.
tures into the Tray, then choosing
Batch Edit from the Picture menu to
fix them all with one command.
                                               For sharing electronically, the         directly to the photo files; your pic-
                                            Email button will send pictures to a       tures only look that way in Picasa. Try
Final Destinations                          supported mail program as attach-          it; add a sepia tone to something, then
   As we mentioned earlier, the Out-        ments. You can also send photos via        check the preview in the original
put Options take everything in              Hello, Picasa’s instant messaging          folder. It’s still the same.
the Picture Tray and send it wher-          program (for free software and sign-           To save changes to the photos
ever you want it to go, and most            up, go to www.hello.com), or post          themselves, you’ll have to export
of the options are                                            them directly to         copies to your hard drive, which
self-explanatory.                                             your Web log at          brings us to another unfortunate
   If you want hard-                                          Google’s Blogger         limitation. Picasa can only export
copies, the Print com-                                        service, which you       photos using the JPEG (Joint Photo-
mand not only gets                                            can find at www          graphic Experts Group files) format,
the job done, but also                                        .blogger.com.            which means that you lose the ad-
helps you manage                                                 The Order but-        vantages of saving your uncom-
photo paper without                                           ton will send your       pressed image data in the form of
waste. By using the                                           pictures in for          TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Print Layout options                                          professional prints      and RAW files.
and setting the Copies                                        from one of Pi-              Picasa certainly isn’t a do-all pro-
Per Picture, you can                                          casa’s affiliated        gram, but users who don’t need
print multiple copies                                         providers.               more complex features will probably
of the same shot, or                                             Finally, there’s      find that it delivers just about every-
use one sheet of paper                                        the Export but-          thing they need … at a price that’s
for different pictures.   The E-mail command creates          ton. Picasa is, to       impossible to argue with. RS
Fortunately, Picasa       file attachments in some, but       a certain extent,
displays a preview be-    not all, email programs. For        a closed environ-                                   BY BRIAN   HODGE
fore you print, so you    example, Picasa 2 dropped the       ment. It doesn’t let
can avoid common          support for Yahoo! Mail that        you save editing
setup mistakes.           was built into version 1.           and effects changes



                                                                                     Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 113
                                                         GOOGLE TOOLS




                    Speaking                                                             Translate
                                                                                            The Translate section quite simply
                                                                                         offers two functions: translate a block


                   In Tongues
                                                                                         of text from one language to another
                                                                                         or translate a Web page from one
                                                                                         language to another. Those of us who
                                                                                         grew up on Star Trek and Dune
    Reach Globally With Google’s Language Tools                                          might waltz into these offerings with
                                                                                         over bloated optimism about the lin-
                                                                                         guistic powers of computing. Rather
                                                                                         than spoil the fun, perhaps skip over



   G
               oogle has made its                                                        to our sidebar on how Google trans-
               search interface available                                                lations actually turn out when doing
               in a dizzying number of                                                   long text passages. Students, you’ve
               languages and gone a                                                      been warned.
   step further by offering free trans-                                                     At best, the text translator is best
   lation services between several                                                       for short, nonidiomatic phrases. For
   major tongues of the world. This                                                      instance, the tool correctly translated
   sounds slick, but how compelling                                                      the universally employed phrase “two
   is it in practice? Grab your towel                                                    more beers, please” into the Spanish
   and a Rick Steves travel guide, and                                                   “dos más cervezas, por favor.”
   let’s find out.                                                                       However, make it just a bit more
                                                                                         complex—“two more Corona beers,
                                                                                         please”—and Google comes back
   Search Specific Languages                      As a research tool, these lan-         with “dos más cervezas de la corona,
   Or Countries                                guage/country filters can be useful       por favor,” literally “two more beers
      This overlong but Googlishly             for obtaining regional perspectives       of the crown, please.” Ay carumba!
   spartan Language Tools Page is essen-       on a subject. For example, Gaudí             Interestingly, we had somewhat
   tially comprised of three sections. The     was Catalonian, and you might             better results with the Web page trans-
   first is titled Search Specific Languages   come across different facts or inter-     lator. To use this you simply copy and
   Or Countries. Let’s say you’re re-          pretations of his life and works by       paste the URL of a Web page into the
   searching Antoni Gaudí’s famous             combing through pages written in          Translate A Web Page field, use the
   basilica in Barcelona, La Sagrada Fam-      Catalan rather than Spanish or sites      pull-down menu to select the source
   ilia, and because you know Spanish,         hosted in Spain as opposed to             and target languages, and click the
   you only want to see pages about the        America. In cases where some might        Translate button. No, you’re not going
   church written in Spanish and based in      allege there is media bias involved,      to get a decent translation. Not even
   Spain. No problem. In the first pull-       as in the present Iraq war, one could     close. But we’ve found several cases
   down menu, there are 35 languages to        get a wholly different outlook on         where we could decipher enough of the
   choose from. Select Spanish.                events and conditions by searching        English to tell if the page had informa-
      On the next line, another pull-down      for Shi’ite on Arabic pages rather        tion in it that we needed. If so, then we
   menu offers to filter results according     than English.                             went in search of an actual speaker of
   to pages based in 71 countries. This is        Note, too, that search term spelling   the source page’s language and asked
   determined according to the host site’s     can be critical to results. In Spanish,   for a better translation.
   domain extension. For example, the          Antoni Gaudí’s name is actually              At present, Google attempts to
   country extension for Spain is .es.         spelled Antonio. For the best results,    translate among the six major Euro-
   Naturally, you would select Spain from      you need to be aware of such discrep-     pean languages: English, Spanish,
   this list.                                  ancies and how local pages are likely     French, German, Portuguese, and
      The third line is your search bar.       to spell things differently. Also be      Italian. Translations between English
   This is where you enter your query, in      aware that if you spend most of your      and Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are
   this case “Antoni Gaudí.” Click the         time using one set of language search     currently in beta testing, but we were
   Google Search button or the ENTER           criteria, you can click the Preferences   unable to view these because the char-
   key on your keyboard and watch the          link in this section to make those op-    acter sets were incompatible with our
   results roll in.                            tions your Google default.                test systems.



114 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                        GOOGLE TOOLS




Google In Your Language & Domain                         Translation: You Get What You Pay For
   In the years of the Search Engine Wars,
                                                             ears ago, AltaVista was the first search company to offer free trans-
Google was famous for having great hit results
but also an extremely bare home page, some-             Y    lation services with BabelFish. Users were underwhelmed by the
                                                        service then, and we wondered if Google had improved matters with
thing the company has preserved more or less
to this day. Not counting the Google logo               its own translator. To test, we grabbed a paragraph from the About Us
image or two buttons, www.google.com con-               page at sister magazine Computer Power User and wrote a little limerick
tains exactly 37 words as of this writing, 15 of        in a fit of silliness. We then found a native German speaker who was
which were for new feature and copyright no-            very fluent in English and asked him to translate Google’s output.
tices. With so little to translate, it was easy for     Here’s what we found. Note that Google’s tool removed the line breaks
Google to customize this page into 116 dif-             in our poem and, in cases such as “twang,” where a translation was not
ferent “languages.”                                     known, kept the English word.
   Now, some of these languages are more for
laughs than work. We doubt that many people             Original English:
will be doing research in the mellifluous nu-
ances of Klingon, Pig Latin, or Elmer Fudd—                Computer Power User is a monthly print publication aimed at people
still, we felt compelled to click the I’m Feewing       who know that technology rocks. The kind of person who gets his
Wucky button repeatedly—but interfaces from             kicks upgrading graphics cards and smashing benchmarks. The type of
Afrikaans to Malay to Zulu may make some                person who reinstalls Windows at 2 a.m. on a Saturday because his
feel more at home. While resulting hits are all         system keeps crashing while he's ripping MP3s. Or the person who
in their native tongues, the standard text on the       repartitions his drive to create a dual-boot system and install Linux so
hits page (“See 4,050 images for X,” “Results 1         he can learn more about how the OS works.
- 10 of about 117,000 for Y,” etc.) remain in
the selected language.                                     There once was a girl from Chiba
   Below this is a different way to access the             With a talking cow whose name was Reba
same regional search pages. You can select the             Together they sang
local domain by browsing through the flag/do-              Asian rap with a twang
main name/country name for each region. In                 And karaoked while pounding Zima
some cases this requires an extra step or two.
For example, there’s obviously a difference be-         German-To-English Retranslation:
tween searching in French and searching from
the Canadian site. By default, the Canadian                Computer performance user is month long struggler/striver people
page (www.google.ca) is in English, and you             the pressure of publication, who know that technology is shaky. The
need to click a link for the French version             type of person who gets his kicks improving the graphic maps and
(www.google.ca/fr). By and large, though,               smashing fixed points. The type of person who reinstalls Windows at 2
there’s a lot of overlap between the two lan-           a.m. on a Saturday because holds/stops to break up while he MP3s. Or
guage and local domain pages. You just need             the person rips/tears the division/sharing out his drive to cause a
to decide whether your emphasis is linguistic           double-loading of the system and the putting up of Linux, so he can
or geographic.                                          learn more about he way the OS works.
                                                        There once was a girl from Chiba with an entertainment cow whose
                                                        name was Reba, together, that sang karaoke Asian Polkas with a twang
Gracias. Sayonara.                                      while pounding Zima.
   As you can see, Google Language Tools are               Note from German speaker: “Unfortunately, my students use these
less than perfect, but they’re better than              translators, and they are incapable of recognizing parts of speech. For ex-
nothing. Don’t make the mistake of relying on           ample, ‘gets his kicks,’ ‘die seine
translations to help you survive while abroad.          Stösse erhält,’ would be nonsense
Just use Google Language Tools as a more con-           to most Germans, and I can only
venient starting place for your international data      translate it because I know
mining, and maybe have a little fun in Klingon          English. Your translator mixes up
along the way. RS                                       nouns and verbs, omits verbs,
                                                        and fails to translate words like
                              BY   WILLIAM VAN WINKLE   ‘pounding’ from the original
                                                        English.”



                                                                                        Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 115
                                                          GOOGLE TOOLS




             Power To The
                                                                                                AdWords API Client Libraries. Per
                                                                                             Google’s Web site, “These libraries
                                                                                             make it easier to write clients to pro-
                                                                                             grammatically access AdWords ac-


               People
                                                                                             counts.” There are two libraries at the
                                                                                             moment. Again, from Google: “The
                                                                                             Java client library for the AdWords API
                                                                                             makes it easier to write Java clients to
                                                                                             programmatically access AdWords ac-
               Google Code: A Little Something                                               counts. The PHP library allows you to
                                                                                             do the same in that language.” This
                   For Open-Source Fans                                                      project can be found at sourceforge
                                                                                             .net/projects/goog-ad-api-cli.
                                                                                                AjaXSLT. XSLT stands for Exten-
                                                                                             sible Stylesheet Language Transforma-
                                                                                             tions. It’s a tree-oriented programming



   E
           arlier this                                        experience a program-          language used to transform XML
           year, Google                                         mer needs to have the        (Extensible Markup Language) docu-
           released sev-                                         problem set to take ad-     ments. AjaXSLT is XSLT implementa-
           eral portions                                          vantage of it.”            tion in JavaScript for use in fat Web
   of in-house code as                                               Though DiBona is        pages, which are now referred to as
   open-source pro-                                               pleased with the re-       AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript +
   jects, under con-                                              sults, he takes pains to   XML) applications. The 0.2 beta release
   tinued development.                                            point out that Goo-        appeared at the end of June; you can
   Coming from a com-                                            gle’s open-source pro-      find out more about this project at
   pany that owns the                                           jects aren’t necessarily     sourceforge.net/projects/goog-ajaxslt.
   world’s biggest, most                                      better than the best of-          Coredumper. This is described at
   scalable platform for                                    fered elsewhere. That isn’t      the Google Code site as “a neat tool for
   Web-based applications de-                            their primary purpose. “While       creating GDB readable core dumps
   velopment, that’s significant—                    I think we offer solid code, I'd        from multithreaded applications. The
   not only for what it presently provides,    imagine that most developers would            coredumper library can be compiled
   but more so as evidence of ongoing          consider this stuff an interesting look at    into applications to create core dumps
   commitment to open-source on the            how we've attacked the problem of             of the running program, without ter-
   Internet. In this feature, we’re going to   having programs perform well in               mination. It supports both single- and
   take a look at Google’s moves in this       heavily loaded multithreaded SMP              multithreaded core dumps, even if the
   direction, its current projects, and the    [symmetric multiprocessing] machines.         kernel doesn’t natively support multi-
   work and opinions of a couple of de-        Many libraries and software develop-          threaded core files.” Project informa-
   velopers who are glad Google isn’t just     ment techniques break down under se-          tion may be found at sourceforge.net
   talking the talk, but also walking the      rious load, and the tools we've released      /projects/goog-coredumper.
   open-source walk.                           help to debug these kinds of problems            Google mMaim. Written in Python,
                                               with a certain amount of agility that I       mMaim is for analyzing and moni-
                                               think developers will find useful.            toring MySQL (open-source database)
   Google’s Perspective                           “This is not to say that alternatives      servers—not as a front-end, but by of-
      “We like to take part in the open-       do not exist,” DiBona says, “but I think      fering the tools to design an appro-
   source community, and we want people        our offerings represent an important          priate interface between that server and
   to have the code we’re proud of at          addition to the discourse around cre-         the programmer. mMaim can create
   Google,” says Chris DiBona, the com-        ating such programs.”                         command-line tools, provide Master/
   pany’s open-source program manager.                                                       Slave sync statistics, and more. You can
   “We try to make it as easy as possible                                                    find out more about it at source
                                               The Open-Source Google Projects
   for developers to access that code. Most                                                  forge.net/projects/goog-mmaim.
   of it we’ve released to date can run on       There are currently nine open-                 Goopy/Functional. Simply func-
   any operating system, though the            source projects available, and each           tions in a Python library. The project
   mMaim library requires Python. And it       has its own associated downloads              page is at sourceforge.net/projects
   says in each new project how much           and forums.                                   /goog-goopy.



116 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                       GOOGLE TOOLS




   Könguló. It’s Icelandic for “spider.”                                                    Google’s Sitemap Generator. He has
Könguló is a Web spider plug-in that                                                        released phpSitemapNG, a free php (a
makes Web sites you specify searchable                                                      server-side HTML embedded scripting
by GDS (Google Desktop Search). It                                                          language that provides Web developers
follows HTML (Hypertext Markup                                                              with the necessary tools to build dy-
Language) links and image, frame, and                                                       namic Web pages) based on the Google
anchor tags. At the current time, it does                                                   project. According to Kluge, “The lack
not possess a graphical user interface,                                                     of functionality in Google's Sitemaps
but can be run from the command line                                                        Generator is because it is written in
continuously to check previously                                                            Python, which only a few Web hosts
crawled pages for updates. It uses a                                                        support, and it cannot handle dynamic
                                            Paul Hachmann’s blog has tripled its
very simple form of programmed arti-                                                        pages. Google's site maps generator can
                                            monthly hits since he started
ficial intelligence (with loops, depth,                                                     only find physically existing files.”
                                            using Sitemaps.
passwords, etc.) to start at a specified                                                       Paraphrasing Kluge’s information on
URL (uniform resource locator) and                                                          his Web site at enarion.net, “phpSite-
proceeds to index all resources it finds                                                    mapNG’s plug-in architecture makes it
there within GDS. The code is offered                                                       possible to create and integrate custom
by Google to provide an example of                                                          plug-ins in minutes. At the moment,
how you can code a GDS plug-in using                                                        there is one main class that handles the
Python. The project page is source                                                          user input and control flow, and an-
forge.net/projects/goog-kongulo.                                                            other that deals with output and some
   Perftools. Google stated upon this                                                       logic functions. Settings are handled by
project’s initial release that, “These                                                      a third class that behaves like a registry.
tools are for use by developers so that                                                     Only a session-based storage class is
they can create more robust applica-                                                        available at the moment: no ability to
tions. Especially of use to those devel-                                                    store in a file system or database. These
oping multithreaded applications in         Tobias Kluge’s online crawler will generate     are under development.” You can find
C++ with temples. Includes TCMalloc,        your own Google Sitemap.                        a demo crawler at Kluge’s site, as well,
heap-checker, heap-profiler, and cpu-                                                       both to show off the quality of his
profiler.” The project Web site at                                                          crawling engine and to create a site
sourceforge.net/projects/goog-              these Sitemaps from a URL list, access          map. The process is simple, and the
perftools is less modest and more per-      logs, or a directory path hosting static        crawler takes roughly 30 seconds to do
sonal, at least in part: “The fastest       files corresponding to URLs. . . . The          its work. (Note that your IP is logged at
malloc that we’ve seen, works particu-      sitemap_gen.py script analyzes your             that time, but Kluge has no plans to use
larly well with threads and STL.”           Web server and generates one or more            that data for commercial purposes.)
Version 0.3 is currently available.         Sitemap files. These files are XML list-           Kluge also provides a small XSLT
   Sparse Hashtable. This project, in its   ings of content you make available on           code download that makes Google’s
0.2 beta release as of May 20, is de-       your Web server. The files can then be          Sitemaps files (which are machine-
scribed as containing “several hash-        directly submitted to Google.” The pro-         readable XML text) much simpler for
map implementations in use at Google,       ject page is at sourceforge.net/pro             mere humans to understand. Written
similar in API to SGI’s hash_map class,     jects/goog-sitemapgen. Unlike other             by Baccou Bonneville and updated by
but with different performance charac-      current Google projects, this one also          both Johannes Müller and Kluge, the
teristics, including an implementation      has a page devoted to third-party pro-          Google Sitemaps Stylesheet displays a
that optimizes for space and one that       grams that support the Sitemaps API             complete list of site map files, along
optimizes for speed.” The project page      (code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html)            with priority, change frequency, and
at sourceforge.net/projects/goog-           and another explaining in detail the re-        last modification date. It can do a pri-
sparsehash goes further: “An extremely      quirements, installation, and trou-             mary sort on any field.
memory-efficient hash_map imple-            bleshooting of the Sitemap Generator.
mentation. 2 bits/entry overhead!”
                                                                                            The Developers’ Perspective
   Sitemap Generator. Per Google,
                                            Google Code Projects At Work
“Sitemap Generator is a simple script                                                         Another programmer making use of
that can be configured to automatically       Tobias Kluge, who runs a German               Google’s open-source projects is Paul
create Sitemaps and submit them to          ISP (Internet service provider), is very        Hachmann. Though a software devel-
Google. Sitemap Generator can create        taken with both open source and                 oper by profession, his experience with



                                                                                          Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 117
                                                          GOOGLE TOOLS




   Google’s open-source project forums are a great resource           Google Sitemaps Generator has a very detailed project page,
   for developers.                                                    complete with FAQ (frequently asked questions) and
                                                                      troubleshooting links.


   Sitemaps is strictly informal; he uses it   says, “and are visibly taking what they       However, they have been spreading out
   for his hobby blog (www.satoshis            learn and putting it into practice.           as of late, which might reflect a change
   corner.com). “I suppose this can make       While we may complain the odd time            in their vision.” As an example,
   a case for how diverse an audience          that the Sitemap folks don't have             Hachmann points to Google’s philos-
   Google Sitemaps is suited for,” he says.    much of a presence on the forum, they         ophy page (www.google.com/intl/en
   “It’s a bit of a niche site and garners     do read every message and step in             /corporate/tenthings.html), where the
   about 1,000 unique viewers on a good        where necessary. The fact that they           second of Google’s 10 Things philo-
   day. Outside of my regular viewers,         can still cultivate a sense of familiarity,   sophical ideals list used read, in part:
   Google is my top referrer, with about       when the company is so big, is a big          “It's best to do one thing really, really
   3,000 or so refers a month, all told—       point in their favor.”                        well. Google does search. Google does
   including traffic from google.co.jp,           Kluge also got involved right during       not do horoscopes, financial advice, or
   and, interestingly, Google's Mexican        the early days of the Google Sitemaps         chat.” Since the advent of Google
   version. MSN and Yahoo! each garner         Generator forum. “First, I did it just to     Talk—a chat program—the second
   a couple hundred refers a month             fight against boredom,” he admits,            point reads, “When we first wrote these
   by comparison.”                             “but later I became more committed,           ‘10 things’ four years ago, we included
      This wasn’t always the case. “Before     since the people there liked my efforts.      the phrase ‘Google does not do horo-
   utilizing Sitemaps, my main site's cache    I have only worked with the Sitemap           scopes, financial advice, or chat. Over
   lagged a week or so behind reality,         Generator, but I am reading about the         time we've expanded our view of the
   which meant that content on my main         other open-source projects. I think           range of services we can offer . . .’”
   page dropped off by the time it showed      Google does a great service adding and           But Hachmann shrugs and notes,
   up in SERPs (Search Engine Rank             supporting free information, knowl-           “It's hard to argue against that. After
   Positioning). Now the cache is about a      edge, and software to the community.          all, Google does make all sorts of cool
   couple days behind or even less, and        This forces other companies to do the         stuff. And it’s a well-known disease
   older entries quickly show up in the        same, or at least to think about strate-      among tech folks that we like to play
   archives where they belong. I'm afraid I    gies to compete with Google. It’s really      with cool stuff.”
   don't have any prior Sitemaps search        nice to see that the big-three search en-        Arguably, Google’s open-source
   statistics, but I'd say roughly that I'm    gine companies (Google, Yahoo!,               projects were intended for other pur-
   getting about two to three times the        MSN) having more or less the same             poses, but the indescribable joy that
   traffic from Google that I was, before.”    features, with no cost to the user.”          comes to developers from opening
      Hachmann joined the Google                  Hachmann agrees, with a caveat. “I         toys year round shouldn’t be underes-
   Sitemaps Generator forum within a           don’t think many will argue against           timated, either. RS
   day or two of its launch. “They're con-     Google’s quality. They make great
   stantly listening to their end users,” he   products, and they’re innovative.                                      BY BARRY BRENESAL




118 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
   TH E    BUSINESS END




                         Let’s Do Business
                                               Google As Cash Cow



                                                                                            examines billions of Web pages. The
                                                                                            bot indexes and maintains a database
                                                                                            of Web pages for the search engine to
                                                                                            use to locate information. To ensure
                                                                                            that the Google robot (or Googlebot)
                                                                                            finds your Web site, it’s best to register
                                                                                            online with Google at www.google
                                                                                            .com/addurl.
                                                                                               To provide the best results for a
                                                                                            search query, Google employs a trade-
                                                                                            marked PageRank technology. Page-
                                                                                            Rank determines the importance of a
                                                                                            Web page based on millions of vari-
                                                                                            ables. Of these, the pages that link to
                                                                                            your site play a large role in deter-
                                                                                            mining rankings. Some linked pages
                                                                                            have greater value, thus giving your site
                                                                                            a greater overall value. Important sites
                                                                                            receive a higher PageRank and appear
                                                                                            at the top of the search results.




   M
                    ost of us think of         virtually all of its revenues from the ads      In addition to the PageRank system,
                    Google as a search en-     that it displays with search results and     Google’s search mechanism analyzes
                    gine that locates infor-   on the Web sites of AdSense partici-         the content of a page to determine its
                    mation on the Web.         pants. But, before we discuss adver-         relevance to a search query. The
                    Undoubtedly, Google’s      tising further, let’s first delve into the   analysis goes beyond simply finding
   search engine helps millions of people      science of Google search placement.          keywords. Instead, this hypertext-
   find the information they need for                                                       matching analysis looks at keywords in
   work and play. However, for business                                                     the context of the Web page’s content,
                                               Get Into Google’s Search Results
   owners with a Web presence, Google                                                       organization, fonts, and more.
   offers other services and opportunities        Perhaps the most important service           What you can do. Google does not
   that are equally as important.              for business owners to understand,           share all of the specifics about how its
      As a Web site owner or adminis-          Google’s basic search engine is free         search algorithm (rules for ranking
   trator, it’s essential to understand        and can make a big difference to the         and indexing Web pages) works, but
   three components of Google’s services       bottom line of an online business. The       the company does give you guidelines
   for businesses: placing your site in        trick, if you’re trying to sell products     for designing the structure, content,
   Google’s search results, promoting          or services on the Web, is getting your      and code for your site to improve its
   your site with AdWords ads, and             site at the top of Google’s search re-       chances of being found by a related
   earning income from publishing ads          sults so that potential customers find       search query. For example, your site
   with the AdSense program.                   you before they find your competitors.       should have a clear hierarchy; it should
      Adwords. Only the AdWords pro-              How it works. Google’s search en-         include a site map with links that point
   gram is fee-based, and it is big business   gine uses a robot (also known as a           to the important parts of your site, and
   for Google. In fact, Google obtains         crawler, spider, or bot) that continually    it should use text instead of images or



120 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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graphics to display important                                                                    (through the AdSense program)
links, content, or names.                                                                        contributed $630 million, or 46%
   Obviously, using the right key-                                                               of total revenues.
words in your site is also impor-                                                                   Create a campaign. Obviously,
tant. The words you use in your                                                                  ad revenues reap big bucks for
pages should reflect your compa-                                                                 Google. One reason is that
ny’s products and services. Goo-                                                                 Google has made it fairly simple
gle warns Webmasters to be                                                                       to create an ad campaign. An on-
careful to design pages for users,                                                               line tool, located at adwords
not search engines. If you fill your                                                             .google.com, walks you through a
site’s pages with irrelevant words,                                                              four-step process to create your
duplicate content, or other decep-                                                               ad. The process starts by defining
tive material, it can result in                                                                  the language and geographic lo-
Google dropping your site com-                                                                   cation of your target audience.
                                       Google’s AdWords advertisements display in the
pletely from the search results.                                                                 This improves your chances of
                                       right margin and above the search results. The ads
   If you need help. Not surpris-                                                                reaching potential customers, be-
                                       relate to the search query and keywords entered in
ingly, creating high-ranking pages                                                               cause you can target specific
                                       the Google search box.
has become an industry of its                                                                    cities, states, and regions as ap-
own. Books and online services                                                                   propriate for your business.
designed to help you optimize your site      comprised 99% of Google’s revenues              The second step involves creating an
for search engines are plentiful. Some       in the first and second quarters of          Ad Group, which is the ad and the key-
of the more reputable online resources       2005. AdWords debuted in the fourth          words you want to associate with it.
include Submit It! (www.submitit             quarter of 2000. It originally charged       The ad consists of four lines: a headline
.com) from Microsoft and Search              subscribers each time their ad dis-          (maximum 25 characters), two lines of
Engine Watch (www.searchengine               played on a search results page. In          text (maximum 35 characters each),
watch.com). Google’s information on          2002, Google changed the fee structure       and your Web site’s address. Google
SEOs (search engine optimizers) also         to a cost-per-click model. This means        offers a variety of tools and suggestions
provides tips to help you choose a           that subscribers to the service pay only     to refine your ad and keywords.
company or service to help you with          when someone clicks through the ad.             Of course, budgeting is an important
your site’s search ranking. See                  In addition to displaying ads in         aspect of a Google ad campaign. It’s the
www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/           search results, AdWords also appear on       third step of the process, and Google
for a list of information, including de-     the Web sites of participants in the         lets you define a limit so that you don’t
tails about SEOs, the Googlebot, and         Google Network. Known as the                 exceed your budget. You can also limit
design guidelines.                           AdSense program, the ads are distrib-        the CPC (cost-per-click, the amount
                                             uted in two ways. One method, called         you pay if someone clicks your ad), and
                                             AdSense For Search, distributes ads          you can set a total daily budget. Google
Try Advertising With AdWords                 through search results on Web sites          recommends a minimum investment
   Another way to get exposure for           that include Google’s search box.            of $30 per day and requires a min-
your site’s products and services is         AdSense For Content, the second              imum CPC of 5 cents.
through ads. Known at Google as              method, displays Google-generated ads           As you set your budget, Google’s on-
AdWords, these are the small, text-only      related to the content on a participant’s    line tool provides recommended
ads that display in the top and right        Web page. Google started the AdSense         amounts for your campaign’s CPC
margins of Google’s search results.          For Search program in the first quarter      based on the ad you’ve defined. Google
Google displays ads that relate to Web       of 2002 and the AdSense For Content          employs a unique bidding system to
content or to a search query entered by      program in the first quarter of 2003.        determine which ads display more
a Google user. For example, if you              For the second quarter of 2005,           often than others and in what order.
search for running shoes, Google dis-        Google’s total ad revenues topped            Your keywords, target market, and
plays related ads for running shoes in       $1.38 billion. This was a record for         budget need to work together to im-
the margins of the search results.           Google, with revenues 10% higher than        prove your ad’s chances of displaying
   Big bucks. AdWords is a fee-based         the first quarter of 2005, which was also    before and more often than your com-
service, and as noted previously, it’s       a record-setting quarter. Sites owned        petitors’ ads. The Google sign-up
Google’s primary source of Google’s          by Google generated $737 million, or         process includes tools to help you fore-
revenue. In fact, according to the com-      53% of total revenues. Revenues gener-       cast your ad campaign’s results and
pany’s financial reports, advertising        ated from Google’s partner sites             tweak it, if needed, to give you the best



                                                                                       Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 121
                                                          THE BUSINESS END




   results within your budget. It also pro-         approves your application, within a few         If you need help. Similar to search
   vides a campaign management tool                 days you receive information via email       engine optimization services, Google’s
   that lets you track performance. The             about how to set up the program. The         AdWords program has resulted in a
   fourth and final step in the process is to       program includes an online reporting         side industry of companies willing to
   review the previous steps and create             system that details the revenue that         design an ad campaign for you. If you
   your account and login information.              AdSense generates from your Web site.        need assistance, however, consider
       Generate income with AdSense.                   Google has built in numerous op-          Google’s Jumpstart service for first-
   Google’s AdSense program displays                tions that let you customize AdSense         time advertisers. With Jumpstart,
   ads from participants in the Google              for your Web site. For example, you          Google’s staff designs an ad campaign
   AdWords service. The program finds               can pick the layout of the ad from a se-     for your company at no charge; the
   and displays ads that are relevant to            lection of formats designed by Google.       catch is that your initial campaign
   your site based on Web page content              Most formats are text-based; however,        budget must be a minimum of $299.
   or search terms that a visitor enters in         Google has begun to offer image ads          For more information, see adwords
   the Google search box on your Web                with AdSense for content. You can            .google.com/select/jumpstartwelcome.
   site. Depending on the program
   and types of ads targeted to your
   Web site, your company receives
                                                                                                     Add Google To Your Site
   income for publishing the ads.                                                                       Google offers many services to
       With AdSense For Content, you                                                                 enhance your Web site with its
   agree to publish AdWords ads that                                                                 search technology. If you want to
   are targeted to the content within                                                                give your site’s visitors easy access
   your Web site. Google’s tech-                                                                     to Google, you can display the
   nology analyzes your site’s content                                                               Google Free Web search or Google
   and selects the ads that are most                                                                 Free Site search boxes on your site.
   relevant. AdWords advertisers can                                                                 By simply pasting some HTML
   also target ads specifically to your                                                              (Hypertext Markup Language)
   Web site. By contrast, AdSense For         The Google search box is a free service that you       code into your Web pages, you can
   Search displays AdWords ads tar-           can add to your Web site and can help your             provide a Google search box for
   geted to the search query entered          visitors search the Web or your site only.             visitors to your site. There are
   by a visitor to your Web site. This                                                               three options: Google Web search
   is similar to adding the Google free                                                              (searches the entire Web), Google
   search box to your site, but your com-           place up to three ad groupings on a          SafeSearch (searches the entire Web
   pany gets the added benefit of receiving         page, including image ads. When              while filtering adult content), and
   revenue from the AdWords campaigns               Google is unable to locate a targeted ad,    Google Web search with SiteSearch
   of others. The AdSense For Search fea-           you can fill the ad space with alternate     (searches users’ choice of the entire
   ture is also more customizable than the          ads, custom messages, or a solid color.      Web or only your site). See “Give Your
   free search tool.                                You can also block ads from competi-         Web Site Google Power”on free Google
       To generate income with AdSense              tors. When displayed on your Web site,       search tools for your site on page 128.
   For Content, your company receives               AdSense ads are branded by text that
   payment in most cases based on visi-             states Ads By Google.
                                                                                                 Take Advantage Of Google
   tors who click through an ad dis-                   Google’s AdSense partners include
   played on your site. If an AdWords ad            companies large and small. Some of the          With numerous services available to
   is targeted to your site specifically by         more recognizable partners include           businesses and its positioning as one of
   its owner, you can also receive income           The Weather Channel, EarthLink,              the top destinations on the Web,
   based on the number of times the ad              Disney Online, BizRate.com, Ask              Google has a lot to offer Web site
   displays, which is known as CPM                  Jeeves, AOL, and Amazon.com. Dan             owners and administrators. If you have
   (cost-per-thousand impressions).                 Hogan, the owner of a science news           a product or service to sell, it’s impera-
   Google does not share specifics about            Web site www.sciencedaily.com, states        tive that your site is included in
   how it calculates the income you re-             that “The ads really match our articles.     Google’s search index. And the AdSense
   ceive from AdSense programs, but it              For visitors, the AdSense ads are a          program can help you generate addi-
   costs nothing to become a publisher.             useful extension of our content.”            tional revenue through targeted ads. RS
       The process for applying to become           According to a case study of Science-
   a Google publisher is online at                  Daily, 66% of the online magazine’s in-                             BY   CARMEN CARMACK
   www.google.com/adsense. If Google                come comes from AdSense.



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Get The Word Out                                                                       Google Listings
                                                                                          Let’s suppose you’re in the business
                                                                                       of making widgets, and you want po-
                                                                                       tential customers who visit Google to
         Advertise Your Web Site On Google                                             learn about and find your widget re-
                                                                                       tail company. One way consumers
                                                                                       shop online is to go to a site directory,
                                                                                       where they search under companies
                                                                                       that make widgets and find your
                                                                                       listing there—kind of like an online
                                                                                       Yellow Pages.
                                                                                          But Google is not a typical site di-
                                                                                       rectory, where you are listed in some
                                                                                       type of organized structure, such as
                                                                                       under, say, United States > Shopping
                                                                                       > Gadgets> Widgets > Retailers.
                                                                                       Rather, you submit a listing manually
                                                                                       that lets Google know you exist, and
                                                                                       the automated processes on Google’s
                                                                                       back end check out your site and,
                                                                                       provided your site meets Google’s
                                                                                       criteria, add it to the Google index.
                                                                                       Then, when visitors run a search
                                                                                       on Google, the site may appear in the
                                                                                       results page.
                                                                                          Before we walk through the sub-
                                                                                       mission process for listings, it’s worth
                                                                                       noting that it isn’t necessary to submit
                                                                                       your site’s URL to Google in order to
                                                                                       be included in the index. Google
                                                                                       states flat out that most of the index
                                                                                       additions are done automatically
                                                                                       through Google’s spiders, which are



T
        hey’re out there: thousands of    her.” When your would-be cus-                programs that visit Web sites, read
        potential customers wanting       tomers want to know who offers               pages, and supply indexing informa-
        information about your com-       what they need, Google is one of the         tion to a search engine database.
        pany and its products or ser-     first places they’ll look.                   These programs are also called crawl-
vices. So you’ve created a Web site          Therefore, it’s crucial that you give     ers or bots.
that displays your business to its best   your company presence on Google.                Another item worth noting is that
advantage, and you’ve made the site       We say “give” because, despite what          just because you submit your URL,
easy to navigate and understand. But      may appear to be a mysterious process        there’s no guarantee that Google will
there’s one problem. Those con-           to the outside observer, site listings       add it to the index. Numerous sites
sumers have never heard of you, your      don’t randomly appear on Google.             submit URLs to be listed, and it takes
company, or your products. How in         Instead, there are specific procedures       some time for the Google folks to in-
the world do you get them to walk         and techniques that you can take ad-         spect those URLs and determine how,
through your virtual doors?               vantage of in order to increase your         or even whether, they should be
  By getting yourself noticed on          visibility online. To some extent, you       added. Google advises Webmasters
Google, of course. Google has be-         can determine whether your business          that the spiders will likely find the site
come synonymous with finding in-          is listed on Google, and you can             before the staff gets to your URL sub-
formation on the Web; the word has        enhance your Web page so that your           mission. Plus, given that Google in-
even evolved from a brand name to a       site appears higher in search results        dexes more than 8 billion pages, it’s
verb, as in “I Googled my new boss        and place advertising on relevant            easy to understand why the company
to see what I could find out about        search pages.                                relies on its well-written automated



                                                                                     Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 123
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   programs rather than manual labor to        ensure the Google staff pays better at-        In addition, there is a related pro-
   index sites. Still, it can’t hurt to try,   tention to your “application.” And          gram you may want to investigate.
   and it may even help, so let’s submit a     the third box is where you confirm a        Google Sitemaps is a beta (trial) pro-
   site URL to the listing.                    string of letters or characters, a string   gram that attempts to help its spiders
      Your first step is to head to the        that changes each time the page loads.      better crawl the Web and gather in-
   URL submission page at www.google           Google places this string on the sub-       formation. Sometimes when sites
   .com/addurl/?continue=/addurl. It’s         mission page to let its staff know that     have content that changes routinely,
   a simple page, with a bit of informa-       a real person is submitting the listing     called dynamic content, or subpages
   tion at the top and three boxes             instead of an automated program. We         that are somewhat hidden, the Google
   where you can type text. The first          recommend you fill out this box, be-        crawlers may have a harder time
   box, URL, is the most important.            cause if you take the time to manually      finding those pages. Filling out a site
   Here’s where you can manually               submit a listing, it’s natural that         map will help the spiders know more
   input your Web site address, such as        Google will be more inclined to pay         about harder-to-index sites and sub-
                                                                                           pages. If you have a relatively com-
                                                                                           plicated site, participating in this
                                                                                           program will help Google better crawl
                                                                                           sites in general and perhaps your site
                                                                                           in particular.
                                                                                              To sign up, head to www.google
                                                                                           .com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en
                                                                                           /overview.html for an overview of
                                                                                           creating sitemaps. If you or your web-
                                                                                           master has already created a site map
                                                                                           using a third-party program or online
                                                                                           service, you can submit that site map
                                                                                           through a link on this page. The site
                                                                                           map must be in a format Google sup-
                                                                                           ports, and you’ll need to create a
                                                                                           Google account (which you may have
                                                                                           done already if you use other Google
                                                                                           services, such as Gmail or Google
                                                                                           Groups). Then, just click the Add A
                                                                                           Sitemap button, type the URL of your
                                                                                           site map, and click Submit URL.
                                                                                              You can also use this program to
   Use a simple online form to submit your URL for inclusion in the Google index.          create a site map before you submit it
                                                                                           to Google. The procedure for this
                                                                                           takes some time, so we won’t walk
   http://www.widgetsarewe.com.                attention to the work you did than if a     through it here, but if you’re inter-
   When you input the address, keep in         “robot” did so.                             ested, visit www.google.com/webmas
   mind that you don’t need to include            And that’s it. You’ve done pretty        ters/sitemaps/docs/en/sitemap-gener
   all of the subpages on your site, such      much all you can do to manually             ator.html and follow the instructions
   as http://www .widgetsarewe.com/            get Google’s attention. You can go          for downloading the proper files, cre-
   contact or http://www.widgetsarewe          through this process more than once,        ating a configuration file, uploading
   .com/storelocations. The only item          but it’s likely a waste of time, be-        the files, running the program that
   you should submit is the top-level          cause, in Google’s words, “multiple         will generate a site map, and submit-
   page, because Google’s bots will start      submissions won’t improve the likeli-       ting the final product to Google.
   at the top and automatically crawl          hood of your site being added or ac-
   through the rest of the site.               celerate the process.” Google also says
                                                                                           Google Searches
      The second box, Comments, is             you won’t be penalized if you submit
   where you can add keywords or com-          multiple times, but in our opinion            We’re all familiar with spam, and if
   ments for the Google staff. This sec-       you’re better off submitting a URL          you’re a business professional, among
   tion does not influence how Google          once and then putting your energy           the unsolicited ads that have ended
   indexes your page, but it can help          into other projects.                        up in your email box probably is one



124 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
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that reads something like this: “We’ve          will guarantee higher placement. In        when trying to find you. And, of
noticed that your Web site isn’t listed         fact, we highly recommend you don’t        course, you want the site to be usable.
in the major search engines. We guar-           do this, or you risk attracting the        Broken links not only annoy your vis-
antee you top placement or your                 wrath of the Google monitors.              itors, they stymie the crawlers.
money back.” If only it were so easy.              Google publishes clear guidelines          There are some technical details to
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for         about what it finds acceptable (www        cover, as well. For example, Google
getting your site ranked high on a              .google.com/intl/en/webmasters/guide       spiders don’t pick up on text inside
search engine page. But, the good               lines.html), and loading pages with        images. While this may be a great
news is that some of this                                                                                technique for avoiding
is in your control.                                                                                      spam—you may want to
    First, it helps to under-                                                                            “hide” your email ad-
stand what Google spi-                                                                                   dress by creating it as an
ders look for when they’re                                                                               image, rather than as a
indexing and ranking                                                                                     clickable “mailto:” link,
sites. Google’s mission,                                                                                 thereby preventing a
according to the com-                                                                                    spammer from automat-
pany, is to develop “the                                                                                 ically culling your ad-
perfect search engine,”                                                                                  dress—it isn’t so great
which one of the co-                                                                                     for getting noticed by a
founders, Larry Page,                                                                                    crawler. And, if you
describes as something                                                                                   track a human visitor’s
that “understands exactly                                                                                site usage, make sure you
what you mean and gives                                                                                  (or your Webmaster)
you back exactly what you                                                                                don’t require a crawler
want.” Google doesn’t                                                                                    to be tracked through
disclose exactly what goes        Potential customers find you by submitting online queries; here is     the site, such as with a
into the technology be-           Google’s illustrated depiction of the querying process.                session ID. For more de-
hind a search, but it                                                                                    tails on recommended
does publish some gen-                                                                                   steps to take, visit the
eral information.                               hidden text, creating multiple pages       Google Webmaster Guideline page at
    One bit of technology is PageRank,          with nearly identical content, and         www.google.com/intl/en/webmas
Google’s proprietary ranking pro-               using cloaking (showing search en-         ters/guidelines.html.
gram. PageRank looks at more than               gines content that you don’t show             Lastly, we mentioned earlier that
500 million variables and 2 billion             your human visitors) are absolutely        one of the factors placing you high
terms, feeds them into an equation,             not on the list. If you violate these      on a Google site is the number of
and comes up with a ranking. Part of            guidelines, Google reserves the right to   sites that link to you. It’s unwise to
the ranking is based on how many                remove your site from its index. And       join a program that does nothing but
pages “vote” for your site by linking           once that happens, there’s little chance   create multiple links among unre-
to your main page and your site sub-            of going back. Your site won’t show        lated sites with the purpose of regis-
pages. Another factor that determines           up when users run the Google search        tering higher in a Google search,
rank is your site’s contents. The               engine, and it won’t show up on            because that goes against the Google
search engine looks closely at your             the sites run by any of Google’s nu-       guidelines. It does make sense, how-
page and considers what it says and             merous partners.                           ever, to encourage relevant sites to
displays, along with where words are               As for what you can or should do,       link to you. One neat feature Google
located and other factors.                      much of that is common sense. A            offers is a Google Link Search. When
    What does all this mean for you?            good general principle to follow is to     you use this feature, Google will tell
Well, it’s easier to start with what it         create the site as you want users to see   you what sites link to yours.
doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean                   it, and the spiders will react accord-        Visit www.google.com/help/fea
loading your page up with links or              ingly and appropriately. Don’t put         tures.html#link and scroll to the
hidden words (words in metatags, the            too many links on a page (Google rec-      bottom of the page and the last entry,
HTML codes placed in the top section            ommends fewer than 100), make sure         Who Links To You? In the text box,
of the coding for a Web page that de-           the information is clear, and include      type link: followed by your site name,
scribe the page to search engines and           words on your site that users are          such as link:www.widgetsarewe.com,
are invisible to viewers visiting a page)       likely to type into search engines         and click the Google Search button.



                                                                                       Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 125
                                                       THE BUSINESS END




   You may be surprised at who                                                                         Here’s how it works. When
   links to you, or doesn’t, and it                                                                 you create your ad, you choose
   can spark ideas of other rele-                                                                   keywords that describe your
   vant sites you may want to                                                                       products or services or other
   contact about creating a link                                                                    keywords that your target au-
   to your site.                                                                                    dience might be likely to use in
                                                                                                    a search. Then, when a con-
                                                                                                    sumer runs a Google search, if
   Where’s My Site?                                                                                 she uses your keywords in her
      OK, you’ve submitted your                                                                     search, your ad appears in a
   URL and optimized your con-          Google automatically creates the snippets that appear       high-profile spot on the results
   tent so that your site appears       when your site is returned in a user’s search.              page. This occurs on the
   high up in a Google search for                                                                   Google page and also on the
   widgets, and for a while all is                                                                  search pages of Google’s part-
   good. But one day, when you run             and stay there, with the exception of        ners. These partners include Netscape
   your regular Google search, the site        the sites where the Webmaster is             Netcenter, EarthLink, Ask Jeeves,
   doesn’t appear at all, or it’s much far-    clearly trying to fool the crawlers into     The Weather Channel, The New
   ther down the list. This doesn’t neces-     giving it an artificially high ranking.      York Times, InfoSpace and Home &
   sarily mean something is wrong,                But there is another exception. If        Garden Television, to name a few.
   although it might be an indication.         the Webmaster responsible for the               If a user clicks your ad to go to
   Google conducts regular index up-           pages makes a formal request for re-         your Web site, you are charged a
   dates, and when it does, new sites may      moval (or if legal requirements neces-       small amount. This is known as pay-
   be added that outrank yours.                sitate it), Google will remove all or        per-click advertising. You can deter-
      Another factor may be that many          part of a Web site. In short, you place      mine how much you are charged per
   sites that used to link to you no           a file on your site, called robots.txt,      click, and you can set limits on how
   longer do, so use the handy tool we         that tells search bots they are not wel-     much you pay on a daily basis. You
   just covered to see if that’s the case.     come and to ignore your content.             can examine a personal online report
   Or, maybe your server was down              Google provides complete instruc-            that details your AdWords program
   when the spiders went crawling by,          tions on removing your site from its         statistics, and one of the items you
   and they couldn’t “see” your site. If       index at www.google.com/intl/en              can track via your reports is how
   you suspect this may be the case,           /webmasters/remove.html.                     many of those clicks lead to sales, also
   check with your hosting company to                                                       known as conversions.
   see if they’ve experienced any prob-                                                        One of the most important deci-
   lems recently.
                                               The Google AdWords Program                   sions you need to make is to figure
      Your site ranking may also change           Most businesses, however, will            out where you’re going to advertise,
   because your site itself changed, and       want just the opposite of being              both in which regions (where are
   that brings up another issue to keep        removed from the Google index;               your customers located?) and on
   an eye on. If you’ve changed your site      they want as high a ranking as pos-          which search result pages. Unlike
   and Google is still displaying the out-     sible. And sometimes, the best way           traditional advertising, which usu-
   dated information, that’s likely be-        to get noticed on Google is to pay           ally lets you base your advertising
   cause Google’s crawlers have not yet        for it outright.                             placement in part on whatever de-
   visited your new pages. Just wait a            You’ve probably noticed that when         tailed demographic information
   day or two, and the next time the           you run a search on Google, you              the publisher or broadcaster can
   search bots visit your page, they’ll        sometimes see sponsored links at the         provide you with, the pages where
   submit the correct information into         top of or on the right side of the re-       your Goggle AdWords ad appears
   the Google database.                        sults page. These results don’t land         are more fluid. Therefore, before
      Finally, you may want to remove a        there simply because the site Web-           you sign up for the program, it’s
   site from the Google index. Google          master submitted the URL to Google           crucial that you figure out what key-
   policy clearly states that the company      or optimized the site for search en-         words your potential customers will
   wants to provide a “thorough and un-        gine indexing. They’re there because         be using in their searches.
   biased” search and that the company         the site was willing to pay for the ex-         For instance, suppose your com-
   does not believe in censorship. If a        posure. AdWords is a program that            pany sells bathing suits. Someone
   site is on the Web, the odds are good       lets you create ads and place them on        who runs a search on “swimming
   that it will appear in a Google index       relevant pages.                              pools” might be interested in your



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product, but they’re more likely to       until you have some ad campaign re-            Lastly, review your AdWords ap-
be looking for information on pur-        sults to work with. Based on your           plication and click Edit next to any
chasing a pool or pool maintenance        keywords, Google calculates traffic         of the items to change your data.
and related information. Someone          and pricing estimates. The first time       When you’re satisfied with your ad,
who runs a search on “tankini,”           you run a campaign, it may be diffi-        click Continue To Sign Up, and fill
however, is more likely to be looking     cult to figure out how much you             in the information necessary to
for what you have to offer.               should be paying per click to gain a        create your AdWords account: your
   Ready? Let’s go through signing up     new customer. Therefore, we recom-          email address and a password.
for the AdWords program. Head to          mend you follow Google’s guidelines.        Google sends you a confirmation
www.google.com/ads/index.html,            Google will suggest a maximum cost          email, and you can activate your ac-
click the Google AdWords link at the      per click, which is the highest price       count by clicking the link in the
top of the left panel, and click the      you’re willing to pay for a customer        email and entering billing informa-
Click To Begin button under the Sign      to click on your ad. The higher the         tion. Google charges advertisers
Up Now section in the middle of the       maximum cost per click, the higher          paying in U.S. currency a $5 fee to
subsequent page. The sign-up process      up on the search results page your ad       get started, and from then on your
will open in a separate window.           will appear.                                costs are determined by your chosen
   In the Language drop-down menu,           On the Set Pricing page, select the      budget and cost per click.
choose the language in which you          currency with which you’d like to
want your ad to appear. Then, select      pay Google, and then enter the max-
                                                                                      Beyond Google
the appropriate radio button, de-         imum amount you’d like to spend
pending upon whether you’d like the       per day, on average, for this adver-          With potential customers per-
ad to appear in an entire country, in a   tising campaign. This ensures that          forming millions of Google search-
particular region, or in a custom-        you don’t go over your budget, be-          es each day, the opportunities for
ized area of your choosing. Click         cause once you’ve reached your              reaching your target audience are nu-
Continue. The next page will vary         spending limit, your ad will not            merous. Keep in mind, though, that
according to the region button
you just selected, so once you’ve
added countries, selected regions, or
otherwise determined the location,
click Continue.
   Now it’s time to write your ad.
AdWords ads are relatively small,
similar to classified advertising in a
newspaper. Come up with a catchy,
25-character or fewer headline, two
descriptive lines (each with less than
35 characters), the URL the consumer
                                          Customize your AdWords ad placement by choosing relevant, specific keywords.
will see, and a URL of the page to
which your ad will link. For instance,
you may want your visitors to see         appear again that day. Then, it’s on        getting your site noticed is just the
“www.widgetsarewe.com,” but you           to the cost per click. The Enter Your       first step. Before you place an
may want them to link to a back-end       Maximum CPC box may already be              AdWords ad, submit your URL to
page with lots of funky characters in     filled in with Google’s suggestion,         Google or attempt to increase your
the address, such as www.widgets          but you can also click the View             search ranking, make sure your site is
arewe.com/sales/item.asp?item=item        Traffic Estimator link toward the           in tip-top condition and that it stays
%2archive%... (you get the picture.)      bottom of the page to view estimates        that way. Because once you’ve cap-
Google checks the page functionality      for keywords based on how many              tured a customer’s attention online,
before presenting the next page in the    clicks current advertisers—likely           you want to make sure he walks
sign-up process, Choose Keywords.         your competitors—are getting on             through your virtual doors—and
   You’ve already figured out your        their ads. Typically, you will want the     comes back for a second visit. RS
best keywords, so go ahead and enter      cost-per-click amount to be some-
them here. Click Continue. Now,           where in the 5 to 10 cent range, al-                             BY   HEIDI V. ANDERSON
you’ve entered the most confusing         though you may desire a higher or
part of the sign-up process, at least     lower amount. Click Continue.



                                                                                    Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 127
                                                   THE BUSINESS END




             Give Your
                                                                                       Of course, there are several catches.
                                                                                    Firstly, your pages must be in
                                                                                    Google’s database to show up in the
                                                                                    search, so if you update information


             Web Site
                                                                                    often, it may be outdated in Google’s
                                                                                    database or not even show up at all.
                                                                                    The search results page is also a
                                                                                    Google page, using its layout and not


           Google Power                                                             that of your site, although some basic
                                                                                    modifications can be made, so it
                                                                                    better fits in with your Web site.
                                                                                       The interface is potentially con-
                                                                                    fusing to customers because two radio
    Adding Site Search & More To Your Web Site                                      buttons appear under the Google
                                                                                    search box that appears on your site.
                                                                                    The first radio button is labeled
                                                                                    WWW, and if your visitor selects it,
                                                                                    the search is carried out as a normal
                                                                                    Google search that returns results
                                                                                    from the entire Internet. The second
                                                                                    radio button is labeled with your Web
                                                                                    site’s domain name (for example,
                                                                                    www.mysite.com), and if it is selected,
                                                                                    the search is only carried out on pages
                                                                                    stored in Google’s database that be-
                                                                                    long to that domain. If visitors get
                                                                                    confused and select the WWW radio
                                                                                    button, they may see results from
                                                                                    competitors or links that take them
                                                                                    away from your site.
                                                                                       Site Search isn’t perfect, but it is
                                                                                    free, incredibly easy to implement,
                                                                                    and gives your customers a basic
                                                                                    search engine for your site if you
                                                                                    don’t have the tools or ability to
                                                                                    custom-design a search tool. You can
                                                                                    easily add Google to your site so long
                                                                                    as you know how to let Google find



   W
                 hen it comes to the                                                your site and how to make some basic
                 Internet, “Google” is
                                            Site Search: Benefits & Drawbacks       modifications to the HTML (Hyper-
                 practically synonymous        Site Search is a subset of the       text Markup Language) code used to
                 with “search.” Wouldn’t    Internet search service for which       create Web pages.
   it be nice if you could use the same     Google is well-known. Normally
   accurate and blazing-fast search tech-   when users enter a search term in a
                                                                                    Let Google Know You’re There
   nology that Google uses to catalog the   Google Search box, they get results
   Internet to search your personal or      from the entire Internet. This is         Site Search only returns search re-
   small business Web site? Thanks to       great unless you run a business that    sults for your Web site if Google’s
   Google’s free Site Search service, you   sells wind chimes, and visitors see     search engine, called Googlebot, has
   can, and if you have a larger site or    links to your competitors every time    “crawled” the site. Crawling is a
   run a corporate Web site, check out      they run a search for that product at   process in which Googlebot makes a
   our “Big Business” sidebar, which        your Web site. Site Search eliminates   copy of your entire Web site and
   contains information about Google’s      that problem by giving users the op-    stores the data on Google’s servers
   more powerful hardware-based             tion to only search pages at your       where it is indexed and added to the
   search products.                         Web site.                               main Google search database. If



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Google doesn’t know your site is                                                                    into your page. Click the Preview
there, it won’t crawl through it,                                                                   tab to see what it will look like to
so the first order of business is                                                                   visitors and remember that you
to let Google know where the                                                                        can move the entire block of
site is located.                          The default search box must be modified to                code (which is designated by
    You can find out more about           include your site’s address.                              <!— Search Google —> at both
registering your site with Google                                                                   the top and the bottom) within
in “Get The Word Out” on page                                                                       your page if you need to reposi-
123, but here’s the short version.                                                                  tion the search box.
Launch your Web browser and                                                                            You aren’t finished yet. The
go to www.google.com/addurl.                                                                        auto-generated code contains
Enter the entire address for your                                                                   placeholder text that must be
Web site in the URL box. (For ex-                                                                   changed before it will work prop-
ample, type http://www.smart-             With a little editing, it is possible to completely       erly. Placeholder text is text in a
computing.com instead of just             change the look of the search box.                        template that is only there to
typing www.smartcomputing                                                                           show you where to put pieces of
.com.) Next, type a short descrip-                                                                  code or alternate text and is
tion of your site or a few keywords               The next page that appears con-               meant to be changed. Scan through
that pertain to your site in the               tains three boxes filled with HTML               the code, and you’ll see three places
Comments box to help establish the             code, and the one you are interested             where the text Your Domain Name
site’s legitimacy, so it has a better          in is the Google Free Web Search                 appears. You may need to scroll to the
chance of being indexed. Type the let-         With Site Search box at the bottom.              right to see all of the HTML text.
ters you see pictured in the text box          Beneath the box you see a preview of             Your job is to replace each of those
near the bottom of the page and click          what the search box will look like on            blocks of text with the address of your
Add URL.                                       your Web page, but this is customiz-             Web site. Don’t remove any format-
                                               able, and we’ll talk about that in               ting such as quotation marks that are
                                               greater detail later.                            around the text, and you don’t need
How To Implement Site Search                      To add the most basic form of Site            to put http:// in front of the address.
    Now that Google likely has your            Search to your site, click inside the               At this point, you’ve implemented
site copied into its search database,          Google Free Web Search With Site                 the most basic version of Google Site
it’s time to add Site Search to the site.      Search box, open the Web browser’s               Search. You can copy and paste the
This is as simple as copying and               Edit menu, and click Select All. This            block of code into all of your other
pasting a few lines of automatically           highlights all of the HTML code in               pages to add it to them as well, or you
generated HTML code into the Web               the box. Open the Edit menu again,               can customize the service so it inte-
editor of your choice, but there are           click Copy, and open your HTML ed-               grates more smoothly with the look
several customization options to con-          itor. Open the page where you want               and feel of your Web site.
sider. We’ll cover most of these in de-        to insert the Site Search box and press
tail using Microsoft FrontPage 2003            Ctrl-V to insert the code into your
                                                                                                Search Customization
as our HTML editor.                            Web page just like you would add
    First, go to the Google Business           any other lines of HTML. Note that                  If you don’t like the look of the
Solutions page at www.google.com               the Google search box will appear on             Google search box, there are many
/services and click the Add Web-               the area of your Web page where you              ways to modify it. Have you noticed
Search To Your Site link at the                paste the HTML code, such as the top             that the radio button under the search
bottom-left corner of the page.                or bottom of the page. In FrontPage              box says the address of your Web site
WebSearch is Google’s main search              2003, open your Web site, open the               instead of the name of your business?
service, which searches the entire             page where you want to inset the                 You can change the radio button text
Google database, and you have to in-           search box, and click the Code tab               to anything you like by editing the last
stall it in order to use Site Search.          near the bottom of the window to                 Web address entry you entered. Look
    Click Google Free WebSearch, click         view the raw HTML code. If you                   for the line where you changed Your
the Terms Of Service link, read the            want to place the box at the top of the          Domain Name to your Web address
document, and if you agree, check the          page, click next to the <html> tag at            and ignore the entries that are in
I Have Read And Agree To The                   the top of the code window, press                quotes—they need to stay like they are
Terms Of Service box and click Get             ENTER to create a new empty line,                for the search engine to work. You can
The Free Search Code.                          and press CTRL-V to paste the code               change the entry that is sandwiched



                                                                                            Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 129
                                                        THE BUSINESS END




   between the checked> and <br> tags,         look better in your site. Go back to the        right-clicking the icon for the logo fol-
   however. If your company’s name is          Google page that generates the Site             lowed by Properties. Next, select the
   Wind Chimes Inc., you could change          Search code and click the Customizable          Summary tab, which lists the exact
   the entry from Your Domain Name to          Google Free Web And Site Search                 width and height. Otherwise use a pro-
   Search Wind Chimes or Search Our            Services link at the bottom of the page.        gram such as IrfanView (free; www.ir
   Store to give visitors a better idea of     Read and agree to the terms of service          fanview.com) to easily find out the lo-
   what radio button to select.                and click the Customize Google For              go’s dimensions. If you want to place
      You also can modify the other radio      Your Site box. Select the Customizable          your logo on the left side of the top of
   button, which by default is labeled         Google Free WebSearch Plus Site-                the Results Page, choose Left in the
   WWW. Look for the WWW text be-              Search radio button and enter the do-           Alignment Of Your Logo box or select
   tween value=””> and <input and              main names that you want to include.            Center if you want the logo to appear
   change it to something more intuitive       (You can add multiple domain names              in the middle at the top of the page.
   such as Internet Search or Search The       so long as you separate each domain                The remaining boxes let you modify
   Web to make the choice easier for vis-      name using semicolons.)                         the colors of the Results Page, so they
   itors. Be sure to preview any changes          Click Continue, and several cus-             better match those of your Web site. If
   you make to be sure they don’t break        tomization options appear. You can              your site uses a gray or black back-
   the formatting or otherwise make the        edit the domains you entered at the top         ground color, select the appropriate
   search feature unusable.                    of the page, but the most interesting           setting in the Google Logo Background
      By default, the button people click to   options are in the Optional Customiza-          Color drop-down menu. Otherwise
   search is labeled Google Search, but you    tion Of Results Page section. Although          leave it at its default White setting.
   can change that as well. Look for the       it is impossible to remove the Google              All of the other entries except
   line that says <INPUT type=submit                                                           Background URL let you modify the
   name=btnGVALUE=“Google                                                                      colors of text, links, and the page’s
   Search”> and change Google Search to                                                        background. You can enter values such
   something else, such as simply Search.                                                      as red, blue, white, orange, green, etc. if
      Google’s logo appears on every                                                           you want to use the pure forms of var-
   page that includes Site Search, but                                                         ious colors, or you can enter hexadec-
   you can remove or change the logo so                                                        imal values for colors to perfectly
   that your company’s logo appears in-                                                        match them to those used by your Web
   stead. To remove the logo, delete the                                                       site. Hexadecimal (also called hex) is a
   line (or lines) of HTML code that                                                           mathematical number system where
   read <IMG SRC=“http://www.google                                                            values are represented by the numbers
   .com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif”                                                                  0 to 9 and the letters A to F. At their
   border=“0” ALT=“Google”></A>.                                                               most basic level, PCs use strings of ones
   Poof, there goes the logo. Alterna-                                                         and zeros called binary code to operate,
   tively, you can modify this code, so a      Google automatically generates search           and hexadecimal provides a convenient
   picture of your choosing appears next       box code that you can copy and paste            sort of shorthand for representing long
   to the search box. Replace http://www       into your Web pages.                            strings of binary digits using only a few
   .google.com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif                                                            numbers or letters. It is the standard
   with the address on your Web site                                                           system used for representing specific
   where your logo is stored, such as          logo from the search page, it is easy to        color values in HTML. For example,
   www.windchimes.com/images/logo.gif.         add your company logo to the top of             FFFFFF is the hexadecimal code for
   For this to work, you must include          the page. Just enter the Web address            pure white, 000000 is the code for pure
   the file name of the actual image, in-      where your company logo is stored (in-          black, and 336633 is the code for a par-
   cluding its three-character file exten-     cluding the file name and three-char-           ticular shade of green.
   sion, for example .GIF or .JPG.             acter extension) as described earlier.             You can obtain the color values
                                               Don’t forget to include http:// at the          your site uses by looking at the site’s
                                               beginning of the address.                       HTML code. BGCOLOR indicates
   Results Customization
                                                  By default, the Results Page displays        the background color, TEXT indi-
      Although you have to customize the       a thumbnail of your logo. If you want           cates the color for standard text,
   search box by hand, there are several       to display it at a larger size, enter the lo-   LINK indicates the color used by
   changes you can make to the Search          go’s dimensions in pixels in the Width          active hyperlinks on a page, and
   Results page via a Web-based interface      and Height boxes. If you use WinXP,             VLINK is the color used by links a
   that will make the Search Results page      you can find out your logo’s size by            visitor has already clicked. There are



130 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                      THE BUSINESS END




entries for these values in the               each search result entry. Skip the
Optional Customization Of Results             Important Text Color setting be-
                                                                                            Shakedown
Page section. The Faint Text Color            cause it doesn’t affect anything on              Don’t forget to upload your modi-
entry controls the look of Cached             the Search Results page.                      fied Web page to your Web site and
and Similar Pages links on the Search            Finally, you can use a background          test everything out to see if customers
Results page, and Alternate Text              image instead of a background color           will run into any problems. If you
Color controls the look of the Web            to further modify the page. Just enter        find that Google isn’t crawling your
site links included at the bottom of          the address for the image in the              Web site to your satisfaction or that
                                              Background URL box just as you did            customers are having trouble finding
                                              for the logo earlier. Small images are        things at your site, the only recourse
                                              repeatedly tiled on the background,           is to upgrade to a full-fledged search
                                              making it easy to create a pattern.           engine that is customizable and scal-
                                                 Click Continue and enter the re-           able. Check out the “Big Business”
                                              quired registration information if            sidebar for more on how Google can
                                              necessary before clicking Continue            help you with that. RS
Google’s Search Appliance is much             again. A block of HTML code ap-
more expensive, expandable, and               pears, which you can copy and paste                                        BY   TRACY BAKER
powerful than the Mini, and it is             into your Web pages and modify it as
easy to install and maintain.                 described earlier in the article.


 Big Business? Consider A Google Hardware Solution

 S   ite Search is great for adding a free,
     basic search engine to a small Web
 site, but larger and corporate sites need
                                              (Arnold Information Technology;
                                              www.arnoldit.com) and author of sev-
                                              eral books, including “The Google
                                                                                          familiar to Google users. It can index
                                                                                          more than 220 types of files, including
                                                                                          databases, and it lets administrators di-
 to offer visitors a more powerful and        Legacy” ($180; www.infonortics.com).        vide up content so that only autho-
 customizable way to search content.             The Google Mini, which indexes up        rized users can search sensitive
 Google’s search engine hardware, the         to 100,000 files, is designed to serve      documents. RAID support helps keep
 Google Search Appliance and Google           small and medium-sized businesses and       data safe by constantly mirroring data
 Mini, makes this task as easy as forking     costs $2,995 for the hardware, software,    to separate hard drives, and the com-
 over some cash, plugging in a few ca-        replacement coverage, and one year of       pany using the Search Appliance can
 bles, and letting some hardware do           support. After that you are free to keep    completely customize search boxes
 most of the hard work. You’ll need to        and use the hardware, but maintaining       and search results pages.
 tweak several things manually, but these     the support, hardware coverage, and            The Google Mini is much less capable
 configuration hassles are nothing com-       software updates costs an additional        than its big brother, but still offers great
 pared to creating a reliable search en-      $995 each year.                             value to small business owners. It
 gine from scratch, and with Google’s            Google’s Search Appliance, which is      doesn’t have the ability to scan data-
 tools it is possible to implement a          designed for medium-sized and large         bases and lacks RAID support, but it
 world-class search engine for your Web       businesses, indexes up to 500,000 doc-      uses the same search technology as the
 site in less than an hour.                   uments in its basic $30,000 GB-1001         Google Search Appliance and also has a
                                              version, whereas a fully upgraded           limited ability to divide Web content
 Size Up The Costs                            $450,000 GB-8008 model indexes up to        into separately searchable collections.
    Of course, all of this costs money,       15 million documents.                          Perhaps most importantly, none of
 but Google’s prices are reasonable                                                       the Google hardware products requires
 when one considers how much it               Feature-Rich On A Budget                    much maintenance. After the initial
 costs to create a search engine from            Despite its ease of installation and     configuration, they automatically and
 scratch. “A midsized organization is         configuration, the Google Search            constantly scan your Web site and net-
 going to spend between $50,000 to            Appliance has some very powerful fea-       work for new content and index it in-
 $300,000 to license, customize,              tures. It uses the same PageRank tech-      stantly, letting you add new content
 manage, build out infrastructure, and        nology Google does to organize search       without having to do any extra work af-
 update a search system in its first year     results by relevance with terrific accu-    terwards. You can’t put a price on that
 of operation,” says search technology        racy, and it also incorporates the same     for harried business owners who may
 guru Stephen Arnold, President of AIT        automatic spellcheck technology that’s      not have an IT staff on which to rely. ❙



                                                                                         Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 131
                                                      THE BUSINESS END




          The Ins & Outs
                                                                                        design ads, and host them on your
                                                                                        Web site. With AdSense, Google can
                                                                                        do that for you, drawing on a base of
                                                                                        thousands of advertisers and sending


           Of AdSense
                                                                                        you a check based on how many ads
                                                                                        you show and how many of those ads
                                                                                        are clicked. You can set yourself up
                                                                                        in a matter of minutes, choose how
          Depending On Your Web Site,                                                   ads are displayed (or even choose
                                                                                        which ads are displayed), and get
    Google’s Ad Program Could Earn You Money                                            real-time reports on your site’s profit
                                                                                        potential, all for free.
                                                                                           But how much sense does AdSense
                                                                                        make? Does it really work, and if it
                                                                                        does, what kind of sites does it work
                                                                                        for? If you’re a lone Webmaster build-
                                                                                        ing a site with no staff or support
                                                                                        team, do you have enough time to
                                                                                        dabble in AdSense, and does it pay?
                                                                                           Let’s find out.


                                                                                        The Nuts & Bolts
                                                                                           As long as there’s been a World
                                                                                        Wide Web, there’s been a problem
                                                                                        with ads. Most often it’s a problem of
                                                                                        quantity: There are just too many ads
                                                                                        for too little content on a given Web
                                                                                        page, and users who want nothing but
                                                                                        information are hit with dozens of ads
                                                                                        that blink, shimmer, or pop up in an-
                                                                                        noying windows. What’s more, the
                                                                                        ads are rarely relevant. A visit to a
                                                                                        Web site on puppies can give you ads
                                                                                        about cat food, French cuisine, or a
                                                                                        low-rate mortgage.
                                                                                           Not so with AdSense. Google’s pro-


   I
                                                  Enter Google, the rising star that    gram lets you put relevant ads on
       f you’re reading this, you likely       has everyone from Wall Street to         your Web site; ads that are aimed at
       have a Web site.                        main street watching. Google’s Ad-       your viewers and the content they
      And if you’re like millions of other     Sense program, once the province of      want. And it lets you get paid for
   companies (or just a single person)         big companies with more than 20          them, too.
   with a well-designed Web site, you may      million page views per month, now           How? First is the AdSense For
   have spent weeks or even months in          lets even the smallest of Web sites      Content program. Just sign up your
   production, haggling with design-           monetize their content by showing        Web site with Google, which spiders
   ers over the difference between aqua        relevant ads from the Google net-        (or reads) the site and makes judg-
   and teal, or dealing with coder-            work. Google’s PR team even claims       ments about its content. Google then
   curmudgeons whose job is to make            that AdSense could be the fastest (and   gives you a snippet of code that you
   your site’s back-end sing. And after the    simplest) way to make your Web site      drop into a Web page on your site.
   late nights and early mornings, the de-     resemble a cash register.                That code will display ads tailored to
   sign sessions and project management           And it may be right. After all, it    your site’s content, and you can put
   meetings, you’re left with a single, all-   takes a phalanx of salesmen, book-       those ads on as many or as few pages
   too-important question: How do I            keepers, designers, and programmers      as you like, in nearly any position
   make the Web site make money?               to find advertisers, sign them up,       you like. You can even choose the



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                                                       THE BUSINESS END




If you’d like to see the kind of ads that Google will put on your site,
                             just use the free AdSense Web tool at
                www.about-adsense.com/adsense-web-tool.html.

shape, color, and size of the ads that           you’ve seen them before. In fact,           your site, just use the free AdSense
will display to match your existing              anyone who’s done a Google search           Web tool at www.about-adsense
design. Google offers you 200 colors             has seen AdWords: They’re dis-              .com/adsense-web-tool.html. In the
and 24 preset palettes, but you can              played in a vertical column on the          yellow The AdSense Web Tool box,
also build your own palettes to en-              right side of the results page. But un-     enter your Web site in the search
sure that ads are displayed exactly as           like the ads on other Web sites,            field, click the Show Me button, and
you want them. As for size, visit                they’re modest and fairly unobtru-          you’ll see a sample of ads that could
www.google.com/adsense/adformats                 sive, and they tend to match the            be shown on your site. Google itself
for a sample of the format that                  content of your search query.               offers the AdSense Preview Tool to
Google ads can take.                                How does Google make that                AdSense members. It lets you right-
   With AdSense For Search, the                  match? And how do you know the              click your mouse on any Web page
second AdSense program, you can                  AdWords you show on your site will          and get a list of relevant keywords and
add a Google search                                              be relevant? That, be-      ads that might be shown with the
box to your Web site.                                            lieve it or not, is one     AdSense program.
When users search                                                of the best-kept se-           If you’re not satisfied with the ads
on a keyword, they                                               crets on the Internet.      that AdSense puts on your page, take
view a results page                                              Google has a phalanx        heart: You can tweak the system to
with targeted ads that                                           of linguists, mathe-        give you only the ads you want. You
match your site, the                                             maticians, statisti-        can even block competitive ads or
search term, or both,                                            cians, and high-end         choose your own default ads, using a
and you’re paid for                                              programmers who             number of little-known AdSense fea-
those ads.                                                       build the technology        tures such as the Competitive Filter
   You can use Ad-                                               that reads your Web         (which lets you remove ads of your
Sense For Content                                                site and determines its     competitors) and the Contextual
and AdSense For                                                  content, but Google         Filter (which lets you fine-tune
Search on the same                                               keeps mum on its            Google’s sense of your site’s content,
Web site. In fact,                                               magic formula. It           to keep the wrong ads from showing
Google recommends                                                does, however, state        up in the first place). You can even
you do so to bolster                                             that keywords, place-       choose a default ad that displays on
your earnings, since                                             ment, repetition, and       your Web site if Google can’t find one
Google pays you for                                              even your domain            to match your criteria.
both the number of                                               name are all part of
ads displayed on your                                            the mix. For instance,
                                                                                             How Long & How Much?
site (an impression)                                             a Web page that puts
and the number of                                                the word “artichoke”           Once they know the basics, most
times they’re clicked       Google has a special name for        six times at the top of     AdSense users ask the same two ques-
(a click-through).          an advertisement: AdWord.            the page will score         tions: How long does it take to set up,
                            Pictured above are AdWords           better for artichoke        and how much will I make?
                            displayed on the results page of     content than one that          Let’s tackle the first question. It
AdWords: The                a search for “iPod.” AdSense         mentions the word           takes about five minutes to sign up
Building Blocks             counts the number of AdWords         only once at the bot-       for AdSense. Just point your browser
   AdWords are the          shown on your Web site, as well      tom of the page.            to www.google.com/adsense and
ads that Google dis-        as the number of times a user           If you’d like to see     click the button marked Click Here
plays on your Web           clicks them, to determine how        the kind of ads that        To Apply. You’ll be asked to fill
site, and no doubt          much to pay you each month.          Google will put on          out a brief form with your name or



                                                                                           Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 133
                                                      THE BUSINESS END




                                              company name, address, and other           split between you and Google in a
    Google’s Not The                          basics. Then you’ll enter your Web         ratio that Google has yet to release
                                              site’s URL and choose a username           to the public.
    Only Game In Town                         and password for your account.                But there’s one thing that’s cer-
                                              Once you’re done, Google will re-          tain with AdSense, and that’s when

    A     dSense is by far the kingpin of
          online ad programs for small
    and midsized Web sites (and some
                                              view your application and approve
                                              or deny it within two days. (Google
                                              denies sites that have illicit con-
                                                                                         you’ll get paid. Like clockwork,
                                                                                         Google will send you a check or an
                                                                                         electronic funds transfer within 30
    would argue for large sites, as well).    tent, such as pornographic material,       days of the end of the month in
    But it’s not the only game in town.       drugs, or gambling.)                       which your account balance is $100
    There are dozens of other ad net-            Once you’re approved, you’ll need       or greater.
    works that will trade you a fee for a     to drop some Google code into your            The best way to know how big that
    bit of on-screen real estate. Some of     Web site. Simply log on to your            check will be—and in truth, the only
    them include:                             AdSense account and choose the             certain way to do so—is to sign up for
                                              size, shape, and color of the ads          AdSense and start putting ads on your
                                              you’d like to show. Google will spit       site. AdSense users can view their
                                              out a block of code that you cut and       earnings at any time by logging on
    Tribal Fusion                             paste into the HTML (Hypertext             to their account and choosing the
                                              Markup Language) on your own               Reports tab. You’ll see a display of the
      TribalFusion serves 9 billion
                                              Web site. If you’re not sure how to        number of impressions and clicks, the
    monthly impressions on all kinds of
                                              do this, you’ll need the help of a         click-through rate, and of course your
    Web sites, including marquee
                                              good Web designer to work the code         earnings to date.
    names such as Apartments.com and
                                              and make sure it’s done well.
    The Chicago Sun-Times. But to
                                              But don’t worry: It’s a simple
    qualify for its program you must
                                              task that most designers can do
    have at least 2,000 unique users per
                                              in minutes.
    day. (Google, by contrast, has no
                                                 With the code in place, Google
    minimum user count.)
                                              will put AdWords on your Web
                     www.tribalfusion.com
                                              site at once, tracking the number
                                              of times they’ve been viewed and
                                              clicked, which adds money to
                                              your account.
    MaxOnline
                                                 How much money? That de-
      A division of rival search engine       pends on a number of factors.
    AskJeeves.com, MaxOnline works            First, sites with more traffic will
    with site publishers and email mar-       be paid more, since Google pays
    keters. Members of their network          AdSense users for the number
    must have 500,000 page impressions        of impressions as well as the
    per month.                                number of click-throughs.
                    www.maxonline.com            And some ads pay more than
                                              others. Ads for iPods, for in-
                                              stance, may pay more than ads
                                              for artichokes. (When was the
    FastClick                                 last time you ate one?) Only
                                              Google and the advertisers
       FastClick pays up to a whopping
                                              themselves know the exact price
    65% of ad revenues directly to Web
                                              of an ad, which is always in flux    You can format AdWords in a number of shapes,
    site owners, and it asks for only 3,000
                                              as Google auctions off search        sizes, and colors to make them less obtrusive on
    page impressions per month. Like
                                              terms and ad placements all day,     your Web page. Three common formats are shown
    Google’s AdSense, the FastClick
                                              every day through its Web site.      above. At the top is a banner that’s 468 x 60 pixels.
    system has tools that let you filter
                                              And bear in mind that you            On the bottom left is a button that’s 125 x 125
    and exclude ads based on the rele-
                                              won’t get the full amount that       pixels. And on the bottom right is perhaps the most
    vance of their content.
                                              an advertiser pays for the display   popular format, known as a skyscraper. This version
                       www.fastclick.com
                                              of an ad on your site; it will be    of the skyscraper is 160 x 600 pixels.



134 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                            THE BUSINESS END




                                                                                                       First, you can put up to three ad
                                                                                                    units on any page of your Web site.
                                                                                                    (For most site owners, of course,
                                                                                                    three is more than enough.) And
                                                                                                    you can put no more than two
                                                                                                    AdSense For Search boxes on any
                                                                                                    one page.
                                                                                                       You can’t put a Google ad on any
                                                                                                    page of your site that doesn’t display
                                                                                                    useful content, such as a contact
                                                                                                    screen or a page that describes your
                                                                                                    Web site’s legal policy. Those may
                                                                                                    be useful to you, but Google wants
                                                                                                    nothing to do with them. And
                                                                                                    you can’t put ads on pages that
                                                                                                    show nothing but ads. It’s a trick
                                                                                                    that Google has long been wise to,
                                                                                                    and it can get you thrown out
                                                                                                    of AdSense.
                                                                                                       Yes, you can sell other ads on your
                                                                                                    site—AdSense does not make an ex-
ScienceDaily relies on Google’s AdSense for two-thirds of its revenue. Here, The Google AdWords
                                                                                                    clusive claim to your on-screen real
are shown with a red border for emphasis. The owners of ScienceDaily saw their revenue jump 10%
                                                                                                    estate—but you must let an AdWord
when they moved the AdWords toward the top of the page.
                                                                                                    launch a new window from your Web
                                                                                                    site. In other words, people who click
                                                  stock of fresh content that draws large           an AdWord on your Web site will
Making The Most Of It                             numbers of users. And Google pro-                 leave your Web site.
   Once you know how to get moving,               hibits the use of AdSense on sites with              There are other restrictions, of
how can you make the most of Ad-                  “excessive” profanity or violence (a              course. Among these is the rule
Sense? To some, AdSense can seem                  distinction that’s up to Google, not              against using incentives that ask users
less of a science and more of an art,             you, to make) or the presence of any              to click ads, including a “Visit Our
and there are plenty of tricks to using           form of bigotry. Content about illicit            Sponsors” line that’s all too common
it well.                                          or even prescription drugs, hacking,              on the Web. Google insists on avoid-
   First, you should know that Ad-                and tobacco are verboten, as are                  ing these techniques because it lowers
Sense won’t perform equally well for              pornography, gambling, or simply ex-              their advertisers’ costs. And you
every Web site. It works best on sites            cessive advertising and pop-ups that              can only label your ads with the
with heavy traffic. (The more traffic,            exceed five windows per user session.             words “Advertisements” or “Spon-
the more money you make.) Of                         All this aside, you’ll benefit from            sored Links,” nothing else.
course, sites with heavy traffic are              choosing the right format for your                   But apart from such restrictions,
most often sites with useful, fresh               AdWords. Google claims that wide                  AdWords can be a useful and even
content, so don’t expect a stale elec-            formats tend to work better than tall             lucrative tool for your Web site. It
tronic brochure that’s been online                formats, since they let viewers read a            not only pays you for ads you dis-
since last quarter to bring in major              block of words or a whole ad without              play, but it also tends to display only
dollars through AdSense.                          having to scan down a page. The large             those ads that users want to see,
    Niche sites, on the other hand,               rectangle format (336 x 280 pixels),              based on the nature of your content.
tend to do well. Sites that talk about            the medium rectangle (300 x 250                   In the end, that means you’re doing
specialized fields with an eager audi-            pixels), and the wide skyscraper (160             more than making some money;
ence are likely to have many viewers,             x 600) are known to work best.                    you’re using Google to give users a
be they neurologists or Tibetan                                                                     better Web site, and that’s a useful
Buddhists. And of course, if your                                                                   pursuit indeed. RS
                                                  The Fine Print
niche site draws ads with high-paying
keywords, all the better.                           As always, there are restrictions to                                    BY   DAVID GARRETT
   Personal Web sites rarely do well              deal with. You should know the basics
with AdSense, unless they have a                  before you sign up for AdSense.



                                                                                                  Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 135
                                                    THE BUSINESS END




       Google Desktop
                                                                                         The search page looks like the
                                                                                      Google page, with a single entry field
                                                                                      where a user inputs keywords and
                                                                                      then gets relevant results that provide


         Search For
                                                                                      links to the information. With
                                                                                      Desktop, a result might link to an
                                                                                      email, for example, and provide basic
                                                                                      information about the sender, when it


         Enterprise                                                                   was sent, and the subject line.
                                                                                         Google Desktop Search For Enter-
                                                                                      prise has the same capability as the
                                                                                      consumer-oriented version, but with
                                                                                      several features specifically geared for
           Simplify Your Search For Documents,                                        company use, such as enhanced secu-
                     Emails & Web Sites                                               rity, centralized configuration, and
                                                                                      easy companywide installation.

                                                                                      How It Works
                                                                                         Find Google Desktop Search For
                                                                                      Enterprise at desktop.google.com/en
                                                                                      terprise. After filling out a registration
                                                                                      form, you can download the applica-
                                                                                      tion for free. The download includes a
                                                                                      PDF file for administrators that’s de-
                                                                                      signed to make installation easy on a
                                                                                      computer network.
                                                                                         Following its fairly quick installa-
                                                                                      tion process, the application begins to
                                                                                      index files, so it can have them handy
                                                                                      for later searches. This is akin to going
                                                                                      through a company file room and
                                                                                      looking at every document in the cab-
                                                                                      inets to know where each file folder is,
                                                                                      what’s in it, and what content is in-
                                                                                      cluded in those papers.
                                                                                         The time it takes for the indexing
                                                                                      process depends on how much infor-


   A
          productive company can no         it to continue in their tasks. That’s     mation is on a company network and
          longer be identified by scur-     why Google introduced its Desktop         how much hard drive space is taken
          rying employees and the con-      Search For Enterprise, a free tool that   up by searchable files, so users
   tinual jangle of telephones. Today’s     helps employees find what they need       shouldn’t plan to download the soft-
   wired workforces display their pro-      on their own computers in a way           ware and begin using it immediately.
   ductivity by the steady click-clack of   that’s similar to doing a search on       For an indication of indexing time,
   keyboards and, more tellingly, by the    Google (www.google.com).                  users have reported that the process
   creation of hundreds, if not thou-          The application grew out of Google     tends to take between three to five
   sands, of new documents every day.       Desktop, a Windows-based PC tool          hours for a 10-computer network.
      But creating so many new docu-        for consumers that gives them easy           Network admins can set the software
   ments is only half of productivity.      access to information on their com-       to index only certain file types, if a
   Without the ability to find relevant     puters and from the Web. It can look      company is reluctant to peer into email
   information and reference past work      through email, computer documents,        and Web history information. Once
   quickly, employees will be left          music, photos, instant messaging chat     the selected files are indexed, Google is
   spending far too much time searching     sessions, and Web pages that have         able to quickly tap in to that infor-
   for what they need, rather than using    been visited.                             mation and provide small snippets of



136 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                                THE BUSINESS END




descriptions in its search results. To go              desktop search tool. But it’s likely that         which includes Microsoft Group
back to the file room analogy, it’s like               Google will be tweaking this part of the          Policy settings. These settings let a
asking someone that’s just evaluated                   software in the future because in late            systems administrator—or anyone at
every document what they know about                    August the company came out with its              a company that’s installing the soft-
a certain letter, for example, and having              own instant messaging and voice appli-            ware—put security controls in place
them tell you who it’s from, when it                   cation called Google Talk.                        during the indexing process. This is
was sent, and which line in the letter is                 Desktop Search For Enterprise                  vital for protecting sensitive company
relevant to your question.                             sorts results in several ways. At the
                                                       top the page tells the user how many
Benefits For Users                                     emails, files, Web histories, and chats             Advanced Search
                                                       a term appears in and then gives more
   Google has made sure to include a                   description in subsequent listings. For
large number of popular business file
types and applications in the search
                                                       example, a search for “sales presenta-
                                                       tion” could bring up an AIM chat
                                                                                                           F    or companies that need more
                                                                                                                advanced search capabilities and
                                                                                                           are willing to spend some money to
capability, including Outlook, IBM                     with another employee, a page from                  achieve it, Google has stronger stuff
Lotus Notes, Outlook Express, Net-                     the company intranet about confer-                  with the Google Mini appliance for
scape Mail, Mozilla Mail, and Thun-                    ence room booking schedules, or an                  small and medium-sized businesses
derbird. Business file types that can be               email announcement about an up-                     and the Google Search Appliance for
searched include Word, Excel,                          coming presentation. You can sort the               large companies.
PowerPoint, PDF, MP3, image, audio,                    results either by date or relevance.                   Both appliances function in a way
and video files. The tool can look                        When combined with one of                        that’s similar to Google Desktop
through some sections of a company                     Google’s search appliances, the Desk-               Search For Enterprise but with much
                                                                   top Search For Enterprise               more power and search functions that
                                                                   application can also tap in             are specifically geared for company in-
                                                                   to the Internet for search              tranets and internal documents.
                                                                   results or dig deeper in                   One immediately noticeable way
                                                                   a company network and                   that the appliances differ from
                                                                   provide a single page of re-            Desktop is that they are appliances,
                                                                   sults that pull together in-            rather than software. This means
                                                                   formation from across hard              they are both pieces of hardware,
                                                                   drives, the intranet, and on-           each looking similar to a small pizza
                                                                   line resources.                         box, that are hooked up directly to a
                                                                                                           company’s network hardware.
                                                                                                              Because everything that’s needed
After indexing the hard drive, Google Desktop Search For           Administrator Features
                                                                                                           for searching is in this appliance, it
Enterprise can locate files and identify if they’re emails,            Where Desktop Search                gives a company greater capability
viewed Web pages, or other kinds of documents.                      For Enterprise distinguishes           than software, which has to be down-
                                                                    itself as a corporate tool is in       loaded and installed on every com-
                                                                    its administrative features,           puter or accessed from a central point
intranet, but with much less capa-                     which are designed to keep company                  on the network. With the appliance,
bility than using one of Google’s ap-                  information secure and streamline im-               Google searches become integrated
pliances (see sidebar).                                plementation and maintenance.                       with the network and can therefore
   For recently viewed Web pages, the                     Unlike the consumer-based Desktop                look more deeply into its nooks and
tool can look through Internet Explor-                 Search, which is installed by a single              crannies to find information.
er, Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox. It                 user for a single machine, the enter-                  The appliances differ from each
doesn’t cover the Safari browser from                  prise version is meant to be distributed            other in how much they search, and
Apple or the Opera browser.                            and updated from a central location                 their cost. The Google Mini can
   One limitation for the searches is in               and configured by a Windows admin-                  search up to 100,000 documents
the chat sessions. Because the enter-                  istrator. It can be updated with patches            and costs $2,995, while the Google
prise search tool can only look through                and new versions on the administra-                 Search Appliance starts at $30,000
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), com-                      tor’s computer and then pushed to em-               for searching 500,000 documents
panies that use Yahoo! or Microsoft’s                  ployee desktops through the network.                and can be scaled up in cost and ca-
MSN Messenger may find they have                          The application comes with a                     pability to the point of searching 15
limited search capability using the                    Microsoft Windows Installer package,                million documents. ❙



                                                                                                       Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 137
                                                             THE BUSINESS END




   information that’s at different                                                                         with their counterparts at other
   levels. After all, making salary in-                                                                    companies who are also using
   formation that’s in the network                                                                         Google’s desktop search tools.
   available to anyone who does a                                                                             For IT the support package is
   search isn’t quite what many                                                                            handy as well because you’re no-
   companies have in mind when                                                                             tified about new Desktop Search
   they want to boost employee pro-                                                                        releases, which lets the IT depart-
   ductivity through file searching.                                                                       ment test versions before de-
      User preferences can be cen-                                                                         ploying them companywide.
   trally managed by Group Policy
   so that certain intranet pages are
                                                                                                           Looking Ahead
   blocked from indexing or only se-
   cure Web pages can be accessed            Google lets you know how much of the hard drive has been         In terms of where Google is
   during a history search.                  indexed and how many files are included in the process.       going with its Desktop Search For
      Even if there are multiple users                                                                     Enterprise, the company points
   on the same computer, which hap-                                                                        to a major update to its private
   pens often with interns, part-time                                                                      user software, now called Google
   employees, or centrally located                                                                         Desktop 2, which was revamped
   workstations, the settings can be                                                                       in August.
   tweaked according to user, not to                                                                          The update is geared toward
   the machine. So even if Billy the                                                                       making Desktop easier to use and
   intern and Greta the accounting                                                                         to make it possible for users to get
   assistant use the same computer,                                                                        information without searching.
   she would be able to search on fi-                                                                      The company compares it to a
   nancial documents, but he would                                                                         personal Web assistant that learns
   be blocked from seeing them as                                                                          about your habits and interests
   part of his search results.                                                                             and then presents Web pages,
      Administrators are also able to        The Desktop Search For Enterprise tool comes with an          news stories, and photos it thinks
   create search tabs for their Desktop      extensive administrator’s guide that goes into great          you’ll be interested in.
   Search For Enterprise applications.       detail on security, access, and setting information.             The results come up in a small
   These tabs appear at the top of a                                                                       box called the Sidebar on the
   search page and include locations                                                                       user’s Desktop, arranged by cate-
   to search, such as Web, Images,                support package available for $20,000               gory. For example, email alerts from
   Groups, Local, and Desktop. If an ad-          per year for an unlimited number of                 personal contacts are in one section,
   ministrator notices a large number of          users. Google notes that many com-                  while news headlines have their own
   searches that lead users to the intranet,      panies sign up for the support service              section, and Web video clips can be
   for instance, she may want to add a            so employees can get immediate help,                accessed from another section.
   search tab that relates specifically to        without having to put in a request for                 The Desktop 2 refreshed features
   that area of the network, so users can         assistance from the IT department or                aren’t yet available in the enterprise
   choose to search only the intranet, and        struggle through Google adminis-                    edition, but Google notes that glancing
   not hard drives and chat transcripts, by       trator documentation on their own.                  through the tweaks in Desktop 2 will
   first clicking that tab and then entering          With premium support, companies                 give users a good idea of where the en-
   their search term.                             are guaranteed quick response from                  terprise edition is headed.
      The search application can also be          Google Desktop Search experts, as                      As employees create more docu-
   integrated with one of Google’s search         well as access to a support site specifi-           ments, their hard drives filling up with
   appliances (see sidebar) and provide           cally geared toward the enterprise edi-             presentations, spreadsheets, emails,
   the same level of security, but with a         tion. The support site can be useful                and company news, the ability to
   broader swath of search results that           for IT managers as well as users, since             search through all the data will be-
   can access more of the network.                it provides in-depth technical detail               come increasingly important, making
                                                  that helps users tweak the software                 Google Desktop Search For Enterprise
                                                  and make the most of their searches.                a valuable way to pick relevant needles
   Support Service                                    The premium support fee also                    out of very large haystacks. RS
      Although Desktop For Enterprise is          grants membership to a robust user
   free to download, there is a premium           forum, where employees can interact                                        BY ELIZABETH MILLARD




138 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google
                                                   THE BUSINESS END




              Delve Deep
                                                                                        company can use this information to
                                                                                        improve the customer’s Web browsing
                                                                                        experience. For instance, if the Web
                                                                                        analysis software reports that 90% of a


              With Urchin
                                                                                        given Web page’s visitors are leaving
                                                                                        before ever seeing a single product,
                                                                                        then the company might consider in-
                                                                                        troducing a few of the more popular
    Analyze Your Web Traffic For Fun & Profit                                           products on the home page. This is
                                                                                        just one of the many ways in which
                                                                                        companies can make sure they get the



G
           oogle’s use of tar-                                                             most for their advertising dollars.
           geted advertising
           helped turn the
                                                                                                Urchin 6 On Demand
           millions of daily
Google visitors into bil-                                                                              The primary goal of any
lions of dollars. If Google’s                                                                       company that has a retail
omnipresence isn’t proof                                                                            presence on the Internet is
enough of its success, con-                                                                         to attract visitors to the site
sider that Microsoft’s CEO,                                                                        and convert those visitors
Steve Ballmer, recently                                                                             into customers. Urchin’s
said his company only                                                                                On Demand service, the
needed $29 billion in ad-                                                                             latest version of Urchin’s
vertising and possibly “a                                                                             Web analytics offering,
few years” to beat Google                                                                            provides more than 80 re-
in the search engine mar-                                                                            ports encompassing ecom-
ket. With the acquisition of                                                                        merce development, visitor
the Urchin Software Cor-                                                                          tracking, marketing campaign
poration, Google is out to help                                                                results, search engine mar-
businesses target their advertising                                                         keting, and navigational analysis.
and optimize their Web content.                                                         Companies can use Urchin 6 On
Whether your Web site’s goal is to at-                                                  Demand’s reports to track their cus-
tract customers or provide informa-
                                           Build A Better Web Site                      tomers and visitors from the moment
tion, Urchin can take the anonymity           If you’ve spent any time scouring         they are directed to the site (via search
out of your Web site’s traffic.            the Web for specific information or a        engines, links, banner ads, keywords,
                                           product you’re not sure exists, then         and emails) to the moment they leave.
                                           you’ve no doubt seen your share of              Who’s who. Urchin 6 On Demand
Before Google                                                                           features more than 13 visitor tracking
                                           poorly-designed Web pages that were
   Google agreed to acquire Urchin         frustrating to navigate. Web sites           reports that can help you learn more
Software Corporation in March of           don’t have a built-in mechanism for          about your customers. The service
this year, but dozens of high-profile      reporting how easy it is for users to        compiles data about the behaviors of
companies were already using Ur-           find the information they’re looking         your site’s visitors and then rates
chin’s Web site reporting technology,      for. Rather than relying on the intu-        those visitors. The best visitors are
such as British Telecom, Paramount,        ition of a Web designer or marketing         the ones that become recurring cus-
Symantec, and NBC. Even the U.S.           professional, companies like Urchin          tomers. By revealing the habits of
House of Representatives was using         offer Web site analytics software and        these visitors, you can tailor your site
Urchin to gauge traffic on www.house       services that can help a company de-         to attract more of them and ulti-
.gov and other associated government       termine the effectiveness of a Web site      mately increase revenue.
pages. Not much has changed since          or advertising campaign.                        Urchin records and reports the visi-
Google’s acquisition. Urchin still of-        Analytics software and services offer     tors’ click paths so that you can deter-
fers its Web site analysis tools as both   advertisers and Web site owners a            mine which links are the most effective
a service that companies can sub-          detailed record and interpretation           and which ones don’t generate a lot of
scribe to and as a downloadable soft-      of every visitor’s experience while          traffic. You can also use Urchin’s ser-
ware package.                              browsing a company’s Web page. The           vice to segment your visitors. If your



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                                                       THE BUSINESS END




   Web site asks visitors to supply data       near the head of each of your site’s         as each unique visitor, the visitor’s click
   such as job title, age, or any other per-   pages. Once you’ve finished updating         paths, first-time visitors, returning visi-
   sonal information, the software can         your pages, you’re ready to view             tors, and frequently returning visitors,
   calculate which types of visitors be-       Urchin 6 On Demand’s reports.                similarly to Urchin 6 On Demand.
   come your best customers. Urchin can           As we went to press, Urchin was of-          Urchin developed the E-Commerce
   track your visitors’ activities based on    fering a free 30-day trial of Urchin 6       Module with online businesses in
   their language, browser, and connec-        On Demand. In May Google an-                 mind. This module analyzes your
   tion speed. These visitor tracking fea-     nounced that it was slashing the On          ecommerce site’s revenues both by
   tures can also help a company develop       Demand pricing from $495 per month           product and by quantity. You can also
   a marketing strategy that aims to target    to $199 per month for up to 100,000          see what percentage of your total rev-
   a specific type of Web user.                page views (viewable report screens).        enue is coming from customers re-
      Progress report. Urchin 6 On             You can also purchase additional page        ferred to your site by specific search
   Demand includes reports that keep           views at $99 per million.                    terms and domains. The E-Commerce
   track of your paid, organic (unpaid),                                                    Module lets you tailor your site to all
   and keyword search results. Based on                                                     the right markets by revealing where
                                               Urchin 5 Profit Suite
   your advertising budget, this feature