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

Rael Dornfest , Paul Bausch , Tara Calishain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 13 2006 Hacks

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

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

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

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

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

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Product Description

From Amazon

Everyone loves Google, and it's the first place many people turn to locate information on the Internet. There's a big gap, though, between knowing that you can use Google to get advance information on your blind date and having a handle on the considerable roster of fact-finding tools that the site makes available. Google Hacks reveals--and documents in considerable detail--a large collection of Google capabilities that many readers won't have even been aware of. Want to find the best price on a pair of leg warmers? Try the Froogle price-searcher that's hidden within the Google site. Interested in finding weblog commentary about a particular subject? Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest call your attention to the special Google syntaxes for that purpose. This book makes it clear that there's lots more to the Google site than typing in a few keywords and trusting the search engine to yield useful results.

If you're a programmer--or even just familiar with a HTML or a scripting language--Google opens up even further. A large part of Google Hacks concerns itself with the Google API (the collection of capabilities that Google exposes for use by software) and other programmers' resources. For example, the authors include a simple Perl application that queries the Google engine with terms specified by the user. They also document XooMLe, which delivers Google results in XML form. In brief, this is the best compendium of Google's lesser-known capabilities available anywhere, including the Google site itself. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to get the most from the Google search engine by using its Web-accessible features (including product searches, image searches, news searches, and newsgroup searches) and the large collection of desktop-resident toolbars available, as well as its advanced search syntax. Other sections have to do with programming with the Google API and simple "scrapes" of results pages, while further coverage addresses how to get your Web page to feature prominently in Google keyword searches. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"All in all "Google Hacks" is a fun book to read through and to play with the examples to see what you get." Linux Magazine, September 2003 "In-dept details on getting the most from Google, including site optimisation and submission tips for Web developers." MacUser, December 12th 2003 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book but the info can be found elsewhere June 6 2004
I found Google Hacks to be very good as a book that compiles the tips and tricks of using the google site. The only issue is that most of the info is easily available from web sites and other free sources if you know where to look.
The book is well written and concise. If you use google alot or need specialized info on google I would recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Money-Saving Compilation Feb. 4 2004
This book is what exactly you expect from O'Reilly - great tips, well written, carefully organized and attractively formatted.
It may be that all this information is available for free at various sites on the internet. That does not detract from the value of having valuable information at your fingertips when you need it. Each hack in the book can be located and read in minutes, saving hours of "free" search time. That alone makes the book's price a bargain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Google Hacks Rock! Jan. 10 2004
I used to say that if you give me five minutes, I can find what I'm looking for on the web. After reading this book, I may have to revise that to three minutes. If you get a chance to get this book, do so!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book Dec 19 2003
I am a Search Engine Optimization Consultant myself and I must say that this book is really worth a buy and deserves a prime spot on your Book Shelf. I know some people say that things are pretty much standard....but you just can't expect something to Hack into Google in this book. It is basically a very NICELY organized source of Tips and Tricks to use Google and somethings that work out wonderful because of the Google API.
Overall a must read and a great publication from O'Reilly. if you need more details or personally comments about this book, feel free to email me or IM me. My contact info is available at [...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Google Hacks - Sure Reveals! Dec 7 2003
A chance glance read,'Google Hacks' at a local Bookstore, this one's not the cup of tea for a casual surfer. If one is an HTML expert and excel in scripting language, here's a pick and a cool read. It helps trying new ways to innovate, charges a hacker for productive and constructive use of web enhanced applications. I have a Google Developer Key for 'sambhaav' but never really knew how to use it and this book has tremendous info on the API application. Web Developers would benefit greatly with this book, no doubt, with tips on how to build and modify scripts that can be custom based application on google. This book, not for surfers or casual web designers like me but who indeed aware of Programming and using codes n scripts n perl n xml n what not! Google is an ultimate research tool and a great search engine with good ad words links I like - my fav nex to 'yahoo' search and sure, my websites feature top with key words 'net newspaper for kids' and sure, you find all stars. Google Hacks - a great read for all Web Developers.
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If you are looking for a compilation of googling tips and tricks in a neatly bound format, with a useful index and great visuals, this little collection is as good as it gets. The book is expected O'Reilly cadre -- crisply written by pros who aren't winging it.
Yet, it still puzzles me why this info was necessary in a book form, particularly given the most likely intended audience. Most or even ALL of this info is available either on Google itself, especially on "Google Labs", or on frequently read websites such as Slashdot or Kuro5hin.
Recommended if you want to skip some on-computer reading, but I am still waiting to find tricks here that I haven't found elsewhere on the net for a whopping $0.00.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource Oct. 22 2003
If you want a great resource to maximize your Google search, the first 90 pages or so are for you. I have picked up quite a few tricks that I now use everyday in my research at work.
The bulk of the book deals with the API, and writing applications with it, or integrating it into your exisiting web pages. The next 40 pages or so get you started and are at a level that almost any web developer can understand and apply.
After that, the book hits the API pretty hard, and you are going to need a Google Developer key, and some knowledge or Perl or other scripting language to really make use of it. Even if you dont regularly use Perl, if you know any script at all you can follow along, and it is actually very interesting.
If you are looking for a end-to end Google user's guide, you will find some of that here, but web developers will benefit most.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Become a Good Hacker and Effectively Find Info Sept. 25 2003
Google is powerful for basic searches, which most people conduct by entering a few keywords and letting Google do the rest. Imagine the possibilities especially researchers, students, writers, professionals, and anyone who need to find specific or obscure information just by learning a few tricks. Entering _book reviews_ pulls out any resource having both words in it, not necessarily together as a phrase. Add quotes to "book reviews" and the results display sites with book reviews together as a phrase. This hardly unleashes Google's power. Even entering the keywords in a specific order can affect the results.
You can search around Google's Web site to learn lesser known tips and tricks, but you won't find most of the hacks on the Internet without, ironically, hard searching. As a fervent reader, too often I read well-written books and never take the time to apply the tools and techniques. While reading this one, I immediately put the newfound knowledge to use with cool results and still use it though it's been a few weeks since I opened the book.
You may be aware Google offers Google News, which searches and provides the latest news ([...] But did you know Google News supports two syntaxes? They are "intitle" and "site." "Intitle" searches for keywords within the headline or new item's title while "site" looks for the keyword in a specific site. The authors are straightforward when they mention Google News is not one of the best places for news.
Non-techies, don't let the fact that O'Reilly and Associates is the publisher scare you away because the company's books are often synonymous with high tech topics and the name "hacks" in its title. It doesn't mean "bad" as a hack is also known as a trick or add-on for adding more power to a program or system.
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