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5.0 out of 5 stars Become a Good Hacker and Effectively Find Info
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...
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by Meryl K. Evans

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but not great
Google Hacks is a fascinating book that catalogs pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about Google. But, the book really consists of two broad sections: One for searchers and researchers; and one for web developers.
While there is much to like about the book, there is also much to ignore. I think at times, the authors emulate the writing style of programming...
Published on May 29 2003 by Cory Kleinschmidt


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4.0 out of 5 stars Google Hacks - Sure Reveals!, Dec 7 2003
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Become a Good Hacker and Effectively Find Info, Sept. 25 2003
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
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. The tech-speak is kept to a minimum, which makes the hacks easy to read and reference. The book has tips for beginners, moderate users, and experts and each hack is represented by thermometer's temperature (high for expert and low for easy) for easy reference.
Techies and programmers have nothing to fear as the book covers APIs (Application Programming Interface), which provide a basic building block for building software applications. In other words, Google Web APIs ([...]) allow developers to query Google's search tool for use in developing software that accesses the many Web sites through Google. For example, a Web site providing the latest news on books and the book industry could use the Google API to regularly update the site with any new news relating to books. APIs for PHP, Python, ASP, C#, .NET, VB, and Java are included.
Try out some of the hacks and get tips from other readers from the O'Reilly's Hacks Web site ([...]) and Tara Calishain's ResearchBuzz buzztoolbox ([...] Reduce the time you spend sifting through garbage by hacking your way with Google using this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but the title is misleading, Aug. 6 2003
By 
Michael J. Edelman (Huntington Woods, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
If you're looking for a book that will teach you to do more effective searches in Google... this isn't it, although it does have a fair number of hacks usable directly from the search window. You can find plenty of good information on doing effective searching in Google itself, in the "All About Google" section, where you'll find a tutorial entitled "How to Search".
"Google Hacks" is really for the programmer looking to integrate Google into other web apps. While a good deal of information on the Google API can be found at Google, along with the downloadable developer's kit, this book provides a number of excellent examples of scripts in various languages. It's not a tutorial, but rather a compilation of shorts hacks and scripts that use Perl (of course), XML, Python, Java, C# and probably others I'm forgetting to add Google functionality to applications.
This isn't a book for the complete novice at scripting, but beginners shouldn't be put off by it. If you have a basic understanding of Perl and HTTP there's a good deal of useful information to be gleaned here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but the title is misleading, Aug. 6 2003
By 
Michael J. Edelman (Huntington Woods, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
If you're looking for a book that will teach you to do more effective searches in Google... this isn't it, although it does have a fair number of hacks usable directly from the search window. You can find plenty of good information on doing effective searching in Google itself, in the "All About Google" section, where you'll find a tutorial entitled "How to Search".
"Google Hacks" is really for the programmer looking to integrate Google into other web apps. While a good deal of information on the Google API can be found at Google, along with the downloadable developer's kit, this book provides a number of excellent examples of scripts in various languages. It's not a tutorial, but rather a compilation of shorts hacks and scripts that use Perl (of course), XML, Python, Java, C# and probably others I'm forgetting to add Google functionality to applications.
This isn't a book for the complete novice at scripting, but beginners shouldn't be put off by it. If you have a basic understanding of Perl and HTTP there's a good deal of usefulk information to be gleaned here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but the title is misleading, Aug. 6 2003
By 
Michael J. Edelman (Huntington Woods, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
If you're looking for a book that will teach you to do more effective searches in Google... this isn't it, although it does have a fair number of hacks usable directly from the search window. You can find plenty of good information on doing effective searching in Google itself, in the "All About Google" section, where you'll find a tutorial entitled "How to Search".
"Google Hacks" is really for the programmer looking to integrate Google into other web apps. While a good deal of information on the Google API can be found at Google, along with the downloadable developer's kit, this book provides a number of excellent examples of scripts in various languages. It's not a tutorial, but rather a compilation of shorts hacks and scripts that use Perl (of course), XML, Python, Java, C# and probably others I'm forgetting to add Google functionality to applications.
This isn't a book for the complete novice at scripting, but beginner's should be put off by it. If you have a basic understanding of Perl and HTTP there's a good deal of usefulk information to be gleaned here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another 'essential', July 17 2003
By 
FPL Analysts (Juno Beach, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
O'Reilly has done it again. They have managed to publish a book that will probably never leave my desk. This book is probably one of the best non-programming books O'Reilly has ever published.
So much of my work is done via internet search engines and of course my engine of choice is Google. Google never lets me down, always providing me the answer with minimal clicks. If any of your work relies on finding information via the Google search engine then this book should be part of your arsenal. There are a lot of functions provided Google that I never knew about.
The first 70 pages of the book are dedicated to performing actual searches and what can be done to tweak them. Chapter 2 goes more into the other services that Google provides. The authors have done a great job providing an overview of the more advanced features this search engine gives you.
Chapters 4, 5 and 6 deal with API applications that use internal Google functions or use other programming languages to maneuver those functions such as PHP, Java, Python, C# and VB.net. Chapter 7 is a great chapter dealing with pranks and games.
Overall, if you can't already tell, I really like this book and can't think of anything that I don't like. Even if you aren't in the IT arena this book is an easy reading and informative addition to your bookshelf.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone, July 9 2003
By 
A Customer (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
This book is useful, fun and, in parts, bemusing. It presents one hundred numbered "hacks" that range from simple, but very useful tips, to moderately ambitious programming efforts.
The great strength of "Google Hacks" is that it has something for everyone. The first few chapters are perfect for those who have no knowledge of programming. The bulk of the book is appropriate for those who have at least some programming experience and are interested in accessing Google programatically. There are many examples scattered throughout that will be of interest to webmasters who want something cool for their website. The final chapter, "The Webmaster Side of Google", is devoted to managing your web site's lineament on Google.
Particularly appealing is the fact that, although most of the programmatic hacks are in Perl, there are examples in no fewer than nine languages. Html, java, php, python, C#, .NET, VB, asp, and possibly other languages, are represented.
Many of the simple tips presented early in the book illuminate useful methods that Google.com itself should do a better job promoting. Google's special syntaxes are a prime example. Want to find John Doe in Mira Mesa? Enter "rphonebook: John Doe 92126" in google's text box. The rphonebook: tells google to look in the residential phone book. 92126 is the zip code for Mira Mesa. The site syntax is very useful. To quickly find the mirror sites for redhat, use "site:redhat.com mirrors". There are many more special syntaxes that use the colon character
Some of the hacks are for amusement only. One must be in the right mood to properly appreciate the "Google Mirror" hack (#91) or the "The No-Result Search" (#86).
The neighborhood hack (#65) may be the most ambitious in the book. It consists of about five pages of Python code. It collects all the sites that link to a given site, then within the collection determines how many times each site is referred to by one of the others. The hack was written by Mark Pilgrim, who has also published a free Python book. You can try the hack yourself at diveintomark.org, where you'll also find a link to Mark's excellent book.
How quickly will "Google Hacks" become dated? Certainly the web itself is growing exponentially. There can be no doubt that Google will change and grow as well. However, I suspect that the majority of principles exposited will continue to work and be relevant for years to come.
"Google Hacks" came out in Februray 2003; it is mid July as I write this review. Given the length of the publishing pipeline and the rate at which things change on the web, I expected significant portions of the book to be out of date. This was not the case. I only found a couple of urls that had changed as well as a single typographical error. The folks at O'Reilly must have gone over the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb!
Acknowledgment: The review copy of the book was donated by O'Reilly to the Kernel Panic Linux Users Group.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know about Google, July 6 2003
By 
ueberhund "ueberhund" (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
Upon picking up this book, I was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of "hacks" outlined. Basically, this book shows various different ways to get Google to provide you with the information you want. Additionally, there is a discussion on accessing the Google API, to integrate this search engine with your custom application. Finally, there is a discussion on what a webmaster can do to increase their "page ranking", the way Google ranks sites.
My favorite section of this book was on accessing the Google web API. Basically, this API allows you to integrate Google searches directly into your application via a web service. In addition to discussing the API, actual program examples are provided in Perl, Java, C#, Python, and VB.NET. For example, you could integrate Google's dictionary directly into Microsoft Word to provide a more comprehensive dictionary than is provided.
Another really cool example provided integrates the Google and Amazon.com's API. In this example, the author shows how these APIs are integrated to show a list of "most popular" books, followed by recent news articles on the books and a list of items that people bought who also purchased the book in question. It's pretty cool and quite impressive.
The book ends with a section dedicated to the web master. This section goes over a good guess for the mathematical equation used in Google's mysterious page algorithm, and describes what you can do to increase your visibility on Google. The book even includes a list of "thou shalt not", which can keep your site from being indexed by Google.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but not great, May 29 2003
By 
Cory Kleinschmidt (Roswell, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
Google Hacks is a fascinating book that catalogs pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about Google. But, the book really consists of two broad sections: One for searchers and researchers; and one for web developers.
While there is much to like about the book, there is also much to ignore. I think at times, the authors emulate the writing style of programming books too closely. That's a problem for all the non-technical people who likely bought the book. As it stands now, the book seems terribly unfocused. Still the authors do an admirable job of trying to tie everything together for their unique audiences.
As a developer, I found the "Google API hacks" to be useful, but the vast majority of the readers probably will not. And the programming tips take up almost half the book.
This is not the only reason I gave Google Hacks three stars. In addition to the problem with focus, the section for webmasters is laughable. Brett Tabke of WembasterWorld, a supposed search engine marketing expert, contributes several of the webmaster "hacks." His sections are perhaps the weakest parts of the book. He tries to explain how to make sure your site ranks highly in Google's search results, but his advice should be ignored.
He makes all sorts of proclamations that have no basis in reality; most of his tips are simply his own personal opinion masquerading as fact. It would be nice if he were to cite his sources, but unfortunately for us readers, he does not.
On the other hand, the guest section written by Andrew Goodman about Google AdWords tips is top-notch and reason enough for buying the book.
All in all, if you're remotely interested in Google, definitely buy this book. But be forewarned about the lackluster guest authors and lack of focus. Who knows? Maybe version two will be better. Keep in mind, also, that this is a book about the Web, so many of the tips contained in the book may be obsolete by the time you read it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent start, May 29 2003
By 
Joab (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks (Paperback)
This is an extremely well-written book that provides a comprehensive look at probably the most important site on the web today. It's sensibly structured for users of different levels - surfers find out about all the lesser-known useful features in the Google site, while web developers get a deep look at the Google Web APIs, which allow add-on services for Google to be developed. And the sweetest part of the book is the information about the many such services that are already out there.
But with that comes the problem with publishing this kind of information in book only format - this list is bound to be out-of-date by the time it reaches the reader. For example, it doesn't mention Google Alert, which has been around since January and must be the most useful Google Web APIs application developed so far (it sends you updates when there are new results for your search).
Overall though, if you are a serious web surfer, Google fan, or are thinking of incorporating some kind of Google features into your site, this is a must read. Let's hope a second edition appears soon!
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