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Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks Paperback – Mar 10 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 10 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004477
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,093,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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.


"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

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: 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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I was disappointed in this book. I bought it mainly because of the positive reviews on amazon(.com), but I spent some time with it and I didn't really find much that was useful that I didn't already know. However, I had already spent a lot of time exploring Google in the past, and spent the last five years administering systems, including web servers.
"Hacks" in the title is a misnomer. There's a section of cool hacks outside the Google API, but most of the book is simply a manual to Google. I don't see using built in features as "hacking" (which is a positive term, "cracking" is the term for what pop culture calls hacking).
The book is definitely readable from beginning to end, but would be most useful as a reference for a specific task than a general guide.
All the information in the book is correct, and it's fairly entertaining reading for a book about a search engine. There is a ton of useful information for most average computer users - things that can help you find what you're looking for, faster, easier, less hassle, more fun. Google is indeed much more than "just" a search engine. This would be excellent for people who use the web a lot for anything, but especially researchers.
My problem is that it seems to be marketed toward the computer professional, someone with at least a little programming experience. Smart move, how many others are going to buy a book about a search engine? The reviews I read raved at how useful it was to them, as programmers. However, I found most of the book to be either stuff I already knew, stuff that you could easily find in online help, or things that aren't very useful.
I still did get a few things out of it.
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Format: Paperback
Google is currently the most popular Internet search engine. While almost every Internet searcher is familiar with basics of Google searching, there's far more to Google than meets the eye. Google Hacks tells individual Web searchers and Web site programmers how to best take advantage of Google's tremendous amount of searching power and flexibility.
The first three chapters (Searching Google, Google Special Services and Collections, and Third-Party Google Services) are targeted at the end user. They present a wealth of detail about how to access Google features most users didn't know about (myself included): wild cards, date range searches, spell checking, phone book, translations, and more. You'll learn Google has special directories of images, newsgroups, and mail-order catalogs. (I made sure to NOT tell my wife about the on-line catalog feature!)
The balance of the book is for web site programmers. They get plenty of tips and tricks about how to incorporate Google search technology into their web sites. While many of the tips are not for novice web programmers, most intermediate webmasters can spruce up their sites with the tools presented in Google Hacks.
The production quality is typical O'Reilly, and that means good! Clear screen shots, and crisp dark type make this read easy on the eyes.
If you want to learn how to exploit Google searching, or want to add Google search features to your web site, Google Hacks 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools is a good place to begin the learning process.
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5<P
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It has been quite a while since I have come across a book I'd label 'essential.' The last for non-programming computer users was Robin Williams' 'The Mac Is Not A Typewriter' which I bought for a number of new Macintosh users. 'Google Hacks' by Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest and published by O'Reilly will appeal to an even wider audience, I can imagine buying this for friends who haven't cottoned on to 'net searching at all and friends who complain "Google returns too many sites." People who are afraid to code shouldn't be put off by the "Hacks" in the title: O'Reilly have obviously taken a wider meaning of "hack" than just a neat piece of code. This book is a marvelous compendium of tips and tricks for Google, ranging from simple ways of getting the search results you want, through using Google's newer services such as phone books and image search, all the way to advanced ways of using scrapers and the Google API.
The book demonstrates 100 hacks, of which close to half are useful for everyone -- newbie, programmer and non-programmer alike. The first 35 hacks, in chapters one and two, will educate you about the intricacies of getting the best out of searching both Google's main web catalog and the newer 'Special Services and Collections.' This is the part of the book that should be essential reading for Google users -- in the two days I've had this book these have proved invaluable. The rest are for those who are either looking for extremely advanced search tips, increasing their web site's Google page rank, or programming an application to use the Google data -- all topics well covered in this volume.
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