January 17, 2005
"Google Hacks, Second Edition": Making the Difference Between Searching and Finding
Sebastopol, CA--When all you need is a quart of milk, you don't care how
many items a store has to offer. All that matters is that you can get the
milk and that it's usable. And, perhaps, you'd like for the price to be
reasonable, for the milk to be your favorite brand, and low-fat, ideally
(because you don't like whole or skim milk); also, in a perfect world, it
would be organic. It's a little like searching on the Web: the number of
choices is irrelevant as long as you can find what you're looking
for...but, having so much to choose from virtually ensures that you'll
find what you need.
The sheer amount of information on the Web can be staggering, but today's
search tools make it possible to zero in on data with amazing precision.
Google is the ultimate search tool: never intimidating and so powerful
that even neophyte researchers become convinced that they're wizards.
However, Google itself is constantly growing and changing. To keep up
with Google's extended reach, the new edition of Google Hacks by Tara
Calishain and Rael Dornfest (O'Reilly, US $24.95)--the first and best
selling book about using Google--has been updated and expanded to cover
Google's new services and capabilities.
According to coauthor Calishain, the second edition of the book is vital
for researchers or anybody who uses Google seriously. "Search engines are
growing more and more important," says Calishain. "The first edition of
Google Hacks covered Google with its two billion pages. Now Google
indexes eight billion, and Yahoo and MSN are right behind it. The search
engine wars are back, and that means new offerings, new features, and new
ultracool ways to make Google go."
Calishain notes that the new edition has been completely reorganized and
offers many new searches, along with coverage of Gmail, Google Desktop,
Google Site Search, and tips on using Google AdWords. But most
importantly, Calishain says, "Readers will be able to use syntax in a
meaningful way to narrow down their searches from the original pool of
eight billion pages. Did I mention that Google has quadruple the pages it
did the first time we wrote about it?"
As with the first edition, Google Hacks, Second Edition is a unique
collection of tips and tools gathered from expert users of Google, as well
as developers who work with Google's API. The book offers a variety of
interesting ways for power users to mine the enormous amount of
information that Google has access to, including how to:
Search smarter with Google's flexible search syntax
Pull results from hard-to-reach places using the Google Web API and a
little Perl, PHP, Python, Java, or .NET programming
Bring the power and flexibility of Google search to your desktop with
Google Desktop and to your web site with Google Site Search
Break down the barriers to online advertising with Google AdWords and
make money yourself with AdSense on your site
Gain a clear understanding of how Google looks at your site and learn
more about Google's famous PageRank algorithm
Change your emailing ways with Gmail, Google's unique take on online
In his foreword to the second edition of Google Hacks, Craig Silverstein,
Director of Technology at Google, observes, "Since Google Hacks first
appeared, search has, if possible, only grown in importance. Not only is
there more information than ever to be found--via email, computer hard
drives, and newly digitized repositories of previously offline
content--there is also a greater need to automate tasks and to locate that
needle of information in a haystack that will just not stop growing."
And Calishain agrees, "Data on the Internet will only get more extensive.
I think we'll see more ways of searching for it, and I think that Google
will lead the way in offering different methods of cutting though the data
to get what you want."
Praise for the previous edition:
"Use Google a little? Use Google a lot? Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest
have published Google Hacks: 100 industrial Strength Tips and Tools, a
book that'll help you improve your searches or, if you're of a mind to do
some coding, let you perform miracles... Honestly, if we'd had any idea
that Google was this smart, powerful and adaptable, we'd have asked 'it'
to run for mayor in 2001."
--Time Out New York
"Think you know how to use the search engine Google? Think again. Unless
you've read the recent book Google Hacks by Tara Calishain and Rael
Dornfest, you probably haven't utilized the many tools, syntaxes, and
special services Google offers."
--Jan Dempsey, "The Syracuse Post-Standard"
"Google is richer than its Preferences menu suggests. Which is why Tara
Calishain and Rael Dornfest's Google Hacks (O'Reilly, $24.95) is
essential reading for web searchers. Tweaking Google's preferences is only
the first of its tips, and there are a hundred to work with. It's only
July, but unless something improbable happens, I'll name this computer
book of the year in December."
--Paul Gilster, "The News & Observer"
Further reviews of Google Hacks can be found here.
Google Hacks, Second Edition
By Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest
ISBN: 0-596-00857-0, 443 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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