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March 5, 2003

Google Mastery--Straight from the Experts: O'Reilly Releases "Google Hacks"

Sebastopol, CA--The Internet delivers a wealth of information to your fingertips, and all you need to know is how to find it...which is not always as easy as it sounds. In that enormous, shifting mass of data that makes up the Web, some information will be useful and credible, and much of it will miss the mark entirely. Google, with its deceptively simple search form, is your ultimate research tool--a search engine that indexes more than 2.4 billion web pages, in more than 30 languages, conducting more than 150 million searches a day. The more you know about Google, the more adept you'll be at zeroing in on exactly the data you need. You may have a few tricks up your sleeve--tricks you've learned from practice, from sharing ideas with others, and from plain old trial and error. But if you've wanted the sort of mastery you can only get from the experts, you'll find new inspiration (and valuable tools) in Google Hacks by Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest (O'Reilly, US $24.95).

"Google's an excellent search engine, and more features are being added every day," says coauthor Tara Calishain. "With Google's API you can use Google's huge database of pages in a variety of ways, from the sublime to the really, really silly. If you want to search online, you have to know about Google."

"Google Hacks" is a unique collection of one hundred tips and tools gathered from expert users of Google, as well as developers who are excited about Google's new API. The book offers a variety of interesting ways for power users to mine the enormous amount of information that Google has access to. Each hack can be read in just a few minutes, but can save hours of searching for the right answers. Readers will learn clever and powerful methods for using the advanced search interface and the new Google API, including how to build and modify scripts that can become custom business applications based on Google. Readers will be amazed, if not amused, by what they can do in Google, including:

  • Use special syntaxes in Google's search box to filter results
  • Explore Google's special services: The Google Director, Google Images, Google News, Google Groups, Google Catalogs, Froogle, and other interesting experiments from Google Labs
  • Improve your own web site or weblog by integrating Google applications
  • Write information retrieval programs that use the Google Web API in Java, Perl, PHP, Python, and .NET
  • Enjoy unusual games built on top of Google's huge database
  • Gain a clear understanding of how Google looks at your site, and learn more about Google's famous PageRank algorithm

"With the largest collection of web documents in the world, Google is a reflection of the Web," writes the Google Engineering Team in their preface to the book. "The hacks in this book are not just about Google, they are also about unleashing the vast potential of the Web today and in the years to come. 'Google Hacks' is a great resource for search enthusiasts, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did."

Written by experts for intelligent, advanced users, O'Reilly's new Hacks Series have begun to reclaim the term "hacking" for the good guys. In recent years the term "hacker" has come to be associated with those nefarious black hats who break into other people's computers to snoop, steal information, or disrupt internet traffic. But the term originally had a much more benign meaning, and you'll still hear it used this way whenever developers get together. Our new Hacks Series is written in the spirit of true hackers--the people who drive innovation.

Hacking is "an appropriate application of ingenuity...whether the result is a quick-and-dirty patchwork job or a carefully crafted work of art, you have to admire the cleverness that went into it."
--Eric S. Raymond, "New Hacker's Dictionary"

Additional Resources:

Google Hacks
Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest
ISBN 0-596-00447-8, 329 pages, $24.95 (US), $38.95 (CAN), 17.50 (UK)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

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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