Google Hacks, 3rd Edition
Tips & Tools for Finding and Using the World's Information
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: August 2006
Pages: 546

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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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Diappointed in O'Reilly

By UsuallyHappy

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Google Hacks, 3rd Edition:

I generally love O'Reilly books because the authors usually have a close relationship with the subject and can therefore write about the things that will be true when the book comes out. However, this book came out in August '06 but the SOAP API stopped working in December '06. By the time I bought it at the Maker Faire in San Mateo in May '07, none of the web pages or sample code in the first chapter worked.

I suggest forgetting about this book. Google moves too fast, you might as well get the information directly from them instead of reading about APIs and websites that don't work. I sure wish I had.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

GOOGLE HACKS

By Paul from SCUG

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Google Hacks, 3rd Edition:

I'm not a novice surfer but even I rarely scratch the surface of the long list of features

Google offers. This book serves, at the vry least,

to remind me of them. It's a reference book, well indexed to find the feature that will

best serve the purpose at hand. For example, did you know that Google serves as a powerful phonebook? Sadly, it's only for the US so far, but entering in the Google search bar [phonebook:smith ca] without the brackets will list all

the Smiths in California. Entering [phonebook:john smith ca] will narrow the focus. And it returns phone number, street address and zip code for each. Similar keywords exist to restrict information searches to specific websites

[site:] website titles [intitle:], website text [intext:] and to find an expired page [cache:] to name just a handful. We have Gmail accounts and they come with a generous 2GB of mailbox space (each!) but I didn't realize that there is a simple installation that will turn that space

into appearing as an additonal 2GB drive on your machine.

Handy enough if an extra 2GB will buy you some

time before having to get new hardware, but if you want to share your Gmail log-in with family somewhere, you can now have a shared drive for those family photos. An entire chapter deals with tips and tricks for Gmail.

Google maps [http://maps.google.com or http://

maps.google.ca or http://maps.google.co.uk -- you get the idea] offers a quick serving of a map of any location you ask for. Type in an address, or a business name and city, or simply "hotels in Toronto" and up comes a map, zoomable and scrollable, marked with whatever you asked for. A word of caution is warranted here. Many of the features appear to be VERY browser-dependent

(and likely OS-dependent as well). I got VERY

different results using IE5 and IE6 on two different machines.

The newer browser gave the results described

in the book while the older one did not. For example, refocusing the map centre by dragging, or zooming in by clicking a spot, worked in one but not the other. Ever think of Google as a dictionary? Try it! Type in [define:oxymoron] or even [define:phat] since it will offer

up definitions of slang as well as accepted English. Note especially that the syntax for all these keywords requires (a) that the keyword be all lower case and (b)no space following the colon. This book ranges from quick and easy tips to cut through the millions of search hits and more tightly focus your results to programming hacks that you can add to your websites to customize and harness Google's amazing

power. In fact, a full chapter -- 50 pages of the 500 -- are for the programmer and require registration with Google after which you can download a Deveoper's Kit.

Although I may at some point dabble with programming again, for now I'm satisfied to comb through the 47 pages of the Webmastering chapter which shows you how to tweak your own websites to get the most out of Google. I added a search button to mine so that visitors can use

the Google engine to search within the sites. The book also offers links to webmaster tools such as registering your site with Google and submitting a site map to help Google help you and your visitors.

Yes, this is a book that will remain within reach of my keyboard. If you use Google more than rarely, you'll use this book.

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