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Meeting The Googlers
NYTimes ^ | Mar. 24, 2004 | David Pogue

Posted on 03/27/2004 7:06:00 AM PST by COUNTrecount

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Meeting the Googlers

Set the TiVo! This Sunday morning, "CBS News Sunday Morning" will begin with my report on Google, the Web search page-slash-cultural deity that's expected to go public this Spring — the biggest in high-tech history, with a valuation as high as $25 billion.

It was a real kick to interview Google's executives and staff. Along the way, I asked each interview subject to name their favorite Google tips and tricks.

Few of the tricks made it into the TV segment — but you, the shrewd subscriber to this newsletter, get them hot off the press.

• Download and install the Google toolbar. Not only does it put the Google search box into your browser full-time, but it also blocks pop-up ads and fills in forms for you. For Windows at http://toolbar.google.com. (Ad blocking, form-filling and Google's search box are already built into the Apple's Web browser, Safari.)

• Phrase your question in the form of an answer. "After all, you're not looking for Web pages that ask your question," explains director of technology Craig Silverstein. "You're looking for pages that answer it."

So instead of typing, "What is the average rainfall in the Amazon basin?", you might get better results by typing "The average rainfall in the Amazon basin is."

• This is an old one, but very important: Put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. If you put quotes around "electric curtains," Google won't waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word "electric" and another set containing the word "curtains."

• Similarly, put a hyphen right before any word you want screened out. If you're looking up dolphins, for example, you'll have to wade through a million Miami Dolphins pages unless you search for "dolphins -Miami."

• Google is a global White Pages and Yellow Pages. Search for "phonebook:home depot norwalk, ct," Google instantly produces the address and phone number of the Norwalk Home Depot. This works with names ("phonebook:robert jones las vegas, NV") as well as businesses.

Don't put any space after "phonebook." And in all of the following examples, don't type the quotes I'm showing you here.

• Google is a package tracker. Type a FedEx or UPS package number (just the digits); when you click Search, Google offers a link to its tracking information.

• Google is a calculator. Type in an equation ("32+2345*3-234="). Click Search to see the answer.

• Google is a units-of-measurement converter. Type "teaspoons in a gallon," for example, or "centimeters in a foot." Click Search to see the answer.

• Google is a stock ticker. Type in AAPL or MSFT, for example, to see a link to the current Apple or Microsoft stock price, graphs, financial news and so on.

• Google is an atlas. Type in an area code, like 212, to see a Mapquest map of the area.

• Google is Wal-Mart's computer. Type in a UPC bar code number, such as "036000250015," to see the description of the product you've just "scanned in." (Thanks to the Google Blog, http://google.blogspace.com, for this tip and the next couple.)

• Google is an aviation buff. Type in a flight number like "United 22" for a link to a map of that flight's progress in the air. Or type in the tail number you see on an airplane for the full registration form for that plane.

• Google is the Department of Motor Vehicles. Type in a VIN (vehicle identification number, which is etched onto a plate, usually on the door frame, of every car), like "JH4NA1157MT001832," to find out the car's year, make and model.

• For hours of rainy-day entertainment, visit http://labs.google.com. Here, you'll find links to new, half-finished Google experiments-like Google Voice, in which you call (650) 623-6706, speak the words you want to search for and then open your browser to view the results. Disclaimer: It wasn't working when I tried it. (Ditto a lot of these experiments.)

• Poke around the "Services & Tools" link on the Google.com home page and you'll find some of the better-known lesser-known Google features, if that makes any sense.

For example, there's Froogle (product search), News, Groups (Internet discussion boards), Google Catalogs (hundreds of scanned-in product catalogs), Images (find graphics and photos from other people's Web sites), Blogger (publish your own online journal), Google language translation, Google Answers (pay a couple of bucks to have a professional researcher find the answers for you) and much more.

Pretty soon you'll need Google just to search Google!

Visit David Pogue on the Web at DavidPogue.com.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: google

1 posted on 03/27/2004 7:06:01 AM PST by COUNTrecount
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To: Henrietta
I learned a few useful things from this article.
2 posted on 03/27/2004 7:16:06 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: COUNTrecount
This is neat. I'm bttt so I have it for later reference.
3 posted on 03/27/2004 7:21:41 AM PST by freedom1st
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To: COUNTrecount
And I thought I was a Googleophile but I learned a lot more from this post. Thanks!
4 posted on 03/27/2004 7:21:45 AM PST by FReepaholic (Never Forget: www.september-11-videos.com)
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To: COUNTrecount
Bump for good info.
5 posted on 03/27/2004 7:23:30 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: MEG33
ttt need to read later
6 posted on 03/27/2004 7:24:42 AM PST by ralph rotten
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To: tscislaw
Same here, I considered myself a master in the Art of Googlery, that UPC and flight number thing totally got me.
7 posted on 03/27/2004 7:27:32 AM PST by Crazieman
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To: Crazieman
For later.

L

8 posted on 03/27/2004 7:29:54 AM PST by Lurker (Don't bite the hand that meads you.)
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To: COUNTrecount
Thanks for the post. Good stuff..
9 posted on 03/27/2004 7:32:16 AM PST by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1/5 1st Mar Div. Nam 69&70 Semper Fi http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com)
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To: COUNTrecount
Interesting.
10 posted on 03/27/2004 7:33:44 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: COUNTrecount
What they don't mention is the heartbreaking news that Google is beyond liberal and into the active-anti-conservative realm. They'll sell you anti-Bush keyword ads, but not pro-Bush. At least it was that way as of a few months ago. It'll be interesting to see if they maintain that stance once they're answering to shareholders.

MM
11 posted on 03/27/2004 7:34:15 AM PST by MississippiMan
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To: John Robinson; B Knotts; stainlessbanner; TechJunkYard; ShadowAce; Knitebane; AppyPappy; jae471; ...
The Penguin Ping.

Wanna be Penguified? Just holla!

Got root?


12 posted on 03/27/2004 7:36:12 AM PST by rdb3 (It's the terrorism, STUPID! <><)
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To: COUNTrecount
Bttt.

5.56mm

13 posted on 03/27/2004 7:37:04 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: COUNTrecount
This'll prolly mean the end of google.
14 posted on 03/27/2004 7:38:51 AM PST by Musket
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To: kellynla
Some very useful tips.
15 posted on 03/27/2004 7:40:23 AM PST by FastCoyote
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To: COUNTrecount
Very helpful.
16 posted on 03/27/2004 7:41:12 AM PST by gorush
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To: COUNTrecount
Bump for later reference
17 posted on 03/27/2004 7:41:13 AM PST by manic4organic (An organic conservative)
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To: COUNTrecount
20 Great Google Secrets
18 posted on 03/27/2004 7:43:39 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: freedom1st
Google bttt
19 posted on 03/27/2004 7:44:32 AM PST by pointsal
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To: rdb3
Cool stuff as always, thanks.
20 posted on 03/27/2004 7:46:49 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: COUNTrecount
Google gets better al the time

BTTT
21 posted on 03/27/2004 7:57:04 AM PST by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: COUNTrecount
I have the Google Search Bar. I spend as much time on Google as I do on Free Republic, usually looking something up for an FR post. Good tips here. Thanks
22 posted on 03/27/2004 8:02:07 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (I always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: COUNTrecount
bump
24 posted on 03/27/2004 8:10:54 AM PST by xone
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
They need a troll pic toolbar, handy for rapid fire ZOT
25 posted on 03/27/2004 8:11:39 AM PST by cyborg (troll on a stick)
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To: COUNTrecount
bump
26 posted on 03/27/2004 8:28:11 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you must; perform without fail that what you resolve.)
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To: COUNTrecount
bump (good info).
27 posted on 03/27/2004 8:30:47 AM PST by Lokibob (All typos and spelling errors are mine and copyrighted!!!!)
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To: metesky
bttt
28 posted on 03/27/2004 8:47:04 AM PST by Balata
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To: COUNTrecount
bttt
29 posted on 03/27/2004 11:28:19 AM PST by chaosagent (It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop.)
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To: Temple Owl
some great tips
30 posted on 03/27/2004 12:52:12 PM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: COUNTrecount
A gaggle of google stuff.
31 posted on 03/27/2004 1:13:46 PM PST by jokar (After all, they're not Americans, they're only journalists)
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To: Battle Axe
Thanks!!! Ahhhhhh.....my LAST pop-up

I've never had a popup problem. I switched to Mozilla before they got popular.

32 posted on 03/28/2004 11:54:16 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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