As mentioned, Google is becoming a one-stop shop for searching, advertising, Internet, and webbing. So I thought I’d check out all the Google Page Ranks, Google News, Google Gossip, Google Blues, and information you can use about Google.
We recently wrote about how Google ranks websites, Google Blogsearch, and how to submit your sitemap and feeds to Google, but there is plenty of information on the web about what Google is doing, if you know where to look.
Google Blogoscope and Googler Matt Cuts blogs about all the hot action on Google. The Google Blog is the official Google Blog, highlighting activity in and around Google, and more information on Google can be found at The Unofficial Google Weblog, John Battelle’s Searchblog, Google Weblog, and Google Guy Says.
There is a lot going on with Google Maps and Google Earth. Anaylygis has a Demographic API for Google Maps that uses US Census Data connected with the maps. Blog Flux MapStats uses Google Maps to track your site visitors – where they are coming from to visit your site. If you want to have visitors manually add a pin on a Google Map of where they arrive from, Guest Map is the way to go. Maps.huge.info tracks zipcodes using Google Maps. Just type in a zipcode and it will zoom to the area. Ant Web is a project by California Academy of Sciences that has incorporated the Google Earth interface to locate and monitor “the diversity and wonder of ants: from your backyard to the Congo Basin.” Placeopedia connects Wikipedia with locations on Google Map from the UK and beyond. There are also hacks for Google Earth to make it do things you never dreamed possible. And if this isn’t enough, you can “dig” a hole in the earth and this program will show you where you will arrive if you go straight down using Google Maps.
Google’s A9 Maps project is still underway. The A9 crew is traveling and photographing large cities all over the states in order to create 360 degree landmark “maps” so the user can move “through” a location and zoom in on the landmarks to see where they are going. You can learn more about how Google Earth and Google Maps are being used at Research Buzz’s Internet Tools Mapping.
Google is branching out into all languages including Chinese, Afrikaan, Amharic, Breton, Klingon, Kyrgyz, Xhosa, and Yiddish. For pure silliness, there is Google Elmer Fudd style and Google Bork Bork Bork!.
Into online shopping? We are and we love to shop the Internet. Most mail order catalog companies have now switched over to online shopping and Google now offers Google Catalog Search, helping you find just about anything to buy online “including the full content of hundreds of mail-order catalogs selling everything from industrial adhesives to clothing and home furnishings.” Online catalog companies include William Sonoma, Petsmart, Crate and Barrel, Camping World, J Crew, LL Bean, Garden Botanika, and plenty more.
Google now offers live news feeds from Google News to help keep you up-to-date on what is going on in the world. Talk is starting to bubble up that Google will soon challenge Yahoo’s online calendar with one of their own, further enhancing the benefits of Googling. And there is a lot of talk about Google buying up “dark fiber optic cable” lines to create an alternative Internet network.
Google is trying to be more webmaster friendly. They’ve announced a new effort to notify webmasters when they violate or breech Google rules and regulations.
While Google has recently improved wild card searching, there are many ways to help you use Google better. Some resource for help using Google include Google Guide, Google Help Center, Google Features, Google Search Tips 2005, Google – Advanced Operators Reference Guide, and Google Help Cheat Sheet. And if you want to use Google to help with your family genealogy research, there is even a site to help called Genealogy Search Help for Google.
Into Google Tech? Google Code, called “Google’s place for Open Source software”, may get you excited. While it’s over for this year, the next Google Code Jam might win you some prizes and money for your code jamming efforts.
While everyone is getting excited about the potential of podcasting and vblogging, Google is already working on Google Video, which is just getting started on offering a variety of what might be called “Googlecasts”.
If you are using Google’s advertising features, you can learn more about the program through Google AdWords API Blog, Google Support for Adwords, Digital Point’s Adsense Charts, gives you an estimate of what types of Adsense ads would appear on your website, and Google Adsense Support. The release of their Google Adsense Heat Map and optimization tips really helps webmasters understand where and how to use ads on a website for maximum exposure. You should probably know that Google’s page ranking system monitors ad click throughs, but Boingboing reports the monitoring has escalated to more stealthy methods.
And of course, there are plenty of Google take-offs and fun. Woogle – Words in Pictures returns search results in pictures to represent the phrase or word. Toogle is hard to explain. It uses the words you search combined with images to create collages of words and images that generated a pixelated shadow and light artwork. Very novel graphic use. Googlism lets you know, in a way, what Google thinks about you through its Google search interface. Take some time to also try Googlewhack is a very strange method of taking two words that return only one results – and supposedly that result is a funny commentary on the original terms. Maybe you can figure it out better than I can. There are a lot of rules.
If you are serious about Google, Google offers some fun facts about itself, including the following fact:
The basis of Google’s search technology is called PageRank™, and assigns an “importance” value to each page on the web and gives it a rank to determine how useful it is. However, that’s not why it’s called PageRank. It’s actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page.
Have you ever tried the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google? You can get some very funny results. One of the more famous ones comes when you type in “failure” and click “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Check it out.
Update: Just ran across Using Google to find Movies. You can read about the details there, but this is the link to use:
-inurl:htm -inurl:html -inurl:php intitle:"index of" (mpg|avi|wmv|mp3) "Al Pacino"
Replace the “Al Pacino” with whatever you are searching for. I’m not sure how long this will work before someone puts an end to the fun, but play around with it and see what you come up with.
To go even further, you can look for RapidShare files, and other similar things, through the tips at Tech Recipes – Google: Search Rapidshare For Free Videos, Music, Archives, and Other Files and Use Google to Find Free eBooks (Electronic Books).
More Updates: Google House is an “online process that builds a house with images of domestic rooms (living room, tv room…) picked up on the internet using an image search engine.” Specifically, the Google image search results. Very unusual and amazing.
Do you know any other fun ways to search for things on Google? Or sites with more information on use, and sorta abusing, Google?