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TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide
TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide

Google Search secrets

cdesai12 Goldie

Joined: 18 September 2004
Posts: 1900

Posted: 24 February 2005 at 12:47pm | IP Logged
Google Search secrets

Paul ThurrottBy Paul Thurrott

MSN Search isn't the only search service with advanced features: If you're looking to find a local restaurant or other service, or find map-based information, Google's got you covered too.

In the issue of Windows Secrets, I looked at some of the unique Encarta-based searches you can perform with MSN Search. But MSN Search is a bit late to a game that Google has been dominating for some time. And as you might expect, Google offers a number of unique searches of its own.

Finding what you need

Google this month launched a new mapping service. This integrates with Google's existing "local" directory (described below), but is interesting in its own right:
  • Maps. If you've ever used an application like Microsoft Streets & Trips or MapPoint to find geographic-based data, you'll appreciate the new service, which is currently in beta.

    At its heart, Google Maps is similar to Yahoo! Maps, helping you find directions.

    But Google Maps isn't just about directions. It can also be used to find businesses in a particular area, including restaurants, hotels, and even Wi-Fi hot-spots.

    Its most amazing feature, perhaps, is real-time zoom: You can move from a view that includes all of North America down to the street level with the click of a mouse. And as you resize the browser window, Google Maps resizes the current map to match. It's quite impressive.
Other interesting but largely undocumented or unobvious things you can find with Google are:
  • Local. If you want to find specific businesses and services, Google's latest service, Google Local, is your best bet. Similar to the "Near Me" functionality in MSN Search, Google Local lets you enter the name of an establishment (e.g., Legal Sea Foods) or establishment type (e.g., seafood) in its first search box, followed by a location (e.g., Boston) in the second. Search results are returned in a list accompanied by a map that shows you exactly how close each establishment is. Google Local is a wonderful tool for finding places near you.

  • Track FedEx and UPS packages. Google lets you track FedEx and UPS packages. Simply type in your tracking number and hit the Search button. You can also search by an amazing range of other numbers, including UPC codes (e.g. 085896640684), area codes (e.g 781), and even patent numbers (e.g. patent 6856696).

  • Definitions. To tell Google to search specifically for a definition, type the word define before your search (e.g. define debacle). When you do so, the first search result link will be for Web definitions for the term you entered. You can click on that link to get more definitions.

  • Answers to questions. If you've got a particularly tough question that isn't being answered with normal Google searches, and don't mind paying a bit for the answer, you can visit . Here, you can pay between $2.00 and $200 for a human researcher to find the answer to your question, generally within 24 hours. Google employs over 500 researchers for this purpose.

  • News. is an amazing Web experiment in news aggregation that, if successful, could very well change the way Web users find out about the world around them. The Google News home page is auto-generated every few minutes using over 4500 news sources, creating an ever-changing view of top stories, and news from around the news, the US, entertainment, sports, science and technology, health, and other topics. And naturally, you can search for news items. For example, if you heard about a Microsoft security initiative on the way home from work, you might visit Google News and search for Microsoft security to get more information.

SONYA_K Goldie

IF’s Strict Mod
Joined: 19 January 2005
Posts: 2249

Posted: 24 February 2005 at 12:59pm | IP Logged
Thanks a lot 4 sharing!Clap

Joined: 14 October 2004
Posts: 1074

Posted: 25 February 2005 at 12:43am | IP Logged
Thanx for info.
Jem4Himesh IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 14 November 2004
Posts: 10839

Posted: 26 February 2005 at 5:08am | IP Logged
thanx a lot 4 the info!
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