Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988
Through Google Brings Interesting Information, Usages
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Although millions of Internet users access Google (www.google.com) on a daily basis, some of its most interesting and useful features are unknown to many users. For example, one of the links in the Press section of Google is to the Google Zeitgeist web page of “search patterns, trends and surprises according to Google.”
On the Zeitgeist page, Google updates lists of links to the “Top 10 Gaining Queries” and the “Top 10 Declining Queries” for the previous week. For the previous month, “Top Query” search rankings are displayed for several query categories including Health, Nature, Images, Wireless, and “Top Jennifers.” (Yes – those Jennifers: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, and other Jennifers.) International search patterns by country appear at the bottom of the page.
From the main Zeitgeist page there is also a link to a page showing links to the top worldwide queries for the calendar year 2002 from the 55 billion queries submitted to Google. Rankings are given for “Top Women,” “Top Men,” “Top Brands,” “Top Athletes,” “Top Musicians/Groups,” “Top News Stories,” and other categories. By the way, the top news story query ranking for 2002 was the World Cup.
The Zeitgeist page also provides statistics on the operating systems used to access Google. A recent tally showed these surprising results: Windows 98, 34%; Windows XP, 31%, Windows 2000, 21%, with all other operating systems totaling just 14%. A graph of the Web Browsers used to access Google shows MSIE 6.0 (Microsoft Internet Explorer) rapidly increasing while other versions of MSIE and other Web Browsers are declining.
To reach the Zeitgeist page go to www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html. More interesting Google features can be accessed from www.google.com/options/. Some of the links on this page include Froogle, to “find products for sale from across the world;” Google Catalogs, to “search and browse mail order catalogs on-online;” and, Google News, to “search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources.”
Also from the “options” page you can access Translate, to “translate text or entire web pages.” The translate text function is especially useful. From the translate text window you can translate phrases and sentences to and from English/German, English/Spanish, English/French, English/Italian, and English/Portuguese. Also, being able to translate web pages is very handy. For example, go the 2002 rankings page mentioned above and click on the link to “las ketchup,” one of the most popular query sites for 2002. Google will automatically translate this web page from Spanish to English.
Useful “short-cut” features available from the main Google page include looking up stock quotes, finding telephone numbers, and getting street maps of addresses. Entering the ticker symbol of a stock or mutual fund in the Google search window will give a link to the stock price as the first search result. Entering an individual’s first and last names or the name of a company or organization along with the city and state will give the name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number and link to a street map as the first search result. (When entering the first and last names and the city and state, do not use quotation marks, commas, other punctuation marks, or operators.)
Google also provides an easy way to limit searches to specific web domains or to specific suffixes. Where a query is likely to have a large number of matches, you may want to limit your search to a single domain. For example, to search only the Microsoft web site for installation troubleshooting for Windows XP, enter the following in the Google search window: Windows XP installation troubleshooting site:microsoft.com. (3,000 hits from this site alone.) Limiting a search to a suffix can also help to refine searches. To limit statistical searches on personal income to government information, enter the following in the Google search window: personal income statistics site:gov. (87,000 hits.)
The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (www.GregGore.com)
column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on
June 11, 2003.
Greg Gore can be reached at gg@GregGore.com.
2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.