Some Google Tips #1

Google is of course now synonymous with the World Wide Web – it is one of the best-known brands around the world and is providing employment to some of the best and brightest.  Of course, we all know how Google operates – as a snapshot of all things online.  This means that whatever you’re looking for, Google may well be looking at it.  It just might not read it in the same way that you do.

We all know about the standard Google search engine and how it can look for images etc.  What about syntax and the other powerful tools to try and ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for from Google?  Well, let’s take a look at exactly what is on offer first.

Usenet is a global network of discussion groups.  Google Groups ( has archived Usenet discussions from the past 20 years, providing more than 700 million messages.  As I’m sure you’ll agree, this is rather a lot.  It could well give you information or shed new light on subjects.

The Google Directory ( is a searchable subject index based on the Open Directory Project (  As it indexes site, not pages, it is much smaller than the whole Google web search but good for more general searches.  The arrangement is based on popularity, so you’ll find it is slightly less flexible.

Google News ( continuously mines over 4,500 news sources for breaking news on just about every subject you could consider and the freshest of events.  Headlines are grouped by subject and can give a good variety of views on the same subject – so well worth looking at and rather easier than going to each news website.

One of the things that people don’t always realise is that Google offers a phonebook section as part of its package of services.  Simply type ‘phonebook:’ and the area and it will look under the whole phonebook.  ‘rphonebook:’ searches residential listings only.  Finally, ‘bphonebook:’ searches business listings only.

I’ll be offering a further look at Google in my follow-up to this article, to take a look at exactly how you can manipulate syntax to create the most accurate searches for your needs.  Of course, as they say, ‘there is more than one way to skin a cat’, so I’ll offer you a few ways to get differing results such as popularity, keyword and so forth.

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