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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Go beyond a Google search

By Burt Lum

There was a time when I used a variety of search engines to find links. Infoseek, Alta Vista, Lycos and even Netscape all offered respectable search capabilities. But now one search engine dominates the landscape.

It's estimated that 150 million search requests per day go to www.google.com. But Google's dominance as a search engine is not the topic of discussion today. Instead I'd like to point out a few Google services that go beyond the listing of popular Web links.

The most recent announcement was Google's purchase of Pyra Labs, creator of Blogger.com, a site on which many individuals maintain their Web logs.

These Web logs are an endless source of data. Some are very personal, appealing to a small circle of friends, while other blogs appeal to a wider audience in their reporting of information or the expression of opinions.

It's too early to tell, but Google might be thinking about making that information more searchable.

Another Google offshoot I found very useful was Froogle.com. Froogle applies the search functions of Google to the objective of finding products on the Web — specifically, the pricing of products.

Since I was in the market for a new watch, I gave it a try. I did a search on the product number and it returned 30 listings of where I could buy online. If price is a factor, then this process gives you the ability to compare and decide.

Since I have Google bookmarked as one of my browser favorites, I usually go from their very uncluttered home page straight into a link listing. Lately though, I've realized how much more this site has to offer.

Before I discovered Google's Usenet service, I would depend on my ISP's very limited news server.

If you click on groups on the Google home page, however, you can access all the Usenet news groups.

Finally let's squeeze in Google Labs (labs.google.com) and Google Zeitgeist (www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html). They both offer data insights culled from the incredible wealth of information available on the Internet. ;-)

Burt Lum is one click away at burt@brouhaha.net.