20 Great Google Secrets

Posted on August 11, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet Market, SEO | Tags: , , |

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1306756,00.asp

excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules – Edit by Ninja excl.gif

Google is clearly the best general-purpose search engine on the Web (see

http://www.pcmag.com/searchengines

But most people don’t use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google’s index, it’s still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.

But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google’s search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let’s look at some of Google’s lesser-known options.

Syntax Search Tricks

Using a special syntax is a way to tell Google that you want to restrict your searches to certain elements or characteristics of Web pages. Google has a fairly complete list of its syntax elements at

http://www.google.com/help/operators.html

. Here are some advanced operators that can help narrow down your search results.

Intitle: at the beginning of a query word or phrase (intitle:”Three Blind Mice”) restricts your search results to just the titles of Web pages.

Intext: does the opposite of intitle:, searching only the body text, ignoring titles, links, and so forth. Intext: is perfect when what you’re searching for might commonly appear in URLs. If you’re looking for the term HTML, for example, and you don’t want to get results such as

http://www.mysite.com/index.html

, you can enter intext:html.

Link: lets you see which pages are linking to your Web page or to another page you’re interested in. For example, try typing in

link:http://www.pcmag.com

Try using site: (which restricts results to top-level domains) with intitle: to find certain types of pages. For example, get scholarly pages about Mark Twain by searching for intitle:”Mark Twain”site:edu. Experiment with mixing various elements; you’ll develop several strategies for finding the stuff you want more effectively. The site: command is very helpful as an alternative to the mediocre search engines built into many sites.

Swiss Army Google

Google has a number of services that can help you accomplish tasks you may never have thought to use Google for. For example, the new calculator feature

(www.google.com/help/features.html#calculator)

lets you do both math and a variety of conversions from the search box. For extra fun, try the query “Answer to life the universe and everything.”

Let Google help you figure out whether you’ve got the right spelling—and the right word—for your search. Enter a misspelled word or phrase into the query box (try “thre blund mise”) and Google may suggest a proper spelling. This doesn’t always succeed; it works best when the word you’re searching for can be found in a dictionary. Once you search for a properly spelled word, look at the results page, which repeats your query. (If you’re searching for “three blind mice,” underneath the search window will appear a statement such as Searched the web for “three blind mice.”) You’ll discover that you can click on each word in your search phrase and get a definition from a dictionary.

Suppose you want to contact someone and don’t have his phone number handy. Google can help you with that, too. Just enter a name, city, and state. (The city is optional, but you must enter a state.) If a phone number matches the listing, you’ll see it at the top of the search results along with a map link to the address. If you’d rather restrict your results, use rphonebook: for residential listings or bphonebook: for business listings. If you’d rather use a search form for business phone listings, try Yellow Search

(www.buzztoolbox.com/google/yellowsearch.shtml).

Extended Googling

Google offers several services that give you a head start in focusing your search. Google Groups

(http://groups.google.com)

indexes literally millions of messages from decades of discussion on Usenet. Google even helps you with your shopping via two tools: Froogle
CODE
(http://froogle.google.com),

which indexes products from online stores, and Google Catalogs
CODE
(http://catalogs.google.com),

which features products from more 6,000 paper catalogs in a searchable index. And this only scratches the surface. You can get a complete list of Google’s tools and services at

http://www.google.com/options/index.html

You’re probably used to using Google in your browser. But have you ever thought of using Google outside your browser?

Google Alert

(www.googlealert.com)

monitors your search terms and e-mails you information about new additions to Google’s Web index. (Google Alert is not affiliated with Google; it uses Google’s Web services API to perform its searches.) If you’re more interested in news stories than general Web content, check out the beta version of Google News Alerts

(www.google.com/newsalerts).

This service (which is affiliated with Google) will monitor up to 50 news queries per e-mail address and send you information about news stories that match your query. (Hint: Use the intitle: and source: syntax elements with Google News to limit the number of alerts you get.)

Google on the telephone? Yup. This service is brought to you by the folks at Google Labs

(http://labs.google.com),

a place for experimental Google ideas and features (which may come and go, so what’s there at this writing might not be there when you decide to check it out). With Google Voice Search

(http://labs1.google.com/gvs.html),

you dial the Voice Search phone number, speak your keywords, and then click on the indicated link. Every time you say a new search term, the results page will refresh with your new query (you must have JavaScript enabled for this to work). Remember, this service is still in an experimental phase, so don’t expect 100 percent success.

In 2002, Google released the Google API (application programming interface), a way for programmers to access Google’s search engine results without violating the Google Terms of Service. A lot of people have created useful (and occasionally not-so-useful but interesting) applications not available from Google itself, such as Google Alert. For many applications, you’ll need an API key, which is available free from
CODE
http://www.google.com/apis

. See the figures for two more examples, and visit

http://www.pcmag.com/solutions

for more.

Thanks to its many different search properties, Google goes far beyond a regular search engine. Give the tricks in this article a try. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways Google can improve your Internet searching.

Online Extra: More Google Tips

Here are a few more clever ways to tweak your Google searches.

Search Within a Timeframe

Daterange: (start date–end date). You can restrict your searches to pages that were indexed within a certain time period. Daterange: searches by when Google indexed a page, not when the page itself was created. This operator can help you ensure that results will have fresh content (by using recent dates), or you can use it to avoid a topic’s current-news blizzard and concentrate only on older results. Daterange: is actually more useful if you go elsewhere to take advantage of it, because daterange: requires Julian dates, not standard Gregorian dates. You can find converters on the Web (such as

CODE
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/JulianDate.html

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), but an easier way is to do a Google daterange: search by filling in a form at

http://www.researchbuzz.com/toolbox/goofresh.shtml or http://www.faganfinder.com/engines/google.shtml

. If one special syntax element is good, two must be better, right? Sometimes. Though some operators can’t be mixed (you can’t use the link: operator with anything else) many can be, quickly narrowing your results to a less overwhelming number.

More Google API Applications

Staggernation.com offers three tools based on the Google API. The Google API Web Search by Host (GAWSH) lists the Web hosts of the results for a given query

(www.staggernation.com/gawsh/).

When you click on the triangle next to each host, you get a list of results for that host. The Google API Relation Browsing Outliner (GARBO) is a little more complicated: You enter a URL and choose whether you want pages that related to the URL or linked to the URL

(www.staggernation.com/garbo/).

Click on the triangle next to an URL to get a list of pages linked or related to that particular URL. CapeMail is an e-mail search application that allows you to send an e-mail to google@capeclear.com with the text of your query in the subject line and get the first ten results for that query back. Maybe it’s not something you’d do every day, but if your cell phone does e-mail and doesn’t do Web browsing, this is a very handy address to know.

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8-Word Search Queries Up 34,000% in Last 5 Years!

Posted on February 26, 2009. Filed under: SEO | Tags: , , , , , |

By Andy Beal

If a picture is worth a thousand words, we might want to start scanning-in images of what we’re trying to find on the search engines. As new data from Hitwise suggests, we’re gradually starting to use more & more keywords when conducting our search engine queries.

Hitwise compared January 2009’s data with last year’s, but I want to take you back farther in time–5 years in fact! Not that my memory goes back that far, but I did remember covering this data for my old blog: Search Engine Lowdown.

Here are the numbers from this year, with Feb 2004’s numbers in parentheses:

1-word searches = 20.29% (19.02%)

2-word searches = 23.65% (32.58%)

3-word searches = 21.92% (25.61%)

4-word searches = 14.89% (12.83%)

5-word searches = 8.68% (5.64%)

6-word searches = 4.65% (2.32%)

7-word searches = 2.49% (0.98%)

8-word searches = 3.43% (no one did 8-word searches in 2004!)

As you can see, there’s been a significant drop in the number of people using 2- and 3-word searches, while those using 5-words and above are becoming more common–likely from those of us that cut-and-paste large quantities of text into Google.

One interesting observation: the number of people using 1-word searches has remained surprisingly similar–in fact, showing a small increase in the past 5 years. This either means that the search engines are getting better at delivering relevant search results, or more “brand” searches are being made, or some of us are just committed to being lazy with our searching.

Source: marketingpilgrim

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Do You Want Your Search Experience Personalized?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Google, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , |

By Chris Crum

In recent months, there has been a whole lot of talk about where search is going, and what search is lacking. This is commonplace for months encompassing the changing of years.

A big part of the discussion is personalized search. Many SEOs aren’t entirely thrilled with the idea. It changes the way they have to do things. Do searchers want it though?

According to Yahoo, one of the three major things searchers want is a personalized search experience. This is one of the topics discussed in this interview with Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo:

However, it is Google’s SearchWiki that has gotten the most attention when it comes to personalized search. Whether or not everybody uses SearchWiki’s features, Google feels like SearchWiki stands to make Google itself better.

At the recent SMX West show, SearchWiki manager Corey Anderson said that SearchWiki allows the company to conduct user studies in the field and crunch user feedback. For example, Google has discovered that a large fraction of users are attempting to re-find sites they previously visited.

It is still early in the year, and you can pretty much guarantee that there will be more advances made no the personalized search front. Do you as a search engine user want your experience to be more tailored to your own patterns and habits?

Source: webpronews

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Using Directories for Search Engine Reputation Management

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: SEO | Tags: , , , |

By Michael Gray

searchSearch engine reputation management (SERM) is a growing discipline under the larger umbrella of search engine optimization (SEO). If you deal with client services, and you don’t already have at least one reputation management client, chances are you will in the very near future. The more tools or options you have at your disposal for this type of project, the easier the task will be. In this article I’m going to look at one of those tools; directories.

Let’s take a high-level look at the concept, so we have a better idea of what we’re trying to accomplish. Getting a negative search engine listing taken down, removed, or changed, is a tricky process–with the potential to blow up in your face if you aren’t careful–so we’re going to assume it’s not a possibility. Your main goal then shifts to identifying positive SERP listings, and looking for ways to boost them above and displace the negative results to page two or beyond. This is where directory listings can come into play. Many companies or websites have listings in directories like Yahoo or Business.com, the problem is your listing is mixed-in on a page with other websites. Secondly the title of that page, which is one of your strongest on page SEO elements, is usually the category or sub-category name, making it practically useless. What you really need is your own page on that directory, with a title that you have some influence on.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, unless the name of your company actually is “Buy Cheap Blue Widgets Online” chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to get a page/listing with that type of title. Most directory owners are concerned about the overall quality of their website, and aren’t going to sacrifice themselves over the long-term to help you meet your short-term goals. In most cases you’ll be able to get your company name or your DBA name.

This is where knowing your space and looking for niche vertical directories can be very helpful, as they have a greater likelihood of having the type of setups you are looking for. Sometimes however that option don’t exist. If you are dealing with a client who has a physical presence, another option is a local directory like Local.Botw.org. When you sign up for a local directory listing you are placed in the local region for your business just like a normal directory. However, you also get an individual page like this one for Bridge Self Storage: http://local.botw.org/California/Richmond/Bridge_Self_Storage/10000136 65.html.

With an optimal title, on an optimized page, on a quality domain, it’s a piece of cake. Point a link from their company website, with their company name as anchor text. Point a few links from a few other websites and give it a little bit of time. You should be able to displace a less than favorable listing with one you control fairly quickly.

What if you are working on a reputation management project for a person not a company? The principle is still the same, but this time you are looking for a “business professional” directory. Two examples of this would be LinkedIn and VisualCV. To see this in action look at the SERP for Guy Kawasaki–you’ll see his LinkedIn page sitting at #9 and his VisualCV sitting at #11. The process of getting these pages to rank is the same, just link to them using a personal blog or company website with the person’s name as the anchor text, allow the links to age. Keep pointing link juice at them until they displace the negative listings.

Source: marketingpilgrim

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Google Shows Healthy January Growth In U.S. Search Volume

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Google, SEO | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Erick Schonfeld

Google saw healthy growth in the number of search queries on its core U.S. search engine in January, according to comScore qSearch numbers that came out last night. Google’s query growth rate was 38.4 percent, compared to January, 2008, outpacing the industry’s overall 28.6 percent growth in search queries. Any way you slice it, people are still doing more and more searches, which suggests that the search market is far from saturated.

Compared to December, Google’s query growth rate slowed down slightly (from 42.8%). Yahoo, on the other hand, is the one standout among the major search engines in that its annual growth in search queries accelerated from 17.2 percent in December to 21.6 percent in January. All the other search engines saw a slowdown. (See first table below).

This resulted in Yahoo gaining half a percentage point in overall query market share to 21.0 percent, while Google’s market share dropped by the exact same amount month-over-month to 63.0 percent. Compared to a year ago, however, Google’s market share is still up 4.5 percentage points. (See second table below).

Beyond the core search engines, YouTube generated an estimated 2.92 billion searches in January, up 68 percent from the year before, and slightly up 2.4 percent from December. YouTube represents 24.9 percent of Google’s total searches, and on its own is a s big as Yahoo.

Y/Y Growth In Core U.S. Search Queries, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 38.4%
Yahoo 21.6%
Microsoft 11.3%
Ask 4.6%
AOL 1.1%

U.S. Core Search Share, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 63.0% -0.5% m/m +4.5% y.y
Yahoo 21.0% +0.5% m/m -1.2% y/y
Microsoft 8.5% +0.2% m/m -1.3% y/y
AOL 3.9% -0.1% m/m -1.0& y/y
Ask 3.7% -0.2% m/m -0.8% y/y

Click on the image below for a larger table showing stats going back a full year (courtesy of Douglas Anmuth at Barclays Capital).

search-share-table-jan-08

Source: techcrunch

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