Thursday, April 19, 2007

Recommended Searches

Google is adding some automated "recommended search" features to its basic search. First, on the Google Toolbar, you'll now find a button that looks like a pair of dice; click this button to go directly to a site that Google thinks you might find interesting, based on your past searches. (I view this as a variation on the old "I feel lucky" link.) Second, if you use the Google Personalized Home Page, you can add a Recommendations tab that displays recommended sites, also based on your past searches.

Goodbye Froogle, Hello Google Product Search

In the aim of consistency, Google has changed the name of Froogle to Google Product Search. They've also changed the interface a bit, making it a tad more Googlized.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

YouTube Videos in Your Blogger Blog

New feature in Blogger -- the ability to add YouTube videos as a sidebar element to your blog. Use the Blogger Dashboard to go to the Template tab, click Add a Page Element, and then select Video Bar. This lets you add a vertical bar of YouTube video clips, based on defined search elements.

Google Presentations

Google is enhancing their Docs and Spreadsheets suite of online applications with a web-based presentation program. The application comes courtesy of Google's recent acquisition of Tonic Systems; it should launch late this summer.

Google Ads on Clear Channel Radio

Google as a giant ad delivery service marches on. The company just announced an agreement with the big (and, IMHO, inherently evil) Clear Channel group to serve advertisements to teh group's thousands of radio stations. Just another sign that Google is really an advertising company, not a search company.

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Article: Using Google Mobile

Check out my most recent article on the InformIT site: Using Google Mobile on Your Cell Phone. It's all about all the cool Google stuff you can do from a mobile phone -- maps, mail, searching, and more!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google Acquires DoubleClick

In its quest to become the dominant advertising service on the web (or in the world), Google just announced the acquisition of web ad firm DoubleClick. DC targets web display ads, which supplements Google's context-based ads. It's a big $3.1 billion deal.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Interview with Eric Schmidt

Great interview at the Wired site with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. (Click here to read.) When asked about what kind of business Google is, here's how Schmidt responded:

Think of it first as an advertising system. Then as an end-user system - Google Apps. A third way to think of Google is as a giant supercomputer. And a fourth way is to think of it as a social phenomenon involving the company, the people, the brand, the mission, the values - all that kind of stuff.

As I wrote in Googlepedia, Goolgle is first and foremost an advertising company. Note how the word "search" doesn't appear anywhere in Schmidt's response.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Google Does Directory Service

This one may be a stretch, but you never know. Google is now testing directory service, the voice kind, for phone users. Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any voice phone and speak your request. Google Voice Local Search, as it's called, is a voice-activated service that taps the same database used in Google Maps. It's a Google Labs project, so don't expect perfect service in all areas just yet.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Google Housing Search

Here's something new. Enter the query "homes for sale city" or "city real estate" and the search results page pops up with a Housing Search applet on the top of the page. Confirm your location, select a listing type (For Sale, For Rent, Foreclosure, or Room for Rent), then click the Go button, and Google returns a list of properties for sale or rent in that area. Google gets its listing direct from various partners and by searching the web. It's a good first start for making real estate searches that much easier.

Google Desktop for Mac

Google has finally released a Mac version of Google Desktop. Check it out here.

Create Your Own Map Mashups with Google My Maps

Google has just made it easier to create your own map mashups. (A mashup is a Google map overlaid with your own personal points and data.) When you go to Google Maps, you see a new tab labeled My Maps. Select this tab and then click the Create a New Map button. When the next page appears, select a point on the map, add a placemark for that place, assign a label and descriptive text, and then click the Save button. You can return to this place at any time by opening the My Maps tab and selecting the placemark. Very easy to do, and quite useful.