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Google Pocket Guide by Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest and D.J. Adams

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Author/s : Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest and D.J.Adams
Publisher : O'Reilly
Category : Other
Review by : John Wetherbie
Rating : 8 horseshoes
The Google Pocket Guide contains a lot of good information in a small package. But - a book about how to make better use Google? Isn't this information on the web already? For free!?! Well, some of it is but most of it isn't. Beyond presenting the various Google services and the syntax for using them the authors share tips and suggestions for getting the most out of this really cool set of tools.
The book goes over searching the web including the advanced search page and the advanced search operators (or special syntax) that Google provides. How operators can be combined to improve your search and what combinations to avoid is discussed. The ten-word limit on search terms and how to get around it is also presented. How to interpret the results you get, how to tweak the URLs you receive back to improve results, and when and why you should (or shouldn't) pay attention to Google s spelling suggestions make up the third section.
Part IV presents the other services and tools that Google provides beyond web searching, suggestions on how to use these tools effectively, and the advanced operators available. The last section of the book provides a quick syntax summary and an overview of Julian dates.
The discussions of Julian dates and the daterange: operator are good examples of the value the Google Pocket Guide provides. The book talks about how Google uses Julian dates for date restricted web searching. OK, you could find this out on Google s site if you know where to look. But there is more! The book also mentions that the Julian date associated with a page is when Google indexed the page not when it was made available to the web -- a subtle but important distinction.
Overall I found this book an informative and easy read. My only concern is how current the information will remain since, as the authors point out, Google has been adding capabilities slowly over time. However, this concern is greatly outweighed by having the information available. This book is a good, quick reference to Google. Add it to your utility belt!

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