Customer Review

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Edition as good as the First, April 18, 2006
This review is from: Google: The Missing Manual (Paperback)
The second edition was only released last month, so all reviews written prior to March 2006 are referring to the first edition. This is a worthwhile upgrade, with about 80% new content from what I can tell from comparing the two editions. This should be no surprise, as Google's usability and features have been growing right along with its stock price over the past two years.

The authors start out with simple features such as the "cached" and "similar pages" links, the little-known but powerful Google Answers, and the timesaving and pop-up-avoiding Google Toolbar. The authors also show how to use Google as a calculator, dictionary and package tracker. Readers will also learn techniques and tricks such as which search words to choose and how to ask for the specific items that Google can find. A full chapter is devoted to Gmail, which is Google's reliable free email service. Part 3 of the book is devoted to webmastering with Google by guiding readers through getting listed in Google, and taking advantage of AdWords, AdSense, and Google Analytics to make money on the Web.

The one new tool that Google sports that worries me is Google Desktop. Google Desktop Search is what you might call a distributed application. Part of the application gets installed onto your own computer, while part of it runs off of Google's Web site. The idea behind coding the application in this manner is that you can visit Google and search either the Internet or your own PC through a single interface. After installing Google Desktop Search, an index is made of the contents of your PC. Included in the index are E-mail messages contained in Outlook and Outlook Express. The software also indexes Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, as well as plain text and AOL Instant Messenger chats. This seems easily exploitable by hackers, and I think that the book should make more of the potential dangers. I notice that Amazon does not show the table of contents, so I do that here:

Chapter 1. Google 101
The Heart of Google: Basic Text Searches
How to Get More out of Google
Two Important Google Quirks
Interpreting Your Results
When Not to Use Google
Nine Very Cool Google Tricks
A Final Tip: Googling Google
Chapter 2. Superior Searching
Have It Your Way: Setting Preferences
Advanced Search
Advanced Search on Steroids
Searching by Language and Country
Searching by Town
Getting Fancy with Syntax
Mixing Syntax
Anatomy of a Google URL

Chapter 3. Googling Further: Images, News, Maps, and More
Google Images
Google News
Google Maps
Google Directory
Google Print
Chapter 4. Googling with Others: Groups and Answers
Google Groups
Google Answers
Chapter 5. Shopping with Google
When to Use Froogle
Finding Stuff with Froogle
Chapter 6. The Google Toolbar
The Google Toolbar: Search Faster
Other Browsers with Google Features
Chapter 7. More Cool Google Tools
Alternative Search Boxes
Google Desktop Search
Google Deskbar
Experimental Google Tools
Google Wireless
Google SMS

Chapter 8. Becoming a Search Result
Getting Your Site Ready for Google
Getting Google's Attention
Does Google Know You're There?
Rising in Google Results
Getting Rid of Google
Adding Google Searches to Your Site
Chapter 9. Making Money with Google
Google AdSense
Google AdWords
Chapter 10. Google Analytics
How Google Analytics Works
Setting Up Google Analytics
A Snapshot of Your Web Traffic
Assessing Your Site
Goal Tracking
Understanding Your Visitors

Chapter 11. Gmail
Welcome to Gmail
Composing and Sending Messages
Gmail Mailbox Management
The Contacts List
Adjusting Your Account Settings
Other Cool Gmail Tricks
Three Other Ways of Reading Gmail

Appendix. The Google Wide Web
Sites That Use Google
Sites That Discuss Google
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