Customer Review

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but not great, May 29, 2003
This review is from: Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools (Paperback)
Google Hacks is a fascinating book that catalogs pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about Google. But, the book really consists of two broad sections: One for searchers and researchers; and one for web developers.
While there is much to like about the book, there is also much to ignore. I think at times, the authors emulate the writing style of programming books too closely. That's a problem for all the non-technical people who likely bought the book. As it stands now, the book seems terribly unfocused. Still the authors do an admirable job of trying to tie everything together for their unique audiences.
As a developer, I found the "Google API hacks" to be useful, but the vast majority of the readers probably will not. And the programming tips take up almost half the book.
This is not the only reason I gave Google Hacks three stars. In addition to the problem with focus, the section for webmasters is laughable. Brett Tabke of WembasterWorld, a supposed search engine marketing expert, contributes several of the webmaster "hacks." His sections are perhaps the weakest parts of the book. He tries to explain how to make sure your site ranks highly in Google's search results, but his advice should be ignored.
He makes all sorts of proclamations that have no basis in reality; most of his tips are simply his own personal opinion masquerading as fact. It would be nice if he were to cite his sources, but unfortunately for us readers, he does not.
On the other hand, the guest section written by Andrew Goodman about Google AdWords tips is top-notch and reason enough for buying the book.
All in all, if you're remotely interested in Google, definitely buy this book. But be forewarned about the lackluster guest authors and lack of focus. Who knows? Maybe version two will be better. Keep in mind, also, that this is a book about the Web, so many of the tips contained in the book may be obsolete by the time you read it!
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