Google’s Other Services

Almost everyone knows about the ubiquitous Google search engine. It’s everywhere. What few people know is that Google offers many more services to Internet searchers and search engine optimizers. Sifting and sorting through billions of websites for the words entered into the search box is only part of the wide range of available Google services and tools. Google also provides a number of useful Internet tools for searchers and website professionals, ranging from its well-known Google Toolbar, to translations, and wireless search applications. What else does Google do?

More Internet users search for keywords on Google than any other search engine. When combined with the Google generated search results on Yahoo! Search, AOL Search, and many other smaller search engines, Google is truly dominant in the field.

Google claims to have 150 million searches performed worldwide, on its database of over three billion indexed documents, every day.

What other services does Google provide?

A quick check of the Google options page reveals a wealth of services and features, offered by the search engine giant. From the commercially-based Froogle, to the well-known Google Directory, to Google Wireless, there is more than simple browser-based search available to the user.

{mospagebreak title=Froogle}

You have probably heard about Google’s commercial search, called Froogle. It’s another way for business websites to have their products displayed in searches. Froogle’s onsite portal navigation is very similar to the Google Directory in its use of categories and sub-categories.

Froogle is a free method to add your products and services to the Google database. Your business may already be included, as Google will probably have indexed your site during its many Internet crawls. Froogle will display your entire product catalog in its search results. As you add new products, change prices, or remove older listings, your database is constantly updated.

If you are not included in Froogle, it’s easy, and it’s free to add your site. Simply go to the Data Feed page found here and provide the required information about your business, its products, and preferred business category. Multiple feeds, for businesses with more than one location, are available through Froogle.

Google Adwords subscribers can have their paid placements appear on Froogle, as well as on the regular Google search results.

{mospagebreak title=Google Web Directory}

Most Internet searchers are aware of the Google Directory. Not everyone understands how it works, however.

Searching the Google Directory is quite simple, as it’s arranged by topic. Search terms narrow down through categories, until the appropriate sub-category is found. In that way, the Google Directory is similar to most other Internet directories.

When the appropriate search page is found, you will notice the results placed in Google PageRank order, from highest to lowest. PageRank is Google’s own system, for measuring the importance of a website, based on the number and quality of its incoming links. By listing the results by PageRank, Google deems which results are more authoritative, by its own measurement system.

To get your site listed in the Google Directory, you must first have your site listed in the Open Directory Project, better known as DMOZ. At unspecified times; Google adds DMOZ results to its own Directory. Note that there is no relationship, between Google and the Open Directory Project, other than as a supplier of directory listings.

{mospagebreak title=Google Labs and Wireless}

If you want to check out what Google may have in store for the future, be certain to take a sneak peek into the Google Labs. New prototype ideas, for future Google services, are being beta tested for usability and for potential improvements. Ideas are even welcomed by the Google development team.

Some interesting new ideas include Google search by voice through a telephone call. Simply call the supplied phone number and say your keywords. Click a link on the page and the results will appear.

Google will supply you with News Alerts, as they happen, for developing news stories or even keeping track of a competitor. Simply place a topic into the request form and Google will e-mail you the results, as frequently as you specify.

Location search is another innovation provided by Google. Along with your search terms, you can provide an address of a United States business, and receive results for that location only. It’s similar to online Yellow Pages, with the addition of Google’s extensive website database.

Your input and suggestions for changes and improvements are requested by Google, in order to make the newly-designed services and tools better serve the user’s needs.

Google Wireless

Google search can be accessed from many cutting edge technologies. You don’t need to use a conventional computer or laptop to use the Google search engine database. Searching the web via Google is no longer restricted by location and available technology. Mobile phones, OmniSky, Palm VII, and Handspring are a few of the ways that Google search can be used when you are traveling.

{mospagebreak title=What Internet tools does Google provide?}

Along with its growing number of search engine services, Google provides a number of Internet tools, ranging from the well-known Google Toolbar, to web design tools.

Google Toolbar

Probably the best known Google tool is the widely downloaded and used Google Toolbar. Enabling the user to see the Google PageRank of any web pages visited, as well as the Google displayed backlinks for that page, is only part of the story.

The Toolbar also works as a pop-up ad blocker, an automatic form completion editor, restricts searches to only specified countries, and highlights search terms on a page. You can also search the pages within a website, and link a weblog (blog) to any page you are viewing.

The toolbar layout is also customizable to your own needs and specifications.

The languages available for the toolbar, include English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (Simplified), and Chinese (Traditional). Google promises more languages will be available in the future.

There is no Mac compatible toolbar at this time.

Google Browser Buttons

For those browsers and computer operating systems unable to install the Google Toolbar, there is another option.

You may also customize a regular browser toolbar by adding Google Browser Buttons. They enable the Internet user to take advantage of Google’s technology, while avoiding the use of additional screen space by installing another toolbar.

The Google Search Button enables standard Google Internet searches. The Google Scout Button shows web pages that are similar to the one being viewed. In many cases, those sites will be those of a company’s direct competitors. The Button takes the user directly to the Google home page.

{mospagebreak title=Google Language Tools}

For searches in languages other than English, Google offers the Google Language Search Tool, the Translate Tool, and the Google Interface for your desired language and country.

The Google Language Search Tool enables the user to access the Google data base, in one of many available languages, and countries. Your choices can be saved in your Google Preferences. Simply enter your search terms, and your choice of language will be used in the search.

To use the Google Translate Tool, fill in the text, or the web page URL, that requires translation. A drop down menu provides the language translation options currently available.

The Google Interface, for your home page, messages, and buttons can be set in your Google Preferences for any of over eighty languages, including “Elmer Fudd” and “Pig Latin.” Services are available for eighty-five countries that have a Google country specific suffix.

Google even provides the opportunity, for members of the general public to volunteer to provide translations, for the various Google services. Google help information, and the Google search interface are available for translation into many other languages. You can translate as little as one phrase, or an entire website. There is no minimum requirement.

A Google Account is required for all volunteer translators prior to adding their services to the multilingual project.

{mospagebreak title=Google Web APIs}

Google Web APIs are a free service offered to web developers and search engine optimizers. According to Google’s Terms of Service, the APIs are only for personal and non-commercial use. The APIs are also still in the beta stage of development.

Using the Google API download, web developers can search more than three billion indexed web documents. Since Google uses SOAP and WSDL standards, developers can freely program using Perl, Java, or Visual Studio .NET.

To use Google APIs, the user must first download the Developer’s Kit. The kit includes everything required to start writing programs, including samples and the necessary documentation. Simply download, unzip, open the “README.txt” file, and get started on your web project.

To start using the Developers Kit, Google requires you to open a Google Account. All that is required to register for a Google Account, is a valid e-mail address and your personal access password.

Once your Account is created, you will have an API License Key that enables you to perform 1000 automated queries per day. Any program created using the Developer Kit must include your personal license key.

{mospagebreak title=Wrapping It Up}

Imagine how difficult it would have been eight or ten years ago to get your site translated into different languages. Imagine the difficulty in attempting to reach the wireless community, with their differing set of web standards and protocols. The people at Google have diversified their offerings to appeal to a wide range of tech-savvy customers.

The user of the Google search engine has far more available options than simple basic search. In order to stay in the lead for Internet keyword search, Google has developed a number of additional services and tools.

A search engine user is no longer constrained by language or technology. In order to maintain its search engine dominance, Google has made these new services available, and welcomes user comments and suggestions.

Google is not simply just search anymore.

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