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Review of "Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools" by Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest

Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools image
Google Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
by Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest

Audio CD
$24.95 Suggested Retail Price

Riches abound here for the aspiring web programmer who's interested in integrating Google services into their website. This book, part of O'Reilly's "Hacks" series, is an advanced guide consisting of 100 different "hacks" which are tips for using Google both from the standard interface on their website as well as via Perl, Java, and PHP scripts.

The search hacks occupy the first third of the book, and they start with some fairly common knowledge about how to refine your searches and how to use Google's Advanced Search features. The good stuff really starts at about Hack #3 where the authors begin to present examples of how search engines operate internally, and how best to get the results you're after. You'll find tip after tip brings you to a new level of understanding. The best parts are the hacks for different languages, searching by file type, and searching within date ranges.

The scripts give you a programmer's cookbook for accessing this powerful search engine and manipulating the information for your own purposes. The authors stress the Google API - Google's structured interface which they make available to developers who sign up for their program - but they also present more classic hacks that pull their data directly from the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Webmasters will certainly appreciate the solid information on Search Engine Optimization - the art of designing your website so that it gets top rankings in the search engine results. One of the highlights of the book is Webmasterworld creator Brett Tabke's optimization tips. If you're a webmaster, do also check out my own Search Engine Optimization Tips.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more thorough and up-to-date guide to Google anywhere. Whether your a search user or a budding webmaster, you'll find Google Hacks has a wealth of information. This book has earned a spot on the shelf right next to my computer where its always handy.

Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our November, 2003 issue.

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