Google is the Internet’s leading search engine, handling almost 50% of all Internet search requests, more than five billion searches each month. Google’s About Us page on their Web site, www.google.com, explains the origin of their unique company name:
"Googol" is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. The term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner, and was popularized in the book, "Mathematics and the Imagination" by Kasner and James Newman. Google's play on the term reflects the company's mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the web.
In addition to their popular general purpose Internet search site, the software wizards at Google provide an array of specialized search sites that are designed to help you find information even faster. They restrict your search results to sites more likely to have relevant content, making your searches more efficient.
Each of these specialized sites replaces the “www” in the main www.google.com Web address with a word that represents the focused nature of the information you can find there. Here’s a list of these specialized sites:
http://Finance.google.com - provides a broad range of information on stocks, bonds and mutual funds along with stock charts, business news, discussion groups, fundamental financial data and a portfolio tracker.
http://Catalogs.google.com – the same catalogs you would normally receive in the mail are online. You can turn through the pages one by one, search the entire catalog for an item or have Google search though all of the catalogs to find what interests you.
http://News.google.com – this site collects current news stories from more than 4,500 news sources around the world. These news feeds are updated every fifteen minutes to keep you up-to-date with what is happening around the world. A brief summary of the original news story is presented along with a link that will take you directly to the full story on the news site where it was originally published.
http://Scholar.google.com – this site focuses your search on scholarly literature. Search by author, publication or subject to find relevant articles from academic journals, professional societies, universities and other scholarly organizations.
http://Blogsearch.google.com – this site applies Google search technology to the world of blogging. While Google owns one of the largest blog sites, www.blogger.com, the search engine doesn’t just search Blogger; it searches most of the major blog sites. For just about any topic you can imagine, key in your search word and you’ll find someone blogging on that subject somewhere in the world.
http://Books.google.com – this search site focuses on the world of printed books. Enter a couple of words from the title, the author’s name or even a sentence from the book. The search results come back in the form of a library card catalog with the full title, author, ISBN, publisher and publication date. Depending on copyright provisions , you may also see a title page, the index, the lines of text in the book that matched your search term, or in the case of expired copyright, you might even be able to access the entire book.
As you can see, there is much more to Google searching that just www.google.com. Use these alternative Google search sites to focus your Internet searches and find the information you want even faster.
Until next time, best wishes that you find everything you’re looking for, both on the Internet and life in general.
Questions and comments on this article can be directed to Jim’s e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. All of Jim’s technology columns are available online at his blog: http://jec1230.blogspot.com.