Learn about the Google Search Engine Tools
Think you know everything about searching with Google? Think again. Believe it or not, there are many tools and features available on Google that can be useful for marketing research as well as wasting time. Learn more below about Google's coolest features.
What are people saying about your site?
Find out what people say about your site or anything else with Google WebQuotes. A Google Lab experiment, Google WebQuotes annotates the results of your Google search with comments from other websites. This offers a convenient way to get a third party's opinion about each of the returns for your search, providing you with more information about that site's credibility and reputation. Try your site name and variations, such as "Big Oak", "www.bigoakinc.com" and "http://www.bigoakinc.com" to see what results they bring up.
As you type your keywords into the search box, Google Suggest offers keyword suggestions in real time. It will provide a list of suggestions as you type in your search criteria, ranked by the number of occurrences that the suggestions appear in Google's index.
Google Sets automatically create sets of items from a few examples - in essence, it determines other items in a set based on similarity. Here is an example of what we mean. Say you like certain authors such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz, both horror writers, but you don't know who else to try? Well, Google Sets can recommend a host of authors who write horror novels or other people in the horror field. Imagine how it could help when scouring for keywords and phrases that you may not think of. Ah, the power of Google.Google Alerts
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
If you type in "info:(your website's URL)", Google will provide you background information about any site on the Internet. For instance, "info:www.bigoakinc.com" will show information about our homepage. Note there can be no space between info: and the web page URL.
Google can show you the following information for a URL:
* Show Google's cache of the URL
* Find web pages that are similar the URL
* Find web pages that link to the URL
* Find web pages that the URL links to
* Find web pages that contain the term "(your website's URL)"
View indexed pages
If you use [site:(your website's URL)] as your query, Google will restrict the results to those websites in the given domain. For instance, [site:www.bigoakinc.com] will find pages within www.bigoakinc.com. Note there can be no space between the "site:" and the web page URL.
More than a Search Engine
As you can see, Google can be much more than a simple search engine. It can be a creative marketing and research tool as well. Many other features are available on Google's site so take some time and look around next time you visit Google.
Shell Harris is an Internet marketing consultant and an SEO Specialist.
This article may be freely reprinted as long as all links and author information remain.
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