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Preface > How This Book Is Organized

How This Book Is Organized

The combination of Google's API and over 3 billion pages of constantly shifting data can do strange things to your imagination and give you lots of new perspectives on how best to search. This book goes beyond the instruction page to the idea of "hacks"—tips, tricks, and techniques you can use to make your Google searching experience more fruitful, more fun, or (in a couple of cases) just more weird. This book is divided into several chapters:

Chapter 1

This chapter describes the fundamentals of how Google's search properties work, with some tips for making the most of Google's syntaxes and specialty search offerings. Beyond the list of "this syntax means that," we'll take a look at how to eke every last bit of searching power out of each syntax—and how to mix syntaxes for some truly monster searches.

Chapter 2

Google goes beyond web searching into several different arenas, including images, USENET, and news. Did you know that these collections have their own syntaxes? As you'll learn in this section, Google's equally adroit at helping you holiday shop or search for current events.

Chapter 3

Not all the hacks are ones that you want to install on your desktop or web server. In this section, we'll take a look at third-party services that integrate the Google API with other applications or act as handy web tools—or even check Google by email!

Chapter 4

Google's API doesn't search all Google properties, but sometimes it'd be real handy to take that search for phone numbers or news stories and save it to a file. This collection of scrapers shows you how.

Chapter 5

We'll take a look under the hood at Google's API, considering several different languages and how Google works with each one. Hint: if you've always wanted to learn Perl but never knew what to "do with it," this is your section.

Chapter 6

Once you've got an understanding of the Google API, you'll start thinking of all kinds of ways you can use it. Take inspiration from this collection of useful applications that use the Google API.

Chapter 7

All work and no play makes for a dull web surfer. This collection of pranks and games turns Google into a poet, a mirror, and a master chef. Well, a chef anyway. Or at least someone who throws ingredients together.

Chapter 8

If you're a web wrangler, you see Google from two sides—from the searcher side and from the side of someone who wants to get the best search ranking for a web site. In this section, you'll learn about Google's (in)famous PageRank, cleaning up for a Google visit, and how to make sure your pages aren't indexed by Google if you don't want them there.

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