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Take The Google Tour

By Mary Howard
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

Learn how to make the most out of your Internet searches by taking the Google Tour.

The Google Tour is a new service being offered by the popular search engine Google.

Go to : (http://www.google.com) Click "Google Tour"

This tour is an adventurous way to learn how to use the services and tools provided by Google to help you make the best of your searches.

Each section of the Google Tour describes how to use the feature. This is nicely demonstrated by using the example "plan a tropical vacation".

There is a link to each section of Google's services along the tour. When you click the link a page will pop up and you can read what is offered.

The Google Tour goes beyond the basics of searching the web using only the Search bar. It shows that there are many different ways that you can find the information you are looking for.

A brief summary of each section of the Google Tour is as follows:

A - Google Services

Froggle: Find products.

Answers: Open fee-based forums.

Catalogs: Browse mail-order catalogs.

Groups: Posting in Usenet discussion forums.

Image: Search millions of images.

Labs: Projects in development by Google.

News: Browse over 4,000 news sources for up-to-date news.

Special Searches: Narrow your search to a specific topic.

University: Specific schools on the web.

Web Directory: The web organized by topic into categories.

Wireless: Search technology from handheld devices.

B - Google Tools

Browser Buttons: Add a Google button to your browser's toolbar.

Language: Search in your favorite language.

Toolbar: Add the whole Google toolbar to your IE browser.

Translate: Translate text or webpages into other languages.

Web APIs: Software developer queries.

C - Google Toolbar

This is a detailed explanation on how to add the Google Toolbar to your Internet Explorer web-browser. This toolbar allows a user to do a Google search without having to go directly to the Google website. This is a free download.

D - Google Groups

This is a way of finding expert advice or information from experienced persons on the Internet. A person can ask a question in a forum and receive an answer back. This searchable database has access to almost 1 billion Usenet posts on every imaginable topic.

E - Google News

This is a new service being offered by Google. There are over 4,000 leading news sources to browse. By clicking on the headline you can read the whole story.

F - Google Images

When you enter a keyword into the image search you will get a list of images relating to that topic. When you click the thumbnail image you will see a larger version of it. You can then visit the website that the image is located on. This has to be the most fun feature that Google offers!

G - Google Catalogs

A great way to do some online shopping is through mail-order catalogs. There are literally thousands of stores that sell online products of every kind. Google allows you to search catalog databases to find what you are looking for.

H - Froogle

This service is for doing a product search. It is nicely laid out. There is a product logo on the left, a link to the product site, a price, and a short product description.

I - I'm Feeling Lucky

When you do a search on the Search bar at Google it will bring up a list of search results to choose from. More often than not the first item on this list is what you are looking for. When you click the I'm Feeling Lucky bar it will take you to the website of the first item of your search results.

Try your own example when doing the Google Tour. Pick a topic that you would like to know more about. Then use the Google Tour to find out as much as you can. You will soon see that there is a lot more available for searching than just using the Search bar on the Google homepage. Once you get really comfortable using these various services you can broaden your horizons on all your future searches.

About the Author
Mary Howard is the owner of Humming Enterprises. (http://humming-enterprises.com) Download Desktop Surfer 1.0 and have links to more than 500 popular websites. (http://desktop-surfer.com)