Finding Similar Words with Google Sets
Our final word-related search feature is one that's still in development at Google Labs. I'm talking about Google Sets, which lets you enter two or more
You access Google Sets at labs.google.com/sets/. As you can see in Figure 9.8, the main Google Sets page is actually a form. All you have to do is enter a few terms from the set you want to complete, and then click either the Large Set or Small Set button.
Figure 9.8. Searching for related words with Google Sets.
Learn more about Google Labs in Chapter 42, "Exploring Google Labs".
The resulting page, like the one shown in Figure 9.9, displays a longer list of terms
Figure 9.9. The results of a Google Sets search.
For example, if you enter the terms round , square , and rectangle , Google Sets returns the terms triangle , oval , circle , hexagon , and so forth. If you enter the terms dog , cat , and bird , Google Sets returns the terms horse , rabbit , fish , snake , and so forth.
How might you use Google Sets? One use is to help you "fill in the blanks" when you're writing or creating lists. Another use might be to expand your own set of query terms when you're using Google to search an unfamiliar subject.
Google Sets is interesting, in any caseeven if you can't find a direct application to your current task.
The Bottom Line
Google's definition-searching features, while relying on third-party
Chapter 10. Searching for Other Special Information
A s you've read through the previous chapters, you've no doubt received a sense that there's a lot more hidden behind the standard Google search page than most users realize. Well, you're rightand there's more where that came from.
For example, did you know that you can use Google to search for tracking information from UPS, FedEx, and other shipping companies? Or find up-to-the-minute airport and flight status information? Or find out when a particular movie is showing at your local theater? Or display the latest weather forecast?
That's right, Google makes a lot of special information available from its main search page. All you have to do is know how to search for it!
Searching for Facts
When you're looking for hard facts, Google might be able to help. Yes, Google always returns a list of sites that match your specific query, but if you phrase your query correctlyand are searching for a fact that Google has preidentifiedyou can get the precise information you need at the top of the search results page.
What types of information are we talking about, here? Fact-based information, such as birthdates, birthplaces, population, and so on. All you have to do is enter a query that states the fact you want to know. For example:
The answers to these questions are displayed at the top of your search results page, as shown in Figure 10.1. You get the precise answer to your question, according to the referenced website. Click the associated link to learn more from this source.
Figure 10.1. A typical top-of-page Google Q&A fact.
This capability to display "quick answers to straightforward questions" is called Google Q&A, and the information presented is typical reference information, the kind of stuff you might find in a desk reference or almanac. Google Q&A isn't always consistent about the sources of this
If a fact isn't in the Google Q&A database, it won't be displayed on the search results page.