7.2. Google's Parts
Google's parts can, roughly speaking, be divided into the following categories:
Obviously, many of these aspects of Google are beyond the scope of this book, which focuses on making money with Google advertising and the AdSense and AdWords programs. This section explains the parts of Google you should know about with this selective focus.
Google is a moving target; it's constantly innovating, releasing software, and acquiring software companies. No static list of Google parts is ever likely to be up-to-date or final.
You'll find software that Google is still playing with at Google Labs , http://labs.google.com. If you go to Google Labs, you can try out this software. Many of the "graduates" of Google Labs are now real, live Google parts.
Some of the parts of Google can be opened directly from the Google home page , http://www.google.com. If you don't see the link you are interested in on the Google home page, open the Google Services and Google Tools page by clicking the More link on the Google home page.
You'll find links to almost all the parts of Google from the Google Services and Google Tools page; I'll also provide a direct address to each Google part I discuss in the body of that section.
7.2.1. Advanced Search
Google Advanced Search , shown in Figure 7-3, can be opened using the URL http://www.google.com/advanced_search. Google Advanced Search implements the operators explained in "Google Syntax and Operators" earlier in this chapter (and a number of additional operators which I didn't explain) using a visual interface, so you don't need to enter the operators as part of a search query.
Figure 7-3. Google Advanced Search lets you implement sophisticated searching without understanding Google's query language
Blogger, http://www.blogger.com, is one of the largest hosted blogging services on the Web. Blogger hosts hundreds of thousands of blogs, and it is free and easy to use. From an advertiser's viewpoint Blogger (and other hosted blogging services) are interesting, because they provide Google with a venue for AdWords contextual ads, categorized by the specific interest of the blog author.
Google Catalogs , http://catalogs.google.com, is a library of scanned mail-order catalogs that users can search. There's no charge for getting a catalog included in this list, and Google does not currently place advertising on the catalog search results pages. But you may want to know that the listings from Google Catalogs can show up in regular Google search results and accept that these listings are possible competition for merchandise items of your own.
Google Code , http://code.google.com, is a centralized repository of all the APIs, documentation for developers, Google open source projects, and everything else related to programming Google (see Part IV for information about programming the Google AdWords API).
Google Directory uses the categorization scheme and sites selected by the Open Directory Project (ODP) to find information that has been vetted by volunteer editors familiar with a particular subject. The URL for Google Directory is http://directory.google.com. As I explain in Chapter 2, the ODP is important to you if you want to drive traffic to your site. You can use Google Directory to explore Google's use of the ODP taxonomy.
Froogle, http://froogle.google.com, is a comparative, searchable shopping service. It's currently free for merchants to list their offerings with Froogle, and as far as can be told, Google makes no money from Froogle. It should be in the sites of businesses working with the Google advertising programs, however, because Google will eventually do something to monetize this service and Froogle may end up competing with merchants who advertise on other parts of the Google network.
Google Local , http://local.google.com, is used to pinpoint information related to a particular place. This is achieved by searching billions of web pages for information about local businesses, then cross-checking those results with Yellow Pages data. There are several implications for advertisers: Google Local results pages are excellent advertising venues for local businesses who have signed up with AdWords. Google Local has excellent mapping features and is very convenient to use. The trend that is underway of advertising moving from newspapers and Yellow Pages to the Web will only accelerate as people become more accustomed to using Google Local, meaning that it will become even more important for advertisers to learn to work with AdWords.
7.2.8. Personalize Your Home Page
Personalize Your Home Page, http://www.google.com/ig, presents a variety of news feeds and other information on the Google Home Page. Figure 7-4 shows a generic version of this customized home page.
Figure 7-4. Google's personalized home page feature lets you add news feeds, weather, stock quotes, and more
At this time, it's hard to know for sure where Google is going to go with the home page personalization feature, but it's worth watching for advertisers because opening up the Google start pages to different kinds of information suggests that Google may extend the kinds of advertising it accepts.
Google Print , http://print.google.com, lets users search through books submitted to the program by publishers and other copyright holders. Google takes care of scanning the books and hosting the resulting pages on Google servers. These pages are then used by Google to display contextual ads. A portion of the revenue from the ads is paid by Google to the owner of the materials.
Google Scholar lets you search for academic, peer-reviewed articles and citations. You can open Google Scholar at http://scholar.google.com. Although Scholar has had some rather mixed reviews, it is certainly one of the largest free repositories online of scholarly materal, and Google Scholar search results are another place Google displays contextual advertising.