Search tac­tics

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Web -

GOOGLE search­ing is a daily ac­tiv­ity that is sec­ond na­ture to us now, but as the site’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties grow, so do our search skills.

Google is no longer just a text search en­gine. In­side Search is Google’s blog on new fea­tures of the site, of­fer­ing videos and how-to tips out­lin­ing how to get more out of the site.

The ‘‘ Play­ground’’ section of­fers fun fea­tures such as the story be­hind each day’s Google home­page doo­dles, while the ‘‘ Un­der the hood’’ section, ex­plores the tech­nol­ogy be­hind search tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘ Google Labs’’ is where new fea­tures are tested, self­de­scribed as ‘‘ a play­ground where our more ad­ven­tur­ous users can play around with pro­to­types of some of our wild and crazy ideas and of­fer feed­back di­rectly to the en­gi­neers who de­vel­oped them, any­one can be part of it’’.

In­dex­ing bil­lions of web pages, the site con­tin­ues to ex­pand with fea­tures be­yond the orig­i­nal word-search ca­pa­bil­ity.

New Google search func­tions in­clude syn­onym searches, weather fore­casts, time zone queries, in­stant stock quotes, search­able in­ter­ac­tive maps, in­stant earth­quake data, US air­port in­for­ma­tion and real­time real es­tate list­ings, as well as all your favourite North Amer­i­can sports scores.

Spe­cial fea­tures ex­ist for prices, tem­per­a­tures, con­ver­sions, mail track­ing, patents, area codes and lan­guage trans­la­tion of any page.

If it all seems a lit­tle too clever, per­haps it is. And per­haps it’s time for us to catch up.

Google has be­gun a daily puz­zle chal­lenge to pro­mote its new search ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Each day the site re­leases a new puz­zle, test­ing a user’s search skills and ‘‘ lead­ing to Google mas­tery’’.

Are you ready, grasshopper?

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