Google has added the UK to its list of Local Search countries (previously just the US and Canada) at http://local.google.co.uk/. You type in what you are looking for e.g. double glazing, restaurants and the location, which can be a town or postcode. Google then combines information from its web database with Yellow pages. A map is produced alongside the list of results with the locations of the businesses marked on the map. The businesses nearest your location are listed first and subsequent pages of results move further out. When you click on the location on the map, the address pops up and you can also ask for directions. The route from your starting point is marked on the map and there are detailed written instructions, for example “Turn left at Playhatch Road – go 0.6 mi”…
It is not perfect, though. My search on restaurants in Caversham missed three excellent eateries in the centre of the village that are in both Google and Yellow Pages.
An interesting tool that runs your search on both Google and Yahoo at the same time. It displays your results in two fames alongside one another in your browser so you can view both sets at the same time. Actually – its better to look at them one at a time; I started to feel seasick trying to compare the results in both sets. If you just want to compare coverage and results between Yahoo and Google for a particular search strategy then use Thumbshots Ranking.
Google News Sources
Google does not provide a list of sources for its News service, but this site runs a php script that captures the Google News home page every 15 minutes and then logs the news sources it finds. You can view sources for all countries or select an individual country from the drop down list. However, the country option does not appear to be very accurate so probably best to stick to the “all” option. As of April 5th, a total of 2990 sources were listed.
The default listing is by source, but you can change that to Frequency- that is by the number of articles per source. According to this site, the top 10 so far are:
El Universal (México)
New York Times
Another gem from Phil Bradley’s blog (I don’t know where Phil finds these sites!). You put in your search strategy and then BananaSlug adds a random search term. Alternatively you can select a category for your random word – e.g. animals, great ideas, random number, themes from Shakespeare.
The idea behind this site is to promote serendipitous surfing. By adding a random term, which may or may not be relevant, you pull up pages that are buried way down in the results list and which you would probably never see. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
BananaSlug uses the Google APIs and is limited to 1000 queries a day. If the site is past the limit, you are diverted to Google with your search term and random word.
Google April Fool’s Search
Search 401,000 pages covering anything and everything to do with April Fool’s Day. You may also be interested in the lunar job under the Work at Google link!
Another great service from Google – but still in beta – and launched on April 1st:-)
Designed to “quench your thirst for knowledge”, Google Gulp is “a line of “smart drinks” designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.” Plus “it’s low in carbs! And with flavors ranging from Beta Carroty to Glutamate Grape, you’ll never run out of ways to quench your thirst for knowledge.”
The FAQ tells you all you need to know about Google Gulp from how it works (“to comprehend the long version of this answer, you’d need a PhD (from Stanford, natch)”) to when will Google Gulp come out of beta, to which their response is:
“Man, if you pressure us, you just drive us away. We’ll commit when we’re ready, okay? Besides, what’s so great about taking things out of beta? It ruins all the romance, the challenge, the possibilities, the right to explore. Carpe diem, ya know? Maybe we’re jaded, but we’ve seen all these other companies leap headlong into 1.0, thinking their product is exactly what they’ve been dreaming of all their lives, that everything is perfect and hunky-dory and the next thing you know some vanilla copycat release from Redmond is kicking their butt, the Board is holding emergency meetings and the CEO is on CNBC blathering sweatily about “a new direction” and “getting back to basics.” No thanks, man. We like our freedom.”