Feb 232011
 
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

Google is one of those special brands whose name has come become synonymous with their product ­­–– instead of saying “search the Internet,” we just say “Google it.”

While Google did start as only a search engine 12 years ago, it would be a disservice to a lot of hardworking code-monkeys to only think of Google as providing a search service.

If you navigate to www.google.com, up at the top there is a list of a few other services they offer –– image search, video search, maps, etc –– at the end is a “More” button.

Click on “More” and you shall enter a magical world of almost 100 apps, straight from the superhuman brains of Google’s engineers. We could fill today’s paper writing about all of them, so we had to pick four neat ones….

Google Trends

At www.google.com/trends, you can see what’s “hot” on the Internet right now … or even what was hot as far back as 2004. The homepage has two lists predominantly displayed –– hot searches and hot trends.

The hot searches show you the currently most searched terms on Google –– right now “Justin Bieber new haircut” at number three is edging out “Jennifer Aniston new haircut” at number five.

Hot topics, on the other hand, is more similar to Twitter’s “trending topics.” It displays terms that are coming up often in news stories, blogs and yes, the competition –– Twitter.

Google Cached Sites

A few times every day, Google takes snapshots of some of the world’s most popular websites and saves them for your convenience. Sure, you could just navigate to the regular URL, OR you could get into Google’s Internet time machine and travel back to see how things were “back in the day.”

In a more practical use, cached pages can be handy when the page you’re trying to view is down for maintenance. Not all the associated links are cached so you might just end with a snapshot of a homepage.

This service also comes in handy when high profile web sites post controversial things, and then quickly take them down. What happens on the web stays on the web.

Google Scholar

Hopefully by this point in your college career you’re aware of LexisNexus search and Academic Search Premier. To fill in the art students, these websites are used to search for scholarly journals for use in research papers.

We’ve heard our teachers tell us countless times about how a simple Google search alone won’t suffice, and instead we’re forced to use these foreign websites that CSU pays thousands of dollars a year to use.

Luckily there is more to Google than meets the eye … Simply head over to scholar.google.com and Google will begin to filter your search results to scholarly journals.

The best part is that the interface is the exact same as your regular Google search, so instead of spending 20 minutes trying to figure out a new site, you’ll have 20 more minutes of sleep when you finally finish your paper at 4:30 a.m.

Our next tool is brought to you by Google Labs. Self-described by Google as their  “technology playground,” this fine category of websites is in beta test mode, so none of the sites are finished products, and some may never be. Either way, you’re bound to find new and creative ideas.

Google Body

Every wonder where your Inguinal Canal is? How about your Omohyoid muscle? With Google Body, all your bodily questions can be answered. Think of it as Google Maps for your innards. This one is a little bit more relevant to us Biology majors (shout out) but if you ever have the impulse to check out your bod with an awesome 3D interface then give it a click.

We’d love to go on, but if we use any more inches of parchment the unnamed Design Editor (named on page 2) will not be on our good side. Happy Googling!

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer know well the wrath of newspaper designers. Please send comments and questions to verve@collegian.com.

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