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Maximize Your Google Searches

By Neil J. Squillante | Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Google has a habit of introducing new features without making accompanying announcements. Therefore, even if you use Google daily, you may not know about certain features. Today, I'll run through some of my favorites.

Longtime TechnoLawyer members know that I maintain my weight by counting calories. Sometimes, it's easier to calculate calories using grams (e.g., 100 grams of strawberries = 40 calories), and sometimes it's easier to do so using ounces (e.g., 1 ounce of cheese = 100 calories). If your kitchen scale limits you to ounces, Google enables you to convert from our system to the metric system (but not vice versa for some odd reason). For example, search for "3.5 ounces" and Google provides "93.5 grams." If you want an equivalent liquid measurement, enter "3.5 fluid ounces" and Google provides "103.5 milliliters."

A few months ago, Google released a service vastly superior to the competition — Google Maps. The maps are clear and easy to manipulate, and the driving directions are the next best thing to having a GPS navigation system. Google Maps also provides satellite images so take a look at your home.

Most people know that you can use Google as a dictionary. Just enter a word, and Google provides a link to a definition. If you misspell it, Google will provide the correct spelling. But Google recently overhauled this system to provide additional functionality such as a thesaurus and encyclopedia. The latter needs more work — it can provide a bio of Theodore Roosevelt, but not Bill Clinton.

For more than a year, Google News has provided a remarkable service that few people know about — simply run a search and then click on "News Alerts" to save that search and sign up for e-mail alerts. Thereafter, Google will e-mail you links to news articles that match your search. Recently, Google added the ability to receive e-mail alerts for Web pages that match your search as well.

Two weeks ago, Google unveiled Search History — a service that saves all your searches. The service is optional so ignore all the controversy. Furthermore, even if you sign up, you can pause it, which means you can use it only when conducting the kind of research you'd like to save. You can also delete any of your searches.

Do you have any little-known Google tips of your own you'd like to share?

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A TechnoEditorial is the vehicle through which we opine and provide tips of interest to managing partners, law firm administrators, and others in the legal profession. TechnoEditorials appear here in TechnoLawyer Blog and also in our TechnoGuide newsletter, but they appear in TechnoGuide first. TechnoGuide also contains exclusive content.

Topics: CLE/News/References | Online/Cloud | TL Editorial
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