Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of Google services and tools
Google offers a variety of services and tools besides its basic web search. This is a list of Google's services and tools.
- Main article: Google Alerts
Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. Google currently offers three types of alerts: "News", "Web", and "News & Web".
In April 2002, Google launched a new service called Google Answers. It is an extension to the conventional search — rather than doing the search themselves, users pay someone else to do the search. Customers ask questions, offer a price for an answer, and researchers answer them. Researchers are screened through an application process that tests their research and communications abilities. Prices for questions range from $2 to $200; Google keeps 25% of the payment, sends the rest to the researchers, and charges an additional $0.50 listing fee. Once a question is answered, it remains available for anyone to browse for free. This service came out of beta in May 2003 and presently receives more than one hundred question postings per day. Google states that asking questions about google is not allowed on Google Answers.
As of late August 2004, Google Catalogs is in the beta stage. Numerous (over 6,600 at the time of this writing) print catalogs are archived on Google as scanned image files. Through the use of character recognition, users can search for a text string in these catalogs in a fashion similar to how they would for materials on the general web. Matching results are displayed through thumbnails of the pages on which the text was found, with the specific area of the page where the search result is found shaded in a yellow box. Another image file next to the thumbnail, a shrunk version of the highlighted area on the thumbnail, highlights the exact location of the search result. Users can then access the page of the catalog (as a larger graphic file) and change pages by using a navigation bar positioned above the page image. It might be worth noting that one can access the catalogs without a search as well.
The directory is a subset of the links in Google's database arranged into hierarchical subcategories, like an advanced Yellow Pages of the web. The original source of the directory, and the categorization is the Open Directory Project (ODP), which publishes an easily parsed version of its database in Resource Description Framework format for other sites, like Google, to use for derivative directories.
- Main article: Froogle
Froogle is a price engine that searches online stores for particular products. It is also offered in Wireless Markup Language (WML) form and can be accessed from cellphones or other wireless devices that have support for WML.
Google maintains a Usenet archive, called Google Groups (formerly an independent site known as Deja News). Google is currently testing a new version of its Groups service, which archives mailing lists in addition to usenet posts, using the same interface as Gmail (see below). Formally knows as "Google Groups 2," the new version of Google Groups is much more advanced than the last, letting you more easily join a group, make a group, and track your favorite topics.
In 2003, Google announced Google Images, which allows users to search the web for image content. The keywords for the image search are based on the filename of the image, the link text pointing to the image, and text adjacent to the image. When searching for an image, a thumbnail of each matching image is displayed. Then when clicking on a thumbnail, the image is displayed in a frame at the top of the page and the website on which that image was found is displayed in a frame below it, making it easier to see from where the image is coming.
- Main article: Google Labs
Google Labs consists of all of Google's experimental technologies. Google Labs is akin to a directory page that links to all Google technologies under development or in beta that have not yet been made widely available. From the Google Labs home page, a user can access Google Suggest, Google Desktop Search, and other web technologies.
Google Local helps you focus your search on a specific geographic location. Sometimes you want to search the whole worldwide web, and sometimes you just want to find an auto parts store within walking distance. The service lets you search for a "What" such as pizza and a "Where" such as Poughkeepsie, New York. The purpose of Google Local is to help people find local businesses. Not only does Google Local display the website of the businesses, but often times it will also display the phone number and address. Google Local was introduced to the Google home page a few weeks ago and is now the basis of Google Maps.
- Main article: Google Maps
On February 8, 2005, Google introduced a beta release of an online map service called Google Maps, which currently only covers the USA and Canada. It can interact with Google Local to restrict results to a certain areas. The service features draggable maps, a location search, and turn-by-turn directions. It has received early praise for the speed of its operation, produced by the pre-rendering of the maps it uses.  It currently only works with Internet Explorer and Mozilla-based browsers like Firefox. Google also recently added support for Opera and Safari web browser. On April 4, 2005, Google added satellite imagery to Google Maps.
My Search History
Keeps a record of all searches and clicked results while a user is logged into a Google Account and allows this to be accessed and searched.
- Main article: Google News
Google introduced a beta release of an automated news compilation service, Google News, in April 2002. There are different versions of the aggregator for more than 20 languages, with more added all the time. While the selection of news stories is fully automated, the sites included are selected by human editors, and the choices have occasionally led to some controversy.
This service allows users to create a profile based on their interests. Future search results are prioritized based on this information.
In August 2004, Google announced its new Google Print service. This tool searches the contents of books submitted by publishers and displays matches above web matches on the search result page. It offers links to purchase the book, as well as content-related advertisements. Google will limit the number of viewable pages from any book through user-tracking.  As of early January 2005, this service remains in the beta stage. This feature is similar to a service offered by A9.com.
In December 2004, Google announced an extension to its Google Print program.  It is a non-exclusive deal with several high-profile university and public libraries, including the University of Michigan, Harvard (Widener Library), Stanford (Green Library), Oxford (Bodleian Library), and the New York Public Library. According to press releases and university librarians, Google plans to have approximately 15 million public domain volumes online within a decade.    
See also: List of digital library projects
In November 2004, Google released Google Scholar, which indexes and searches academic literature across an array of sources and disciplines. Results are ranked by "relevance", which is based largely on the number of citations and in this sense is similar to PageRank.
It was also quickly noticed that Google attempts to avoid suggesting potentially offensive searches. For instance, there are no suggestions for searches containing the word porn, but there are many for pr0n and other variations that aren't on the blacklist. Although pr0n (with a zero) is allowed, pron is on the blacklist, which has the side-effect of not suggesting searches containing any words that include pron such as apron, mispronunciation, pronunciation or prone. Unlike pron and sex, the word ass is only blacklisted when it appears with a space after it, so words containing ass such as associated are suggested. The blacklist also includes the word lesbian, but not faggot, nigger, shit, or several other words that are often included on profanity blacklists.
Allows users to search within a large number of educational institution domains.
Google Web Search
- Main article: Google
Google's most famous creation is the Google search engine. Google.com has indexed over 8 billion Web sites, has 200 million requests a day and is the largest search engine on the Internet. The search engine allows you to search through images, products (Froogle), news, and the usenet archive. It uses a proprietary system (including PageRank) to return the search results. A culture has grown around the very popular search engine, and to google has come to mean, "to search for something on Google."
- Main article: Google X
Google X was a project released by Google Labs on March 15 2005 and rescinded a day later. It consisted of the traditional Google search bar, but it was made to look like the Dock user interface feature of Apple's Mac OS X operating system.
- Main article: Blogger
In 2003, Google acquired the Pyra Labs and Blogger services. Formerly premium features that needed to be paid for were made available for free by Google. The tool, Blogger, is a service to make weblog publishing easier. The user does not have to write any code or worry about installing server software or scripts. Nevertheless, the user can influence the design of his blog freely.
Google Browser Buttons
This tool allows users to put links to Google services in their web browsers.
- Main article: Gmail
On April 1, 2004, Google announced its own free webmail service, Gmail, which would provide users with 1000 MB (actually 1 GB, or 1024 MB) of storage for their mailboxes and would generate revenue by displaying advertisements from the AdWords service based on words in users email messages. Owing to April Fool's Day, however, the company's press release was greeted with much skepticism in the technology world. Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's vice-president of products, re-assured BBC News by saying "We are very serious about Gmail."
On April 1, 2005 Google announced that they would begin constantly increasing mailbox size by approximately 1 MB every 75 seconds, with no plan to stop. This actually was an April Fool's joke, but the company did simultaneously announce that it was increasing mailbox size to 2 GB, with a promise to add more space in the future. They are continuously adding more space, but not 1 megabyte every 75 seconds. On their webpage, they show how much space they are currently providing. By April 11, Google was adding storage at approximately 3.5 MB each day.
Google Language Tool
This tool allows users to use Google in many different languages.
Google Web API
The Google Web API (or Google Web Services) is Google's public interface for registered developers. Using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), a programmer can write services for search and data mining that rely on Google's results. Also, websurfers can view cached pages and make suggestions for better spelling.
By default a developer has a limit of 1,000 requests per day. This program is still in a beta phase. Google is one of the few search engines to make its results available via a public API; Technorati is another good example. Some popular implementations of the Google Web API include the alerting service Google Alerts, or FindForward, as well as the Google Dance Tool, which monitors when Google is spidering the Internet.
- Main article: AdSense
AdSense enables text or image advertisements to be displayed on Web sites that want ads to help raise money. The ads are administered by Google and generate revenue on a per-click basis. Google utilizes its search technology to serve ads based on Web site content, the user's geographical location, and other factors. Those wanting to advertise with Google's targeted ad system may sign up through AdWords.
- Main article: AdWords
AdWords is a service that allows advertisers ads appear on any Google search page, GMail email or AdSense page if certain keywords are displayed using a self-service system. The AdWords service is Google's largest source of income. The advertiser pays Google per click and there is a bidding system to determine ad ordering.
After Google registered "gbrowser.com" speculation began that it plans to release an Internet browser to compete with Internet Explorer. Executives have been secretive about whether they intend to develop a browser. A spokesman hinted that, "[Google believes] in reinventing the wheel with respect to browser technologies." Google has recently hired Adam Bosworth, a Microsoft former employee who helped write Internet Explorer, and Joe Beda, the man who has been working on Microsoft's next generation graphics engine. Google has also recently hired Ben Goodger the lead developer of Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla is most well known for their Firefox web browser. With the 1.0 version of the Mozilla Firefox browser, the default home page is set to a web page hosted by Google. Further speculation involves Google modifying either Netscape, Mozilla or Firefox browsers.
In December 2003, Google launched the beta version of the Google Deskbar, a search tool which runs from the Microsoft Windows taskbar, without a browser having to be open. It can return film reviews, stock quotes, dictionary and thesaurus definitions, plus any pre-configured search of a third-party site (e.g. eBay or Amazon). In November 2004, Google launched an API for Google Deskbar.
Google Desktop Search
Known internally under the codename Puffin, Google Desktop Search enables desktop search. It runs locally on a PC and will index all Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, and Thunderbird emails, text documents, Microsoft Office documents, AOL Instant Messenger conversations, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox,and Netscape history on that PC, PDF, music, images, video, and allow the user to search them from a browser. A plug-in feature has been released which allows developers to code their own applications into the catalog. Google Desktop Search is an extension of Google Search. After indexing a user's files, his or her local results will turn up on normal Google search on his or her local computer.
Google Desktop Search does not store users files on the web and users personal information is not sent to Google.
Google Desktop Search was likely developed in response to file and Web search capabilities that will be offered in the next major release of Microsoft Windows, codenamed Longhorn (slated for release in 2006) — features that directly compete with Google's core Internet search business.
Currently, Google Desktop Search does not support Google's "Did You Mean" spelling-suggestion feature. For example, if a user lets it look up his or her computers for "chicke", it will not ask whether he or she meant "chicken".
On October 27, 2004, Google acquired Keyhole, a company creating online satellite maps that has the ability to view geographical information in 3D view. Keyhole does cover the entire globe with satellite imagery but not high resolution. They will focus on the larger and initially U.S. metropolitan areas. Keyhole has the largest commercial imagery database online in 3D today. It covers over 80 major metropolitan areas and thousands of cities. The satellite imagery, aerial photography, elevation data, street vectors, business listings, together are worth millions of dollars. The data are updated every two to three years on average.
- Main article: orkut
Though not mentioned on the Google homepage, orkut is a service hosted, created and maintained by Google engineers. Orkut is a social networking service, where users can list their personal and professional information, create relationships amongst friends and join communities of mutual interest. Affinity engines, a company based in Palo Alto, has filed a lawsuit accusing that Orkut Büyükkökten, a co-founder of the company, illegally took the code, which he wrote for the company, for use in Google. 
There is some speculation saying that orkut and Gmail are part of a Google effort to gather information about their users, with the intention of offering a better personalized search service in future. Google already has a personalized search in Google Labs.
- Main article: Picasa
On July 13, 2004 Google acquired Picasa, software for management and sharing of digital photographs. Since then, Google has released the latest edition of the software with Picasa2. The aim of the software was to make photo editing simple and easy to use. Picasa has also been integrated with Google's Blogger and Gmail services. It is free to download.
This add-on to Google's software Picasa gives the user the ability to instant message pictures it gives the user the ability to surf the web in a shared form. For example two users instant messaging can surf the web together. It also allows a user to directly add pictures from Picasa to his/her blog on blogger. This is the first instant messaging download offered by Google.
This addition to Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later adds Google's searching capabilities in a toolbar in the web browser. The latest version includes pop-up ads blocking, automatic filling of forms, the ability to show the Google PageRank value for the current page being viewed, and SpellCheck , AutoLink and the WordTranslator . It has been criticized for being a security risk because it updates itself without user intervention.
Other browsers, such as Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari, have built-in search tools that offer the same functionality. Mozilla Firefox also has its own version of the Google Toolbar, the Googlebar, which is developed independently of and is not supported by Google or the Mozilla Firefox developers. It expands upon the official Google toolbar to the point that the only feature not replicated is the Google PageRank functionality. There are other tools that bring the PageRank functionality to Mozilla and Firefox, including a modification of Googlebar. Googlebar has also been built into Safari for Apple Computer's new Mac OS X operating system.
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