You have to really admire Google.
They’ve come onto the scene and buried my traditional view of what search is all about. Then, they nicely branch into other offerings. A lesser company might stop to rest on its laurels.
Not Google. The company continues to add resources and features. It’s really not about search; it’s about being your online portal to everything electronic.
The latest (or at least the latest that I’ve seen) is a new look to iGoogle, which can be your personal home page and launch pad to everything that you do online. I’m really impressed and can’t help but spend more than a few moments exploring. These enhancements often come unheralded and the more that you look, the more features that are revealed.
Other than the sheer genius for creativity and innovation, I’m always struck by…
- the immediate usability of the features. There is no learning curve; things just work.
- the interface. There are no fancy graphics or animations to try and make the products something that they’re not.
- the reliability. When was the last time that you were presented with a “down for maintenance” page?
- the ability to build community. Look at all of the third party developers that provide plug-in gadgets or mashups.
Other services would do well to learn how this is done.
For the new user, where do you start? Well, there are three things that I think are worth doing.
- forget the homepage and learning Boolean operators. Go to the Advanced Search page.
- memorize the Google Cheat sheet or this one.
- get yourself an iGoogle page. You’ll be so glad that you did.
- create your own Google Custom Search page. Mine is here.
This is just about search. But, where else would you start with a search engine by looking at their search features!