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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Mining Google Web Services (Book)

[Mining Google Web Services]

I’m finally holding Mining Google Web Services in my hands. This book by John Paul Mueller (who also wrote Amazon Web Services, and eBay Web Services) must be one of the most extensive guides on using the Google Web API, and I’m happy to say I’m mentioned because I could offer some help during its creation.

Here is a list of frameworks discussed in relation to the Google API:

As you can see, the book has a definite focus on Windows technologies, but doesn’t stop there. With all topics discussed, John Mueller goes into great detail of the tools used (including their installation) to make sure you can follow.

You might make use of this book if you either want to get into programming the Google Web API, or want to expand your Web Services knowledge on a variety of frameworks. If you are just into say PHP/MySQL, you will still find plenty of general information (syntax, caching, privacy, translations) but might get more out of a book tailored to this subject specifically.

Preview: Table of Contents, Sample Chapter “Writing Applications Using PHP” [PDF].

VisitorVille Search Terms

A new feature in VisitorVille allows you to watch the search terms people used to find your site (in real time). Previously, you had to either keep watching the Google bus, or click on the visitors to open their passport to see the search terms. So this makes for a very handy feature, especially if you get most of your visitors straight from Google.

Another change in VisitorVille brings different cars with distinct sounds for people moving from one page to another. Previously, there were only taxis (or limos, if they were VIPs).

View a VisitorVille video [WMV] highlighting the new search term feature (as well as some of the older features).

The Google Face Game

Show me

[Thanks to Scott Niven for the invention of the Google Face Game.]

Firefox AdBar

The one feature you didn’t need in Firefox was an Adbar... unless you really like Google’s related ads. [Via Waxy.]

MySQL Search

Here’s a good article on how to search a MySQL table effectively using PHP. [Via Anil Dash.]

Blogger Bug

Since this week there’s a major bug preventing me from editing a post to republish it. Apparently it’s connected to the fact I’m not publishing in post-per-page mode (never was). Here’s an example of the error message:

550 2004/08/new-blogspot-navbar.html: No such file or directory on file:2004/08/new-blogspot-navbar.html

The only workaround I found so far is to edit the post, publish it, wait for the error message to appear, and to then click “Republish index”.

New Blogspot Navbar

[Example Site]

Google’s Blogger replaced the advertisement on its Blogspot-pages with a more helpful navigation bar on top. It lets you automatically search the blog you are looking at, as well as move on to the next random blog. The “navbar” is integrated into the site’s template, so it has not one but many looks. This makes it a more integrated and better-looking alternative to the old advertisements. This must have been the first time I’m seeing a growing free web service like to make a move showing less ads instead of more.


Jux2 compares the search results of Google with those of Yahoo or However Jux2 seems to compare uneven result quantities. Searching for google blog it reads:

1 unique Google result, 9 shared results, 4 unique Yahoo! results

This would mean there are 10 only results taken from Google (1 + 9), but 13 from Yahoo (9 + 4). But most people look at the first few results only, and if they want more resuls they can either search again or click on “Next” – showing 20 results on one page like Yahoo does is not necessarily an improvement to the 10 of Google. In short, a comparison like this does not make much sense.

Also, the alternative “What am I missing?” button should just list those pages you would have missed by searching Google only, i.e. those unique in the Yahoo result. However it doesn’t work: I could find results that were in the Google top 10, and they were listed as missing from Google in Jux2. (For above search, this was true for The Register’s “Google to fix blog noise problem” article.)


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