Google is always releasing new features or apps. Here’s a rundown of some released recently that may have relevance for lawyers…
“He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…” Just in time for the season, Google announces that even if you’re not signed in to your account, they’re going to personalize your search for you based on a knowledge of what you’ve searched for in the past, thanks to a cookie. As with the similar “negative option billing,” you can opt out: instructions are here.
Google’s website/wiki building application now provides users with a range of templates that take most of the fuss out of formatting a website — at least, if you have a fairly specific purpose in mind. The basic “web page” template, though, offers users a lot of easy-to-customize features. Lawyers may find the intranet template useful. The barrier to publishing on the web keeps dropping; now there’s no excuse.
Google search results display a green portion of the found URL at the bottom of each result; because a URL is not necessarily a helpful patch of prose, Google will be replacing some with a “hierarchy,” showing you where in the website levels the found information lies. Thus, in their example, instead of simply showing this URL: www.productwiki.com/spidersapien, Google will now show this representation: www.productwiki.com > Toys & Games > Robots
As we learned recently, Canadian’s search differently on Google, one difference being the inclusion often of [Canada] in search terms. Now it might not be so necessary. If a webmaster includes a region in a site’s geographic targeting settings, Google will show the region in the green URL line after the search result. This will happen only when the site domain is a non-country domain, such as .com or .org.
In one of the most perplexing moves Google has ever made, the search giant with the simple front page has gone to a “dynamic” effect: now when you load Google, the search box and logo appear in pristine isolation — until you mouse over the page, whereupon the rest of the links come slowly into view. This has absolutely no utility that I can see, and it’s fun for about ten seconds.
The real-time internet is all the rage now, principally thanks to Twitter: we want what we want, and we want it NOW. But of course this hunger for up-to-the-second new is old hat. Stock tickers began pumping out current prices on tape as far back as 1867. Google joined the financial rat(e) race last year, providing streaming quotes. Now they’re streaming finance-related news as well.
It’s all very well to have an almost limitless number of URLs, but someone has to keep track of them all and send a URL user to the correct server. The common parallel is with a phone book: you know the name, but you need to look up the number. So it is with URLs. Various DNS lookups are available to a user, though the vast majority of users, in ignorance, simply let their ISP choose the lookup that they use. Google is getting in the game, claiming that its “phonebook” is faster and more secure than others. If your ISP lets you choose your own DNS lookup — in Canada Rogers does but Bell does not, for example — you might like to follow the simple instructions and see if switching to the Google phonebook gets your internet calls answered quicker.