Category Archives: Google

Searching Tips
Date Created: May 9, 2013  Date Modified: May 9, 2013

I found myself doing a little Google-Fu for a friend; They were looking for a PDF they found on the net prior but they couldnt locate the document in their web history as they accessed it on a public machine.

“Can you search for a PDF on a spesific domain?” They asked

Yes, yes you can. In Google type:


“Oh… its that easy?” they said with humility…

Yes, yes it is.

This rant was posted in Google, Search, Web on by .

[REPORT] The Google books settlement: a private contract in the absence of adequate copyright law
Date Created: January 10, 2013  Date Modified: January 10, 2013

I missed work yesturday so I had a lot of catching up to do today, this piked my interest because it references Lessig in the first sentence (and we all love Law professors who can internet like a pro). I will give it a more indepth read tonight when I have a bit more time…

The Google Books settlement has been hailed as an audacious and brilliant move by proponents and critics alike (Lessig, 2010; Samuelson, 2009a). Google’s goal of digitizing up to 20 million books drawn from participating libraries has been recast to cut authors and publishers in on the deal. With one comprehensive and complex legal document, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have crafted a deal that could transform the digital marketplace for books and could give Google a legal—and exclusive—method to clear rights for some copyrighted works neither it nor anyone else could acquire any other way, excepting changes to U.S. copyright legislation. The following discussion considers the circumstances that led to this settlement and explores its primary components, focusing on the amended class action settlement agreement of November 13, 2009, which in many respects remains similar to the original agreement of October 28, 2008. The settlement makes positive steps in the tricky areas of public access and digital rights, but it remains open to serious legal, economic, and cultural criticisms.

[MAP] Housing Offices… in progress
Date Created: December 13, 2012  Date Modified: December 13, 2012

This is a current work in progress… please consult the Department of Housing (WA) website for all office locations.

Crop Circle Map
Date Created: September 10, 2012  Date Modified: October 7, 2012

I was on ATS the other day and a user posted the coordinates for a crop circle they found on Google Maps somewhere in the UK. I went to the location and did not find the circle in question; But in the nearby vicinity I found a number of other interesting crop markings. Some are clearly man made…

Man Made Crop Circle, tho there others in the area that are probably not...

This area seems to be a hot-spot for this type of activity–however you wish to explain it, so feel free to hunt around as Google updates all the time and the landscape changes seasonally…

View Crop Circle Map in a larger map

This rant was posted in Google, Maps, UK, Web on by .

Chrome Timeline
Date Created: September 9, 2012  Date Modified: September 10, 2012

Before Chrome came out we all loved the functionality firebug bought to firefox, and being that I have been using FF recently I had forgotten how much better Chrome’s debugging toolset is. One of the tools I missed was the timeline, being able to see a visulization of your scripts and their load is really something that does pleasth. I noticed as you can see in the pic below, what scripts were resource hungry, and also which image element I could optimise to save that bit of bandwidth.
To activate the timeline, just right click your page > inspect element > Click the Timeline tab, then hit the record button in the bottom left toolbar, 4th button along (black circle will turn red when recording).

Click this and refresh your page and watch the fun. Hit the record button again to stop recording once the page has stopped loading all its elements.
Looks like I have some site maintenance to do…

NOTE: The information used in the Chrome tool shows speeds of the Chrome browser, it is still worth checking this against other tools, as IE and Mozilla may load at different rates depending on a number of variables.

Google Reading Level
Date Created: September 3, 2012  Date Modified: September 3, 2012

As the internet expands its user base and more and more people take on the role of content creators the more likely you are to find less relevant information using a standard Google search. There are countless ways to filter results from a standard search; this post only addresses one–Reading Level. But before we get to this, lets look at some other tools used in the research arena…

Having worked in higherEd, I know the contention regarding Google Scholar, as often as I hear “Its the best, you should use it”, I also hear “Never, EVER use Google Scholar”. The reasons vary depending on what the field of study is, so ask you lecturer or tutor their thoughts on Google Scholar before you start using it for assignments. In the study of Laws, the use of tools like LexusNexus and WestLaw are far better resources than Google Scholar, as these advance searches are tailored for legal research, (they are also paid services).

Google Reading Level is not a standalone application, its just an advance search tool that can filter the results by the language used. This is great for sorting out links on the basis of the language level used. Advanced returns links more of the academic and legal reading level, the screen cap below shows WA State Parliament Hansard as the first result for the search string “Rayney Trial” (a high profile case that has exploded across the local media), where without the Advanced filter, the Hansard would be returned much further down the results (if at all).

In situations such as the above where there is a great deal of news articles, most of which rehash content from a handful of original sources (Court Journalists in this example), the ability to exclude results written for consumption by the general populace does speed up the research process.

This rant was posted in Google, Law, Tips on by .

[MAP] CyberSaftey Outreach Centres
Date Created: April 26, 2012  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

I was surfing thru the datasets on and thought id import the KML from the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy‘s CyberSaftey Outreach centres.

View KML – CyberSaftey Outreach Centres in a larger map

There are around 800 datasets available, in various formats, so theres something for every interest.

This rant was posted in Google, Government, Government 2.0, Internet, KML, Maps, Web on by .

8-Bit Maps [LINK]
Date Created: April 9, 2012  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

Google released this as their 2012 April Fool’s joke, I know Im late to publish it but I keep refering back to it and so I want a quick place to find it (I should have tweeted it last week!).

This rant was posted in Google, Hacks, Links, Maps, Web on by .

Web Traffic: Quality over Quantity
Date Created: November 7, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

Last week I recived an unsolicited phone call from a PPC (pay-per-click) re-seller wanting to take me on as a client; Now I dont have anything against PPC per-say, however it is important to note that a PPC campaign can be counter intuitive in some situations.

An example of this is when I was working at UNDA: The marketing manager had arranged a PPC campaign that ran on a selection of keywords the marketing team thought would drive traffic to the site. Of those keywords were a few that related to the University’s name, Notre Dame, this had a couple of disadvantages that were overlooked by the marketing team:

  • Searches for Notre Dame that were paid for were mostly not related to interest in the University. We were in effect paying for a higher bounce rate
  • Google was used as a site search internally, causing us to pay for clicks from within our own domain
  • Course related keywords purchased (Medicine, Law, et al) were of high cost, and proved little return

My recommendation was to suspend PPC, as we were paying for traffic that was of no use to us as a business–we were seeking enrollments in courses; not just web hits.

This brings me to the call I received last week. I do not have AdSense on this blog to try glean revenue from traffic–the only revenue I intent on creating from this site is employment as a Web Developer / Administrator; I am the product here. A PPC campaign may increase hits to the site, but increased traffic does not equate to increased sales.

The trick to increasing quality hits is not by being the first to pop up in Google, the real trick is to have quality original content, that people will want to visit for. Webmasters should know what purpose their site serves, and should host content related to their purpose. There is no point driving traffic to your site if all they will do is click away.

This rant was posted in Google, Internet, PPC, SEO, Tech, Web, Web Development, Work on by .

Visualise Statistics With Google
Date Created: October 24, 2011  Date Modified: May 13, 2013

Google charts is an amazing piece of API, the data is there for you to use however you want. Supporting SVG and HTML5, this is a great tool to integrate within any site to display metrics visually.

The following example shows World top 10 Current Account balance:
Current Account Balance - Ranking

Google+ User Stats
Date Created: September 22, 2011  Date Modified: September 26, 2011

So Google+ is now officially open for trade, but have people been signing up? I know only a few from my old FB friends list have made the migration, but what about the rest of the world?. Well acording to Googles Paul Allen:

On September 9, our model showed 28.7 million users
This morning, our model shows 37.8 million users, with most of the growth coming in the last 2 days
By adding a fudge factor (see below) to account for private user profiles and for non-Roman surnames (both of which are totally overlooked by our surname counting model), my current estimate is 43.4 million users

Paul Allen

This may be the fastest growing Social Network, however in comparison to usage of other google products; say the Android platform with its userbase of 160 million users, does it really justify the Developer time? Or is it just about pulling all the google pruducts under the same umbrella?

One think is unquestionable tho, the crew over at Facebook are scared–do they have anything to worry about?