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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Two Cool Google Tools: Xtra-Google and Soople

Update: XtraGoogle has been taken down, apparently on orders by Google. See this post for discussion.

Google may be annoyingly dominant in the world of search, and other engines may offer important, unique services, but Google cannot be neglected. Two related sites, not affiliated with Google, are now available to help you use Google's advanced search features. Check out Xtra-Google and Soople.

Xtra-Google gives you icons for all the Google features, like Google Scholar (searches academic journals) and Google Video (searches TV transcripts, see also Blinkx, which shows you the clips themselves, but from a smaller number of primarily international TV sources.)

Soople offers boxes for you to fill in instead of having to remember the search syntax for the various Google search types. For example, it is easy to search inside a single website for your search terms using Google, but if you can't remember to type your search as "site:www.washingtonpost.com Nanotechnology -green" then Soople is for you. That's just one example of Google search syntax functions and Soople sets them up in an easy graphic interface.

Google isn't your only option for search, of course. To see a demonstration of what, for example, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves can find that Google can't, check out Jux2. I personally prefer Clusty.

Search is such an incredible field, and it just gets better all the time.

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