Google Home Page
Photo by Adeline YawGoogle homepage is the epitome of simplicity. All classic Google homepages are uncluttered and you are drawn into the task for which they were designed: to enter a search term. However, with the introduction of iGoogle, the uncluttered nature of the classic Google homepage has been usurped, if you wish it to be. With iGoogle you decide how much clutter you want.
Google Inc. relies on it’s position as the leading company in web crawling, indexing and searching to generate income from advertising programs. The more options that are available for them to show adverts, the better for them. So, over time, Google has added a few more product options to their homepage. Generally speaking though, very little has changed since the Google home page arrived on our computer screens, except that it has been cloned for almost every country, and the main languages of those countries.
The Google front-end home page has been associated for many years with the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer browser and has developed accordingly (Google Windows). However, with the introduction of the Chrome browser and Chrome OS the functionality will be an all-encompassing Google phenomenon: faster loading, integrated and ubiquitously available.
Photo by See-ming Lee 李思明 SMLThe simplicity of the Google homepage belies the complexity of that which lies beneath. The Google search engine now consists of numerous googlebots which do the clever work of trawling the internet for new and updated information. This information is indexed so that your search query can be matched with results from the Google indexes.
The Google search results presentation has changed little, except for the retrieval of results as you type (which I personally find distracting); automatic search string completion with suggested alternatives; and the introduction of alternative media, such as news, videos and images as results. With the trend of the internet towards social media, these introductions were necessary for Google to stay in the game.
But what of searchers in all this. The Google homepage is now geo-targeted for all users. All this means is that you get your local Google homepage when you use Google. This is achieved with the use of a cookie. Great if that is what you want, but a nuisance when you want to investigate what is available through a search page other than your local Google home page.
If you don’t want localized results then check out Google GlobaI.
Now, you know which is your local Google homepage. If it is available in a number of different languages, then it is presented to you in the geo-language associated with you. If you want to view the Google homepage in one of those alternative languages, you simply click on one of the presented options. But what if your geo-location is from elsewhere? How do you access the Google country homepage that you want?
Check out the country links below to find out.
Google Homepage products and services
The following are the facilities available from the US version of the Google home page. Your home page may have different options or less options – perhaps some day, all Google home page versions will be the same or maybe even different. Check out the country links below to see what options are available in other countries.
If you are searching for a photo, line drawing or a picture then the image search is available from the top left of the homepage screen.
The videos link takes you to YouTube, which is now a fully paid up member of the Google community.
Photo by cesarharada.comThe maps option takes you to Google maps where you can search for maps; produce your own maps; find directions, either for car journeys, and in some areas for walking, cycling, transit and other ever-expanding methods of transportation.
News is another option available to you within Google’s homepage. The results are presented for your geo-location (that is if your geo-location has a Google News representation). You can obtain news for your very specific region by adding a postcode. But what if you want news from elsewhere around the world, as reported by local news reporters? How to get it is not immediately obvious.
Check out Google World News to find out how.
A further function, which at the time of writing is still showing as a beta version, is Shopping, or more to the point, Google Product Search. So, if you want to search for stuff to buy, this is as good a place as any to start. And it gets better – if you want to sell something, then this is the place to go (for free).
The final option at the top left is Mail. This, of course, is Gmail or Googlemail. If you have a Gmail account then you can access it from here. If not, you can set one up.
If this is not enough and you want to know about more…. check out Classic Google Homepage by Humagaia.
So what else is available on the Google homepage?
Photo by karlmfoxleyApart from the ‘advertising programs’, ‘business solutions’, ‘about Google’ and the background theme change options, we are left with just three other options (as of April 2011). There’s the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, which either takes you to the first returned result for a search term or a customised Google homepage such as Google Heart.
And finally, to the right (or left, for those that have languages reading right to left) of the search term entry box, there are:
- Advanced search – include and exclude words and phrases; select language, file type and / or reading level; and, determine the relevance of returned results by date, keyword position, region and / or numeric range.
- Language tools – where you can translate a word, phrase, block of text or an entire webpage into one of 52 alternative languages; change your Google interface language; or, view the local Google homepage for any of 182 other countries.
And that is about that!
Except that, in your version of the Google home page you may find links to iGoogle, Orkut (Google’s Facebook equivalent), Blogsearch, Scholar, Groups,
Books, Realtime, Translate, Preferences / search settings, Docs, and Ejabat (Google Answers).
Some Google Country homepage articles to help you in your global search requirements:
All in all Google homepage is as simple as it gets, but at the same time is as powerful as you want it to be.
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