By Robin J Phillips
Samantha Smith came to show JAWS attendees ways to search smarter on the mammoth search engine.
But quickly the room full of journalists peppered her with questions about “How does Google define news?” “Is the default 30 days in news?” “Why are certain stories at the top of the Google News search?” “So there’s no Google page with all these links on it?”
Smith, who has been with Google for four months, says she’s what they call a Noogler, a newbie. But she fielded the questions like a pro.
“Google’s goal is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful,” said Smith, whose official title is senior associate for Global Communications and Policy at Google. She’s based in Washington D.C.
And with the enthusiasm of a newbie she described her new employer’s search engine as “a powerful tool, which can do a wide variety of things, from helping small businesses to get online to starting a revolution.”
- Search Smarter
- What’s Hot, What’s Not
- Add a Visual Edge to your stories.
Smith ran through a list of Google tools that can be helpful to journalists and are all worth taking a wander through, including:
- Google Insight Trends could be quite useful if you’re a journalist looking to anticipate what readers are looking for, or if you’re looking for a historical search pattern.
- U.S. Government Search … www.google.com/unclesam This page should be up within the next few days.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Data Visualization
- Google Advanced Search: A link off the main Google.com search page (look to the right of the search box.)
- Google Language Tools. Also, on the main Google.com page. Also to the right of the search box.
- Google Trends: to check on hot search topics.
- Google Fusion Tables, a Google’s beta project that aims to take information from “ugly spreadsheet land” to “useful infographic land.”
CHECK OUT Google’s official blog regularly for updates on tips and tools: Google Blog.
And here are a couple of categories on Google’s blog you might find useful: