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Google Services

Useful information on some Google services.

Google Algorithm

The Google Algorithm effects search visabiity. Learn more.

Google Accounts

Get a Google Account even if the Google service that you use doesn't require it. This is because a Google Account often brings extra functionality.
Note that the Access Account Control Panel is available at where name is domain. For example,

Google Android

Google Android is an operating system for mobile devices.

Introducing In-Page Analytics: Visual context for your Analytics data

Google Buzz

Google Buzz is a social networking, microblogging and messaging tool.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a time management web application. Users need to have a Google Account in order to use Google Calendar.

Google Checkout

Google Checkout - Online payment processing service provided by Google aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google.

In addition to the standard version, there is also a developer version of Google Chrome ( 'dev channel') that provides access to Google Chrome Developer Tools.

Preferences which might be useful to change:

  • Reopen pages last open
  • Show home button
  • Show bookmark bar
  • Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing

Google Chrome Shortcuts

Browser shortcuts are combinations of keyboard strokes and mouse clicks that can be used to perform specific actions and save time.

Some handy shortcuts are listed below.

Ctrl+F5 or Shift+F5 Reloads your current page, ignoring cached content.

Ctrl+F Opens the find bar for searching the webpage or source code you're on.

Ctrl+T Opens a new tab.

Ctrl+Enter Adds www. and .com to your input in the address bar and open the resulting URL.

Ctrl+H Opens the History page.

F1 Opens the Help Center in a new tab.

Ctrl+D Bookmarks your current webpage.

Space bar Scrolls down the webpage, 1 screen at a time.

Shift-Space bar Scrolls up the webpage, 1 screen at a time.

Home key Goes to the top of the webpage.

End key Goes to the bottom of the webpage.

The easiest way to search for a word or phrase in Google is to select the text within Chrome then right-mouse button click for a menu option to "Search Google for ..." your selection.

If you have the Google Dictionary extension installed, when you double-click a word to select it, a little bubble window will open with the definition of that word.

Google Chrome Extensions

Extensions extend the functionality of a web browser. List of Google Chrome Extensions (1,300+).

Google Chrome Developer Tools

Google Chrome has a suite of tools geared for developers.
  • A web page inspector for studying the DOM
  • A JavaScript console and tab for stack-tracing, debugging, setting breakpoints, and testing scripts
  • Timeline-profiling of assets being downloaded in a web page for performance tuning
Access the Google Chrome Developer Tools by clicking on View menu > Developer > Developer Tools

Google Chrome Bookmarks

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Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print enables any device in the network cloud to print to any printer. Devices print through a web based interface or API and the service forwards the job to the printer registered prior to the service.

Current printers have to connect through a proxy server but future printers will be able to directly connect to Google Cloud Print.

Google Desktop

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Google Docs

Google Docs is a web based suite of services that allow users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.
  • Word document
  • Spreadsheet
  • Presentation
  • Drawings
  • Forms
Google Docs features include:
  • 1GB of free storage but none of the documents created in Google Docs counts towards this quota so file storage is virtually unlimited.
  • Google Docs can read from and save to the common Microsoft Office file formats.
  • It is easy to share files with other people and work on them together in real-time online
  • Work well on iPad, iPhone and Android

Google Docs and Format Painter.

Google Docs and Screen Reader Support

Google’s Docs are accessible to the blind community and support two screen readersJAWS and ChromeVox.

Features include
  • In documents, you’ll hear feedback when you format text or insert tables, lists or comments in your document.
  • In spreadsheets, you’ll hear the cell’s location, contents and comments when moving between cells.
  • In both documents and spreadsheets, you’ll hear feedback as you navigate to areas outside the main content area, such as the menu bar, chat pane and dialog boxes.
  • In your documents list, you’ll hear feedback when you upload or download a file, organize collections or move between files in your documents list.

Google Docs and Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts make it easier to use Google Docs. In your documents list, for example, you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the files in the list, and you can open the selected document by hitting Enter.

Complete list of keyboard shortcuts: spreadsheetsdocuments and documents list.

Google Earth

Google Earth maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe.

Google Forms

Google Forms be used to create "Contact Me" forms or conduct polls and surveys. There is no limit on the number of people who can participate and complete these. Replies are saved in an online spreadsheet which can then be used to analyse data.

When viewing replies, select Form > Go To Live form to view the actual form rather than the responses.

Insert a Form Into a Web Page

A Form can easily be added to a web page.
  • Click “Edit page” button.
  • Position the cursor where you would like to insert the form.
  • From the Insert menu, select the form to insert.
Note that anyone with collaborator access has access to a link under the form that will allow them to edit it.

    Email notification when a form is completed

    It is possible to find out immediately someone has completed and submitted a Google Form.
    • Create a new form and close the window.
    • Open the corresponding spreadsheet and choose Share > Set Notification Rules.
    • Select "A user submits a form" and frequency of notification.
    • The "email right away" may be a good choice. For polls, the daily digest feature might be more appropriate.
    Try our contact form.

    Google Groups

    Google Groups is a service that supports discussion groups.

    Google Mail (GMail)

    Gmail can be used online, or offline, or setup as a POP/IMAP account in Outlook.

    Gmail can check up to five POP3 accounts and puts e-mails into your Gmail Inbox. This lets you have one Inbox for several e-mail addresses. 

    Use IMAP on your Gmail account to have the same Inbox for multiple e-mail addresses across all your devices and web mail.

    Gmail’s POP3 Mail Fetcher does not allow a user to decide how often their Mail Fetcher will search for new mail on your POP3 accounts. Mail Fetcher will look at  your e-mail receiving patterns by itself and check accordingly there after. However, this can mean that it could take several hours between checks or even 24 hours between checks.

    Google documentation about Mail Fetcher: "Gmail checks individual accounts for new messages at different rates, depending on previous mail fetch attempts. At this time you can’t customize the frequency of automatic mail fetches."

    There is a workaround. Set up a cron job that emails your POP3 accounts once every 5 minutes between working hours 8am to 6pm and set up a filter within Gmail to put these e-mails straight into trash. Now the Gmail Mail Fetcher should fetch your emails every 5 minutes.

    Google Mail (GMail) and Hotmail

    How to use Hotmail to send and receive GMail

    Google Gmail and offline mode

    Google Maps

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    Google News

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    Google PageSpeed

    Google PageSpeed -  Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster


    Picasa lets you organize, edit, and share your photos. It provides 1GB of storage for free, but it doesn’t count any images up to 800 x 800 pixels or videos up to 15 minutes in length against that quota. If you sign up for the Google+ social network, the picture image limit is increased up to 2048 x 2048 pictures.

    Google Product Search

    Google Product Search -  Find products and limit results to just stores that accept payment using GoogleCheckout 

    Google Reader

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    Google Realtime

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    Google Search

    Google Search Engine (personalized)

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    Google Sites

    Useful tips

    How to remove the search option

    More Actions > Manage Site > Site Layout > Configure Search > Uncheck the Enable search option

    It is also possible to configure how you want to SEARCH to function in the first tab as well as the Advanced Tab.  For example, create several sites and activate the search across those sites only.

    How to hide "Sign in"

    Customise footer

    How to remove "Report Abuse"

    More Actions > Manage Site > General > Change the drop-down boxes in Access Settings to Collaborators only.

    How to better display on mobile

    More Actions > Manage Site > General > Check "Automatically adjust site to mobile phones"

    Google Sites and Screen Reader Support
    Google’s Sites are accessible to the blind community and support two screen readersJAWS and ChromeVoxFeedback can be hear as you navigate and manage your sites, create and edit pages, and navigate through menus and dialog boxes.

    Google Sites and Keyboard Shortcuts

    Keyboard shortcuts make it easier to use Google Sites. In your documents list, for example, you can use the up and down arrow keys to move through the files in the list, and you can open the selected document by hitting Enter.

    A favicon can be added to a Google site but must be called favicon.ico and uploaded to the top level

    Follow these steps
    • 'More actions' (top right) > 'Manage site' > 'Attachments' (left menu) > 'Upload' (top left)
    • Browse to favicon.ico (16x16 px) > 'Upload attachment to / (top level)' radio button
    • 'Return to site' and refresh

    Google Sketchup

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    Google Social Search

    Combines a users social connections with organic searches.
    For example, if you were to search for “Justin Bieber,” social search results would appear beneath the organic search results.
    The tool scans your social connections content (based on the social accounts included in your Google profile) to create these results.

    Google Squared

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    Google Talk

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    Google Tasks

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    Google Translate

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    Google Trends

    Shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

    Google TV

    Google TV lets viewers search and watch programs from the Internet. 

    Sony TVs, blu-ray players and Logitech TVs will come with Google TV installed. A separate stand-alone device is also available. The software includes a Chrome Web browser to access videos, photos, music and games online.

    Google Voice and Video

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    Google Webmaster

    Improved handling of URLs with parameters

    Submitting a sitemap to Google Webmaster tools sitemap

    Google URL shortner

    Google URL shortener

    Google QR code generater

    QR codes can be generated when using the Google URL shortener To access the QR Code you will need to click on the details link which displays the long URL, the short URL and the QR code.

    Put “.qr” on the end of any URL and it produces a QR code which you can right-click to save the image.
    For example, which directs to has a QR code of

    QR codes are generated using Google Chart Server which can generate any type of QR code. A flexible interface for creating QR codes can be found at

    Google What do you love?

    What do you love? returns results from more than 20 different Google services, including Google Translate, Trends, YouTube, Maps and Groups.