There's no doubting Google's power and popularity. Yet few of us use the search engine effectively. Mrjatinchopra offers some tips

Essay by mrjatinchopra January 2004

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Google is now the world's most powerful website, and if it goes public

this year, its young founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, will become

extremely rich. Their five-year-old company has already cracked its

biggest problem, which is how to make pots of money from selling

advertising space without carrying any banner ads. And while there are

other places to search the web, most websites are now dependent on

Google for a large proportion of their new visitors. The question that

drives all but a few commercial webmasters today is: "How do I change

my site to make it appear on the first page when someone searches


What is even more impressive is that Google has achieved its supremacy

by word of mouth: by delivering what users want. That has helped it

retain users' confidence while doing things that might have raised

concerns about invasion of privacy elsewhere. For example, Google

almost certainly knows more about you than you would tell your mother.

Did you ever search for information about Aids, cancer, mental

illnesses or bomb-making equipment? Google knows, because it has put a

unique reference number in a permanent cookie on your hard drive

(which doesn't expire until 2038). It also knows your internet (IP)


Google's privacy policy says that it "notes and saves information such

as time of day, browser type, browser language, and IP address with

each query. That information is used to verify our records and to

provide more relevant services to users. For example, Google may use

your IP address or browser language to determine which language to use

when showing search results or advertisements." (See

If you add the Google Toolbar to your Windows browser, then it can

send Google information about the pages you view, and Google can

update the...