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Welcome & Manifesto


…to your ultimate companion to everything Google, with 468 awesome tips, tricks, tweaks and hacks Getting the most out of the best known Google services and apps: that’s a bit of a no-brainer, whether it’s optimising Gmail, learning secret tips and tweaks for Maps or locking down your online profiles with improved security, to guard against unwanted intrusions. But that’s just the beginning of this great new guide to everything Google. Search is always a hot topic, of course. You’re probably already a dab hand at using Google’s signature Search tool, but you might still be surprised by some of our tops tips for better online searching. Then there’s the wonderful world of Google Drive and Google docs. Whether it’s simply storing and sharing files or creating documents,

Technology Tips Guides are designed to give you ideas and inspiration for exploring the devices or software you own in more detail. Whatever your skill level, each book aims to help you get the best from the products you love by giving you… A reference guide you can keep on your desk or next to your computer

spreadsheets and presentations from scratch, we’ve got in-depth guides to all the best features, options and tools. If you’re feeling even more creative, why not brush up on your video and picture skills with the latest Google Photos and YouTube tools? Then we’ll show you the best way to share the lot via social media. If you want to take things to the next level, we’ll also teach you how to become a skilled webmaster. Building websites, optimising for search terms, even promoting your site via social media – we’ve got it all. And when all the serious work is done, there’s fun stuff, too, like exploring both the planet and the night sky with Google Earth and Google Sky. Enjoy the ride, and as always let us know what you think! Jeremy Laird, Editor

and consult time and time again when you want something new to do or need to solve a problem

things to try, we’ll show you the best ways to do everything

New skills you can take with you through life and apply at home or even in the workplace

Hours of fun thanks to the hundreds of ideas, hints and insider secrets you can use to truly master your device or software

Maximum enjoyment from your hardware and software – from solving new problems to discovering new

Advice you can take everywhere thanks to the free digital edition of this book – see page 146 for more details

How are we doing? Email and let us know if we’ve lived up to our promises!

Google | 5

Contents Productivity

Connect with friends and colleagues, create great photos and movies 56 58 60 62 68 72 74 76 78

Store and share files, optimise Gmail and create great documents 10 12 16 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34

Take control of Gmail 20 power tips for Gmail Store files securely with Drive Get to grips with templates Create documents in Drive Build superb spreadsheets Create perfect presentations Gather information with Forms Share files and documents Sync your Google Drive 25 top Google Drive tips


Explore the exciting potential of Google+ Find your way around Google+ Circles Get video-chatting with Google Hangouts Do even more with Google Hangouts Store and share with Google Photos Watch top-class video on YouTube Top tips to exploit YouTube’s full potential Improve your videos with YouTube Editor Create and grow your YouTube channel


Roam the Google Earth, get around with Maps, and soar with Google Sky 84 86 88 90 92 94 96

Welcome to Maps Get directions with Maps Explore the country with Street View Become a modern-day Phileas Fogg Travel to the stars with Google Sky Go globetrotting with Google Earth Make your mark on Google Earth


Bone up on your Google Search skills with our top tips and tweaks

Get the best power apps, improve account security and build websites

40 44 46 48

102 110 118 120 126 130 134 140 142

Top power tips for Google Search Google Search’s quirky features Get more from searches with OneBoxes 25 tips and tricks for better searches

Build websites with Google Sites Optimise your website for search terms Boost your Google rank Manage your website with Analytics Google’s Webmaster tools Harness the power of Google Apps Maximise your account security Use two-step account verification Do more with Google Accounts

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Google | Contents


Productivity | Control Gmail

Productivity | Control Gmail

Take control of your email with the incredible Gmail Completely intuitive to use, Gmail enables you to keep related messages together as conversations and to track down any email in a flash


hen designing Gmail, Google examined the way people use email and considered ways that it could improve on the current systems. They found that most people don’t carefully divide up their incoming mail into the many folders that desktop software affords; instead they simply let everything amass in their bulging inbox, keeping it for reference and intending to file it away properly later on. But when you have

Handy Tip

Stay secure When signing into Gmail using a shared computer, such as one in an internet café, don’t tick the ‘Remember me’ box, and decline if the web browser offers to remember your password. This prevents other people from accessing your mail after you’ve finished and left.

everything stored in one place, it becomes hard to find the specific items you’re looking for. Instead of preaching about the merits of an exemplary filing system, Google designed Gmail to work around this human failing. It makes your email fully searchable, through the same technology on which Google’s search engine is based.

Search your messages Instead of folders, you have a search box at the top of the page. Enter a couple of keywords and click ‘Search’. Gmail shows any messages matching the terms you used, in order of relevance. If you still have too many results, you can narrow your search – to the right of the search bar, click on the arrow and fill in further criteria in the drop-down menu. You can specify addresses, the message subject, or the

contents of the body as search terms, as well as criteria such as whether there was an attachment to the message, the date it was received (within set periods, ranging from one day to one year, if you’re not really sure), and which mailbox.

Label your mail In addition to the comprehensive search function, you can still employ a filing system if you want to categorise your messages. Gmail’s labels enable you to mark email conversations and group them together under a common label. It is even possible to give a conversation multiple labels for cross-referencing. You can still view all your mail in your Inbox, Sent Items or Trash but, like labels, these categories are methods of sorting your existing mail, rather than traditional email folders. n

STEP BY STEP Use Conversations in Gmail

1Sign in

Browse to Enter your email address and the password you set when you created your Gmail account. Click ‘Sign in’ to go directly to your Inbox and start reading your mail.

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2Choose a Conversation

Unlike conventional inboxes that display incoming messages individually, Gmail groups your messages into conversations. This makes it easy to refer back to what was said before. Select any conversation with a new message.




Instead of displaying each message separately, this conversation of three mails is grouped under one heading.



Provide as much or as little search information as you like to quickly turn up items of mail.



These standard links enable you to view your mail under the usual areas such as Inbox, Sent Mail and Spam.


Reply and Forward

These links enable you to reply to a message, or forward it on to another contact if you choose.



Expand All

Click here to see all the messages in this conversation opened up, so that you can read through them in order.


These are used to group together mail messages so you can find them easily. Messages can have multiple labels.


Using stars

3Reply in a Conversation

Click ‘Reply’ at the bottom of the last message in a conversation to continue the discussion. Previous messages are neatly stacked above your reply for easy reference. Click ‘Send’ to dispatch your mail.

One way of making a message more prominent in your inbox is by marking them with stars. These are the Gmail equivalent of the flags in many desktop email packages and they easily let you highlight a message for later actions. Look at the messages in your Gmail inbox. To the left of each message is a checkbox, a star and a rectangle arrow. Click on the star to light it up and set it to yellow and ‘Starred’. If there are several messages you want to highlight, tick the checkbox for each message, click ‘More’ and select ‘Add star’. When you then want to see all the messages you have flagged in this way, click ‘Starred’ in the left-hand list just below the Inbox. To perform an action on all the starred messages in your current mailbox, click ‘Select: Starred’, followed by the action.

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Productivity | Control Gmail

Control Gmail | Productivity

Productivity | Templates

productivity | Templates

Use templates to speed up your work Once you’ve made the perfect document, don’t waste time recreating it the next time you need something similar – use a template instead


hank goodness for templates. These handy proto-documents give you a head start when you are working with specific types of documents, by providing a framework from which you can start. It saves a lot of time and effort in the end. Whether it’s a spreadsheet enabling you to track the flow of money into or out of your account, or a presentation designed to make a quick and easy scrapbook album, a template can save you both time and hassle. If you’re

Handy Tip

Auto-update After you’ve submitted your templates to the Template Gallery, any change you make to the template file in Google Drive is reflected in the gallery – so edit with care!

used to Office programs such as Word or Excel, you will understand the value of a good template in speeding up how you work. It’s the same with Google Drive, and because it’s all online and free, Google Drive users are encouraged to submit their templates to a centralised Template Gallery to share with others. The net result is that thousands of templates are available online for you to try for free.

Create a document quickly To get started with templates, you have two options: either search the Template Gallery for a specific type of template to suit your document, or browse the gallery by document type or template category, such as Finance. The gallery is particularly useful when it comes to spreadsheets, because they are often the most timeconsuming to create by yourself. To find a specific template go to the

Handy Tip

Regular templates The ‘Templates I’ve used’ list helps you organise any templates you regularly open as your starting point. You can filter and sort this list in exactly the same way as the main one.

‘New’ button on the left-hand side, click on it, then ‘More’ and ‘Connect more apps’ - search for the ‘Drive Template Gallery’ app. Click it, then select ‘Connect’ and ‘OK’. Now the ‘From template’ option will appear under ‘More’ in the ‘New’ menu when you click on it. You can then access public templates, or those you’ve used previously. n


Find the right template There are thousands of templates stored in the Google Drive Template Gallery, so wading through them all one by one isn’t really practical. Thankfully, all the navigation tools you need can be found on the left of the screen. By default, the hottest templates – recent and popular additions – are shown, but you can also sort them by number of users or rating. You can also narrow the results by document type – word processing document, spreadsheet, presentation or form – or by one of the many categories, ranging from Personal Finance to Albums & Flipbooks. You can then click a template’s ‘Preview’ link for a closer look, or click ‘Use this template’ to create a document.

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PLENTY OF CHOICE Browse the list of available templates to find the perfect design that helps you get started faster.

STEP BY STEP Create your own template

1Put your template together

2Strip out unwanted text

You can start a document from scratch, pick an existing template or upload an existing document from your PC to use as the basis of your template. Once you’ve opened the document, save it with a suitable new name.

It’s a good idea to replace any existing text with placeholder text that gives instructions on what to put there, such as “Insert caption here”. Remember to style up the text exactly as you want it to appear.

3Use image placeholders

4Use templates privately

If there are any images in your document, you need to indicate that these too need updating. How about creating a dummy image file or adding a comment (‘Insert > Comment’) to indicate the change?

You can’t keep a private template set in the Template Gallery. Instead, create a folder called Templates to store your templates in. After opening the template in the normal way, immediately choose ‘File > Make a copy’.

5Share your template

6Access templates

To upload a template to the Template Gallery, open the template gallery page ( templates) and click ‘Submit a template’. Select the document, add a description and press ‘Submit template’.

The quickest way to access your own templates is through the Template Gallery. Select ‘My Templates’ and you’ll see them all appear, complete with user ratings. You can edit the details or remove the template at any time.

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Productivity | Templates

Templates | productivity

Search | Power tips

search | Power tips

Top power tips for Google Search Be the ultimate search guru with our collection of the best ever tips and tricks for getting more from searches


oogle Search is acknowledged as the best search engine in the world by just about everyone. But are you using it to its full capabilities? Like us, you may just type in your search query and see what comes up but if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on a host of advanced features that will help you get what you want easier and faster. There’s a huge number of cool tools you can use to get the right result every time. You wouldn’t know it to look at it when you see the classic Search screen (right) but there’s a host of different filters, settings and options that can come into play once you’ve actually typed in a query. If you use multiple computers, it makes sense to sign in to Google before searching, so that your search preferences are automatically remembered across all the devices you use. If you save settings without signing into your Google account, it’ll remember your

preferences on that particular computer but won’t carry them across to other machines you use. One of the great things to look out for on your Google Search page is Google Doodles. These are illustrations that usually sit on top of the search box on the Google Search page and tend

to be themed to celebrate the anniversary of a famous person’s birth or a discovery. Often these are filled with cool interactive fun; take a look at every one ever made at com/doodles when you have a minute. But in the meantime, let’s roll up our sleeves and get searching! n

STEP BY STEP Power search tips


Start typing into the Google Search box and – if you’ve got instant results enabled – you’ll see results flash up on the screen right away. Hit [Enter] or click the magnifying glass to confirm the search you’re making. You’ll get the classic results page as shown here.

40 | Google


When entering the search query, you’ll notice a dropdown menu giving you lots of popular options. Just click on the one you want to get the results. If you’d like to be taken straight to the website at the top of the search rankings, click the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ link on the right.





7smart images

8Safe searching

You get a handful of images in the standard search results but to see only images, click on ‘Images’. Click on an image to magnify it - you’ll see some options, including the ability to see the original image, or you can search for information related to that image.

As with normal searches, you can filter images by when they were uploaded to the internet. Here, we’ve selected pictures that were created within the past 24 hours. The time since Google’s search engine crawler found each image is displayed below it.

One of the most clever aspects of image searching is the ability to look for certain types of images. Under ‘Type’ in the ‘Search Tools’ menu, select exactly what you want to find. For instance, choose ‘Face’ to search for faces related to your search query.

You can refine and focus your image search in many ways. One of the most interesting is by clicking on Search Tools, and under Color, selecting one of the colour squares. Here, we’ve chosen to search for images predominantly yellow – who knew space was so bright?

You can also filter images by size, so if you know you need something to fill a certain space, you can specify ‘Large’, for instance, as we’ve done here. If you’re not getting enough results you might want to lower the size of the images you’re looking for.

Image searching is very handy, but it can be a little perilous when you use certain words - harmless as they may be. To prevent any obscene images filtering through, click on SafeSearch in the top right-hand side and select ‘Filter explicit results’.

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Search | Power tips

Power tips | search

Search | Hidden tricks

search | Hidden tricks

Have fun with Google Search quirks There are lots of hidden tips and tricks in Google Search, including some that are sure to make you smile


oogle may not always be the most popular company around, but it’s hard to deny that it’s one of the most innovative and dynamic, with a sense of fun and an aim to help people do things better and quicker. That’s why every Google product contains a whole heap of hidden tips and tricks designed to help you get to what you’re trying to find. Some are silly, but others are rather more useful. We’re going to explore those that will reveal a different side of your favourite search engine. They won’t necessarily

Handy Tip

Alien invasion If you’re a fan of Google games, try typing the term zerg rush into the search box. You’ll soon see a little representation of the online gaming term, Google-style. Well, what else would you expect? You can share your score once you’ve finished, too!

improve your productivity, but they’re certainly entertaining. You might hear many of these secrets referred to as ‘Easter eggs’ – a slightly odd term for a hidden treat or joke.

Word play Let’s start with some basic yet amusing wordplay. In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters. If you search for kerning in Google, it will add extra spacing between the letters on the results page. Similarly, search for anagram and Google asks ‘Did you mean: nag a ram?’ Very funny, Google. Several of these word puns exist. If you search for the word recursion, meaning repetition, Google asks ‘Did you mean: recursion?’ – a repeat of your original search. Some in-jokes are more visual. When you type do a barrel roll into the search box, the page does a 360-degree spin. On the same theme, typing askew or tilt into

the box puts a literal slant on results. Typing Google gravity then pressing the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button makes the Google search page come crashing down around you, and you can even throw the debris around. You can still use the page, though – rarely does Google let one of its jokes get in the way of actually finding information. Fancy trying a new language just for fun? Search for Google l33t and choose the first search result to see the search page expressed in l33t speak. The same steps work with xx-klingon to add some Star Trek inspiration to the page, while ewmew fudd shows Google according to Elmer Fudd.

More fun There are many hidden things to discover in Google Street View, but our favourite is a pic of the Street View development team lined up outside Google’s offices in California. Go to to see it yourself.

STEP BY STEP Fun search queries

1The Answer to Life

Well, it’s actually the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Type that question into Google’s search box and you’ll see 42 appear as the answer! Fans of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will be very happy indeed when you show them this.

44 | Google

2 The loneliest number

If you ask Google what the loneliest number is, it’ll show you ‘1’ on a scientific calculator display as if to confirm it as fact. The phrase comes from the classic Harry Nilsson song One, which was made famous by American rockers Three Dog Night.


Hidden games The term ‘Google Doodle’ is name for the fun and often topical illustrations that replace the company logo at and The most popular Google Doodle ever wasn’t a drawing at all, but a game of Pac-Man that replaced the Google logo on the game’s 30th anniversary in 2010. Created by designer Marcin Wichary and Google Doodler Ryan Germick, it proved so popular that Google still hosts the complete game at doodles/30th-anniversary-of-pac-man. Such was the attention to detail, says Wichary, that the team “made sure to include Pac-Man’s original game logic, graphics and sounds, bring back ghosts’ individual personalities, and even recreate original bugs from this 1980s masterpiece.” Pac-Man is controlled with the arrow keys – just click the ‘Insert coin’ button or click the maze to begin playing. The guys even included a small Easter egg: if you throw in another coin during play, Ms Pac-Man joins in, and you can play with someone else (Ms Pac-Man is controlled with the WASD keys). Coincidentally, another of Google’s cool retro gaming trick is to type the Konami Code (

Time waster The Google Doodle for Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary was extremely popular, costing the world economy millions in wasted man-hours. Before Google Reader closed earlier this year, this made a ninja appear on your screen. These days you can try it in Google Docs while you’re working on a text document.

‘oh Daj Change your default Google language to Klingon if you really must.


Ask Google about binary and it’ll play a little trick on you. As well as showing you the relevant search results, the number of results at the top of the screen appears as ‘about 0b110111010100000010100000000 results’. Which is, of course, a number expressed in binary.

However, not everything sticks around, and some hidden quirks have disappeared. Typing Christmas as a search term used to bring up a string of baubles at the top of the screen, but no longer (it could be seasonal!). Likewise, typing Let it snow used to create a wintry effect, and asking Google to Find Chuck Norris – or the alternative Where is Chuck Norris – gave you the result ‘Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.’ Nowadays it shows you content for the search – proof that even fun doesn’t always stand in the way of getting the results you need. n


Pac-Man isn’t the only retro video game hidden away in Google Search. Searching for the term Atari Breakout shows information about the classic arcade game, as you’d expect. Only when you click ‘Images’ in the top bar does the fun begin.

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Search | Hidden tricks

Hidden tricks | search

Professional | Boost Google rank

Professional | Boost Google rank

Boost your website’s Google ranking No dodgy tricks – just quick and easy ways to make Google Search favour you over the crowd


uch like finding love, losing weight and doing household chores, there are no shortcuts to doing well on Google, and no shortage of people looking to sell them. At best, paying someone to do something clever means a short-term boost until Google changes its algorithms to compensate for the latest trick and punishes the sites using it. The good news is that making a Google-friendly site is actually pretty easy. The basic rules are: write clean code, keep things simple, and design

Handy Tip

Link me You want links from high-profile sites, but not all links are equal. Where possible, the hyperlink should be informative. It’s better to link the words ‘humane spider catcher’ rather than ‘click here’ in the phrase ‘click here for a great humane spider catcher’, for example.

with both humans and computers in mind. For instance, Google can’t (or, to be more accurate, doesn’t) read text in images, and Flash content is effectively unreadable. This doesn’t mean that your site has to be boring, but instead of using an image, you should consider using web fonts to get the same effect. At the very least, use an ‘alt’ attribute on an image to tell Google and other search engines what it contains. This kind of change doesn’t usually take long, but greatly increases the amount of data Google has to work with.

From <H1> to <H6> As a starting point, consider hierarchy. Visually speaking, using an <h1> tag and simply setting some text to use a 24pt font may seem to be the same. However, Google treats any text in an <h1> tag as a primary heading, of which a page should only have one. It treats <h2> as secondary headings, and <h3> through to <h6> as

crossheadings. Your overall site structure should follow suit, with at least one link to every page, and a robots.txt file that tells Google’s crawler not to bother searching archive pages. It might seem to make more sense to leave them in for the keywords they contain, but in practice it’s better to draw attention to your main content pages so that visitors will stay and hopefully link to them.

The guide to your site You can help Google out by providing a sitemap file (called sitemap.xml) that lists all of your content and how often it’s updated. Visit webmasters to provide Google with this information. Duplicate pages are a bad thing, and making pages that specifically detect the Googlebot (Google’s web-crawling tool) and serve up something designed for it is an absolute no-no. If you’re using a CMS such as WordPress, it’s worth having it

STEP BY STEP Four tricks to avoid like the plague

1Keyword stuffing

Google looks for keywords to decide what your site’s about, but if you pour paragraph after paragraph of them onto the page, you’re likely to be penalised. It can work in the short term, but in the long run it’s better to write good content in which the keywords appear naturally.

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2 Doorway pages

These are fake pages that clutter up search rankings. Only search engines are intended to see them. Users who land on them are redirected to the ‘real’ site without even noticing. They are treated as spam by search engines, so again, it’s better to focus on your real content.


The use of meta tags

Smart structure Make sure you use the search terms people are actually looking for. create static versions of pages where possible. It’s not crucial – Google can handle dynamic pages these days – but it doesn’t hurt. This text version makes it clear what’s being used to figure out your site’s content. Where possible, it’s also preferable to have permalinks like ‘/products/ fridges/dynatech-coolfreezepro/’ for pages, rather than addresses that end with things like ‘?page=42132’. Every scrap of data you give the crawler will boost your chances in search results.

This is me As far as raw content goes, the most important thing is that your site uses the keywords that people search for. Visit and request a copy of the data that Google’s search engine uses, then examine it. If your site doesn’t use

3Invisible text

the phrase ‘humane spider catcher’, Google won’t direct people looking for those words to your site. That sounds obvious, but content in frames, videos, pictures, pulled from Twitter or generated on the fly can be left out. After that, the challenge is to get good links to boost your authority.

Metadata is little scraps of invisible data in a web page, intended to define and provide information about your site. This is one of the few cases where Google advocates putting something into a page that the reader won’t see. The most important is a description – <meta name=”description” content=”A description of the page”/> – placed in a page’s header. It’s where you can decide exactly what text appears in your search engine result, rather than leaving Google to pull a few choice words from the page. Less useful are ‘meta tags’. Originally, these offered a way for site owners to provide their own keywords to search engines, but they were utterly abused. These days, they’re completely ignored. No matter how many self-proclaimed search experts insist you should fill them in, you may as well not bother and save yourself a few bytes. Google works out appropriate keywords based on the actual content of your page and the links that come to it. Your job is to make sure that said content will lead it to the right decision. If not, rewrite and rework it so that it does. There’s no quick and easy way to tell it, “Actually, my site’s about this…” if everything about the content suggests otherwise.

SEO explained These are straightforward tips, but SEO is really pretty simple – the people who claim otherwise have something to sell you. Never be tempted to pay for dodgy tricks. In most cases they don’t work, will only send worthless traffic rather than actual readers, and could well come back to bite you later on. Much as exercise and a good diet are the only way to lose weight, good content is the only true way to achieve a good Google rank. n

This technique uses JavaScript and HTML to embed additional keywords, content and links in the main site that visitors won’t see, but search engines will. It’s also a popular technique with hackers, who can hide content from site owners too. Sites are penalised for using it.

Describe away Always have a description tag for your pages.

4Link farms

These sites do nothing but host hundreds of links to other sites. They claim to help your PageRank, often in exchange for a reciprocal link from your site. They won’t. Google is smart enough to know what they are, and you run a risk of being penalised for hosting a link to a farm.

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Professional | Boost Google rank

Boost Google rank | Professional

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