When it comes to low cost, ease of use, and high return, we didn't have to search long for a favorite research tool: Google.com. The search engine, already a popular way of locating information and images on the Web, makes finding links to data on almost any subject easier than ever.
Google continues to become faster and more accurate, the result of regular updates to its algorithms and an ever-expanding index. It's more information-rich, having recently added a news channel that includes 4,000 sources to Google's classically simple home page. And it's portable. You can download a Google toolbar to include within your Web browser or a mobile version of Google for handheld devices.
The Google site is versatile enough to be useful to both consumers and knowledge workers. It's also a good place to search for technical information and, according to the company, many tech professionals already use it for that purpose. Google has archived years of Usenet forums, ranging in subject from computer hardware and software to employment.
For hard-pressed system administrators, that means Google can help with problem solving. Say, for example, a server delivers an error message and an administrator wants to get more information on what it means and how to correct it. He or she can type the message into the search engine under the "groups" channel to find discussions on that topic.--Tischelle George