We liked the first edition of Google Hacks, at the time we gave the book a fairly positive recommendation. Here we are getting on for two years later with a new book and changed search engine ecosystem. Google has changed - new services have been developed, including GMail and Desktop search - and its competitors in the search engine ecosystem have continued to evolve as well. Do these changes warrant a new edition of the book?
The first thing to note is that this isn't just a minor tweaking of the first edition. It has been extensively re-written, with the addition of plenty of new hacks (25 new ones, including a selection devoted to GMail) as well as the re-working of material from the original. Whether this warrants rushing out to buy the book if you already have the first edition depends very much on how much value you'll get from the new stuff. If, for example, GMail is important to you, then the chances are that you'll want to take a look at some of the hacks.
For new readers, however, the question is straightforward. If you use Google a lot, or want to get the most out of it, then this book has plenty to offer. It shows the reader how to maximise the efficiency of searches, it high-lights the lesser-known features of querying, the additional services that exist beyond the simple Google front page (such as Groups, image searching, language tools etc). Even seasoned Google veterans are likely to pick up useful pointers from the many hacks listed. [Continued]