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Foreword to the First Edition

When we started Google, it was hard to predict how big it would become. That our search engine would someday serve as a catalyst for so many important web developments was a distant dream. We are honored by the growing interest in Google and offer many thanks to those who created this book—the largest and most comprehensive report on Google search technology that has yet to be published.

Search is an amazing field of study, because it offers infinite possibilities for how we might find and make information available to people. We join with the authors in encouraging readers to approach this book with a view toward discovering and creating new ways to search. Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, and we welcome any contribution you make toward achieving this goal.

Hacking is the creativity that fuels the Web. As software developers ourselves, we applaud this book for its adventurous spirit. We're adventurous, too, and were happy to discover that this book highlights many of the same experiments we conduct on our free time here at Google.

Google is constantly adapting its search algorithms to match the dynamic growth and changing nature of the Web. As you read, please keep in mind that the examples in this book are valid today but, as Google innovates and grows over time, may become obsolete. We encourage you to follow the latest developments and to participate in the ongoing discussions about search as facilitated by books such as this one.

Virtually every engineer at Google has used an O'Reilly publication to help them with their jobs. O'Reilly books are a staple of the Google engineering library, and we hope that Google Hacks will be as useful to others as the O'Reilly publications have been to Google.

With the largest collection of web documents in the world, Google is a reflection of the Web. The hacks in this book are not just about Google, they are also about unleashing the vast potential of the Web today and in the years to come. Google Hacks is a great resource for search enthusiasts, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


--The Google Engineering Team
December 11, 2002
Mountain View, California

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