Did you know you can Google Uncle Sam?

    March 24, 2005

Most people have no idea of this, but since 1999, Google has had a specialized search available to the public, called Google Uncle Sam, that searches only government web sites, mostly .gov and .mil sites, along with some other sites in other Top Level Domains it deems valuable to the database.

Need to find something about the IRS, your elected officials, the military? Google Uncle Sam makes it easier than a general search.

The funny thing is, Google does not mention it anywhere on their help or labs pages; you’ll only see a link to it at the very bottom of their Advanced Search page. Even when you get there, there’s not a word on what it does and what it searches. Interesting.

So, how good is this search engine? In preparing to write something up on it, I searched around the internet looking for information. I was lucky to come across the very well-researched, useful and recently written article, Why Google Uncle Sam?, by Peggy Garvin. She must know what she’s talking about as she is author of The United States Government Internet Manual.

After reading her article, I realized that there was no sense writing one myself as she covered the subject so well. She discusses the advantages and disadvantages of Google Uncle Sam and compares it to the other major government search engine, FirstGov. Her conclusions are thatwell, I suppose you should read the story since she wrote it. I can say she finds the good and bad in each and she recommends you use both.

If you do any searches for government information at all, I highly recommend you read her article and try both government search engines.

Mark Fleming is the founder of a new blog called Google Tutor & Advisor. Google Tutor & Advisor offers in-depth Tips, Techniques and Advice for Google Users.

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