I'm pretty excited about the changes made here at SquirrelNet during 2007/08. First, I've seen a ton of new traffic going to SquirrelNet's Safe Search using Google page. Next, on that page, you'll note links to Safe Search pages for the Australia, Canada and the UK along with links for a Dictionary, Encyclopedia Search and a Happy News Search.
What's in store for SquirrelNet in 2008/09 is using Google services to build highly-targeted search engines. I may launch a few of these under different domain names, but I'll let you know about them here.
For everyone successfully finishing another year of school, for their parents, teachers and all those who make it happen, CONGRATULATIONS!
If you or anyone in your family has a MySpace page and you want to provide a safe Google alternative for them, here is how to add Google Safe Search for Kids to a MySpace page.
I'll make this easy - only fair since I didn't know how to edit a MySpace page until an hour ago :) You will be editing your MySpace "Profile". This is the page that people see when they visit your MySpace page. Here goes:
into MySpace, click "Home" and then "Edit Profile". Choose the appropriate section for your Google Safe Search box (I recommend the beginning of the first section.
Copy the text in the box below and paste into the beginning of your "About Me" section. Then click "Preview Section" and then "Save All Changes".
To see your Google Safe Search box in action, you will need to click on "View my profile" or click on "Home" and then "Profile".
(Original link to iGoogle may not have worked for all, my apologies. The link below works now, or just click here: )
Using Google Safe Search for Kids is the most popular page here on SquirrelNet, showing that many people value "safe" Google results. Another reason is that Google itself doesn't allow a person to "lock into" SafeSearch, meaning it's very easy to reset preferences to allow inappropriate content. Using our links here at SquirrelNet is one way to lock into Safe Search as long as you are searching from here.
I don't know if any of you use iGoogle, but if you do, I recommend adding Google SafeSearch for Kids to your iGoogle. I went ahead and built a Google Gadget that "locks into" SafeSearch from here.
Click the button below to add Google SafeSearch for Kids to your iGoogle page:
Once completing that one step, you'll have this nice little Google SafeSearch for Kids box in your iGoogle:
While these are mostly self-explanatory, I'll likely cover these in more detail in the future.
However, one that may require explanation is Happy News Search. But this is exactly how it sounds. It's a search engine that searches among news sites that only carry happy or positive news.
One other comment I'll make is that the popularity of the country-specific Google SafeSearch pages on SquirrelNet is inversely proportional to the country's population. That is, the Google Safe Search for Australia page is most popular, followed by Canada and then UK is last.
As such, I'm tempted to explore this trend in greater detail. Perhaps I'll focus more on countries like Australia and Canada. Cheers mates!
The Past Three Years During the past 3 years, the idea of ranking search engines has lost its relevance. Google is getting so good, so big and offering so many tools that any non-Google search pretty much fails to compare. I'm saying that Google is the only provider of search tools you will need.
The Next Three Years and Beyond Since I've concluded that Google has won, I am shifting my focus to helping you make better use of Google's services. In the very near future, I will be releasing several Google-powered tools customized to suit the needs of SquirrelNet visitors. One immediate step is expanding upon Google SafeSearch for Kids.
I will be putting a lot of work into creating custom versions of Google for schools, business and my loyal SquirrelNet visitors. Please contact me if you would like your own custom version of Google.
If you take a peek in your browser address bar and/or bookmarks, you might see a tiny squirrel graphic. This is called a favicon, which is just a fancy name for icon. I've done the best I can to make this little 16x16 pixel graphic look like a squirrel.
The bigger question is why a squirrel? Why SquirrelNet? As I said back in 1999 when I founded this site:
"SquirrelNet is dedicated to helping people gather their internet
information (much like squirrels gather food for the Winter). We value
simplicity and usefulness over quantity."
If you don't see the squirrel, visit the SquirrelNet homepage. The squirrel will not display on my blog :(
For those of who are users of For Kids: Using Safe Search on Google, I've updated the kids directory section of the page with the most recent site counts from Google. We've increased the kids sites listing to 56,842 sites, an increase of 16,528 kids sites.