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Google gets regional

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Google, the search engine turned e-mail service provider, is getting more regional with the launch of a new partnership with the Canadian Yellow Pages directory. The new partnership puts more than 2.4 million listings at the fingers of searchers by accessing the Canadian portal at Google Local – http://local.google.ca.

Rather than a single search window, users will be able to refine their searches by using simple What and Where fields. For example, if you type "Dentists" into the What and "Vancouver" into the Where, you’ll end up with 10 full pages of yellow pages listings including, Web sites, phone numbers and addresses. If you click on that listing you’ll also get a map and a complete set of directions to get there.

Whistler’s Telus listings don’t turn up just yet, as the partnership is between Google and the Yellow Pages Group, which publishes Bell Canada directories. If this new venture is successful, it could only be a matter of time.

In other Google news, there’s a rumour going around that Google will also crank things up a notch and release a fully functioning Web browser that would compete with Internet Explorer, AOL Netscape, Apple Safari, Mozilla and all the other browsers on the market.

A9 A-O.K.

Speaking of Internet search engines, the new A9.com search engine introduced a few weeks ago is already turning heads.

A9 is a kind of Frankenstein of search engines, making use of Google, Amazon.com, GuruNet, IMDb, and other repositories of online information to provide an enhanced Web and image search. It also remembers you, providing you with history, bookmarks and the ability to take notes as you go. You can even drag and drop titles to you bookmarks section, allowing you to come back to it later without a lot of backtracking and starting over again.

A9 then uses your history and bookmarks to better refine searches, looking through the sites that were most helpful the last time when you make a new search query.

You can also customize the interface to a degree, increasing the number of search results and playing with the layout to enable you to make more effective use of your browser window.

Another feature is the Site Info tool that gives you information on any Web site you’re about to visit by telling you how popular it is, how fast it is, how it has been reviewed, and more.

You really have to try it yourself. It may not revolutionize your searches the same was as Google, but you’ll want to remember this site.

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