Google Moves Into Print, Literally

When a comely 160-page magazine bearing the Google logo was dropped on our doorstep the other day, we had little idea what to make of it. An offline publication professing to unlock the secrets of the online world's preeminent brand? What hubris! Nonetheless, we were intrigued. And then we opened it.

Produced by Sandhills Publishing Company, which apparently doesn't believe in returning e-mails or phone calls from reporters seeking information about future editions or frequency of Google magazine, the one-off "Guide to Using Google" attempts to clarify everything from blogging to RSS feeds to search-engine marketing.

Of course, anybody truly interested in becoming a Googlemaster certainly boasts some basic level of Web sophistication, and won't be wowed by promises like "Google Local Helps You Find Everything From Pizza Places to Pet Stores."

Internet neophytes, on the other hand, are likely to be more than happy with the basics of e-mail and the Google search page, which doesn't exactly demand a $9.95 reference guide to navigate. In short, there are probably better ways to spend your tech-reference dollar -- say, on a copy of Internet For Dummies.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment, other than to confirm that the company has nothing to do with the publication. Sandhills' other titles include Smart Computing and trade publications for the construction and aircraft industries.

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