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June 16, 2008

One Google Help Center to Rule Them All

To find some information about a Google service directly from the source, you no longer have to locate the help center for that service. The unified help center available at lets you search across all the help information provided by Google. This could also be useful if you want to find something related to more than one service.

Behind the scenes, Google uses a custom search engine that includes 218 URL patterns. Google automatically creates an iGoogle gadget for the custom search engine so you can search directly from iGoogle.

Google has become more transparent and most services have lists of known issues and suggestions. The Toolbar help center links to videos, Google Talk's help center shows the most popular searches (among them: group chat, account locked, video chat, Linux, Mac, sign out), Gmail lists recommended articles that are sometimes related to previous queries, while Google Analytics searches many information sources, including Analytics-related blogs and discussion boards.


  1. I tried to use a gadget to add feeds to my desktop so that I could go directly to a few frequently visited web sites. I was asked to type in a URL and a site (I guess) name. I used and got an error message saying I had an incorrect URL. Where do I find what I need?

  2. Good. But what if it's the other way around, i.e. you want to *be* helpful. How about a central place for wish list/bug report. I've been using chrome for a month and have a list of issues to leave for the developers, but can't really find where to do that.


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