Building a website with Google

A while ago we launched a new website that was built around a core of Google services. This site has some interesting features. Nothing ground-breaking. But it does illustrate just how much you can do with the Google developer APIs.

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This site www.tattooregret.net is, fundamentally, a Tattoo Removal search engine. You provide the engine your location and the engine finds the tattoo removal clinics closest to you. You can also catch up on the latest news about laser tattoo removal and watch some videos about laser tattoo removal. Google offers several services which have made it possible for us to deliver these services in real-time and to offer content that is as up-to-date as the current Google search results can possibly be.

The most important service for our site is the Google Places API. Using this API, we are able to provide a real-time, accurate list of laser tattoo removal clinics near a user-specified location. For example searching for “Chicago IL” will show you a result set of clinics in the 60601 ZIP code.

Digging a little deeper, we can display, in addition to the basic information abut the clinic, user reviews, images from the clinic’s website, hours of operation and many other features as well. Because Google can return the search results in a couple of different formats, you can decide how to consume and display the information on your site.

Another service that we use is the Google Maps APIs. As we display the results of a user’s area based search, we display the location of matching Places on a map. This Google API is used in many places, is well documented, and has several add-ons (such as Marker Clusterer) that allow you to make visual search results easy to implement.

A related service that we use on www.tattooregret.net is YouTube’s Search API. Using this API we can display a current, up-to-date list of videos pertinent to our user base. Here too, the results of a query are returned in a manner that allows you to customize the presentation of the results to suit your needs. We’ve implemented a very simple list-style display (pretty much out-of-the-box) which does the job well.

Again, there’s nothing ground-breaking in the tools that we’re using. But I have to tip my hat to the people at Google for providing an array of tools that allow any developer to build a superior website with just a little effort.

If you would like to know more about how we have incorporated these services into our website, or if you would like help getting these services on YOUR website, contact me.

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