A few days ago Google updated its Local page quality guidelines. Any businesses currently using Google My Business (previously Google Places and Google+ for Business) or looking to sign up in the near future are affected by this update. These guidelines are generally considered rules, not guidelines, as failure to comply can cause your listing to be removed. Here are the key takeaways:
Last week, Twitter released a new mobile application (app) called the Twitter Small Business Planner that is designed to help small businesses plan their Twitter marketing activities more easily. The app helps users create and structure marketing efforts for their Twitter campaigns. It was released just in time for the upcoming holiday season and is aimed to get small businesses selling for Christmas.
AdWords ad copy will impact how successful the AdWords campaign is. In the long term, good copy, coupled with other AdWords best practices, can lower cost-per-click metrics and help your ad rank above those of competitors. Most importantly, ad copy helps attract clicks on your ad and traffic to your website.
However, writing an effective ad can be challenging because of the strict character limits imposed by Google. Here are eight easy ways to help you along the way:
Well who’d have thought it? That tiny crying baby is no longer – YouTube is now fully grown up. Well, 6 years old at any rate.
And do you know the quite scary facts?
Fact 1: There are over 48 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute.
Fact 2: There are 3billion views every day on the site.
Here’s a nice infographic from YouTube to sum it all up.
A fan? Or had enough of the big ‘Y’? Leave us a comment below.
So, let me see, a list. Search engine. Operating system. Browser. Navigation. Instant Messenger. Voice calls. Email. Advertising. Mobile phones.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to products made by Google. Lots of products, but there’s a theme: the web, information, communication.
So where do ‘driverless cars’, Google’s newest project, fit into all that?! Eric Schmidt, Google CEO confirmed the plans at a recent TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco, adding more colour to the previous announcement by Google’s director of the Standford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Sebastian Thrun.
The idea – apparently – is to free drivers up to do more with the time they would have spent driving. Like searching for products on Google, no doubt.
And this is no pipedream either. Google cars have already covered over 140,000 miles with almost no human control.
“They’ve crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe”, said Thrun.
The cars are kitted up with video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders – helping them ‘see’ the road and detect other vehicles. And of course they use the maps created by Google’s own Streetview project.
Pipe-dream, pointless, or a great idea by Google? Leave us a comment below.
Any frequent visitor to the WebEden blog knows that we’re big fans of Google. As we discussed last year, Google innovates at a hectic pace, bringing out – and evolving – products at a pace unmatched by other businesses. In the last year alone Google launched 278 fully fledged products or services, each of which would have been a big launch for any other company.
To help keep up with all the new and exciting stuff going on Google have launched a new website called Google New.
They’re using this website to publish news about their latest products and services.
It includes an aggregation of all their blogs and pulls in their latest posts. You can also search Google products, and there’s a product of the day too.
The site also includes a directory every product, advert, developer tools and blogs.
Take a look google.com/newproducts. Or watch a video all about it below.
Are you a big mobile texter? Do you make use of predictive text? The feature -which guesses what word you’re trying to type saving you the effort of actually doing so – has made texting much quicker and more nimble.
With ‘Scribe’ Google have decided to bring that idea to documents, Scribe lays out possible endings to each word or phrase based on what you’ve already typed. As you type you can choose the auto-complete suggestion that best fits your sentence.
The suggestions also include what is ‘normally’ or popularly used to end each sentence.
There’s no doubt – as with predictive text – that this sort of thing takes a bit of getting used to. Having tried it myself it went from intriguing to annoying and then finally useful in about 20 minutes.
You can try out Google scribe online here.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
A few weeks ago we brought you new of Google’s decision to shelve Google Wave. For a highly successful company Google actually fails quite frequently. It’s a testament to their sheer pace of development – they’ve launched 264 new products in the last year alone – that they can shut down so many and still continue to grow.
To remind us all that even the mighty Google makes mistakes, here’s a list of Google’s recent failures.
Google SearchWiki (closed March 2010)
Google Audio Ads (Closed February 2009)
Google planned to allow AdWords advertisers to bid for placements on radio. In reality, they couldn’t give advertisers any measurability of the results, nor could they boost the revenues of radio stations.
Google Video (closed January 2009)
Google Video was what Google came up with before they bought YouTube. To start with, it just re-broadcast TV shows and made them searchable. Google then started to allow users to upload. And then the TV-show bit was dropped. They then bought YouTube and turned Google Video into an online video rental service, which they shut a few months later.
Dodgeball (closed January 2009)
Jaiku (closed January 2009)
Google Notebook (Closed January 2009)
Google Catalogs (Closed January 2009)
Google Print Ads (Closed January 2009)
Google Page Creator (Closed August 2008)
Google Answers (Closed November 2006)
Never quite up to the other Q&A offerings out there – particularly Yahoo Answers – this service closed down in 2006. And that might have been due to cost – Google paid people to answer questions, rather than relying on crowd-sourced input like other services.
That’s it for now
Google launches so many new products that some of them are bound to fail. We’ve all tried out website ideas, only to lose enthusiasm as the project continues. But Google is a good role model – it doesn’t cry over spilt milk, but tries to learn something and use that information in the next idea.
Have you tried and failed, and learned something new? Leave us a comment below.
A couple of months ago we told you about Rupert Murdoch’s plan to charge access to The Times websites. With the newspaper group losing more money each day than most of us earn in a lifetime, he needed to make a big and bold change.
Following the change, the inevitable happened: Traffic to The Times plummeted. Although Murdoch himself claims the service is doing alright, the fact of the matter is that visitor numbers are just a fraction of what they used to be.
Content should be free!
The problem of course is that in the Internet age most people think that content – information – should be free. Newspapers have lost their paid gateway to what’s going on in the world. Much of the traffic to the Times came from Google, as it indexed The Times news stories and reproduced them in the Search Results.
But with a paywall blocking their access, Google can no longer see that content, so they can’t list The Times in the search results. So not only is no-one willing to subscribe to the content, none of us knows what they’re writing about anyway!
Here comes ‘Newspass’
Now it’s time for a drumroll. Google are riding to the rescue of The Times – and other newspapers who want to charge users for access to content – with a new micropayment platform called Newspass.
Based on Google checkout, this would allow users to make small payments to websites in order to access specific stories or content. The really great feature of Newspass is that it would allow Google to continue to index all of the newspapers content that would normally sit behind the paywall. This means they could continue to show up in the Search Results, and would therefore continue to get traffic. Google would indicate that the content would be paid-for with a small paywall icon beside the snippet in the search results.
Google say that they are “uniquely positioned to help publishers create a scalable ecommerce system via our Checkout product and also enable users to find this content via search, even if it’s behind a paywall”.
So Google is the Newspaper Saviour
So might Google rescue The Times in the end? Would you be willing to pay to access news stories? Is this also good news for website builders, who might be able to charg in future for access to their content?
Leave us a comment below.
Last year we excitedly brought you news of the latest Google product, Wave. Google aficionados and industry experts agreed: Google wave was set to revolutionise the way we communicated online.
Email is Outmoded
The basic idea – according to Google – was that email was outmoded. It was inefficient, Google said, to send emails from person to person and to cc other interested parties.
Ride the Wave
Far better – they reckoned – to have an opening, rolling real-time conversation which anyone could contribute to: a stream of thoughts that ran down a web page in a never ending… Wave?
Use was initially by invitation only – and people were desperate to make it in. But less than a year into the project, Google has decided to put the stoppers on Wave, with it likely to disappear next year.
Google is knocking it on the head because it has “not seen the user adoption we would have liked”. On the blog they expanded with “We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through to the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.”
With typical Google-like stoicism, they’re saying that the project hasn’t been wasted effort, and are making much of the source code available to external developers.
It may be that Google are clearing the way for their latest social experiment ‘Google me‘.
I for one quite liked wave, but never really found a reason to use it, and certainly never made use of the range of apps developed to enhance each wave.
Did you try Wave as a website builder? Like it? No? Leave us a comment below.