Written by Tomer Garzberg
If you’re a human being functioning in today’s society, chances are you’ve heard the word “Google.” The search engine powerhouse has an incredibly influential stronghold on the way we use the Internet and has, for many years, simplified the way we spend our time online. Google, however, is more than just a plain old search engine. Its innovation has empowered businesses big and small for quite some time.
Here’s how you can take advantage of what it has to offer:
Natural Search is quite simply, the natural results that appear on a Google search result. These are unlike “Sponsored Links” because there have been no direct payment to Google for these positions. Instead, natural relevance on these pages are achieved by doing a number of things, called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, including optimising your website, writing and publishing content and getting links back to your website from other websites. The best way to go about doing SEO is to find an SEO technician who can help.
These are the “Sponsored Links” results you see when you search. These have been paid for directly to Google by the companies the websites represent. Rank on Adwords is different to Natural Ranks, whereby it’s not the age, or content, or links that your website has. Rather, it is determined by how much you can spend, per click to your website. This is referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC). A great way to find opportunities that your competitors haven’t found is to talk to a PPC expert.
You may have noticed when typing a name of a company or interesting keywords into Google, you see YouTube, RealTime and News-related results. It’s extremely easy to take advantage of these results, but it requires commitment.
• YouTube (which is also a Google product), allows you to upload and share your video content. Using the correct keywords when describing your video is crucial and will allow your video to rank on Google search results more easily
• RealTime is mostly generated from Twitter use, and from publicly visible Facebook chatter. Here, your active involvement in Status Updates and Tweets will help you to engage a more real-time conscious audience by appearing in Google results as well
• News results are generated from commercial news outlets, as well as blogs. Blogs are free and easy to use, and Blogger (another Google product), Wordpress and Tumblr rank very well on Google results.
Google has a wealth of images it has scraped from the internet, so it becomes important for you to ensure your imagery has been properly alt-tagged. Alt Tags are descriptors which tell search engines what the image really is. This helps you to rank well in Google Images if you use the right words. A great way to rank well on Google is to use Picasa, another Google product that helps you to host and share images.
This is a fantastic initiative by Google that allows someone searching for a product in their area to view companies near to them. Going to local.google.com will allow you to apply list your company. Once approved, you will appear in search results in your local area. This also allows the public to review your business to drive confidence even further.
Besides ranking on Google, having a presence on YouTube can help you infinitely. Popular videos on YouTube generate incredible audiences. Getting millions of views is not a rarity. Ensure your video contains plenty of information or entertainment to bring the masses.
Gmail.com (and all the tools that come with it)
Getting a Gmail account for any business is a no-brainer. Gmail has incredible advantages that no other e-mail provider can match. Besides importing your corporate e-mails into Google, it allows you to easily sync your e-mails on your mobile devices, and ensures that no matter which computer you use, anywhere in the world, your e-mail is the same. To boot, it empowers you with Google Calendar to harmonise your schedule on the fly, and has an incredibly effective Tasks list that keeps you in the know. Google’s recent introduction of the Priority Inbox helps you scan e-mails that are important first, with the others not far underneath. Gmail accounts also enable you to take charge of other Google initiatives easily.
If you want to make some money from the hits you’re getting on your website, using Google Adsense is a breeze. It automatically pushes relevant content from Google’s thousands of Ad publishers. Visit adsense.google.com for more information.
Google Talk is a brilliant little tool that works very well inside Gmail as well. Similar to Skype it allows you to make video, voice and text chats to anyone with a Gmail account. It also offers extremely low call rates that rival any other provider – including free calls to the US.
Google’s Search Field
The most time-saving function of Google, comes right back to its Search field. There are some interesting things you can get Google to do for you:
• Calculate: You can type in any mathematical equation (such as 3*6 / 2 +7) and get an immediate answer
• Convert: Try “1 AUD in USD” and see real-time conversions
• Define: Use the word “define” before any other keyword and get dictionary results
• Images: Use the words “pic” or “pictures” to get image-heavy results
• News: Type in any current news topic and Google will bring you the latest
• Phonebook: Rolling out to Australia soon, this will allow you to type in as much information you know about the business you’re trying to locate and Google will fill in the blanks
• Questions: Type in such things as “temperature in Brisbane” or “population of Melbourne” and get your answers fast
• Number Tracking: Type in area codes, flight codes, patent numbers, courier tracking numbers and see the latest information
• Stocks: Just type in the ticker symbols for one or many of the companies you’re interested in and watch the stocks in real-time
• Locations: Type an address and see it on a map
Tomer Garzberg is the director of Strongman Digital Media. He has presented in front of groups of over 1000 CEOs, to small groups business owners, at Corporate, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations.