Many of you, I’m sure, are starting to hear about the new social network Google+. Currently it has not been rolled out to the public, but here is the official tour page from Google. I thought you might like a quick peek… (click on the image to go to the tour page).
Google+ Tour Page
I’ll keep you posted as more is released about Google+.
I couldn’t help that title, but I have been noticing that Internet security seems to be an ever growing problem. So, although I have not done much technical blogging lately, I thought this would be a great place to pick up again. I will be posting on several security related issue in the near future, including WordPress Plugins that can help you lock down your blog. Stay tuned.
For those of you interested in a great added layer of security for Gmail, check out the video below that discusses Google’s new 2-Step Verification process–Brilliant!
If you have a security issue you would like to have addressed, please feel welcome to comment.
So many people have difficulty understanding RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which actually if someone shows you how to use it with a reader, such as Google Reader and a browser, such as Firefox, it really is simple! Here’s a quick video on how to add a subscription to Google Reader from a blog open in Firefox.
I speak to a great many business owners about how they can get more website traffic. Obviously this is an ongoing concern and while it is more important for some than others, here are a few fast ideas that you can implement.
1. Add a Blog to Your Site Why? Simple, blogging can work wonders for traffic; it creates new content for the search engines to index, and can create a group of loyal visitors to your site as over time you actually become a resource! I don’t think any one thing can help your business website get noticed more and more cost effectively. If you have a small website SEO can only do a small amount and while there are billions of sites, SEO is just not enough. Blogging to create valuable content will drive traffic to your site, period.
2. Add New Content/Pages Not enough time to create regular content for your site? Understand. Many business owners are just too busy to take the time to create regular content, therefore, have additional pages added to your site and that talk about something specific.
3. Create a Google Account Make sure you’ve got a Google account add your business to Google Places, this will allow for better indexing and as Google is moving toward hyper-local searching, getting seen in local searches is an absolute must.
Are you a local business owner, that wants to ensure your store or business shows up in Mobile Searches (essentially being in the search results, when someone is looking for you in your own back yard)? Yes? Then read on…
Although the vast majority of cell phone users do not use Smartphones, the movement is away from standard cell phone, and that’s highlighted by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt statement that mobile search is the future of Google. This past week Google announce their new Hyperlocal Ad Feature for Google Adwords.
The idea is, if someone is searching Google on their mobile device Google understands that you’re most likely searching for something that is in your immediate vicinity.
Google explains it this way:
Imagine driving to work and your Check Engine light comes on. After pulling over and calling a tow truck, you realize you’ll need another car to get to work and use while yours is getting repaired. You pull out your phone and search for “car rental,” hoping that you can find one nearby. From a Google search ad result you discover there’s an Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood location just half a mile away! The blue distance marker made it easy to see that Enterprise is approximately .5 miles away. You click on the phone number listed in the ad and are instantly connected with the car rental service.
Therefore, if you’re a local business that advertises in a specific geographic radius around your business (say you have an antiques store, or a specialty food shop), and people are in your area, they search for your type of business on their mobile device and you business comes up and the graphical search results even show how far away you are on a map!
To learn more about this feature in Adwords, click HERE and don’t forget to sign up for Google’s free Train and Gain Adwords training program/challenge. Read more about the program HERE (I recommend this and Webvantix will be participating as well).
For any small businesses out there that want to use Google Adwords or who are using it and want to become more proficient at it, Google has announced the first Adwords Train & Gain challenge.
The challenge starts on October 4th and the program works as follows:
You will receive a weekly list of simple steps for improving your Adwords account and at the end of four week “you’ll be armed with many different way to improved your Adwords account” says Google.
Also if you complete all the steps and answer their questionnaire, you could win an Android Phone or even a trip to meet with an Adwords consultant in Sydney, Australia, for you and a colleague. Sweet!
According to Google, here’s what’s offered:
Improve Ad Text: Stand out from your competition by writing ads that highlight your most competitive features (low price, special service, free delivery, etc).
Use Negative Keywords: Specify which search tearms you don’t want your ad to appear on. This will help you keeps costs down because it prevents click from people looking for things you don’t offer.
Track sales and Leads: Se where your ad spend is working best and focus your money on the efforts that are generating business.
For those of you who have been, understandably, reluctant to add your sensitive documents in the Google cloud, Google has announced “Two-step verification” for its Google Apps and soon to come for all individual Google users. This will, according to Google, “significantly increases the security of the cloud.” Essentially, two-step verification will be set up by the Google Apps administrator, and will requires to methods of identification: a password and a mobile phone. The best part of this is that once you enter your password, a code is texted to your mobile phone, you then enter the code and away you go. If you don’t get the code, you are denied access.
This technology is similar to what online banks have been using for years and greatly reduces the capabilities of spy programs that are designed to watch you enter your password, as the code that is generated is different each time you access Google Apps. Very cool! If you want to read more about it, it’s on the Google Small Business Blog.
Google has a new blog that is specifically centered around small businesses, the “Google Small Business Blog,” though regardless of your business size, I recommend it as a great aggregator of information from various blogs under the Google name.
In Google’s own words: “It’s a central hub that brings together all the information about Google products, features and projects of specific interest to the small business community.”
Additionally, I quickly show you how to add it as an RSS feed to Google Reader. Have a look…
Professional website design is great and can be an enormous differentiator between you and your competition. Yet, there are other steps you can take to help your site get noticed locally. One of those is using the Google Places program, Google Tags.