Google Google Google! What would my life online be without this company? Ever since Yahoo shut down one of my email accounts because of their 60 days of inactivity clause, I moved over to Gmail and have been hooked ever since. Yahoo further shot themselves in the foot by suddenly becoming slow on dial-up connections and by disabling POP and IMAP on their free accounts.
Gmail has made my emailing activities such fun that I’ve been exploring most of their products especially those that make my life as a blogger easy.
Here are 10 of Google’s products that I feel every blogger needs to get acquainted with
- Google Adsense: I believe by now every blogger knows about it. It’s the easiest way of monetizing your sites/blogs. You display text or image ads from the Adsense network and you get paid each time a visitor clicks on an ad. Check out The Ultimate Google Adsense Resource Online Now.
- Google Alerts: This tool helps you keep track of mentions of your blog, name etc whenever and wherever they occur online. For example, amongst other things, it helps me to know exactly when Google indexes my blog posts. Ajith Prasad’s shows you how to use Google Alerts effectively to improve your blogging and Online business.
- Google Analytics: If you’ve been monitoring your blog traffic using CPanel’s default tools such as AWSTATS, you need to stop deceiving yourself like I was doing in the first few months of the launch of this blog. AWSTATS records bot/spammy referrals and so is inflated. Google Analytics remains the best free traffic monitor ever in my opinion. For a month I monitored both AWSTATS and Google Analytics and at the end found out that while AWSTATS was recording over 1,000 unique visitors, Google Analytics was recording just 200 unique visitors :-D. Stat Counter collaborated this later on. Bloggers do yourselves a favor and install Google Analytics on your blogs. If you’re running a wordpress blog, I recommend installing Google Analyticator which now comes default with the new Google Asynchronous Tracking Code.
- Blogger: I don’t think I need to talk much about this one. Blogger is one of the top free blogging platforms available. My only advice to you is to watch what you do or say while using Blogger cos Google can shut you down @ anytime without warning. Having a self-hosted wordpress blog saves you this problem ;-).
- Google Code: This product isn’t for every blogger. In my opinion is for bloggers who want some advanced features for their web sites/ blogs. I love the URL shortner script, YOURLS, PageSpeed and Stop Spam Referrer PHP Script.
- Google FeedBurner: If you’d like your readers to subscribe to your blog’s feed via email or rss readers, I recommend you get a FeedBurner account. While Google Analytics keeps tracks of traffic to your blog. FeedBurner monitors the distribution of your content via RSS Feeds and also the incoming traffic to your blog from your feeds. Using the Socialize feature, you can set up your FeedBurner account to automatically tweet your new posts. Social Flare enables you to add social bookmarking links to your RSS footer all without the use of an additional plug-in. There’s so much you could do with a FeedBurner account as a blogger, so get one and start exploring/enjoying it’s many functions ;-).
- Gmail: With over 7GB of disk space, free POP and IMAP access, dial-up, broadband and mobile versions, chat functionality and quite a host of other features, Gmail’s my fav and even if you own a personalized email address such as email@example.com, you are HIGHLY advised to get a free Gmail account. Hosts such as Hostgator offer UNLIMITED DISK SPACE/BANDWIDTH but in their TOS they mention their use of inodes. Every file on your account, emails included, uses up 1 inode. Once you use more than 250,000 inodes on a shared hosting environment, the chances of your account getting suspended are HIGH! Imagine receiving tons of email to your personal account. Before you know it, you might breach the 250,000 inodes and face the consequence. With Gmail, you can be receive as much email as you can without bothering yourself unless of course you go past 7GB of data.
- Google Reader: If you’re a subscriber to lots of blogs/websites, a Google Reader account will come in handy to keep you organized, if of course you read your feeds online. I use FeedDemon to read my feeds offline. Using Google Reader ensures that should in case your PC/laptop crashes and you lose your Offline RSS reader with the list of feeds within, you can still have a backup of all those feeds you’re subscribed to waiting for you online. This is a preemptive measure I’ve taken since I ruined my laptop with Yoghurt ;-).
- Google Translate: I’ve been studying my incoming traffic and noticed that some readers are translating my pages before reading them. I installed the translation widget once but had to remove it because it was affecting my page load times :-(. The translation is ain’t so bad as you can see in the capture below that’s of course if you understand Spanish ;-):
- Google Webmasters Tool: All bloggers need to know that Google is still the most popular and most loved search engine till date. Most bloggers can attest to the fact that the source of over 50% of their traffic comes from Google thus one must make sure his blogs/websites are properly indexed by Google. To achieve this, one needs Google Webmasters Tool. Once your site has been authenticated as yours, you can begin monitoring certain things such as how frequently Google is crawling your site, if there are plenty of 404/403 errors being generated on your blog, what keywords are sending traffic to your site, your CTR each time you appear in the search engine results page etc. Of recent Google disclosed that Site Speed will now be a criteria for ranking blogs. Google Webmasters Tool has a feature that shows you the speed of your site according to how fast Google’s bots are accessing your pages.
Which Google product not listed above do you use to facilitate your life as a blogger or as a regular web surfer? Feel free to share with us by commenting below and remember to share this post on Twitter, Facebook etc.