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Top 10 Google Products Every Blogger Needs

Google Rocks!

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 ;-).
  5. 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.
  6. 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 ;-).
  7. 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 info@yourwebsite.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.
  8. 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 ;-).
  9. 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-translate
  10. 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.

Comments

  1. Ryan@Silly Bandz says:

    You can also use google buzz for social traffic and google document to edit your blog post
    .-= Ryan @ Silly Bandz hopes you will read…Where To Buy Silly Bandz Online =-.

    • Silly Bandz says:

      I agree google docs is a must when you are sharing docs with other people across the world

      P.S: Read my comment policy before commenting

  2. Ileane@Ms. Ileane Speaks says:

    Hi UDEGBUNAM. I agree with Ryan, Google Buzz is a great product from Google and the other one you didn’t mention is Google Docs.Google Alerts are good but I also use Social Mention because I get to see all of the social activity from Twitter too. Thanks for the list.
    .-= Ileane from Ms. Ileane Speaks hopes you will read…Buzz Besties – BuzzerList, Bit.ly Quick Tip, Blogger Bon Voyage =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Social Mention? I’ve never heard of that. Is it a Google product as well?
      Thanks for dropping in ;-)

  3. MK Akan says:

    Google is the bomb…i use almost all the products you have listed…

  4. supported, Google rocks! though i don’t use all the products you mentioned.
    .-= trae_z hopes you will read… =-.

  5. Michael Stinger@Logan Car Service says:

    I started blogging with Google’s blogger but haven’t looked back in last couple of years. I was told they are removing FTP publishing and that made me sad because it was a good way to have my own blog within a top level site on hosts that didn’t allow databases and PHP.

    I don’t use Google Translate and any Google Code projects either. I will also recommend Youtube for many bloggers, I often find great videos to publish along with my posts there.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      I was also sad to see FTP publishing go because then we had control over our content but the way it is now even with custom domain name, Google’s got us by the b*lls and can do as it pleases. lol

      Anyway it’s still a good platform for free blogging ;-).

      I’m yet to catch on youtube fully ’cause of the lack of broadband.

  6. Hmmm. While the products you mention are all good, there is one big problem with all of them and that problem starts with a big G. By using them you’re tying all your information in one place, a place that is notorious for penalizing users harshly with no explanation or way to change things.

    Personally I try to avoid Google as much as I can for this exact reason. I don’t use Google Analytics – there are alternatives – because I don’t like the idea of Google associating some sites with my name. What if they hate site X for *no* reason and decide to block my AdSense account? Or the opposite, what if they block my AdSense account for an inexplicable reason (just like they did with AdWords) and suddenly all my sites drop in the rankings, simply because I was kind of enough to inform them. Don’t tell me it can’t happen.

    I can see a potential criticism: “well, you can be sure that they will find a way to discover all your sites”. That might or might not be true, but isn’t that more of a reason to stay away from products that have other, non G, alternatives?
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      LMAO. While the points you’ve stated are quite true, you’ve got to give it to them when it comes to QUALITY FREE PRODUCTS that enriches our lives in one way or the other. I just do the very best I can to make sure that I keep within their good books because without them this blog would be OBSOLETE! lol

  7. Quality free products – agreed. But I think your blog would do just fine without Google.

    You know John Chow’s war with Google? His blog still was super powerful despite Google’s..uhm.. disagreement with it.
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Of the 2,900 unique visits I got to this blog last month, Google accounted for 1,800 unique visitors so please if you know of any other traffic source that could give me figures better than this, holla and I might just dump Google in a flash! LOL

  8. Kristi@Blogging Tips says:

    Definitely a great set of tools from Google for bloggers! The best part is that they are all free! I’ll have to check out Google Code, but the rest I use at some point in my blogging.
    .-= Kristi@Blogging Tips hopes you will read…Top 10 Things That Can Hurt Your Blog =-.

  9. I didn’t say dump it. But that means 1,100 didn’t come from Google. I say that’s not bad at all! It would certainly mean your blog would survive *without* Google which is my point ;-)

    I can say that Google traffic accounts for maybe a third (probably less) of my blog’s traffic. Another third comes from social media sites, and another third comes from Twitter.
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Udi please! My fellow Nigerian bloggers are clocking over 10,000 uniques and I’m at the door to 3,000. 1,100 unique visitors just doesn’t cut it for me right now so keep spreading my links if you can.
      Promoting via social media sites is kinda tedious for me. Twitter hasn’t been so favorable to me yet and until it does….Hmmm! I love just sitting back and watching the traffic flow in from good ol’ Google ;-).
      Your twitter followers must really be responsive and you earning quite some dough with Sponsored tweets, no?

  10. Well, your Alexa score is ~110,000 which is really not bad.

    I don’t put a lot of effort into social media, but I still get enough traffic from it.

    As for Twitter… simply a lot of followers :) If you combine all my accounts I have probably around 110,000 followers. And lots of friends to RT me :)
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      I might just get a new twitter account, use one of those free “get plenty of followers” in 5 minutes softwares and then tweet my posts to that account, to see how responsive my “new followers” are ;-).

  11. I wouldn’t expect a lot of responses ;-)
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Hey, it’s an experiment. lol. I ain’t getting my hopes high @ all ;-). My current human followers are somewhat responsive so I need to see hot responsive the bots are.

  12. Can’t hurt ;-)

    I’m not deluding myself that I don’t have any bots in my follower list. I’m sure I have thousands! But most are real human beings since I got these followers the hard way.
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Cleared my current account of bots and spammers months back. I sincerely hope none escaped the “cleansing” process ;-)

  13. There is a horrible spam wave going on for a few weeks. Targets people with 130,000+ followers but trickles down.
    .-= Udi hopes you will read…The Future Of Twitter =-.

  14. Instrumentation and Control Engineering says:

    ya, i am using all this feature expect google alerts. now after reading this post i have added that too..

    thank you keep it up..

    P.S: Comment delinked for failure to follow comment policy :-(

  15. Odd, I didn’t get notification you responded… sorry (or maybe I missed it).

    Recently thousands of accounts appeared on Twitter that would follow you, and when you followed back, they would unfollow. These were very hard to distinguish. One day I was unfollowed by 200 “people” simultaneously – definitely not pleasant or normal.

    For a while I stopped all follow-backs and now limit it to certain criteria(which seems to be working). I don’t like doing this but I was left with no choice.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

      Thank God. I thought it was something pwetty serious. I’ve been there before but not 200 people at a go. At the moment I only follow back people with a blog/website cos most of my tweets are blogs related.

  16. Jai Prakash says:

    Nice post. I am happy to play with google product.Sure this post will benefited for all who is not aware for G product. Thanks for making us aware.

  17. Bryan@pcb says:

    I think many people overlook the value in Google Alerts. My family has an obscure last name and there are probably less than a hundred people with my surname alive today. We really don’t keep in touch. I plugged the name into Google Alerts a few years back and the results have been amazing. I get an email once or twice a month letting me know of the goings on of my kin. Google lets me know if a distant cousin joined Facebook, and emails me when a long lost Uncle’s obituary turns up in a newspaper somewhere.

  18. I pretty much use most of the apps on the list – and have found them all to be useful.

    The one thing I like about Google Alerts is that not only does it alert me when my blog is indexed, it can also alert me when someone has also published my content. It is a nice added benefit.

  19. seo top 10 says:

    I would put webmaster tools near the top of your list. I have found that invaluable when checking for 404 pages and speed and timeout issues.

  20. These are what I’ll personally call blogger’s essential, webmaster tool, Gmail, and analytics are on my top list

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