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Why I Love Google (Most of the Time)
We all know Google the search engine, and many of us have Google Mail accounts or use Google Maps or Google Adwords, but there is just so much more to Google that's of value to the budding web entrepreneur or business owner. The following is a list of some of the other Google services that I find particularly useful and can hopefully be of value to you too.
Formerly Urchin, a commercial product, it is now offered as a free service and provides extremely comprehensive website statistics. Up until a short while ago, it was quite difficult to get access but Google has since increased capacity, making it a lot easier to get an account. Analytics actually forms part of Google's Adwords offering, but you don't need to have an Adwords account to use it.
Froogle is Google's shopping search engine and comparison site, and if you sell products online, getting listed on Froogle is an absolute must (although you actually upload your products via Google Base). Like any product feed, it requires a bit of effort to get it set up to begin with, but it's well worth it. (And of course, it's free!)
Most website owners will tell you that it's not easy getting your site listed in Google's organic results. The first step is to get Google to spider your site and one of the best ways to achieve that is to submit a sitemap. It's very straightforward and once your site has been spidered, you can get some really useful information about how Google sees your site.
This is actually a browser plugin that allows you to select text or images as you are browsing and save them to an online notebook that you can keep private or share with others. It's a great tool to use if you are researching online and want to save snippets of information (together with links to the original source) to review later.
This is another really useful research tool that allows you to see search volumes (i.e. the number of times a particular keyword or phrase was searched over a period of time) which helps you to identify certain trends. For example, since I run an online perfume shop, it's interesting to see how different keyword phrases (e.g. 'perfume shop' and 'perfume store') perform compared to each other in different countries throughout the year. This helps to identify effective keywords for SEO and PPC purposes.
Want to keep an eye on your competitors in the news or on particular products or even how your own site is performing on Google? Then you should use Google Alerts. You can setup daily, weekly or even as-it-happens alerts relating to specific keywords, and have the results sent to you via email.
So, like I said, these are just some of the many services offered by Google. For a more complete list, go to Google.
And when don't I love Google? When it takes so long to get my websites listed in its organic search results - that's when! But I suppose I shouldn't complain - the fact that it's so difficult to get listed helps to maintain the quality of the results which is what makes Google such a popular search engine which in turn, allows them to provide all of the other services that we find so useful.
About the Author: Martin Grafetsberger owns DM Fragrances, a UK based online perfume shop, and sells perfumes from the leading designer brands including Armani, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Lacoste and many more.