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Free Google Tools - to help your business

Free
Website
Review

One thing is for sure the world of IT moves on a pace. Most of these services are either no more or not in their current form.

1. Google Desktop Discountinued. - Have you ever been frustrated that Microsoft search could not find something you have filed somewhere on your pc?

2. Location map link for your address. How about adding a location map link with an aerial photo of your chosen location?
If you would like your pages to validate follow this link for information on how to do that.

3. Froogle renamed Products - save money or promote your products - If you sell a physical product have you tried Froogle? (- It is free and will almost certainly deliver more traffic to your website).

4. Picasa Discountinued - if you cannot find that picture Picasa is the Google tool designed to organise your photos.

5. Google Alerts - Once upon a time companies paid others to keep an eye in newspapers / magazines etc for stories of interest to them Alerts from Google keeps an online track of what is of interest to you - free and easy to set-up.

6. Website Stats - Have you got Google Analytics installed on your website? - extraordinary volume of information about visitors to your website.

7. Google Sets - if you are working with words and are at a loss to think of more similar words.

8. Google Local - Often you receive too many results consider Google Local to zoom in to local results. (Are you coming up in local searches?)

9. Google Toolbar - provides feedback as to the effectiveness of websites.

10. Pay Per Click alas not free but extremely good value for money. There is no other advertising which you can switch on an off like a tap and have any chance of monitoring the results.

Take-a-break! Pagemost Discountinued - Feeling like a day out but cannot think where to go? Take a look at Pagemost which combines attractions and Google Mapping to list attractions near to a postcode of your choice.

Google Desktop

1. Google Desktop

Download this tool install and keep your computer switched on and connected to the internet. Once Google Desktop has finished indexing the contents of your hard drive you will see an icon on the tool bar at the foot of your page.

Click the icon and you will have the choice Search Desktop or Search Web - results work exactly like Google Search the web by displaying the most relevant results first.

Download Google Desktop.

2. Google location map

If you have a location which lends it self to an aerial view with the streets named and this might be for you - it is not the fastest loading solution but it is certainly one of the most powerful.

To get started with this take the post code or type in the description of the location and paste in to the box - to link to the page click the button link to this page and you will see a complex url appear copy and paste and you are almost done. If you like your pages to validate then you will have to add amp; after each & in the url.

Solihull Business Club aerial view

3. Froogle

You can either use this to save money through it price comparison function or if you have a product to sell promote it free on Froogle.

Froogle has changed within the last few months and become more comprehensive and more specific.

Using Product Search (formally Froogle) is simple Froogle / Product Search type in whatever you are looking for example - 3 drawer pine bedside cabinet and search.

To upload files create an Excel spread sheet.

title
description
link
image_link
id
expiration_date
price
currency
payment_accepted
weight_kgs
condition
product_type
location

Fill in you details one item per row. Save as a tab separated text file (.txt) and upload - you will need to have set an account up - this can be a bit fiddly and it may take a bit of work to get settled but it can produce some worth while traffic to your site.

4. Picasa

A picture is worth a thousand words but when you cannot find the one you are looking for it can be very frustrating. With Picasa that may no longer be a problem. This software provides an opportunity with this software to organise your photos on your hard drive and then if you choose share those photos with others on the internet - clearly you could use this to share business photos with clients or family photos with friends. With digital photography it is easy to have a lot of photos and yet it can be not so easy to find them.

5. Google Alerts

This tool helps you stay informed without wasting time trawling the internet for information. Set-up the alerts you are interested in then wait for emails to arrive in your inbox with hyperlinks to the full story. You are in control and kept well informed. It works as you would expect type a word or phrase in the box. The results are emailed to you as and when there is a match to the alert you are seeking.

For larger companies perfect for keeping an eye on competitors, suppliers, trends in your market etc.

Google Desktop

6. Google Analytics

If you have a website ask if the person who runs your website has installed Google Analytics?

This essentially is some code you add to the foot of each page and looks like this.

You sign up in Google Adwords and you receive this tracking code to add to each page on your website. The benefit is Google captures a lot of information about how many visitors your website receives where they come from, which pages they are most interested in - it is a massive subject but to gain worth while information you do not have to examine every page.

7. Google Sets

If you are trying to think of words to go with a search word then Google sets can help out by suggesting more words which follow a pattern.

Example

  1. Blue
  2. Red
  3. Green
  4. Google will now come back with a list of more colours which might have escaped your thoughts - free brainstorming!

Google Sets for when you have run dry.

8. Google Local

Most times Google produces too many results - you are looking for a florist in Solihull - then Google local could be for you. Click the Find Business tab.

Google Local

Google Local These results are linked with Yell but worth checking to see that you can find your own business.

Great tool but possibly not as frequently used as it could be by those searching the internet - likely to grow in the future as those using Google become more sophisticated in their search techniques.

9. Google Toolbar

Numerous very large companies want you to have their tool bar on your screen and if you are not careful before you know it you have not any screen left to use!.

PageRank is an expression you might have heard of if you want to see your websites PageRank or that of a competitor then the Google toolbar is the easy way to achieve that. Why this matters is the higher your PageRank the more likely it is that your website will come up well on Google organic searches.

Much more - if you want to hunt around on the Google website...

Google these days employees thousands of software engineers working on new products or enhancing existing ones - this is a sample of the tools from Google I use during the course of a week but there are many more which you can download.

If you have any feedback on these tools please let me know.

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