Disruptive innovation has been a mainstay of search engine giant Google since its launch nearly two decades ago, and its dedication to constantly thinking of new and unique ways of serving its diverse client base has assured its place atop the search engine hierarchy.
Google keeps adding to its pantheon of infinitely useful aids for developers, webmasters and casual users, and you may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of fantastic tools available for bloggers like you.
In this article, I’ll tell you about six of the best.
Who doesn’t love a good infographic? I know I do! Case in point:
Infographics are a great way to represent boring stats and data in a visually stimulating way that will keep your readers engaged. With Google Drawings, you can easily turn facts and figures into eye-popping graphics using the intuitive – and free! – web-based interface. Add a little flavour to your blog with infographics and Google Drawings.
Google’s analytics tool has been around forever, but with every new incarnation the developers behind the scenes add more functionality and intelligence and, in fact, the interface underwent a facelift only recently which resulted in a much sleeker dashboard.
This tool analyzes how much traffic your blog is getting, where it’s coming from (both from a location and referral source perspective) as well as which actions are being taken on which pages. You can also set objectives (called “goals”) for example signing up for a newsletter or filling out a contact form, which Google then tracks.
If you don’t want to add the code snippet to your web pages, there’s an awesome WordPress plugin called Monster Insights that does exactly the same thing but doesn’t require any coding.
If your aim is to monetize your blog or website, Google AdSense is the place to start.
The principle is very simple: you create a free account with Google AdSense and paste a code snippet into all the header of all the pages that get regular traffic. This gives Google permission to place relevant ads on your site and with every click-through you earn some money, with a minimum of $10 needed before you can request a pay-out.
Don’t expect to get rich quickly, but making use of AdSense can pay big in the long term.
This nifty (and, again, free) tool analyzes your website’s performance and makes recommendations based on its findings, for example minimizing the size of images, caching your content, and so on.
As I’ve said countless times before, online users are an impatient lot, making it of critical importance that your website doesn’t take ages to load. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite Google tools.
While Google Insights might not be the best fit for the casual blogger, serious content marketers stand to benefit from this tool that monitors trends over time. Simply enter one or more keywords, and watch Google intelligently plot trends related to your search terms. Google Insights now offers three separate data aggregation tools, namely Google Consumer Surveys, Google Correlate and Google Trends.
At the outset, nothing seems particularly special or unique about Google’s online chat service. I mean, it offers instant messaging and voice and video chat – what makes it any different from, say, Skype?
What’s great about Hangouts, however, is the ability to host free webinars.
Webinars are a fantastic way of building brand awareness and establishing you or your brand as a thought-leader in your niche, and Google Hangouts makes it very easy to invite people and host your very own webinar.