Identifying the Myths About Google+

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of social media channels that seem to come at you from all directions. You may feel that you have chosen those social media channels that make the most sense to you and you don’t really need any others. Well, Google+ is well worth reconsidering.

The value of Google+ and the myths that surround it

No matter which social media channels you have chosen to use (and interact with other members), you should definitely try to make room in your repository for Google+. Google+ has been referred to as a social layer that highlights many of its best online features. If you have heard “some talk” about Google+ but you don’t really know it well at all, it is time for you to not only get to know Google+ but also to become well acquainted with the truth and the myths about that particular social media tool. Unfortunately, there are several myths surrounding Google+ and if you know what those are, in turn, you will be able to use the tool effectively and successfully for your business.

Google+ is a run-of-the-mill social media network: The truth of this is that Google+ is an extremely strong and effective social media network, not to mention the fact that it is paired with Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Analytics, Google Images, Google Search, Google Finance, Google Docs, and Google Wallet. Google+ pretty much gives you an extremely comprehensive way to do anything you want to do and you can find everything in one place. It is a self-contained unit.

Google+ is going nowhere: The fact of the matter is that Google+ has millions upon millions of people who are using it on a regular basis. Additionally, that number is only increasing.

Google+ only hold an interest for technical people: This myth could not be further from the truth. Google+ serves an extremely wide variety of people and communities with a huge amount and variety of wants and needs. It allows everyone who is connected to access influencers and subject matter experts in every imaginable field. Google+ serves as a wonderful resource for people who wish to connect with just about anyone they can think of.

Google+ is not user-friendly: This is just not true. In fact, Google+ has a large number of extremely user-friendly features (at no cost to the user), which can do all sorts of incredible things. Those features can help you to bring your business to the next level quite easily. A large number of those tools can only be found on Google+ and they are totally integrated with the platform. It is extremely user-friendly.

There is nothing unique about Google+: The reality of this is that Google+ is totally unique and, in fact, has many features that you can’t find on any other social media platform. If you compare it to Facebook or LinkedIn, the resounding difference is that they are independent platforms (without integration) whereas Google+ is fully integrated with all of the different parts of Google (which means a lot). Additionally, it is all free. Your online connections can have access to everything and your audience has the potential to grow in so many different directions. With Google+, you can connect with both public and private social communities. However, if you want some of your posts to stay private, you can control that and they won’t show up in everyone’s searches. On the other hand, your search engine rankings will remain solid. In other words, your content will be properly and appropriately optimized.

Conclusion

If you are on the fence about whether to connect on Google+, you should bear in mind that you will be doing yourself and your business a disservice if you don’t get involved with it. One of the main motivating factors for this is the search results that other people will receive. Of course, when it comes to connecting with other people, you should think about how you want to do that most effectively; however, Google+ gives you many effective options for doing that. It is definitely worth reconsidering!

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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.

His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

Google Book Project Adds UC to Its Library Roster

California joins Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the New York Public Library in the Google Book Search project. It is known that The University of California holds 100 libraries on 10 campuses across the state and ranks as the largest research and academic library in the world.

Reports says that Google is working with the U.S. Library of Congress on a similar effort, For Google, the new momentum for its Book Search Project is the latest in a string of high-profile deals it has announced over the past week in which it signed a major search and advertising contract with News Corp., the owner of MySpace.com, and a video advertising and delivery deal with Viacom, owner of MTV, were amongst the people who has a done deal with the search engine mammoth.

Jennifer Colvin, a spokeswoman for the University of California’s digital library arm, said “We know that we will be digitizing several million volumes but not the entire 34 million.”

Google Books product manager Adam Smith confirmed that the project would scan books numbering “in the millions,” but declined to offer specific targets in terms of the number of books or the scope of financing Google planned to provide. The Google Book Search project was a far larger in scope than its undertaking with the Yahoo-Microsoft funded group.

Why Businesses Should Care About Google Analytics

Any business with a website should care about Google Analytics because it’s as important to your online success as cash flow is to your business finance. Google Analytics is a free service from the well known search giant that is easily installed on the pages of your website. It provides the business owner with a wealth of essential information about the good,the bad and the ugly of their website performance.

Google Analytics is important to businesses because it will tell you a whole range of metrics about how your website is or isn’t performing. For example it shows the number of new and returning visitors, how long on average they stay on the site and which pages are most looked at. This data is essential for businesses to understand consumer reaction to their business and helps them change the parts of the website that are not working and optimise the parts that are.

The type of information any Chester business needs to know about their website includes; how many visitors am I getting on the site every day or week? Do those visitors come back or are they brand new? What are the most popular pages on my site? Do my visitors look at one page or many? How long does the average visitor stay on my site? What proportion of visitors follow through to an inquiry and what proportion of visitors come to my site from search engines? Google Analytics answers all these questions and more.

This data is vital to the planning and development of a business website. Business websites have to constantly evolve just like the business, offering new information, improving customer satisfaction and promoting more customer inquiries. GA also allows businesses to analyse the navigation of their site, to optimise the landing pages and the patterns that people click through their site.

The good news is that Google Analytics is cheap and easy to install and use by people with no technical skills. It’s simply a click of a button to see all the latest information.

How to Use the Google Finance Search Tools

Stocks and the stock market is a fast-paced world to keep up with. In order to stay ahead of the game, you’ve got to be organized, aware of what’s going on, and have easy access to the latest financial news. The Internet has quickly become the number on means of getting and sharing information immediately. This is crucial for keeping up with finance. Furthermore, websites like Google.com have additional tools and resources to stay updated and informed about the financial market. Google Finance is a branch from Google.com that focuses solely on the financial information and news that is so vital to you.

To access Google Finance, click “more” at the top of the page on Google’s homepage, then click Finance. On the home page of Google Finance is five tools that will help you stay updated and organized. Here’s a brief description of how to use each of these tools:

*Markets*

This is a great way to get a quick overview of the current position of global markets. The top section, “Market Summary” shows articles from leading stock market analysts and is updated quite frequently. You will see a link to the original article, a summary, who provided the information, when it was posted (in minutes), and include a picture of any grafts or images were included in the article. This is a great way to see what the latest news is, and decide from there if you want to read the full story.

The next section in the “Markets” tool is the top news stories relating to the market. Under that is the “Sector Summary” showing the increase or decrease percentages for stock in certain sectors, like Basic Materials, Conglomerates, and Energy. The last section in “Markets” is a basis analysis of market trends, including for categories:

* Popular-showing the trends for the most popular, most researched corporations and businesses.
* Price-showing the top 5 stocks that are currently gaining and losing percentages.
* Mkt Cap-showing the top 5 gainers and losers with the highest market cap.
* Vol-showing the top 10 stocks with the highest volume.

*News*

Basically, this is a listing of all the news stories about the market. The news is listed in the order that they were posted with links to the original article, a summary, and the company that provided the information. To the right is a subsection of “Top Stories”, to see the most popular news stories.

*Portfolios*

You must have an account with Google to use this section. This is where you can organize your current stock investments. You can add ticker symbols of the stocks and mutual funds you are purchasing or watching, add transaction data, etc. You will then be able to track your progress and see recent activity in your stocks.

When you add a stock to your portfolio, either to watch or buy shares, you will then see a basic preview of the stocks, and have the option to see the overview, fundamentals, performance, and transactions (shown is separate tabs) for each stock.

*Stock Screener*

This tool will help you get information on current stock. You can search for stocks based on their market cap, P/E ratio, Dividend yield, and 52w price change, or a combination of all or some of these criteria. You will then be shown a list of matching stocks in alphabetical order below. Each stock is a link to a page summarizing this stock’s detailed information, like shares and recent activity, etc. From here you can click to watch the stock, which automatically adds it to your portfolio. Under the basic summary is a listing of related companies that you might also be interested in, including their current status.

*Google Domestic Trends*

This tool will show you trends of searches performed on Google by US users, compared to the actual sales in that area. Since the majority of Internet users use search engines to gain information, and Google is the number one (by far) search engine used, this could be a valuable resource. You can compare the rise and fall of searches performed on Google to actual purchases to see a different prospective on the popularity of certain markets. There are several market sector categories to choose from, like computers and electronics, durable goods, and real estate.

Google Spreadsheet Budget Vs Microsoft Excel Budget

Which one do you use?

It’s clear that having a personal finance budget on a spreadsheet is an effective approach to handle your money. But should you be using Microsoft Excel or Google Docs as a means?

Advantages of Using Microsoft Excel For Your Personal Finance Budget

Excel is the most popular spreadsheet on the market; as a result, more people use it as a means of budgeting than any other spreadsheet option available, even Google Docs. But what are the advantages to using Excel?

1. It has the most functionality – Excel does the most. Period. There are thousands of customizable options,
formulas, colors, structures, and formats that you could create using Excel. No other spreadsheet program does what Excel can do. What does that mean for your budgeting? Well- if there’s something you would like to see done, chances are Excel can do it.

2. It’s the most popular – Because Excel is the most widely used program on the market, it allows people to get help on formatting and creating formulas that you probably couldn’t get on other programs. The internet has tutorial after tutorial on how to create a budget on Excel.

3. It’s quicker and more dependable than Google Docs – And that is very true! Sometime Google Docs goes down or moves very slowly. It’s dependent on the internet working well. If that is not the case, you won’t have access to your budget. Excel is a software program, and if your computer runs well, then you’ll always be able to access your budget.

Advantages of Using Google Docs For Your Personal Finance Budget

Google docs has several advantages. Following are just a few:

1. Access from anywhere – You can get to your Google Docs from anywhere because how it’s accessed via
the internet. Google hosts your information for free, and makes it available to you whether you’re sitting at home in your office or on a business trip to Europe. You can access and edit your budget from anywhere using Google Docs.

2. Easy to learn & use – Google Docs is much like Microsoft Excel, so using it and learning it is going to very easy if you’re thinking about making the switch. It’s not nearly as complex as Excel, so you’ll be able to pick it up in 10 or 15 minutes.

3. Free – Google Docs isn’t going to cost you “one red cent.” If you don’t already have the Microsoft Suite, you’ll have to spend a fortune to buy it. It doesn’t make sense to spend a large sum of money on a means to greater financial security, does it? Use Google Docs because it doesn’t cost a thing.

Trevor Shipp, the author, works as an online business consultant, student, husband, and business owner. Only just recently married, he and his wife take a serious approach to personal finance in their early years. Follow him on his personal finance blog.

Confessions Of A Personal Finance Blogger

I have been trying to find out more about making money on the internet as a result of a little Google ad that popped up next to one of my articles.

Since then, I have been sucked into the world of internet marketing and while I’ve learnt a lot, I can’t say I’ve really enjoyed myself. I like writing for the sake of writing and to have to keep adjusting my point of view to slant it a little towards a product I was trying to promote just took the fun out of the writing. Not to mention having to think about these important things called keywords so Google would find me. It drove me nuts trying to remember to mention a keyword, and not make the whole article sound like I was trying to mention the keyword.

But I ramble on.

Actually, what happened was, I tried to create a blog on personal finance. I figured that maybe if my content was about money, maybe people would put all sorts of nice Google ads about money on the site, and I could promote the internet products helping people to get rich.

I have since realised my flawed logic.

1. Money is an interesting topic. Personal finance is not. I was half-way through my blog when I learnt about this thing called doing keyword research and the number of people who actually search for blogs under personal finance are a tiny fraction of people who search for money blogs, of which there must be millions of them, mostly trying to sell something or other.

2. I don’t believe in the stuff I was supposed to be selling. I don’t believe in get rich quick schemes. But try advertising a product that tells people they can get rich slowly but surely, and in the most boring way, by saving, researching, investing etc and see how many clicks you get!

3. I changed my name of the blog from Why Money Matters – A blog on Personal Finance to Grow Rich Along With Me – The Best Is Yet To Be, and Google found me ! Under “get rich blog”, Google has decided I can come on its first page. Of course, once people come and visit and find out it isn’t something quick, they leave soon after. Oh well.

4. I failed a number of blogs created for the purpose of trying to make money. Actually, el cheapo me used blogger for most of them so Google reviewed me and almost took one of my blogs off. Paid for another one but have since returned that!

5. My lack of savvy as a marketer became clear when I tried to sell Think And Grow Rich by Napolean Hill through Amazon.com, only to find after a few posts on it, someone else was advertising to give away a free version in the Google ads next to my advertisement to sell the book!

Oh well. Have since become addicted to flooding cyberspace with blogs just for the fun of seeing them published. Have also littered the same cyberspace with articles meant to help promote my blog, but have found people read the articles, but don’t visit the blog ! Have also started a new blog on my internet marketing experience, separate from my personal finance blog, which is slowly gaining some regular readership.

Learn How Your Finance Department Can Inspire Growth

Almost all departments within all companies have an untapped ‘cognitive surplus’. A ‘cognitive surplus’ is the difference between the specific tasks an employee is assigned to do and what they actually are capable of doing – the actual versus the potential work.

It seems obvious, but to tap into it the ‘Cognitive Surplus’ can make a huge difference.

Companies such as 3M, Dell and Google have all implemented what is called ’20% time’ or ‘innovation time’ – one day of their working week, dedicated to whatever projects they like… provided it benefits the company in some way.

Does it pay off?

One might wonder: Does it pay off? Well, at Google this has resulted in successful projects such as Gmail, Google News and AdSense, and according to ex-employee, Marissa Mayer, as many as half of Google innovations are a result of ’20% time’.

But, while this approach might be considered something market leaders can utilise, many finance departments perceive they barely have the time to complete all the necessary work at present, never mind crafting new and innovative ideas, supporting procedures that aid business growth.

Yet finance departments really do need this ‘innovation time’.

In this slow and sometimes contracting economy, the next two years will be critical for businesses. It will fall largely on finance departments to walk the thin line between productive spending and managing a dwindling pool of resources. Additionally, with a host of new financial regulations coming into place in this two-year period, financial departments will be instrumental in helping businesses to remain compliant without losing their current standing.

This extra pressure and workload will make it difficult for finance to inspire new talent whilst holding on to the employees they already have. Finance professionals require stimulating challenges without being overloaded with extra work – they need ’20% time’ to effectively tap-in to their expertise, and not have their time consumed by lengthy, repetitive tasks – that can be automated.

How to make time for tapping into ‘Cognitive Surplus’ in the finance department

One way in which businesses can help free up some of their finance department’s time to complete tasks, is by automating the tedious and time-consuming tasks that turn prospective talent off finance work. Reconciliation is one such set of tasks that finance professionals find particularly tiresome and time consuming. Fortunately it is now possible to automate account reconciliation, processing hundreds of thousands of transactions in just minutes rather than hours or potentially days.

While significantly reducing reconciliation errors, automation also frees up large chunks of time that could be dedicated to maintaining compliance, providing strategic insight in this tough economy.

This additional time could even become the rarely considered ‘innovation time’ your business needs to inspire growth and stay competitive.

To find out more about automatic data matching and automated reconciliation software that helps your company to streamline and free-up time get in touch today to get a tailored answer to your data matching questions around maximising productivity in the finance department.

Google Finance – Late to the Party

If you haven’t already heard, Google rolled out their own Finance site today to rival that of Yahoo’s and Marketwatch.

After spending a few minutes using the site, I have to say that I am very unimpressed. The design of the site is far inferior to that of Yahoo’s or Marketwatch, with a clunky layout that makes finding what you are looking for rather difficult. They display a few financial stats, but not any wheres near what the others offer their users. The portfolio tools are very rudimentary and outdated feeling, and their charts are nothing special. The whole site just feels rushed in my opinion.

One feature that I do like is the inclusion of real-time quotes, something that the others don’t offer. Also, they display links to blog posts on the respective companies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t display links tovery many blogs, none of my posts on specific companies are indexed nor are those of many of my peers. The majority of the links are to the Seeking Alpha Network, to which I am a contributor, but these are merely repubishings of other’s works. If Google can figure out a way to include a more extensive list of blog submissions, it would be a nice touch, but unfortunately I don’t forsee them devoting the necessary time to accomplish this.

I will give Google the benefit of the doubt here, as the site is only in beta, but Google Finance is nothing to write home about. Reminiscient of many of their most recent offerings, such as Google SiteCreator and Google Video, the site appears to be lacking the innovation and quality that used to set Google apart, a disturbing trend if you are a Google shareholder. Unless they are able to make some extreme improvements, I don’t see many Yahoo Finance users or Marketwatch users converting. Not only is Google late to the party, but they left the gifts at home as well, nothing fashionable about their entrance here.