Top 10: So What’s So Great About Google?

October 1, 2012 by  Filed under: Search 

If you’re anything like I am, you have a love/hate relationship with search engines. Though the competition continues to grow, Google (today, at least) is the top search engine on the Web. One of many reasons why… they do so much more than simply helping us to find stuff on the World Wide Web. Here are just a handful of my favorite Google features:

1. Search capabilities continue to improve. Google’s doing a great job refining search results to give to us what we’re looking for.

2. Who can resist free stuff? Google’s entry gives consumers a glut of choices. Submit that new website and have some for free on Google. It’s a great thing for that little mom-and-pop to have.

3. Google Analytics – worth every penny! Google Analytics is a great tool that deserves its own mention. Yes, there are other powerful analytics tools out there, but for the price (READ: free), it can’t be beat.

4. Serve up your ads with AdSense. Google uses its search technology to serve up ads based on website content, the user’s geographical location, and other factors. Those wanting to advertise with Google’s targeted ad system do so through AdWords. AdSense has become a popular method of placing advertising on a website because the ads are less intrusive than most banners, and the content of the ads is often relevant to the website.

5. What is Google Base? Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which is searchable on Google.A major component of Google Base is acting like a classified ads service, such as Craigslist, however it has also been used for such items as current events, real estate, recipes, and much, much more.

6. If you haven’t tried Google Product Search (formerly known as Froogle) yet, you’re missing out. It’s a great price comparison site. Any company can submit individual product information via Google Base or can bulk submit items for inclusion. Google sells advertising through AdWords to be displayed in Product Search results adjacent to the unpaid results.

7. The Google Books Library Project is bringing books into the digital age. This is an effort by Google to scan and make searchable the collections of several major libraries including the likes of Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia Universities as well as the NY Public Library. Along with bibliographic information, snippets of text from a book is often viewable. Books out of copyright might also be available for download.The vast majority of our knowledge is locked in books, yet so few are searchable. Google wasn’t the first to do digitize books, but it certainly accelerated it.

8. Have you ever needed to translate a web page? Certainly not the first page translation tool, but Google Translate has continued to improve and add languages. The translations may also be far from perfect, but they can often help you understand what a page is generally about. Last month I was hunting down a ski jacket on an end of season closeout. After a couple hours of searching, I finally found it on a German website. Google’s Translate function really came in handy… try it!

9. Google Maps will change the way you think about search. The map metaphor has taken hold. Google Maps, especially mash-ups (a mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool; an example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data), helped people see how information might be better displayed. What an incredible breakthrough this was!

10.Explore the world around you with Google Earth. Enjoy virtual tours around the world with Google Earth. Google Earth displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earth’s surface, allowing users to visually see things like houses and cars from a bird’s eye view. Recently, Google added a feature that allow users to monitor traffic speeds at loops located every 200 yards in real-time… before leaving the house during rush hour, use it to pick your best route.

OK, here’s a bonus:

11.Ability to search your desktop. Google Desktop is desktop search software made by Google for Mac OS X, Linux, and Microsoft Windows. The program allows text searches of a user’s emails, computer files, music, photos, chats, web pages viewed, and other “Google Gadgets.” Sure, there are better, more powerful desktop search tools, but it remains a dependable way to locate material on your computer.

If you want to learn more about any of the features and functions above, be sure to Google them.

Deb Daufeldt is Founder and Principal of Second Story Solutions, LLC. For more than a decade, Second Story Solutions’ team of business consultants has helped clients overcome immediate challenges and build their teams’ abilities, tools, and metrics to tackle problems and seize opportunities in the future. Our clients come in all sizes, shapes and industries, yet share one thing in common – a belief that consistently meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations is essential to success. Our customer-centric framework and versatile approach has allowed us to gain broad and deep experience with diverse clients and challenges. Call us and find out how we can help you. Deb can be reached at 303.662.1888 or

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