Monday, July 18, 2011

Hanging out after eZ Conference in London

I accidentally got into my first podcast ever last Friday, during my vacation. I saw a hangout invitation in Google+ and first I thought that Tony is just testing this feature. Well, it wasn't like that and suddenly (after we got kids out of my home office) I was in the middle of their eZ Future recording session, hosted by Tony Wood and Manpreet Dhesi.

Although I just woke up and had only one cup of coffee, we started doing the show. First of all, it was very cool to test the hangout feature and boy, I can tell you that this is rocking the world in the future on how we meet people online.

Secondly, it was nice to see a studio of Vision With Technology and how they pulled through the recording session. If you are interested about eZ Conference in London, you can find the full review at share.ez.no.

To listen this podcast you can click the red logo on top right corner and download m4a file directly or get it from iTunes. If you like to fast forward and only listen the talk regarding to web analytics, it's found starting around 21".

I know that my English is not that smooth always so feel free to comment and ask me a question if something is bothering you. Read my last blog post about Google+ and remember to vote Helsinki-Tallinn for next year! :) For now, back to holidays..

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google+ is a just one piece in Google's puzzle

Google+ is not competing with Facebook. Of course, Google people has been doing benchmarking, but Google+ is just one piece in Google's big picture, their strategy in the long run. Google is known of its search engine, but where comes the money from? Advertising and apps.

Google+ will collect users very fast and the one reason is that they already have these users. Probably they have hundreds of millions different users in their service portfolio. When people are completing their profiles, Google can offer new demographic targeting methods for advertisers.

I guess it's just a matter of time when we are seeing ads in Google+. At least we will see company profiles later on and that's for sure. So, in the future, advertisers can target their adds for example to Google+ users who are married women, between 30-40 years, living in a certain city, interested in certain things (Sparks). Like Facebook does.

I wonder if Google is able to use this information and integrate it with other data they have? That's an interesting question. In addition, if you are sharing your location either from your mobile device or browser, you can target advertising to people near a certain place. This feature is already integrated in Android application to Google's local business solution.

Your company's address information integrates with Google Maps. In Google's local business center you can create special offer coupons and Google offers are launching now in the US. Suddenly, Google Maps has already social features like star ratings, reviews and photo uploads. With Android app you can check-in like with Foursquare. Maybe Google+ app is within Android OS in the near future.
"Google is using G+ and other products to serve more sophisticated advertising solutions."
For companies, Google offers several other useful services. From advertising and optimizing point of view, there are Adwords, Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Website Optimizer, just to name few. These are more or less integrated with each other nowadays, creating a powerful toolset to reach the target audience and optimize your (online) business. When company profiles and ads are getting in to Google+, I'm convinced that analytics will follow very soon.

Let's get Google's recommendations into this mess. Google brought its own like button called +1. Today, you can see these +1 recommendations in Google+, natural search results and paid ads in search results. My recommendations is that you get that button to your website as well. May be, some day, these recommendations are part of Google's search algorithm...or recommendations are affecting on the CPC prices.

Why you should change from Facebook or Twitter to Google+? 

Answer is simple for heavy users: you don't have to. People who are in Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. will use Google+ as a part of social media. Still, I bet that all of these social media platforms will have hard time with Google+ in the long run. But beware: Google+ has some really cool features.

I accidentally jumped into a podcasting session this morning via Google+. It was held by Vision with Technology (Tony Wood and Manpreet Dhesi) and it was done with Google+ Hangout. Very cool experiment and definitely useful for businesses. Group chat called Huddle is also nice and easy to use with people in your circles and even with mobile app.


Relationships in Google+ circles are not to both directions how it's in Facebook. You can follow people like in Twitter just by adding them into one of your circles. They can follow you but they don't have to. These circles are very useful when you don't want to bother your business contacts about family news and so on.

For photo editing and sharing I have been using Picasa many years now and I really like how it's integrated with Google+. Especially how it's showing the photo stream and albums inside the Google+. The Android app is uploading all photos to Google+ automatically so they are already in there, if I want share photos. For videos there is probably some Youtube technology behind and I'm quite confident that we will see more integrations to Google Apps (calendar = events, docs).

For now it seems that Google Apps is not supporting Profiles and therefor Google+. This is a challenge that Google has to fix and the other one being multiple profiles / Google accounts (business/personal). Anyway, Google has a huge potential to up-sell and cross-sell Google Apps with Google+ and even Android OS.

To wrap this up I ask the question: do you still think Google is competing with Facebook? I think Google is competing with lots of other companies at the same time, including Twitter, 4sq, Skype, Microsoft...Let me know your thoughts about this?