It was bound to happen, and it finally did. Google has finally pulled the plug on free sign-ups for its Google Apps for Business. It was a great service that was being offered for free for small businesses. Guess not a great time for Google to make this announcement considering that Christmas is around the corner. If you are looking for buiness Email, then be ready to shell out $50 per user per year. There are other alternatives if you don't want all the frills that Google offer, but just Business email that is reliable and efficient with standard hosting companies such as ours..!
An awesome infographic from the theroxor displaying some interesting stats about the kind of data being pumped into the internet every second...
General | Google
Google apps is a service provided by Google targeted at businesses who are using free email services like Hotmail, Yahoo, and are keen to shift to using business email along with applications to communicate & collaborate. Google apps was launched with a free edition, called ‘Standard’, with businesses having up to 100 users eligible for the free service. It was an immediate success, with many small and large companies readily signing up for the service. Google later cut down the number of free accounts from 100 to 50. The paid version 'Google apps for business' costs about $50 or about Rs.2500 per user, which is quite a considerable sum for companies with 25 or more employees. As of April 27th, Google announced that it would further slash the number of free accounts to 10. This new limit comes into effect from May 10th 2011. Google has also announced that existing customers with more than 50 accounts won't be affected, but it remains to be seen, for how long.
Till then any company with less than 50 users, who is looking for free business email with word processing, spreadsheets & other features can register before the 10th of May from when the new limits come into effect. But it sure looks like a nice marketing ploy, by Google. By providing an extended deadline, it sure can attract new businesses with less than 50 users, who would be happy to use the free services. But what happens if Google all together scraps the standard edition of Apps in the future, and businesses with 1 or 50 users have to pay for continued use of services! Windfall for one, heartburn for others!
Tags: google apps
For the past 4 or 5 months, there much being written on the rise of the number of SPAM sites showing up in Google search results. SPAM sites for the uninitiated - are sites that have no useful content relevant to the search results and may just contain links to advertisements or malware (trojan) websites. In fact there was recent article in New York Times, which showed even how a major retail chain in the US could push up traffic by employing black hat search engine optimisation techniques. What the retail giant did was to buy links on thousands of other websites which had little or no connection to the fashion, retail industry. By having links on other websites pointing to different pages/products in their site, searches for dresses, suitcases, ladies handbags was getting them top listing in Google even beating out websites of product manufacturers which that retail chain was actually selling!
Google was getting a lot of bad publicity in the search industry blogs and forums. Google had declared war on spam sites that were employing banned methods to drive their traffic, and even introduced a chrome browser extension that allows users to block unwanted sites from appearing in their search results. The extension was to helps users spot and block low-quality spam content that they want to avoid. The sites will not show up in search results, though users can see blocked sites at any time and manage them. This data collected from users was one of the dozens of other sources that Google was using to fight spam.
The big change in the Google algorithms that power the website ranking systems came on the 25th of February 2011. This change was supposed to impact almost 11.8 % of the search queries, wherein spam sites, sites with low or no value, sites that have copied content, would be literally pushed out of the ranking system or 'demoted' as some people would like to call it.
Going forward in 2011, this should be an eye-opener for website owners and businesses that don't bother to write original content, but depend on copied content. This important update by Google should warn businesses that need Search optimisation and ranking services about the importance of using 'white-hat' or genuine SEO techniques and ensure that they hire SEO consultants who believe in ethics and good business practises.
Tags: seo consultants, google update
A few years ago, Google had developed a product called Google local, which was a map based classifieds directory. Business owners could add or 'verify' their listing, and spruce it up with logos, business hours and other particulars. Recently Google had renamed this service as Google Places, and has started displaying this against search result pages. Which means if anybody is searching for 'real estate agent in fraser town', you would notice local business results turning up at the top along with organic search results. One thing to remember is that only the first 7 results are shown. So how do local businesses such 'restaurants', 'real estate agents', 'florists' take advantage of this service to beat competition.
Firstly they have to go over to http://places.google.com/ sign in with a Gmail account and add your listing under suitable business categories. It is not mandatory that you have a website. But it adds greater value if you did have a website designed professionally.After this a confirmation process occurs where Google rings you on your mobile and provides a code number in order to complete the registration process.
Once done, add other particulars including a logo or pictures of your office or restaurant. Ask your customers to post reviews, which will help in building business confidence for new customers. Post your Google places listing to Facebook and other social media, to promote your business.Alternatively if you find this very intimidating, then you can find a local search engine optimisation company who can help you do all this for a small fee.
If you a small business owner or just need more sales (who doesn’t), then go ahead and get a Google Places listing today before your competition does.
Tags: google places
Google's recently launched a new instant real time search, that has supposedly cost the search engine giant a lot of money to build, including the speed at which it has had to now display results which means more computing resources to power those algorithms.But how this new feature affect search engine results and also the ranking of your website. Well for starters if you notice, Google displays results for every alphabet your type in the search box, with priority for the big brands. So an 'A' would display Amazon.com, 'B' for Bank Of America and so on. So this is really going to be a bit hard for small businesses. One thing to note however is that the instant results are personalised. Google takes into account your location and surfing habits as some of the data to display these results.Will Google Instant make SEO irrelevant?There are even some so-called experts which say Google Instant will be the end of SEO, since no two people will see the same results anymore. Once-upon-a-time a single search would display the same set of results for everyone, and that made SEO such a big impact for web marketing. But with instant search, everyone can now tweak and see various kinds of results with every letter they type in the box. On the other side, we have some others who argue that SEO cannot be killed overnight. The way you see results has changed, but the basics of SEO which are - quality content, back links & on page ranking factors which actually drives results has not changed at all. Keyword positioning will still get you to the number one spot in Google for your chosen phrase if you have the time and resources to create quality content, build quality one-way backlinks and use good on-page optimization. Besides the smaller emphasis on organic traffic, the only other real concern is the degree to which Google will use their suggestions and how much those suggestions are based not on SEO ranking factors but on users' histories and compiled data. Even with this concern, Google Instant, even at warp speed, does not negate the importance of getting those top rankings.From a marketing angle, webmasters must now note Google's keyword suggestions which quickly pop-up and target them in their SEO efforts. Analyzing and targeting which keyword phrases Google are displaying in your niche market will be vital to capturing the majority of the traffic. Surfers will click on Google's suggestions to find what they're looking for on the web. Getting top rankings for those 4 or 5 suggestions will become important if an online marketer or webmaster wants to cover/corner all the search territory in their niche.
Tags: google instant
Internet Explorer (IE) from Microsoft is usually in the news for the wrong reasons including security vulnerabilities, slow browsing, and featureless compared to newer browsers. Microsoft had released Internet Explorer 7 more than 4 years back, but not many bothered to download it, what with the majority of computers running pirate windows operating systems. Now Google has taken a major decision, by announcing that, it would stop support for Internet Explorer 6 in a phased manner over 2010. The company has said that starting March 1, 2010, it plans to stop supporting older browsers for the rest of the Google Apps suite, including Gmail over 2010.
The reason behind this seems to be, evolving web browser technology using which they intend to introduce new features into their Google Apps suite like Google Docs, Sites & Gmail. The new web technology would obviously not work in the older versions of browsers, and hence this announcement.
Apart from IE 6, Google also plans to stop support for older browsers like Firefox 2.0, Safari 2.0. If you are still looking for an alternative, then you have the following choicesMicrosoft Internet Explorer 7.0+Mozilla Firefox 3.0+Google Chrome 4.0+Safari 3.0+
If you were looking for a reason to upgrading your old browser - then latest announcement from Google must be reason enough.