Monday, December 19, 2011

Google Apps highlights – 12/16/2011

(Cross posted from the Official Google Blog.)

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

The elves got an early jump on the holidays this year by leaving us some surprises in Google Apps over the last few weeks. Sharing from Gmail got a whole lot easier, and Google Calendar can make better use of precious screen space. We also have 10 new Google Apps customer stories to share from the tens of thousands that have gone Google in recent weeks.

Gmail gets more social
Last week we sprinkled a touch of Google+ into Gmail, making it easier to connect and share with people from your inbox. You can add people to circles right from an email thread through Gmail’s people widget, share photo attachments with friends and family on Google+ without leaving Gmail, and view a filtered version of your inbox only showing messages from people in your circles. We also improved Gmail’s address book by incorporating contact information shared by your friends, family and colleagues in their Google+ profiles.


New features in the Gmail iOS app
Just yesterday we added several new improvements to the Gmail app for iOS 4+. Now you can set up a custom email signature for mobile messages, manage your vacation responder, and view nested labels from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. We also added scribbles, a fun way to spice up messages by adding a quick hand-drawn sketch. You can create scribbles using a range of colors, brush sizes, lines, erasers and spray paints from your touchscreen device.


More free calls right from Gmail
Last year we introduced free domestic calling in Gmail within the U.S. and Canada, and we’re extending this free service for the whole year of 2012. We’re happy to help you keep in touch with those special people in your life, for free.

Hide morning and night hours in Calendar
If you don’t often have appointments early in the morning or late at night, a new trick in Google Calendar might be useful. Now you can hide morning and night hours, leaving more screen real estate for the times of day when most of your events take place. Give it a try in Calendar Labs.


Who’s gone Google?
Businesses and schools are switching to Google Apps in droves these days. From tiny startups to large enterprises and nonprofits to college campuses, we love hearing the inspiring stories that our customers share. Here’s a new batch of stories for your reading pleasure: TripIt, IPSEN, Ebby Halliday, Ticket River, VigLink, HeyZap, The Great Books Foundation, Utah K-12 schools, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and UC Santa Cruz. Welcome one and all!

For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog, and keep an eye out for this series here after the holidays. We launched more than 150 improvements go Google Apps in 2011, and we have a ton more in store for 2012!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tips to increase your adsense

Many people build a website or blog with dreams of creating huge amounts of Adsense revenue.  These dreams generally finish after months of frantically driving visitors to their sites through marketing campaigns, only failing to convert visits into clicks.

This failure leads to frustration, and ultimately quitting.  There is no need to quit.  What you need to focus on is
how to build your Adsense banners to compliment your blog instead of insulting it.  There are some simple ways to increase the amount Adsense revenue you generate.


Increase Adsense earnings

How to Increase Adsense Revenue

1. Primacy
Primacy is defined as the state of being first, or foremost.  People in general have a short attention span, but it gets even shorter when on the web.  It is important to have your Adsense banner near the top of the page.  If they have to scroll to see it, there is a good chance they will move on before even noticing the banner.  This can be hard to do and keep your website looking professional, but it is possible.  You may have to for go this step on some of your pages to keep the integrity of your site.

2. Blending
You should take your time to develop and manage Adsense banner that will blend into your website.  People are more apt to click on an advertisement if they don’t know it’s an ad.  If they are interested in the ad, they will click on the link provided without thinking twice.  This is also a good way to prevent your website from looking tacky.Colored advertisements are highly noticeable and will increase the bounce rate on your site.  It can ruin the look of your site and is an insult to the eyes.





3. Utilize Your Content
If you are able to wrap your content around the advertisements, it will greatly help to increase adsense revenue.  The advertisements will look like part of your text.  This will make it much more natural for readers to click on an ad.  They are already interested in what you have to say, and now they are being given an option to continue on that topic.  Increasing Adsense revenue is about providing your readers with good content, and a way to continue exploring that content.

4. Write Keyword Focused Content
The Google Adsense program runs off on content.  If you are unable to write specific enough content for Google to know what you are talking about, the ads may be untargeted.  This is because Google has to guess.  Keywords aren’t just for driving organic traffic, they are essential to obtaining relevant advertisements on your site.  Without relevance, your ads will lose meaning.

5. Create Multiple Banners

Different types of people will click on different types of ads.  One of the best ways to cater to everyone is to create banners with different styles.  You can experiment with each one and see which converts best.  There is nothing wrong with a little trial and error.

6. Make Use of Google Adsense Channels
It is important to know which pages are converting and which ones aren’t.  Google allows you to create up to 200 channels.  Why not utilize them all.  This way you can narrow down on your non-earning channels and optimize them through trial and error.  Use what Google has to offer.  They provide these tools because they want you to succeed.If you are making money, so are they.


7. Traffic
Finally, and obviously, you need to increase traffic.  The more traffic you have, the more Adsense revenue you will create.  It is as simple as that.  Unfortunately gaining that extra traffic is not so simple, but that is a topic for another post.

Increasing Adsense revenue is about perseverance and hard work.  You will need to put in the time and effort to try multiple different approaches before you can rest.  Learn from others.  If you are a fan of a successful blog, see how they did it. 

Where do they put their banners?  Emulate them because they are successful.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New TalkBin improvements make it easier to connect with customers

Businesses interact with customers all the time, but it can be challenging to get honest and useful feedback that can help improve your business. TalkBin makes this easy by giving your customers a direct and convenient way to reach you via text message. No more clumsy comment cards and surveys; instead, customers can simply use their mobile phones to text you comments and feedback the same way they’d text a friend.

Today, we’re excited to announce three improvements that make it even easier to manage customer feedback.

1) Getting started tutorial

When you log in to TalkBin, you’ll be welcomed with a handy educational tutorial that explains all the most important features. This makes learning how to use TalkBin a cinch for you and your employees.


2) Updated dashboard

Based on your feedback, we updated the user interface with a fresh new design that helps you to manage all of your settings in one convenient place. For example, now your Account Settings are just one click away from Location and Billing Settings.


3) Custom sign builder

In-store signs are key to getting quality feedback from your customers. The new sign building feature help you make and print custom signs in just a few minutes.


To learn more about how TalkBin can help your business, check out these firsthand perspectives from Fraiche Yogurt and P. Terry’s Burger Stand.

Also, for the rest of the month, Google Small Business Blog readers can get TalkBin for just $5/month per location (discounted from the regular $25/month per location). Just enter promotion code BLOGSMB when you sign up at talkbin.com/signup/user/. This offer expires December 31, 2011.

Posted by Qasar Younis, Product Manager, TalkBin

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pedal to find your dream home with Google Maps

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog.)

The features available in Google Maps are equally functional and fun. You can tour distant cities with Street View or map out a trip with multiple destinations using Custom Maps. Not only is Google Maps a great tool for everyday personal use, but it’s can also be used as a practical business tool. Such is the case for Matt Kolb, owner of Pedal to Properties.

Matt is an avid cyclist and a realtor based in Boulder, Colorado. In 2006, Matt decided to blend his hobby and career by founding his own real estate agency called Pedal to Properties. His company is built on the idea that by touring homes via bicycle, one can get a better sense of the local community and determine if a particular property is the right fit.


When Matt meets with clients, he locates various properties on Google Maps and creates a biking route of the houses they’ll visit that day, using Bicycling Directions as a guide. Home buyers are encouraged to interact with the map, using Street View to check out a property and its surrounding neighborhood, and using nearby search to take a look at local schools and businesses. Through this process Matt is able to narrow down viable homes for a specific buyer, making the experience enjoyable and time-efficient.

If you have interesting stories about how you use biking directions, Street View, or other Google Maps features to enhance your business, comment on our Google+ Page with #mygmapstory

Friday, November 25, 2011

Leverage 2.0 - How will you leverage ?

How will you use the power of leverage ?

LEVERAGE 1.0 : I have $1 and I know how to earn $2 from it.  But earning $2 is not interesting to me.  So I found a way to borrow $30 to do it.



My debt ratio is 30:1

Supposedly after it is done, I earn $60, pay back the $30 and $5 interests/fees.  I could have earned $25 instead of $2.  This is the power of leverage, amplify my earnings.

But when things go south, I haven't earned the $60 yet but I have already owed someone $35.  I just needed more time and I CAN get more time by just paying more interest/fee.  This time its another $8.  So I will need to pay back $43 but if I could earn the $60, I still have a profit of $17.  Not as good as $25 but still better than $2.

Just in case my $60 still hasn't come in yet, I could extend my time again by paying another $10 interest/fee.  By then my potential profit is $7, much worse than $25 or $17, but still better than $2.

However eventually the interests add up so much that I don't get any profit even if I get my $60.  So it is NOT exciting again.
time            loan    interest  potential earning
1st round : $30 +    $5         $25
2nd round : $35 +   $8         $17
3rd round : $43 +  $10          $7
4th round : $53 +  $15         -$8
5th round : $68
What happened above is considered a 'traditional' scenario.  I thought I could earn $2 from $1 but I was wrong.   I use leverage to amplify my earnings, however after 5 rounds of trying I still fail and I ended up amplifying my lost!  So I have to pay $68 tuition fee to learn a lesson, both on my business skill and also on the power of double edge leverage.

LEVERAGE 2.0 : What could also happen is that when I first get my $30.  I put $15 aside.  So it would look as if I have $15 and I have borrow $30, although my $15 is actually from the $30.  So my debt ratio is only $30 : $15 or 2:1.

When I realize I couldn't get my earning in the first round, I could borrow another $60 because my debt ratio is low.  Then I pay the earlier loan and interest ( $60 - $35 ) so I still have an extra of $25 to do more business.

I can continue borrow more and more to cover my previous loan and yet I have more money to do more businesses.

time            loan   ratio  interest  buyStock  potential earning
1st round  :  $30   2:1    $5          $15              $10
2nd round :  $60   4:1    $9          $25              $26
3rd round :  $120  8:1   $17         $51              $60
4th round :  $240 16:1  $33          $103           $130

As soon as I hit my debt ratio limit, I can set aside some money as if it is my capital/earning like how I did the first time.  Says I add another $15 to make my capital to $30.  Borrowing $240 is only a debt ratio of 8:1.  This can continue indefinitely.

With this method,

  • it appears as if I pay off my loan on time, every time. = good paymaster
  • I gets lower interest because of my good records and higher loan amount
  • I always have some extra money even before my real earning comes in = strong cash flow
  • my potential earning actually increase every time as I keep turning = good strategy
  • as long as I eventually realize one earning , I offset ALL my previous risks and I still make a REAL profit.

Don't get me wrong.  Although many people did the above illegally with the wrong methods.  But there are actually perfectly legal and legitimate ways.  As a matter of fact, almost ALL big businesses or even governments are doing exactly above.

As you may have observed, the risk is much higher now.  By the 4th round, I owe $273 instead of just $68 comparing to the earlier traditional method.  But with all the great benefits mentioned above (better strategy, stronger cash flow etc), this increased risk could still be justifiable.

Things still haven't really gone wrong yet with above creative strategy assuming it was done legally.

Things go wrong when

  • I didn't really know how to earn $2 from $1 = it was a bluff and people found out
  • I didn't really try hard at all to realize any earning 
  • I didn't use the extra cash flow to grow the business
  • I use the extra cash flow for new house, cars etc. = corruption
So the 'finance system' has opened a whole new world to us but at the end it is 'ourselves' who collapse it.  Don't blame the system, blame the greed and ignorance within ourselves who are playing with the power of leverage for the wrong reasons.

How will you use the power of leverage ?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Google Apps highlights – 11/18/2011

Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.


The last few weeks have brought a fresh new look in Gmail, more mobile access options and simpler meeting scheduling tools. Millions of organizations using Google Apps can now use Google+ on their business and university accounts, and we launched a couple Apps-related Google+ Pages ourselves.

Gmail’s new look
Back in July we previewed Gmail’s new look, and a couple weeks ago we started letting people switch to the new design with one click. The refreshed interface makes it easier to follow conversations and spot the sender with profile pictures for each message. The new look also supports dynamic screen densities, so Gmail displays properly whether you’re viewing on a large desktop monitor or a smaller mobile screen. We also added a selection of beautiful HD themes to the existing gallery. Finally, we made it easier to perform advanced email searches using a panel of powerful search options that reveals with a single click.



Gmail app for iOS devices
This month we introduced the Gmail app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, complete with mobile alerts for new mail, a responsive touch screen interface and Gmail mainstays like fast search, conversation view and address auto-complete.




Suggested meeting times in Google Calendar
We’ve heard how frustrating it can be to spend 15 minutes finding a good time for people to convene for a 30 minute meeting, so we made it easier to find a good meeting time in Google Calendar. The suggested times feature automatically reviews the availability of meeting invitees, and proposes event times that work for the whole group.




Google+ for organizations using Google Apps
Businesses, schools and organizations with Google Apps can now use Google+. Employees and students can create profiles, +1 things they like on the web, share interesting content with their circles and have live multi-person video chats with classmates, colleagues and friends. Organizations can also create their Google+ Pages—an organization’s identity on Google+ for customers, students or fans. We’re using Google+ Pages ourselves, so take a look at the Gmail and Google Enterprise pages, and circle us if you’d like to stay in the loop.

24x7 telephone support and improved mobile device management
This week, we introduced a couple other new benefits for Google Apps customers. Organizations of all sizes around the world can now call our support hotline at any time for all core service issue. Also new this week, we improved our mobile device management capabilities with an interface for administrators to view and deny mobile devices connecting to Google Apps, granular mobile policy controls, and the ability to visualize mobile usage trends across the organization.




Who’s gone Google?
Organizations large and small continue to amass around Google Apps. We’re thrilled to welcome a whole host of new customers including the Trinity Mirror Group (Britain’s largest newspaper publisher), startups such as JobFlo and UserTesting, organizations including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and colleges like the University of Michigan and UT Austin. Welcome to all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Get closer to your customers with Google+

(Cross-posted on the Inside AdWords blog.)

Editorial note: Many of you have already verified your Place page via Google Places for business. We encourage you to continue maintaining the information in your Google Places account to help ensure that potential customers can find accurate information about your business on Google Maps and local search. You may also want to supplement your Google Places account with a Google+ Page for your business, which provides you with additional ways to engage and directly interact with customers using Google+. Currently, however, Google Places accounts and Google+ Pages must be managed separately. 

Since the initial launch of Google+ just a few months ago, we’ve welcomed over 40 million people and introduced more than 100 new features. For all these people, one important part is still missing - your business.

We want to help you make the same kinds of lasting connections with your customers online the way you can in real life. That’s why we are introducing Google+ Your Business, a collection of tools and products to help you get closer to your customers. At the heart of this is Google+ Pages, your business’s identity on Google+.



Google+ Pages: Have real conversations with the right people

To get your business on Google+, you first need to create a Google+ Page. On your page, you can post updates and news about your business, engage in conversations with your customers, send tailored messages to specific groups of people, and see how many +1’s you have across the web. Here are a few features of Google+ Pages that we think will help you build relationships:


Google+ Pages are at the heart of Google+ for Business

Hangouts

Sometimes you might want to chat with your customers face-to-face. For example, if you run a bookstore, you may want to invite an author to talk about her latest novel, or if you market a cosmetics line, beauty specialists might want to hold how-to sessions for makeup tips. Hangouts make this easy, by letting you have high-quality video chats with nine customers, with a single click. You can use Hangouts to get product feedback, help solve problems or simply get to know people better, all in real time.

Hangouts let you meet your customers, face to face

Circles

Circles allow you to group followers of your Page into smaller audiences. You can then share specific messages with specific groups. For example, you could create a Circle containing people who are your most loyal customers and offer them a special discount.

+1 button and Google+ badge: Inspire current customers to recommend new ones

Google+ Pages also help you deliver your great content to users in a way that’s easy to share with their friends. We introduced the +1 button as a way for your customers to recommend your business across the web - on Google search, in your ads, on sites across the web and on mobile devices. Now, your customers can +1 your Page, recommending your actual brand -- not just an individual ad or a site -- directly to their friends.

To help your customers find your page and start sharing, we have two buttons you can add to your site by visiting our Google+ badge configuration tool:

The Google+ icon is a small icon that directly links to your Page.



In the coming days, we’re introducing the Google+ badge, which lets people add your page to their circles, without leaving your site, to start getting updates from your business via Google+.



Make your +1’s count, improving the performance of your ads


Coming soon, we will also make it possible to link your Page to your AdWords campaigns for your site, so that all your +1s -- from your Page, your website, ads and search results -- will get tallied together and appear as a single total.
Your +1’s will be shown with your brand wherever it appears, including search, ads, Google+ and your website

Consumers will be able to see all the recommendations your business has received, whether they are looking at an ad, a search result or your page, meaning your +1’s will reach not only the 40 million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day. In the coming days. you'll be able to link your page to your AdWords campaigns by following the instructions in the AdWords Help Center.

Or, if you're using AdWords Express from your Google Places account, you can link your ads to your Google+ Page by simply selecting the option to direct viewers of your ad to your Google+ Page, and entering the Google+ Page URL in the appropriate field.



You can link your Google+ Page to your AdWords account with Social Extensions. Social Extensions are available in the ad extensions tab in your AdWords account.

Bringing Google+ to the rest of Google

Our ultimate vision for Google+ is to transform the overall Google experience-- weaving identity and sharing into all of our products. Beginning today, we’re rolling out a new experimental feature, Direct Connect -- an easy way for your customers to find your Google+ Page on Google search. For eligible pages, when someone searches for your business with the ‘+’ sign before it Direct Connect will send them directly to your page. For example, try searching for ‘+YouTube’ on Google. Users will also be prompted to automatically add Pages they find through Direct Connect to their circles. Direct Connect will not work for everyone.
Direct Connect suggestions start populating as you type on Google.com

Just the beginning

We wanted to help you get your business on Google+ as soon as possible, so we’re opening the field trial for Google+ Pages to everyone today. Creating a Google+ Page only takes a few minutes. To get started, you’ll need a personal Google+ profile. If you don’t have a Google account, it’s very quick and easy to join. And if you are looking for inspiration, check out some of the companies that are already starting to set up their Pages:
Partner LogosBurberryHMMacysPepsiABC NewsAmazonAssassins_CreedATTBreaking_NewsOrangeDC_ComicsDellNBC_NewsGol_Linhas_aerasKiaLOrealMarvelNYTimesPiagetShadyTmobileToyotaUniqloVirgin

To learn more about how Google+ works for your business, check out the Google+ Your Business site. We’re just getting started and have many more features in the coming weeks and months. To keep up to date on the latest news and tips, add the Google+ Your Business page to your circles. If you have ideas on how we can improve Google+ for your business, we’d love to hear them.

Posted by Dennis Troper, Product Management Director, Google+ Pages

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program: Connecting you with partners to help maximize your AdWords campaigns

As a small business, we know you spend a lot of valuable time trying to reach more customers. Many of our advertisers build and create successful AdWords campaigns on their own, and others prefer to work with partners to get their Google advertising up and running. We think it’s important to provide you with the options that work best for your business, which is why we’re excited to announce a partnership program dedicated to helping small- and medium-sized businesses reach new customers with Google AdWords.

The Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program (PSP) connects Google’s trusted and experienced partners with businesses to create, manage, and optimize AdWords campaigns that help you reach more customers and make the most of your advertising budget.

Premier SMB Partners bring to the table years of industry knowledge and meet Google’s highest standards for qualification, training, and customer service. Teaming up with a PSP gives you a marketing and search engine advisor who can take the guesswork out of online advertising, to save you time and resources so you can focus on running and growing your business.

Check out the video below to see how a Google AdWords customer named A&D Automatic Gate & Access has worked with a Premier SMB Partner to find new customers with their Google AdWords campaigns.

To learn more about working with a Premier SMB Partner, visit our website, www.google.com/ads/premiersmbpartner/.

Posted by Todd Rowe, Director of Global Channel Sales

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small business and the power of video, announcing “My Business Story” by Google and American Express

(Cross-posted on the Inside AdWords Blog)

Let’s say you’re a custom sneaker maker. Or you run a yoga retreat center. Or maybe you even sell vegan Vietnamese out of a gourmet food truck. Your business has its own unique story to tell. If you had the chance to show the world what your business is all about - from its founding roots to the ways it changes your customers’ lives, would you take it?

Today you have that chance. We’re pleased to be presenting “My Business Story®” alongside American Express. “My Business Story” is a program for small businesses to tell their stories through video, leading up to the second annual “Small Business Saturday”, a day set aside to encourage communities to spend and support local businesses by shopping small.

And since Google research has shown that companies who use video can expect better customer engagement and retention, we are launching a new video tool so that small business owners can create personalized, professional-quality videos about their business.

Once you’ve got your video crafted, business owners are invited to submit it to the contest for an opportunity to appear in the YouTube homepage ad on Friday, November 25th, which is viewed by an estimated 22 million people in the United States every day. Thirty-six small businesses will be featured in the ad and will receive an online ad campaign worth $5,000 from Google and American Express. All submissions will be viewed and judged by an independent panel of experts. The deadline for contest entry is Tuesday, November 15, but entry is not required to use the My Business Story editing tool.

Happy editing! We’re eager to see what you come up with.

Posted by Marisa Currie, Product Marketing Manager

Get ALL Your Tax back . . .

Visit http://howmuchtaxcanisave.co.cc/

Lets say this year your gross income is $20,000 ( about $ 1,700 a month ), you may start to pay tax.  ( about $10 a month ).


Click the extend + sign to see everything.  Then think of which item is relevant to you.  For below case, this guy can

  • buy a life insurance of $ 3,800
  • buy $500 magazines
  • buy a $2,000 PC 
Make sure keep all the receipts and the receipt dates show 2011.  Then comes 2012 when you are filing your tax, you can get back all your tax deducted by your company !!



The web site is just an estimator or for fun or for educational purpose only.  Your actual tax plan and figures may subject to your very own unique condition.  Do consult a proper tax consultant or IRB is providing FREE advices when it is near tax submission date.

Enjoy !!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Google Apps highlights – 10/22/2011

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

In the spirit of helping people work better together, over the last few weeks we made big improvements to Google presentations, introduced a version of Google Docs optimized for Android tablets, and enabled more dynamic content in Google Sites. We also celebrated the fact that Silicon Valley has gone Google!

Google presentations reloaded
On Tuesday we launched a completely rebuilt version of our web-based presentations application, so you can build more beautiful presentations together with colleagues and classmates. Google presentations now lets you make great-looking slides with animated builds, advanced slide transitions and better support for drawings, tables and themes. Plus, we made it easier to create presentations with others, without the hassles of attachments. Your whole team can work together in the same version of a presentation at the same time, and you can see who’s doing what, chat with others, and see a full revision history at any moment in time.




Google Docs on Android tablets
We’ve made it faster and easier to work with Google Docs on Android tablets with a new version of the Android application that takes full advantage of larger screen real estate. The three-panel view lets you browse filters and collections, see your document list and view file thumbnails and details simultaneously. You can get the Google Docs Android app for free from the Android Market.




Charts in Google Sites
Charts are often created in spreadsheets, but sometimes you want charts to appear in other places, like your team or project sites. In Google Sites, now you can select “Chart” from the “Insert” menu, and navigate to the Google Spreadsheet where your chart or data is located. You can also choose to have your site’s chart update in real-time when someone updates the underlying spreadsheet.





New look for Google Docs and Sites
We started rolling out a new look in Google Docs a couple months ago, and now this new design is available throughout all our collaboration tools. In addition to a cleaner, simpler design, we’ve made it more clear when your files are being auto-saved and added new icons to help you see at-a-glance who your docs are shared with. You can also customize the overall “density” of screen information, a great feature if you want to fit more onto a smaller display.





Who’s gone Google?
Successful small businesses tend to stay laser-focused on improving their core businesses, without getting distracted by peripheral activities that don’t make them more competitive. For example, most small businesses don’t want to spend time or money developing in-house expertise to run email and other IT systems. Case in point: 97 percent of Business Insider’s “Silicon Valley Startups to Watch” use Google Apps.

More than 5,000 businesses and thousands of other organizations start using Google Apps every single day, and more of our customers have shared their stories recently so you can hear why. A warm welcome goes out to Philz Coffee, Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Bradford & Barthel, LLP and the City of Mesquite, Nevada.

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Small businesses in NYC help fight breast cancer with Pink Pin

This October and November, Google and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are taking the fight against breast cancer to New York City with the Pink Pin initiative. The Pink Pin initiative is a way for businesses to support the fight against breast cancer by encouraging consumers to donate to the search for a cure.

Physical businesses who register at PinkPin.com will be marked with a Pink Pin on our map. Customers who visit these businesses will be able to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at stores via mobile phones. The more customers businesses reach, the more of an impact Pink Pin will have—and the closer we’ll be to a cure. We’re also encouraging businesses and consumers to inspire others by sharing their stories about the cause online at www.pinkpin.com. Our goal is to raise hope, raise spirits and raise more than $100,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

So get involved, get on the map, share your stories and be a part of Pink Pin. With the support of small businesses like yours, Google and Susan G. Komen for the Cure can help take breast cancer off the map.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Robert Kiyosaki copied our article ?

Finally, even a guru like Robert Kiyosaki has to copy MalPF article and post as his own ...


just kidding, of course.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Faster updates to local business listings

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog.)

Our goal to create a digital representation of the real world doesn’t just mean a birds’ eye view through Google Earth, or a street-level view through Google Maps. It means providing a local view as well, and tools like Google Places help people across the globe learn about and connect with the places and businesses in their immediate areas.

We use a variety of authoritative sources to give users relevant local information about places that might interest them, including data from partners, users, and directly from business owners who verify their organic listings via Google Places for business. In addition, we always want to know about changes to a business that should be reflected on our local search products. That’s why we have the “Report a problem” tool on Google Maps, and also enable users to click on the "Edit this place” link at the top of the Place page to provide updates to a business listing.



And while some business owners may have previously verified their organic listing to ensure that their company information was correct at that particular moment in time, we recognize that amidst all the work that goes into running a successful enterprise, remembering to update their Google Places account may not always be top of mind. Oftentimes, a neighborhood local or a loyal customer is eager to help their favorite business update its online presence when it moves into a bigger space across the street, or extends its hours for the summer season.

That’s why today, we’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner - even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know -- or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places --  the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change. Without requiring any effort on the part of the business owner, we’ll take measures to keep their listing up-to-date if our system determines that the edit is accurate. Of course, if the business owner disagrees or has even more recent information, they can always directly log in to their Google Places account and make further edits.

Online ads from business owners using our AdWords or AdWords Express programs will not be affected by these automatic updates. Ads will continue to display the business information the owner has provided in Google Places.

We hope these new features help users find the most accurate local information available, and make it even easier for business owners to manage their online presence. If you’re a business owner with additional questions about your specific listing, please consult the Google Places for business Help Center or visit our user support forum.

Posted by Lior Ron, Google Places Product Manager