I Can’t Live, If Living Is Without Google

Google has winnowed its way into my every day, morning noon and night.
And 1:30 am.

I didn’t realize just how much I rely on it until I wrote out the list of ways I use it, but that comprehensive list is below. My hope is that you will learn some new ways to Google better.

My realtor sends me an email
And it has MLS info, and low res pictures. But what does the rest of the neighborhood look like? How far is it from a major throughway? A quick copy and paste of the address and city into Google Maps (and then, Google Street View), and I am looking at not only my potential new home, but its neighborhood, and all of its possible inadequacies. And when want to go see that home, I plot my directions into Google Maps to get the route.

Is my blog getting any publicity?
Google Alerts lets me know. It also lets me know any and all places my name is online. (Get a Google Alert for your own name – you will probably be surprised.)

Google Page Rank of your Web site
How does my Web site measure up in Google’s importance algorithm? Your competitors? Installing the Google tool bar in your web browser allows you to view the number (from 1 to 10) that Google associates with your Web site. Google figures that number when a different Web site links to yours, effectively casting a vote for your site. This generalized number is a snapshot of how well my Web site can be found by people using Google, and how much Search Engine Optimization I need to do for my Web site.

Email and more
My Google Gmail is …email! But it also serves as my signup to much more that Google offers (Google Docs, Web Analytics, and more).

A place for my digital stuff
I have some Excel sheets on my work computer, Word docs on my home computer, and am waiting for a friend to send me another file. Google Docs (associated with my Gmail) means I can always access these files, wherever I am – particularly useful for a webguy with 30+ passwords to remember.

I see you looking at my Web site
Google Analytics – a webstats program, allows several statistics that some of the expensive programs have, for free. One of the coolest features of Google Analytics is that you can see the name of actual companies that visit your Web site. Want to see if that pitch was a hit? What specific companies took the time to act on your direct mail piece but didn’t actually contact you? Google Analytics can show you. Are you running a paid search campaign on Google? You can setup these words to associate them with specific web pages on your site (such as contact forms or product pages) to identify them as “conversions”. That is, did some one click on your ad and fill out a form or buy your product? If so, this ad was successful and converted this person into a customer.

Google in the Kitchen
I don’t cook much. When I do, I am horrible at converting ounces to cups and hogs heads to gallons. But a quick question on Google and I know just what I need.

3 ounces to cups
3 US fluid ounces = 0.375 US cups

Did I use the right word?
Use Google as your dictionary, for immediate results, from different sites (one may be more apropos than the other).

Define: apropos
Definitions of  apropos on the Web:

  • seasonably: at an opportune time; “your letter arrived apropos”
  • by the way: introducing a different topic; in point of fact; “incidentally, I won’t go to the party”
  • of an appropriate or pertinent nature
  • Alternative form of apropos

My oracle
My Google Home page (via my Gmail account) tells me things that other Web Portals would (Yahoo!, MSN, etc), but also allows me to have all of my RSS feeds in one place.

Almost Google (sites based on Google)

Mine is better than yours
Want to demonstrate in a fun way what product or term is better? Pick a Google Fight! Googlefight is a Web site that allows users to compare the number of search results returned by Google for two given queries. The results are displayed graphically in a mixed flash and JavaScript animation.

Google Fight for Google vs Yahoo!

Let me Google that for you
Has someone asked a question that would have been easily answerable via a quick web search. Show them via this site which will show them an animation of someone typing their question, followed with showing them the results via Google.

Let me Google that for you – Elvis’ birthday.

There are probably others I forgot. But from the ones above, you can see how different the web would be without, The Google.