Google: A Resource for Bloggers

Today is Google’s birthday, sort of.

The exact date of Google’s birthday has changed and been debated a bit through the years. Google filed for incorporation on September 4, 1998, was established three days later on September 7, and the Google.com domain was registered September 15. All have been considered Google’s “birthday” at one point, but Google has officially chosen September 27 as their day. – Search Engine Watch

In honour of the day, I’d like to present the many ways Google can be used by bloggers including research, SEO, traffic and more.

Post Research

As you should know, when you are searching Google, it auto completes some ideas of what you might be searching. You can use these completes to form new post ideas. Start typing in words or phrases related to your niche or that are generic such as How To and see what shows up.  Try different forms of HOW TO, WHY DO, WHY IS, WHY YOU MUST, REASONS TO, GOOD REASONS, DON’T DO, WATCH OUT FOR, WHAT IS, HOW DOES and ones like that.

google-auto-complete

Google+

Google has its own social network in the form of Google+. Even if you don’t feel you have time for another network or don’t plan to use Google+ for more than sharing your latest posts and some from your friends, its worth it. If you have a Google account you already have a Google+ account anyways. Google+ posts show up in the search results unlike Facebook posts. I’ve searched for things many times and I have seen a fellow blogger’s G+ share show up in the results, often page 1.

google-plus-in-search

Google Analytics

This is a MUST as far as I’m concerned. It’s the best and most accurate way to measure site traffic. It can tell you how people got to your site (such as Google search, a social media site or a link from another blog), where in the world your traffic is from and where they went next.

SEO/Traffic

SEO or Search Engine Optimization has to do with helping a search engine to find your blog and your posts. Since Google is one of the main search engines, if not the main search engine you want to pay attention to Google. Learn a bit about SEO and make sure you are optimizing your posts. Did you know that what you put in the ALT section of an image’s HTML is how an image is found in Google image search? Make sure you make the ALT of an image the keyword you want to be found for.  As mentioned above, with Google Analytics you can see how much of your traffic is from Google. If it’s not very high, work on your SEO to increase your search traffic.

google-analytics

Keywords

The Google keyword tool can be helpful to see what keywords you might want to use. It’s designed for those who are buying ads so it’s not perfect but it can still tell you what keywords from your post are being searched for a lot.

For example, in the below photo I added the following keywords: games, gaming, gamer

These are their ideas under those keywords. For each keyword, it tells me the average monthly searches and it’s competition rate. High monthly searches means it is searched for a lot and that is what you are aiming for. HOWEVER, if you also have high competition, that means there are tons of sites that show up every time that keyword is searched so your site probably won’t rank very high. If you can find high monthly searches with a low competition rate that’s the best. It means its searched for a lot but there are only a few sites that show up so you have a chance to rank.

google-keyword-planner

For more information on how to use the Keyword planner check out this post by Midwestern Moms.

There are of course other ways to use Google including PageRank, Google Calendar, GMail etc but most of those have been covered a lot more.

How Do You Use Google?