Google is arguably one of the world leading online and offline company presently. Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware.
As a matter of fact, the company’s rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions, and partnerships beyond Google’s core search engine (Google Search). However, this article sees into various indispensable products and services by Google.
Google in the course of it’s rise and stardom has developed and acquired several services to its brand, and amongst these, there are some best services or products Google has unleashed that has be of tremendous contribution to the world at large.
So, here we go. The list of ever useful Google products and services. The best compilation and review of Google Products and services.
Most Useful Google products Ever
The big daddy among Google products and still miles ahead of most other search engines. However, millions of people seeking information through Google probably don’t use it to maximum effect and make little attempt to gain a good grasp of Google’s many features, how its search engine works, and how to use the different search operators to fine-tune search queries. Many users of Google could significantly improve their search skills, and track down the information they seek, by acquiring a little bit more knowledge about the many simple and advanced strategies that Google offers to narrow or broaden search terms.
Google’s spiders or Googlebots regularly crawl the Web to constantly expand and rebuild its index. Google says that crawls are based on many factors such as links to a page, and crawling constraints such as the number of parameters in a URL. Any number of factors can affect the crawl frequency of individual sites.
You Tube, founded in February 2005, and which Google bought for reported fee around $1.65bn in 2006, probably needs no introduction, and it has completely transformed online culture over the last half decade. In 2016 it celebrated its eleventh birthday with the astonishing billions of views per day and till today waxing stronger and stronger.
Simply put, and as put by YouTube, it is “broadcast yourself”. Like social networking sites, it is an online community, and is a huge archive of video clips uploaded by its users, allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share their home-created videos. As the tools for video recording have become smaller and smaller in recent years, as well as more affordable, it is giving more people an opportunity to record and share videos (taken with a camcorder or a mobile phone) with small groups of friends, or broadcast them to the world. YouTube has expanded enormously over the years.
Many of the offerings on YouTube are home movies or those from mobile phone film-makers, and there are also thousands of videos of news, music, sport, cooking, clips or other footage from classic TV shows and films, views of sporting triumphs or political embarrassment, and much more, such as videos of babies, or animals, doing funny things! Creating an account is simple, free, and only takes minutes to set up. For each video it tells you when it was recorded, its length in minutes, its rating by the YouTube community, and the number of views it had—with many of them having been viewed by millions of people. You can download any of the videos on to your hard drive. There is a search facility where you can search for titles, or search by subject, location, people and personalities. This is aided by search options and search suggestions, for example “cats funny“, “latest yoruba”, or “babies laughing” and so on.
You can get hooked easily, but if you are just browsing pick the ones with the highest user rating. The ‘Recommended for You’ module picks and suggests other videos based on your viewing history. You can also filter your home page to show only the latest uploads from your subscriptions and get quick access to the inbox when you have new messages or comments. If you’ve already watched a video, it will be grayed out on your home page and you can remove any video with a simple click.
Google’s free email service, with lots of useful features to organize, sort and retrieve email messages, a mail notifier, mobile access, largely spam free, with a huge amount of space, and it even translates messages for you. Gmail is definitely streets ahead of some of its competitors (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.); and even if you use another email programme a Gmail account is always useful as a back- up. In May 2010, Google’s email service changed its name to Gmail, that is from @googlemail.com address to @gmail.com.
For news, and tips and tricks how to use Gmail see Google’s official blog at http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/.
A free blog publishing tool for the self-publishing phenomenon that is blogging. A blog (short for Web log) is a kind of online journal or diary, where you can post/publish your views about anything that’s on your mind. Blogger was founded by Pyra Labs in San Francisco in 1999, and was acquired by Google in 2003. Users create a custom-hosted blog to share their thoughts and views with the world, about current events, social issues, what’s going on in your life, discuss topics or issues that are important to you, posting text, photos, videos, and more on your blog for as often as you want. For more features see http://www.blogger.com/features.
Google Translate has been going for some time, and over the years it has been getting better and better. Currently you can translate into, or translate from 58 languages. You can translate text, Web pages and documents, and you could also instruct it to translate instantly whenever you visit a foreign language site. You can also translate and search at the same time, searching websites in other languages; or upload and translate documents, using documents from your desktop or the Web; or you can translate entire pages, or parts of text, written e.g. in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, etc. into English, or vice versa. Check out the Help pages at http://translate.google.com/support/ if you are using Google Translate for the first time. Bear in mind, though, that this is translation by machine and you can’t rely on it for accuracy. At best, it may be an entirely passable translation; at worst, it may be only vaguely comprehensible, but will give you just about the gist of what appears on a foreign-language Web page. Relatively short phrases or sentences translate better on the whole, single word translations work very well for the most part, but translations of entire websites can sometimes be more comical than accurate.
The Google AdWords pay-per-click programme enables you to create advertisements which will appear on relevant Google search results pages and its network of partner sites.
The Google AdSense programme differs in that it delivers Google AdWords ads to individuals’ websites. Google then pays Web publishers for the ads displayed on their site based on user clicks on ads, or on ad impressions, depending on the type of ad. With the pay-per-click option, you’re only charged if people click one of your ads.
AdWords and AdSense can be used in tandem.
It would probably be fair to say that AdWords is a truly revolutionary concept in advertising, and has brought many benefits to companies participating, especially smaller businesses selling consumer goods or services.
How to get started in AdWords:
- Click on to the above website and create your Adwords account.
- Target your audience. You can target only the areas that are of interest to you, choosing local, regional, national or international targeting; and you select the language spoken by your prospective customers or clients.
- Define your budget and bidding preferences, by entering your daily advertising budget (which can be changed whenever you want) and the maximum cost you are willing to pay for a user who clicks on your ad, which is defined by Google as cost-per-click (CPC).
- Create your ad and headline and write a short description of your products or the service you offer, enter the website address and save your ad.
- Choose the keywords that relate to your business (or use proposed keywords offer by Google). 6. Activate the Adword by selecting your billing country, preferred billing method, and read and accept the Adwords terms and conditions.
Google Adwords also gives you a ‘Traffic Estimator’ (for a word or phrase) and a ‘Keyword Tool’ that will offer you a list of keywords that can be filtered by search volume, competition, and current trends. With these tools you can measure search statistics for specific keywords and keyword phrases.
Depending on your location, Google Maps lets you view basic or custom maps and local business information, including business locations, with contact information, and driving directions. A floating bubble points to the location or street addresses typed. Clicking on a button gives you the reverse directions. Click and drag maps to view adjacent sections immediately or zoom in or out using the slider to the left side the map. At the top of the slider you can scroll the map in any direction, left, right, up or down. Or you can use your mouse to zoom in and out. If you click ‘More…’ you can add pictures, videos, helpful (albeit not always 100% accurate) Wikipedia entries/articles about locations, and even webcams along the route where they exist. To improve the accuracy of your own location you can also create and share your own personalized, annotated and customized maps, mapping places and routes you know and, if you like, add text, photos, or video, and share the results. You can make the maps public or for private use only. There is a helpful demo on the site how to go create your own map.
In Google Maps you can also add aerial imagery and view satellite images (taken from Google Earth) of your desired or default location, which you can zoom and pan in any direction. However, the zoom levels for small locations, or sparsely populated areas, are not as sophisticated as those of medium-size towns. And for some remote areas no imagery is currently available, but Google is adding more all the time. When you view satellite images it is best to the click the ‘hide panel’ button in the left hand panel, and if, for example, you have searched for “tewure” you will then see a remarkable good satellite view of the village, or any other community, town, or major city of your choice. Indeed for some major cities the quality is so good that you can even see cars in the streets. Click on to the ‘Get directions’ button from A to B. However, while the amount and accuracy of street details is impressive for larger places or cities, those for small urban communities are not as detailed and sometimes directions can be a bit puzzling.
A computer-generated news site, updated continuously, that aggregates headlines from thousands of news sources worldwide, grouping similar stories together. For this it uses an automated grouping technology process that pulls together related headlines and photos from thousands of news sources worldwide, and based on how often, on what sites, and how prominently a story appears on the Web. Thus, the first most important point to understand is that, unlike some other news services, there is no human intervention or editorial judgment here, and the headlines and news stories that appear on Google News are selected entirely by computer algorithms. Stories are sorted without regard to political viewpoint or ideology and you can choose from a wide variety of perspectives on any given story.
There are now more than 40 regional editions of Google News in many different languages and regions (including a UK version), each of them giving more prominence to national top news stories and each edition is specifically tailored with news for that audience, while also providing access to breaking news stories worldwide. It can display them according to each users personalized interests or in a standard edition.
Below each headline is the source of the article linking to its full-text version, a snippet of its text, and an indication of how long ago it was published (ranging from a few minutes to several hours later). For each story, Google typically shows about half a dozen major news media, together with a list of other news sources carrying the same story, sometimes several hundred. Click on to this link and it will lead you to all the sources.
News stories are updated continuously, and the Google News page refreshes itself every 10 minutes or so. Google News and Google News Archive include articles and news items that have appeared within the past 30 days. In the side panel on the left you can select ‘Top stories’ only, which covers world politics and current affairs, but also business, scieence and technology, sports, health and entertainment, and more. Each of these categories features about 20-30 major news events.
The Google Advanced News Search page offers special filters that enable you to fine-tune your search by limiting it to articles from a particular news source, or confining it to articles from news sources located in particular countries. Additionally, you have the choice of selecting whether results or returned should be for terms occurring anywhere in an article, only in the headline text, or as part of its URL. You can also further restrict it to return only articles published in the last hour, day, week or month, or published between certain dates within the last 30-day period.
A free tool, with easy-to-use features, that gives you detailed insights into your website traffic, and the marketing effectiveness of your site. If you are a website owner you may get some webstats as part of the domain, but Google Analytics is much more detailed, with a wider range of analysis, reports, and traffic data, some in the most astonishing minutiae, although one must also be aware that some of the analysis could be a bit misleading, especially as it relates to so-called bounce rates. There has been a lot of discussion about bounce rates, and interpretations or definitions of bounce rates seem to vary among SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts. As defined by Google Analytics the bounce rate is simply the percentage of visitors that view the landing page and leave—but in some cases visitors may well find all the information they seek on the landing page and then leave without exploring other pages, and so that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Once you have signed up to Google Analytics you will be able to see how many unique visitors and page views your site receives, the traffic sources and where visitors are coming from (search engines, linking sites, etc.) and from which countries; over what period of time, how long visitors stay, new visits, what key words they have used to find the site or specific pages, page views, and other useful information and analysis. As part of the service you will now also receive a regular Google Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter, giving you comparative statistics over a period of time for various site metrics and traffic sources.
Following registration for the service (and which requires setting up of a Google account) you will need to copy a block of tracking code which Google provides and which must then be pasted into the “html code” section of your site (there is section in Blogger setting to put it while WordPress also has numerous plugins to do that). Thereafter save the settings, and Google will begin tracking the traffic to the website a few days after Google Analytics has been activated.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (on the Web, news, blogs, groups, and video) based on your choice of query or topic. This could be news headlines, keeping tabs on a competitor or a particular type of business or industry, tracking the latest medical advances, getting the latest on celebrities or sports men and women, writers and authors—or you can track your own name! (Type it in double quotation marks). You create an alert by entering details of a news story, topic or name, event, etc. that you wish to monitor, provide your email address, and then hit the ‘Create Alert’ button. You can elect to receive alerts once a day, weekly, or ‘as it happens‘. Google will confirm this in an email to you, which contains a link back to Google. In order to activate the alert and verify your request you must click on the link or, alternatively, copy and paste the URL into your browser. You can stop the alert at any time by clicking on a link at the foot of every email news alert that then unsubscribes you. When creating alerts it is best to set up the alert, and to fine-tune it, in Google’s Advanced Search
An extension of Google Street View, i.e. using the same technology, the exciting new Google Art Project was unveiled in early 2011. It is a collaboration between the Internet giant and some of the world’s leading art museums. It will let you explore and look at world famous paintings in astonishing detail. You can navigate around 17 of the world’s most prestigious art galleries in nine countries, in a manner similar to Street View, and look at images of many of the artworks on display in a super-high resolution and with amazing zoom levels.
You can move around the museum’s galleries, selecting works of art that interest you, navigate through interactive floor plans, or learn more about each museum, which include the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the National Gallery and the Tate in London, The Met and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. The Google Art Project collection as a whole consists of over a thousand works of art by more than four hundred artists, and Google hopes to add more museums and works of art to its virtual dossier soon.
To start, simply select a museum from the home page and then either chose ‘Explore the Museum’ or ‘View Artwork’. Once you are in the main site use the drop-down menus or the side information bar to navigate between artworks and museums. You can click on the ‘Visitor Guide’ to give you more details about each work of art. Finally, if you wish, create and share your own collections online.
Lets you create a customized search engine for your own website, or a blog. It can be for one or more websites or specific Web pages, hosting the search box and results on your own website. You can also add search refinements within results pages to make it easier for searchers to find the information they’re looking for. Once you’ve defined your search engine index, Google will give you a simple piece of code for a search box to place on your site or blog (or the person hosting your website can do this for you). You will then have then have an opportunity to choose various customization options (different style and layout options, etc.) to make the look, feel and functionality of your search engine your own. Very useful.
Describing it as a “3D interface to the planet”, the amazing Google Earth was launched in June 2005. It is a wonderful geographic search tool that combines local search with satellite imagery and maps from around the globe. The images are photographs taken by satellites and aircraft and which are updated by Google Earth on a rolling basis. It is a standalone application, supported by sophisticated streaming technology, and the basic version is free for personal use. The application comes in the form of a console which allows you to manipulate 3D satellite imagery of the earth. It enables you to “fly” to cities and see aerial views of main locations on the planet, and you can use the controls, or Google’s Earth’s search functions, to zoom in on a specific location. The three primary search options are: Fly To, Local Search, and Directions, accessed by buttons in the top left-hand panel. The “Fly To” feature will accept an address, a place name, or simple latitude/longitude coordinates, and then zooms you quickly to the specified location (stopping at usually around 3,300 feet over the ground). Thereafter you use the controls to zoom, tilt, pan, or rotate the view. Check boxes allow you to overlay roads, geographical borders, terrain, airports, railways, points of geographic interest, water, volcanoes, as well as stadiums, 3D buildings such as skyscrapers, hospitals, shopping areas, hotels, churches, postal code boundaries, and much more. (Be aware though that if too many overlay boxes are ticked the views can then get rather cluttered.) Google Earth also includes integrated Google Maps searching that allows you to find you local businesses in any area.
The latest versions introduced some interesting extra layers features, among them a new ocean layer that let’s you plunge all the way to the floor of the sea, viewing contents from Google partners like the BBC and National Geographic, as well as explore 3D shipwrecks like the Titanic. Or you can explore the sky, explore Mars in 3D and take an interactive tour; or go back in time with historical imagery that lets you slide back and forth on a timeline of available aerial and satellite photography. Moreover, you can record your “trip” from point A to point Z, and narrate this virtual journey. And Google Earth, also features an integrated Google Street View experience that lets you explore areas at street level, indicated by small camera icons. To see Streetview location photographs check the ‘Streetview’ layers in the panel on the left, where you can also check or uncheck any other layer options you wish to see on Google Earth.
Google Places helps you to reach new customers on Google Maps and Google.co.uk, and makes it easy for them to find you on Google search and on Google Maps. Sign up it’s free, but you must have a Google account. It is particularly useful for small businesses, and is strongly recommended. When potential customers search Google Maps for local information, they will find your business, with your address, hours of operation, and other details, even photographs or other images you want to publish as part of your listing. You can update your listing at any time, or remove it altogether if you wish. You can of course also use Google Places/Google Maps to seek information directions for any location, as it combines business listings with other relevant listings.
Formerly with the silly name “Froggle”, this is Google’s shopping search tool and at the same time also serves as a price comparison tool. Google Product Search is designed to help shoppers find and buy products across the Web. As a seller, you can submit your products to Google Product Search, allowing shoppers to find merchandise on your site quickly and easily. It should be noted though that this is not an online purchasing facility, and once you have found a product you want to purchase you will need to get in touch with the merchant or seller.
If you look at the constantly changing list of “recently found items” below the search form it will give you some idea what people are looking to buy online; and if you click on an item it will display relevant goods on offer. You can sort by relevance, price range, brand, product rating or seller rating. Click on the link with the short description and it will lead you to the merchant website selling the item with fuller details, price, etc. Searches for products can work quite well if you are trying to buy a very specific item, but for broader terms it generates a lot of offers which are not relevant, do not relate to your entry, and results are displayed because the descriptive text. You might get better results if you refine your search by using the advanced product search facilities at http://www.google.co.uk/advanced_product_search.
Google Scholar was launched in November 2004 with the somewhat pretentious slogan “Stand on the shoulders of giants” beneath its search box. The aim of the free service is to provide a search tool for the researcher, enabling them to retrieve quality material from the Web not normally indexed via Web search engines, and allowing searches across many disciplines and sources, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint and online repositories, or databases at universities and other academic institutions and organizations. It provides links to full-text documents some of which are freely accessible (open access), for others you can read the abstracts but access to full text is subject to a document delivery fee, unless you have access to the journals as an authorized library user at an academic institution. While principally designed for researchers, it is a useful tool to find peer-reviewed articles on the Web, and searches can lead to a substantial number of freely accessible online versions of thousands of scholarly papers. Google Scholar is by no means universally loved by the academic community and there has been a lively and passionate debate about its pros and cons, and it has had a somewhat mixed reception among librarians. Google Scholar ranks results in order of relevance, and indicates the number of times the research has been cited by other academics. The number of citations is factored into the Google ranking algorithm, which considers the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appeared, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature.
For Windows XP/Vista/7 & Mac OS X (10.4 ) only Google SketchUp is free modelling software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like; and you can modify and share them with others. You can design a new piece of furniture, for example, or create a room layout. Or perhaps you want to remodel your kitchen, or landscape your garden or backyard? A range of video tutorials help you to get started. You can build models from scratch, or you can download just what you need. It is a huge, searchable repository of models. Useful for educational purposes, and also a very handy tool for the DIY enthusiast.
Furthermore, other exceptional services and products from Google.com includes Google Transliteration, Google Trends, Picassa, Google Search Console, Google Chrome, Google Plus, Google Books, Android, Google Play etc