on 30 July 2012
This is a very rich and interesting book. It is not the kind of a story to be read from beginning to the end. One may screen it at first and then come back later to some interesting parts.
As a matter of fact it is a combination of a "cook book" (in the noblest sense of `art du chef') and an encyclopaedia (a Google's applications encyclopaedia). As an encyclopaedia it can be read over and over again, as needed. And as a 'cook book' one can apply the `recipes' and the procedures. It should be in any personal library of a special businessman, the start -up owner with online activity.
Google is already a way of living, a condition for surviving and thriving in cyberspace. Nowadays everybody is using at least some of Google's applications since they are very powerful tools and, most of all, they are free of charge. And these are the main qualities required from a start-up business with online activity.
Google has much more tools that anybody could ever imagine. Therefore a start-up owner needs a guide through this `labyrinth'. The book provides this kind of guide which largely batter than any similar attempts since it follows step-by-step approach of building a business with Google's tools and covers also each tools in detail. The presentation is self explanatory with beautiful colour pictures illustrating clearly any application.
As I mentioned the book is developed with a step-by step approach, starting with the establishment of an online business to the point where the online presence converts to customers and sales.
-The first analytic chapter is an overview of the most common Google's tools such as Chrome, Toolbar, iGoogle, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Chat in Gmail and Talk.
Then the analysis focuses the needs of a start-up owner.
-On a first stage (developed in 2 successive chapters) such a businessman should gather internet intelligence, than he must establish an online presence.
Before starting an online business, one needs to gather Internet intelligence: search and research of the industry, competition and competitors, and the best keywords for one's site. Google has the right tools for this such as: Keyword Tool, Google Suggest, Related Searches, AdPlanner, Insights for Search and Finance.
Once this research is done, one can establish an online presence by building a user friendly website. The Google tools I use for this specific task are Blogger or Sites, Wallet, Sitemaps, and Picasa. I warmly recommend Blogger that I already used myself more than once.
-On the next stage (developed in the following 2 chapters) the book recommends solutions for marketing own business (through Google's social networking tools).
On a first step one should understand the power of SEO (search engine optimization) as a key to fundability. After setting up one's site, the next step is to optimize so that it becomes visible to the target audience. Online optimization requires being proactive, creative and innovative. All of the necessary tools are largely discussed in this part of the book.
On the next step one should interact with own social community. Just putting a website online doesn't necessarily mean that the owner will start getting customers. He needs to let people know why he is different from the competition and learn how to gain their trust. Google+, YouTube, News, Places, and Merchant Centre, are such tools that will help expand the online presence and facilitate the interaction with one's community.
-The next important stage (developed in the following 2 chapters) relates to the procedure to be followed in order to make money (by paid advertising and by monetizing own content).
On the first step one should grow own business with paid advertising. Most Google tools are free, however for Google AdWords one will need to pay, but this can be a very effective way to drive traffic to one's site. It works with targeted keywords. AdWords is similar to normal advertising such as a flyer or ad one take out in a newspaper (the ads will be placed across the web on either other sites, YouTube or on Google Search).
The next step relates to monetizing one's content. If one have a lot of valuable content on own's site and a lot of daily traffic, one can start earning money by adding Google ads to the site. It works with targeted keywords. AdSense is like owning a newspaper (your website) and others purchasing advertising space from you. It works with targeted keywords like AdWords.
The book's presentation is very intuitive and one can get deep knowledge of these somehow complicated topics.
-The final stage covers (developed in the last 2 analytic chapters) the monitoring and the self evaluation of the online activity.
First of all one should monitor the brand, the competitors and the industry. As the start-up owner progress with setting up and growing the business he should not forget to monitor own brand, keep an eye on what their competitors are doing and what is happening in the industry with tools like Google Alerts and Reader.
On the next step the start-up owner should gain a better understand of own website and site's visitors. No business can take decisions without tracking, measuring and improving. Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Optimizer, were all created by Google to facilitate these activities.
These are the step-by step procedures and tools recommended by the author for an online start -up business. But there is a certain liberty, since according to the author "As with anything, you will, over time, find what works best for your business and what you're most comfortable with using. I suggest that you try everything when it comes to online marketing and try using the vast array of Google tools available. Some will work for you and others may not. Some may also not work initially but it will be well worth persevering".
Frankly speaking I find the book very useful, informative, and crystal clear. I will use it frequently as a reference. I am a novice in the world of Google tools and I will enter this field with the help of this expert guide. This is a must read (and practice) for everybody who considers himself a real actor in this ubiquitous Digital Age.
on 12 June 2012
As many of us know, there is loads to learn about creating a thriving website (especially if you're a bit of a techno-novice like me). I wasn't sure which titles to buy but saw "Ultimate Guide" was in three Kindle Top 100 lists, so I thought it was worth a go. Really glad I bought it.
What I got was specific and well-written advice about using Google to its full advantage. If you're struggling with which keywords are the best to use or how to specifically advertise using AdSense, then this book will take you through it. I highly recommend the section on what to do BEFORE you start your ad campaign (the tools she suggests are very powerful indeed).
I also got a few slaps of Dr. Reality because the book explains how imperative it is to get yourself on Page 1 of Google (did you know that only 4% look past the first page of Google results? I didn't!).
I appreciate the resources offered by the author throughout the book and I think a lot can be gained from picking this up or clicking this up.
on 5 July 2012
I vehemently disagree with one of the previous reviews, and was unfortunately taken in by the claim that this book was for novices and experts alike - it's not. It's a high-level overview of Google technology, with very little detail or real-world examples of how to put any of it to use. It's nowhere near the 'ultimate guide' it claims to be, but rather a brief overview of the Google estate for absolute beginners.
It's very poorly written, by someone who seems to have only a passing familiarity with the subject matter, a fact made glaringly obvious to any genuine industry professional in overly simplistic and frankly nonsensical (not to mention grammatically incorrect) claims such as "website owners are encouraged to post high quality content that increase user experience and links will start to build by themselves [sic]". I'm still unsure what it means to "increase user experience" or how that leads to autonomous link building, but the author needs to learn to maintain some objectivity in such an uncertain field.
This reads more like an unedited, self-published collection of badly crafted blog posts, written by someone who has only a surface-deep understanding of any part of the subject matter, and couldn't be bothered to write a proper book. There are plenty of other blogs out there with more accurate information, more professionally written and available for free.
If you've been living under a rock for the last ten years, or still consider the fax machine to be a portal to the future this book will be your new testament. Otherwise, give your fiver to any 12 year old school kid, and they'll give you a better introduction to succeeding with Google technology than this.