Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Google Takeout: How to Backup Your Google Stuff via Google Takeout

Do you like takeout?  Or as the Brits say "take-away?" Well, if you use Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts, etc., Google has a semi-secret service called "Google Takeout." It will back up your data, and you can download it as a ZIP file.
How to Use Google Takeout

Very useful and nifty if you 

a) get locked out of your Google account or hacked
b) Google goes crazy and does even more nefarious things than usual with your so-called "private" data (privacy... how quaint).
c) you want Microsoft-formats of your stuff.

If you depend - as I do - on Google services, Takeout is a fabulous thing to know about.  (They don't do a great job promoting it, of course).

Using Takeout to Backup your Google Files

  • Log in to your Google account (just go to http://www.google.com/) and make sure you see your name / picture in the top right - or click on the blue LOGIN button on the top right.
  • Go to Google Takeout by clicking on https://www.google.com/settings/takeout
  • Follow the instructions to select everything, or just certain things to "backup."
Google will then email you the archive as a ZIP file, and presto - you're backed up in case of a total meltdown of the worldwide Internet.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Mobilegeddan. It's the MOpocalypse. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid!

Well Google is doing "something new," or rather unprecedented: threatening a major algorithm update - IN ADVANCE.  Giving everyone "plenty of warning," and spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) among all Internet marketers.

Tomorrow - April 21, 2015 - is the day known as "mobilegeddon" or the "Mopocalpyse," the former term beating out the latter.

Google's Mobilegeddan!
Basically, Google is threatening that if your website is not mobile-friendly, be prepared to drop in the SERPS (search engine results page) rankings like an Motorola Razr outside of an Apple Store when the iPhone 7 comes out.

So - 

  1. Is your website "mobile friendly?"  Check it by Googling it on a mobile phone, or going to Google's mobile check site, here
  2. Do you get a lot, or a little, traffic from mobile visitors?  Is so, be afraid - very afraid.  If not, not so much.

The Big Question: One Algorithm or Two?

Now, it's not completely clear if Google will have one algorithm for BOTH desktop AND mobile, or two separate algorithms (meaning, you could rank WELL for the desktop and poorly for the phone) - 

  1. One algorithm for the desktop, and a separate for the phone (Scenario #1).
  2. One algorithm for BOTH the desktop AND the phone, with a severe penalty for websites that are NOT mobile friendly (on both desktop and phone).

But, Google does seem to emphasize "mobile first" in everything these days, so it's a good bet that a poor ranking on mobile will indeed hurt your desktop performance.  (I am betting on #2, especially for the long-term).

Become Mobile Friendly: Yesterday if Not Sooner

So, yes, Virginia, you need to be mobile friendly.  We'll all start learning tomorrow to what extent, and how rapidly you need to adjust (in case you haven't already).

Monday, April 13, 2015

Local SEO Update: Big Changes Coming to Local?

Google's may be planning big changes to local.  Yikes! http://bzfd.it/1FBGBwe

Local search is incredibly important because

  • Many searches are "local" in character - e.g., "Pizza," or "Massage Therapist."
  • Many other searches which you might not think are "local" actually are e.g., SEO Expert.
  • Google+, though hardly a huge social media success, is the #1 interconnect between Google and local.

To boot, Google+ can help you "control" your branded searches, and by getting you local reviews make you AWESOME. For example, search for the JM Internet Group on Google.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Top Online eLearning Sites: Lynda LinkedIn and Learning

You may have heard the news that LinkedIn is acquiring Lynda.com, one of the most successful eLearning sites. As someone who is very involved in elearning - both online and off - that makes me think, and give some thought to the whole eLearning industry. 

Who are the leaders? What's going on here?

Top Online eLearning Sites
Some pro's about eLearning: learning online means anyone, anywhere and almost anytime can learn. For many small or esoteric topics (e.g., sexual harassment training for a company, or how to use PowerPoint for presentations), this opens up many new possibilities. It allows employers to more easily train workers, and it brings learning to cities like Tulsa or Omaha that do not have the depth of learning opportunities that San Francisco or New York have.

It means anyone, anywhere, can take a class on Java programming or a class on how to use PowerPoint.  That's really cool.

Top eLearning Sites

Here are some of the top eLearning sites - 

  • Lynda.com - soon to be part of LinkedIn, and focused on a cornucopia of office-oriented offerings.  It's very inexpensive, but sometimes the classes seem to be really boring and the teachers uninspiring.
  • Udemy.com - similar to Lynda.com. I find many of the courses low quality and out-of-date, however.  (They seem to let almost anyone teach a course!)
  • Coursera.com - similar to Udemy and Lynda.com.  However, has some origins in Academia and more "MOOC-type" courses.
  • Khan Academy - this one focuses more on elementary, Junior High and High school education in science and math.  This one has the most enthusiasm, in my opinion.
edX is a portal that consolidates eLearning from major universities. 

Some con's about eLearning. Some of the sites (Udemy comes to mind) seem to going more after quantity than quality, and clearly many of the Udemy classes in SEO and Social Media are little more than marketing ploys by companies that have products and services to sell.  So there is a conflation of "real" classes with "marketing" classes, which is a problem at many real-world trade shows.

Clearly, when content goes online, quality often gives way to quantity. Cat videos on YouTube anyone?

Learning or Marketing?

So the question often becomes: 

  • Is this a "real" class or is this a "marketing pitch?"

A final company in this space is BizLibrary, which focuses on employer / employee training and creates much of its own content. It's more focused on the employer / employee niche.

A Space to Watch

eLearning is clearly an exciting space, but like online music and online video, it's getting pretty cluttered and there is a lot of very low quality content out there mixing in with the truly high quality content.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Need for Speed: PageSpeed and SEO (and You)

Time is money. In lots of ways. Way #1. Get fast Internet for your business.  The fastest you can possibly get. Comcast, for example, has "gaming" Internet which is incredibly fast - a lot, lot faster than AT&T universe.

Back East, they have FIBER which is even faster than Comcast.

Time is Money

PageSpeed and SEO
Time is money. Every second that you (or an employee) waits and waits and waits is time lost, money lost, effort lost.

As for your consumers, the same difference. If your website is slow, they'll leave. If your website is slow (especially) on mobile, they'll leave (and Google will hate you).

A fast Internet connection for you. A fast website for them.

The need for speed.

Check your internet speed

Monday, April 6, 2015

20 Great April Fool's Gags by Corporations

Hey, fool. It's over. Here's a list of 20 great corporate April Fool's gags.

Automatically Schedule a Post on Google+

Google+ may be dying (or not).  No one seems to know. But one thing that would be so useful would be the ability to schedule posts, or even to connect a Google+ profile with Hootsuite.

  • Unfortunately, that seems impossible.

One solution?  A chrome extension called DoShare.