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Google Talk Spins Google in New Direction

Some believe that Google’s main target in this new web communications market is Skype, the VOIP messaging company which built VOIP as a household communications tool from the ground up. Although Google’s Google Talk offers VOIP computer to computer calling services, its overall offering is quite white bread.

Besides, keeping Google Talk simplified for now makes sense if Google is planning on adapting another technology. The transition from Google Talk’s current Jabber platform to Skype would be quite simple as the only thing differentiating Google Talk from other open apps is the Google GMail member identification.

Additionally, a video feed subscription service may be another future add on – and not just a rumor. Google is currently looking for a Sr. Video Conferencing Engineer to develop a digital video conferencing application for Google to roll out on a global scale according to a HotJobs posting. By adding video conferencing to the mix, Google would bring a unique offering to the Instant Messaging table to move it beyond the other Skype, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL offerings.

Critics of Google have always said that its popularity could crash as easily as it grew without a strong offering beyond search. Until recently, the stickiest user base Google had was its Orkut social network, which took off like wildfire in Brazil but never really reached the capacity of LiveJournal or Friendster in the United States.

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Google Talk – Instant Messaging And Voip App From Google?

Google Talk – Instant Messaging and VOIP App from Google?

When Google talks, the world listens. People get ready to open your ears, because Google is about to speak loud and clear as the Internet anticipates the release this week of Google Talk – the Google Instant Messaging service. Google executives have hinted that the company will be releasing a new communications tool on Wednesday and most clues and leaks point to the messaging and/or VOIP tool from Google – Google Talk.

Unlike most net rumors, the buzz around Google Talk has legs to stand on. First reason is that the subdomain chúng tôi is live and redirects usersto chúng tôi which now serves a 404 error message. For the most part, if Google is not using a subdomain it does not exist at all and would not redirect or serve any message.

Additionally, Google is currently running a Jabber server which was picked up by a Neowin member. Om Malik explains how Jabber is a voice-over-IM technology which is growing rapidly in popularity:

Jabber already has a deal with AOL, and from the looks of it, is fast becoming a platform of choice for voice-over-IM. Jabber’s deal with AOL is all about offering “federated IM” service that can also connect to ICQ and Apple’s iChat. And now Google. And this is the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype.

Chances also exist that the Google offering will go beyond messaging or chat and be a total voice operated communications system, offering VOIP technology with the ability to do VOIP to telephone calls as well. Google’s recent acquisition of Android may also point to the new Google Talk tool also being mobile friendly.

Oh yeah, adding to the notion of Google targeting feeds such as AdSense or Web Clips to its Jabber based messaging client : Jabber is XML based, using XMPP programming.

Google, time to speak up, the world is listening.

Additional info : I was sitting here thinking to myself why the build up to Wednesday August 24th. After checking out the “This Day in History” information on the 24th of August I found this : August 24th, 1891 : Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera. Given Google’s past of commemorating little-known days in science history, I’m wondering if there might be a little something to this date, Thomas Edison, the moving picture, and Google IM / VOIP – AND Google Video.

Could Google be adding video capabilities to its Google Talk Messenger that would make the software worth downloading and using?

Would the video chat service be via webcam? Hmmm… the more I’m thinking the more the PR person comes out in me. What if Google sent every computer user in the US a Google Webcam and easy install disc of Google Talk on August 24th? That’s not too far out there is it?

Local Seo: New Google Local & Google Maps Features That Boost Marketing

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The key to local business success: Be the first to use Google’s newest marketing features in your area.

Get more traffic in the door, get your business noticed faster, and outrank your competition.

Amanda Jordan, Director of Digital Strategy for RicketyRoo Inc., joined me to discuss the easiest ways to incorporate the new Google Local and Google Maps features into your local SEO strategy.

The pandemic, changing search habits, and more people shopping locally have driven the need for local businesses to have a strong presence in the search results.

Google Business Profile and other local features are vital to adapting to these changes.

In this podcast, you’ll learn how to grow your local business with a few tweaks on Google Local, Google Maps, and Google Business Profile.

Every time I’ve seen someone go from no Google Business Profile to a cool business profile, or even just adding anything like that, there’s a huge amount of growth because essentially you’ve just made yourself visible to lots of people that didn’t even know you existed before. –Amanda Jordan, 58:54

The more thorough and valuable your reviews are, the more of an impact it does have on your ability to rank. –Amanda Jordan, 19:55

It’s good just to have something up there that’s recent and current just because It’ll help you stand out. –Amanda Jordan, 11:35

A lot of times, we see social media and SEO as two completely separate things, but they can inform each other. They both give you data about who your customers are, how they found you, why they like you, and what they’re interested in. –Amanda Jordan, 22:01

A lot of times, especially with local SEO and the focus on reviews and things like that, we can forget about the technical elements or not be as confident in our ability to handle them. I think it’s perfectly normal but I think that’s a place where a lot of technical and local SEOs can grow. –Amanda Jordan, 40:40

Connect with Amanda Jordan:

Amanda has extensive experience designing campaigns, including web development and SEO, and is very talented and creative.

She began her SEO career in 2011 and has enjoyed tackling complex problems for clients. Her specialty is local SEO for legal and enterprise companies. In her free time, Amanda enjoys playing with her dogs and beating her son at Mario Kart.

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

How To Use Google Meet In Google Classroom

One of the more powerful kickbacks from the pandemic was the abrupt and unexpected transition to working from home for millions of us. Solutions to various work-from-home-related conundrums began to emerge in a matter of days even because the level of urgency was so unprecedented. Initially, it seemed like Zoom would emerge as a resounding victor as organizations began using this video calling app as their daily driver for office meetings and team catch-ups. But when major, alarming security issues began cropping up it became clear that Zoom had bitten off way more than it could chew.

So when we began seeing Google Meet whenever we logged into our G-suite accounts, it was only a matter of time before Google integrated this secure, smart, and still-in-the-works video calling feature to all its other major holdings as well, Google Classroom being no exception.

Related: Zoom vs Google Meet: All you need to know

What is Google Classroom?

Launched in 2014, Google Classroom is a hybrid learning tool designed for educational institutions to manage communication between teachers and students. With this service, teachers will be able to create assignments and distribute them to students of a class for teaching different topics and grade them based on students’ performance.

With the educational landscape recently evolving towards remote learning, Classroom is also integrated with Google Meet so that teachers can interact with students easily even from the confinements of their homes. Teachers can create quick meet links inside a class to teach a topic, conduct discussions, and host presentations from students without leaving Google Classroom. 

Related: Google Meet for Teachers: A Complete Tutorial and 8 Useful Tips

What can teachers do with Google Meet in Classroom?

Of course, nothing Google does is basic. In fact, we are quite fond of them for the thoughtful little things that end up generating big benefits. For a teacher, Meet will undoubtedly be that small thing that manages to have a big impact. Let’s dive into some of these benefits first.

Dedicated meeting links for individual classes

When you’re hosting a class with Google Classroom, you can automatically generate meet links to interact with students in the class and this link will be unique for just this class. Meet links created inside Google Classroom can be used in a recurring fashion, meaning you can use them any number of times in the future as long as it isn’t outdated. 

Interact with a large number of students

With Google Meet integration, teachers can host classes to interact with around 100 students (with Education Fundamentals or Education Standard plans) or up to 500 students (with Workspace Education Plus plan). This can be big enough to accommodate multiple classes at the same time when explaining an in-depth topic or to make an announcement for a large number of students. 

Host live streams with people other than students

If you want to announce something to students and their parents or the school entirely, Workspace users can turn on live streaming to allow up to 100,000 people to watch a Google Meet call. During a live stream, only teachers and other hosts can interact and have their say while the others get to listen and watch.

Record live lessons for later

Meet comes with a Record option which really comes in handy when you’re taking live lessons. You can activate the record option at the beginning of the lesson and Meet will begin recording after taking appropriate permissions and everything. Once the lesson is over, you will receive a media file in the form of a Google Drive link which you can then choose to share with your class.

Gather attendance

Teachers on some Workspace Education plans can receive attendance reports for their students in Google Meet. The attendance report will be sent to a teacher’s email and will include information like student’s name (their number if they dialed into the meeting), email address, the time they were present in the class meeting, and more. 

Moderate students 

When there’s a disturbance during a meeting or if students are misbehaving in a class meeting, teachers can mute them, turn off their video, or remove them entirely from the call anytime they choose to. 

Accept student questions

There is a chatbox that comes as part of the Google Meet interface that really comes in handy to record the questions asked by students. You can even set your meet in presenter view to focus on each question given in the chat and choose to address them accordingly.

Conduct Q&As and polls

Some Workspace accounts also come with the ability to conduct Q&As and polls directly from the Meet screen that teachers can use to see student responses on a certain topic in real-time. 

Make presentations in presenter view

There is also a Present Now button that’s wedged in between the Turn on captions and the three-dot menu icon that you can use to project your screen to your class.

Related: 16 cool Google Meet Ideas for Teachers

How to create a Google Meet link for your class

For everything else to happen, the link must be generated and ready in hand. The link is basically a unique code for your meeting that you will be able to share with those whom you want to invite to the Google Meet Conference call. So you need to understand how to generate this link. Don’t worry, it’s fairly easy.

For Teachers with Google Workspace accounts

For Teachers with personal Google accounts

For teachers who are not using Workspace accounts, Google Meet isn’t directly integrated inside Google Classroom. So, teachers using their personal Google accounts will have to use other means to create links for a Google Meet call for a class. If you’re a teacher using a non-Workspace account, here are all the ways you can create a meeting link for Google Meet. 

From Google Meet

You’ll now see the Google Meet link appear inside a box on the screen. You can copy this link by tapping on the Copy icon on the right-hand side of the link.

From Google Calendar

To create Google Meet links, open Google Calendar on your desktop’s web browser and sign in to the Google account that you use with Google Classroom.

When this section expands to show all your calendars, select the checkbox adjacent to your Google Classroom classes and uncheck all others. 

From Gmail

Now that you know how to create meeting links for Google Meet, you can now add them to your class inside Google Classroom and manage them from within the class by following the steps below. 

Note: Meet Link generated within Google Classroom is added directly to the class where it was created. So, you don’t need to add them manually inside a class, unless it’s hidden. You only need to add links to a meeting inside Google Classroom if you generated it from elsewhere like on Google Meet, Calendar, or Gmail. 

Make Meet link visible for students

Inside Class settings, scroll down and turn on the Visible to students toggle at the bottom of the Manage Meet Link section. 

The Meet Link should now appear on students’ accounts inside Google Classroom. 

Reset a Meet link for your class

If you’re having issues with a meet link you created inside Classroom, you can get a new one by resetting the current link inside the Class Settings. When you reset a meet link, it will no longer be associated with your classroom but it may still be accessible as an independent meeting. 

Remove a Meet link from a class

If you have meet links inside a classroom that have gone beyond their scope of usage, they will get outdated. We suggest you upgrade these meeting links in such scenarios as outdated links won’t work as you intended and may grant students host privileges. 

Add a Meet link to an announcement

For teachers who don’t use a Google Workspace account, Meet links aren’t generated automatically inside a classroom. Since we already explained how you can create links for Google Meet externally, you will also have to add them manually inside a class you teach. 

Fortunately, Classroom allows teachers to post announcements for an entire class through Class Streams. Teachers can thus, use this section to post a meeting link they created inside Google Meet, Calendar, or Gmail. 

To add a Meet Link to an announcement, make sure you’ve copied the Meet Link to your clipboard from where you create a meeting. 

Add a Meet link to a classwork

Just like posting meet links inside an announcement on a Class stream, you can also add external meet links to the classwork you give out to your students. Before you do that, you need to make sure that you have copied the Meet link onto your clipboard.

Now, choose either Assignment or Question depending on where you wish to paste the meet link. 

How to manage students inside Google Meet classes

If you’ve created a Google Meet call for your class with Google Classroom, your students will be able to join your class meeting. As a teacher, you can control how your students can access the class video meeting directly from the meeting screen.  

Allow students to join a class meeting

Mute students

Lock audio/video for a Google Meet call

While the Mute all feature works to temporarily pause every students’ microphone inside a meeting, students have the freedom to unmute themselves at any time. To avoid constant distractions, you can lock the participants’ audio for as long as you don’t want them to speak by enabling audio lock for all of them. Similarly, you can also prevent participants from turning on their video without your permission by enabling a video lock inside Google Meet. 

Turn on/off screen sharing

Disable chat messages

Teachers can also stop students from cluttering the class’ In-call messages section by turning off chat messages. When this feature is turned off, only teachers will be able to share notes with the class and students won’t be able to interact with each other in the same chat window. 

Remove participants

Bonus Tips

Reset the Google Meet link each time you want to meet with students, this way the older Meet links will not be used unsupervised. You can reset the link for each class from the General Settings of the class.

If internet speed is slow, turn off your camera to improve video meeting quality. If audio quality is poor, you can use a phone for audio, simply make sure that you have the Meet app on your phone as well.

To help students who are deaf or hard of hearing, you can turn on captions using the button of the same name that you will be able to locate easily during the call.

Use these great Chrome Extensions to enhance your Google Meet experience. For example, using the Dualless extension, you can use two windows on your meeting as if you had dual monitors for real.

RELATED:

Tracking Campaigns In Google Analytics

A how-to guide for campaign reporting with examples

One of the most important (but often overlooked) aspects of digital marketing is setting up your analytics properly. It’s a little bit technical but easy to do once you understand a few simple steps and see why it’s so important.

Being able to track where your visitors are coming from is a valuable opportunity to improve your engagement and your ROI during the campaign. Additionally, when you benchmark your campaign performance you will be able to improve your campaigns in the future, and budget more effectively. It’s worth investing a little time in analytics!

In this post, we’ll show you how to use Google Analytics to track visits to your website or landing page. This is the critical first step in being able to understand how your campaign is performing.

Why track your marketing campaigns?

Marketers at the top of their game always want more data. When you know where your visitors are coming from and how each traffic source is converting on your site, you can make on-the-fly optimizations to your campaign and achieve better overall results.

With this campaign tracking data in hand, you’ll be able to benchmark against it when designing and budgeting for future campaigns, making your future campaigns even better. This is one form of data benchmarking, and it’s a powerful tool for any marketer.

Smart Insights recommended resources

Download Expert Member resource – 7 Steps to using Google Analytics To Improve Online Marketing

Our guide steps you through the setup stages, but focuses on how you use Google Analytics to get better business results – the missing link in most books and the Google documentation.

Access the

Download Expert Member resource – Campaign tracking code creator for Google Analytics

Access the Google Analytics campaign tracking code creator

What if you not thinking this way when setting up your promotions? For example, suppose you are running a contest and you’ve promoted it through print, email, Facebook Ads, Facebook Sponsored Posts, and Google Adwords. Visitors from these sources will appear in Google Analytics as follows:

You can get all of this data, and it’s easier to do than you think.

Download Expert Member resource – RACE Dashboard

Access the RACE Digital Dashboard – Old members instructions page

How to track your campaigns?

We’re using Google Analytics here as it’s so popular, but other analytics tools will have similar features.

When a visitor lands on your website, Google Analytics records that pageview along with the source and medium that the visitor originated from. The “source” is the domain that the visitor came from, and the “medium” is a classification for different kinds of traffic. There is also a “campaign” parameter that can be used to further segment your traffic.

Many tools like MailChimp, Hootsuite, Oktopost and Hubspot have features that let you create tracking URLs, but anyone can use Google’s own Tracking URL Builder.  You can automatically apply tracking parameters to all Adwords traffic by enabling Auto-tagging in Adwords (read instructions about how it works.).

source / medium = newsletter / email

Using Tracking URLs for the campaign promotion example above, we’d get this:

So, for each channel that you are promoting through, you should be using a unique tracking URL. This will automatically allow you to report on each channel, as well as reporting on each source, medium or campaign as an aggregate.

Important tips for measurement

 1. Plan and organize your parameters

Google Analytics simply records whatever it’s told, so organize your parameters ahead of time. It’s best to use a standard set of parameters company-wide. If your company uses a different set of parameters each time an email goes out, you won’t be able to easily report on things like overall traffic from email monthly or year-over-year. Analytics is case-sensitive too, so “Email”, “email”, “e-mail” and “E-mail” will report as four separate mediums.

2. Keep it simple

It may be tempting to create unique parameters for all of the variables for each source, but this is not necessary, nor is it ideal. Each channel only needs its own unique combination of parameters in order to be reported on separately.

For example:

These parameters will allow for reporting on all paid traffic, or all email traffic, or all traffic from the whole “summer” campaign as well as reporting on each channel separately by using combinations of the above in a segment or filter.

3.  Start now

Watch our video

Google Gets Social With Google Co

Google Gets Social with Google Co-op

Google announced their new social search oriented Google Co-op project at their Annual Press Day yesterday afternoon. Google Co-op marks Google’s entrance into the social or shared search market, where holders of Google Accounts can contribute their knowledge and expertise to improve Google’s search results and vertical search properties via personalized subscriptions.

Google says that These contributions serve as meta information that helps Google’s search algorithms connect users to the most relevant information for their specific query.

“Google Co-op and the other new services announced today combine the power of Google’s technology with the context, knowledge, and unique expertise of individuals,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president, Product Management, Google Inc. “As a result, users can find the information they are looking for – no matter how specialized or specific – faster than ever.”

Suffering from a bit of exhaustion, I’ll lend the rest of this post to the Searchosphere’s impressions of Google Co-op:

Pandia: Google has already worked with partners to annotate web pages related to health and city guides and to offer dozens of subscribed links to specialized content such as restaurant and movie information. Later on a “broader online community” will begin building out new topic areas. Whether this means that regular users may contribute as experts is unclear.

Barry Schwartz : Google has announced four new products yesterday, one of those products is named Google Co-op. Google Co-op enables you to create what are called “subscribed links,” which basically allows you to create a Google SERP, define the title, description and the URL(s) to be displayed in the SERPs, for those who “subscribed” to your link. You can create an XML feed, submit your feed to Google Coop and then enable people to subscribe to that Coop. There are currently dozens of subscriptions available for you to be a part of at the Google Coop Directory.

Search Engine Watch’s Danny Sullivan : It’s a very cool idea. For example, say you are regularly searching for information about search engines and would like to know if Search Engine Watch specifically has any matching info along with searching the entire web for that topic. If we get our act together (and we’ll try soon), you could make us one of your subscribed links. Then the next time you search for something where we have content, you might see our matches right at the top of Google.

Where do you find providers? Google’s got a currently very small directory of them here to choose from. Preferred partners are already listed, partners that Google thinks people will be especially interested in, not those who have paid. No money is exchanging hands in either direction to be a subscribed link provider, Google says.

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