Friday, December 11, 2009

New Google Books on the Way!

I'm currently writing several new books about various Google services. These include Using Google AdWords and AdSense, as well as Teach Yourself Google Analytics in 10 Minutes. There are even more books to come -- stay tuned to learn more!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Google Squared

Here's something really cool, currently in testing in Google Labs. Google Squared takes your search query and parses the key results in tabular format. It's great for comparing product features and other types of information. For example, when you enter "blu-ray dvd player" you get a comparison chart of different models, features, prices, and so forth. It's still a work in progress, but worth checking out.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Google Calendar Tasks

Here's a welcome addition to Google Calendar. You can now add to-do list tasks and track them over the web, from any PC, just as you do your calendar appointments. This brings Google Calendar up to the functionality you have with Microsoft Outlook and similar programs -- it's a one-stop site for all your time management needs!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Introduction to Google Apps

Just a quick note to let everyone know that my latest book -- and my first textbook -- is now available. Introduction to Google Apps is an introductory-level textbook that shows how to use Google's most important applications -- web search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Presentations. Like all good textbooks, it's a four-color book with spiral binding, and comes complete with end-of-chapter exercises and the like. 

The book is 219 pp. long and sells for $70 or so, wherever textbooks are available. Click here to learn more about the book.

Google Checkout Price Increase

I love it when Google changes something big just after I send a new book about to the printer. The book in this instance is the upcoming Selling Online 2.0: Migrating from eBay to Amazon, craigslist, and Your Own Ecommerce Website. Much of the advice in the book is predicated on switching from PayPal to Google Checkout to handle online payments, and the fact that Google Checkout had considerably lower fees than PayPal (2.0% + $0.20/transaction vs. PayPal's 2.9% + $0.30/transaction). 

Until now.

Google just announced the end of their "introductory period" (which has lasted a few years) and the instatement of their new regular pricing. What are the new fees? How about 2.9% + $0.30/transaction -- identical to PayPal's fees. Plus, Google has eliminated the discount for those Google Checkout sellers also using Google AdWords. Way to go, Google.

Now, one might ask, why should a seller shift from using PayPal to using Google Checkout? Well, with the new fee structure, there is absolutely no reason at all to use Google Checkout. In fact, Google Checkout offers fewer features, accepts fewer payment options, and works in far fewer countries than does PayPal. Offering less than PayPal for the same price -- not a winning proposition.

And let's just forget the fact that this change negates much of the advice I offer in my book that hasn't even hit the shelves yet. Thank you very much, Google. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Google Drops Applications

It's part of the overall economic slowdown, but the first time I can remember that Google has laid off workers, closed offices, and dropped some existing applications. Here's what is either immediately closed or no longer supported:
  • Google Notebook
  • Google Video uploads
  • Google Catalogs
  • Mashup Editor
  • Dodgeball (a little-known social network)
  • Jaiku (a little-known microblogging service)