I guess someone just pressed the F5 button at Google. In the last couple of weeks we have seen some major changes in the services that Google offers. And more importantly, some new services too!
Quality of Search Results
Let me begin with the Quality of the search result. No doubt the quality is much much better now. I had cribbed about it sometime back, but now, I guess my cribs have been answered. The much talked about ‘trust rank‘ paper/algorithm seems to be working. Kudos ! :)
The biggest talk of this week has been the launch of Google talk instant messenger!. Wow. They have done a neat job here.
- Its based on open standards.
- Works out of the box with other clients that support the jabber protocol
- Is got a very clean UI, zero clutter. Full points here. Windows neatly arrange/dock.
- People say that even the voice quality is cool. I am yet to check it out.
- Very good integration with gmail.
- Oh.. yes.. Its still in beta :) So, we can expect a few more cool additions.
The major point here is, Google’s entry into VOIP scene. What next ? Video chat ? or a Google becoming a ISP ?? Rumors all around the net.
You can read more about Google talk over the Google blog.
Google Desktop 2
Other major release in the past week was the Google Desktop 2. Notice that its Google Desktop, and not Google Desktop Search. Clearly, it does a lot more than searching. This software too is a clear winner. Installed it over my home PC. The best part of this is its extensible, i.e., you can use plugins to add functionality to it!. Check out the huge plugins library here. If you are using AdSense, there is this cool plugin which shows your AdSene earnings right on your desktop. One more point to note here is, this software clearly portrays Google’s expertise in writing desktop application. It clearly shows that they are not just a web-based company. The UI is cool, and very intuitive.
A detailed review of Google Desktop is available here.
Making Sense of AdSense?
The best news here is Section Targeting. This comes as a major relief to many bloggers. Normally, the navigation text mess-up with the AdSense bot, and as a result, irrelevant Adsare shown on many blogs. It takes lot of tweaking for proper Ads to show up. But this feature is a major blessing. Section targeting allows us to suggest sections of our text and HTML content that we’d like Google to emphasize or downplay when matching ads to our site’s content. You can read more about this here.
The AdSense reporting too has been improved. We can also know the top search queries too. Btw, did you know that the Adsense Team has a blog called Inside AdSense?.
Did you that by the end of this year, GMail would be offering 3GB storage space?. Its growing by the day. One cool feature that was introduced recently was the “Send as” feature. Now you can send mail using some other From id. This is a neat and useful feature. And, finally, gmail is open to all.
On the blogger front, they have introduced Word Verification for Comments, this would be a weclome addition for most bloggers to fight comment spam. Recently, they also launched a Word Plugin for blogger. So, you can directly blog from Word!
After using Sitemaps, I have noticed that my pages are indexed faster, and the traffic too has increased. Also, the AdSense performance is better. So, do use Sitemaps if you haven’t yet used it.
Here is a list of official Google blogs.
So, this is google refresh ? .. if so, what would happen at the next google refresh ?