Archive for the ‘Google News’ Category

Fun (and useful) Tools Now Offered by Google Calendar Labs

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I was playing around in my Google Calendar today and noticed the addition of Google Calendar Labs. For those of you who are not familiar with Google Labs, this is how Google describes it. “Google Calendar Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.”

I loving hearing about these new features, especially when I see a use for it with my business. The new offerings for Google Calendar include the following:

- Attach Google Docs: This is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to attach your Google docs to your calendar event. I see this being very useful for a client meeting, whether to review a proposal or go over search engine optimization results.

- Background Image: This allows you to choose a background image for your calendar. Not particularly useful,  but I will try it.

- World Clock: This clock will keep track of the time around the world. When you view an event, you’ll see the start time in each time zone. This will help clear up some of the confusion on conference calls with representation across multiple states.

- Jump To Date: Instantly jump to any past or present date in your calendar.

- Next Meeting: I really like this feature because it shows me the next meeting in my calendar and the amount of time until that meeting. Particularly useful on a busy day.

- Free or Busy: If you decide to share your calendar with your friends and contacts, you will be able to see if they are available. Good luck getting any work done with a long list of contacts.

For all of you coding geeks, Google will also be releasing an experimental API to allow you to write your own Calendar apps. More information can be found here:

If you are currently using Google Calendar, check out these features in the settings of your calendar. Don’t use Google Calendar? Get access here.

Google Adwords Lightens Up on Trademark Policy

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

For any of you resellers, retailers or affiliates who utilize Google Adwords to promote your products, things may have just got a little easier. It is now possible to use certain trademarked phrases in your ad copy, providing that you meet the new guidelines put in place by Google.

Previously, if you were a pet supply company wishing to promote Hartz flea medication, you could more than likely bid on key phrases including the word “Hartz”, but could not include that word in your actual ad.  This led to high bidding costs and low conversion and click throughs. Now, Google is allowing you to include the brand name if you follow the rules.

What does this mean for Google? Well more advertiser spend, of course, resulting in more revenue for Google. Although I have fought for this leniency in the past, I can see how this could be problematic for the owners of the brand name. More targeted competition for their brand name is going to result in higher bid costs for the corporate brand. This can lead to frustration and reduce the ability of the brand owner to brand their particular product, due to increasing conversion costs. Either way, Google comes out as the winner, that is until someone decides to bring a lawsuit against them for the lack of protection on their brand name. Either way, these new rules are now active, so take a look at your current campaigns to see if you can start targeting more efficiently.