In late 2011, Google bought the well respected restaurant review guide Zagat. By 2012, Google had tightly integrated reviews from the guide and sites into their Google Maps and Google+ Local services. While there are many restaurant reviews available, the acquisition hasn’t paid off as well as some of Google’s others. In an effort to reverse this, Google has recently launched a new version of Zagat.
The updated Zagat site, launched July 29, 2013 takes the powerful review based service and adds some new features to hopefully make it more interesting and useful to users. Here is a brief overview of the changes introduced with the new site:
While this update or relaunch only focuses on restaurants for now, Gannon Hall, Group Product Manager and Head of Zagat noted: “Over the coming months we plan to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations and cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest.”
What does this mean for my business?
If your business isn’t a restaurant and isn’t operating in the nine cities currently on the website (London, New York, LA, Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC) these updated features admittedly do not mean much. But, the service is planned to expand to include more businesses, in more cities, in the coming months, this means that Zagat could become more relevant to your business profile.
The reason for this is due to the heavy integration with Google’s other products and services. Because Google uses Zagat ratings to influence its own ranking system, you can bet that Google will put a fair amount of weight behind this. If you are within this reach then you had better make sure your business is review ready.
How to make sure your business is ready to capitalize on Zagat
If you own a restaurant, shop or hotel there are x number of things you should do today to ensure you don’t get left behind.
If you would like to learn more about Zagat and how restaurants or businesses could take advantage of this service, please contact us today.
Google has many popular products and services that are used the world over. One of the most popular products is its Web browser – Chrome. There are many reasons for Chrome’s success, but users tend to agree that the features have a lot to do with its popularity. Google is constantly working on new ones in order to keep improving the browser. Did you know that some future features are actually available now?
In many Google products, features that Google wants users to test, and ones it is experimenting with, are usually found in Labs. In Chrome, these features and functions are called Flags. You can access Flags by:
When you navigate to Flags, you should see a page open with the nuclear symbol at the top, and a warning message. If you scroll down, you will see the experimental features. Clicking Enable under each entry will turn on the function, and you will have to restart Chrome in order to get the feature working properly. When you click Enable, you should see a white band pop-up at the bottom of the window. Press Relaunch Now to enable the feature.
If you plan on enabling any Flags, you should be aware that these are experimental features that are not fully stable. They could cause your version of Chrome to crash, or become sluggish, and some users have noted that certain Flags didn’t work on their system. Should you notice an increase in crashes after you enable a Flag, you should disable it by going back into chrome://flags, finding the function and clicking Disable.
Five useful Chrome Flags Here are five interesting Flags. The easiest way to find them is to open chrome://flags, hit Ctrl + F (Apple key + F on Mac) and enter the name of the Flag.
Chrome’s Flags include some pretty interesting and useful experimental features that make the browsing experience even better, or at the very least more efficient. If you would like to learn more about how Chrome could fit into your organization, please contact us today.
Google Drive is Google’s cloud based productivity and storage solution. The best way to think about it is as a file system with productivity suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, etc.) attached. All of this is accessed via an Internet connection, with all files being stored in the cloud. While it is a fairly intuitive system, there are some functions that aren’t inherently easy to figure out. One such example is organizing your files.
Here is an easy way to setup a file system on Drive and how to organize it.
Setting up your files As you know, when you first log in to Drive you will be taken to the My Drive folder. This is where all files, including those created within Drive, will be automatically stored. Pressing the Create button will drop-down a menu allowing you to create a new Document, Spreadsheet, Form, Presentation, Drawing and Folder. When you click on any of these, they will open in a new tab, and you will notice the file appearing in My Drive.
Users who use Drive as the main location to store their documents will likely want to add folders to My Drive in order to keep things organized. Adding files is easy, and can be done by:
The folder should pop-up immediately in My Drive and if you click on the grey arrow beside My Drive on the left-hand menu bar, you should see it under the My Drive folder.
If you want to create a subfolder in the recently created folder, click on it and ensure the folder name is listed below the Search bar. It should say something like My Drive > Folder name. Look for the folder with a + button just above the name and click it. This will add a new folder. You can also click Create followed by Folder.
These folders can be moved just like you do in your desktop, all you have to do is right-click on the folder and select Move to… from the drop down menu. Select where you would like to move the folder to from the window that pops up and click Move. If you have any files within that folder, they will be moved with it as well.
In order to have the best organization possible, it would be a good idea to map out on paper what folders and subfolders you want before creating them, so you know what is needed and can better organize your files.
How to easily organize files Did you know that you can easily move files created in Drive e.g., Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, etc. from the open file? For example if you have a Document open and realize that it’s in the wrong folder, or would like to move it to another folder, you can move it by:
Ensuring that the file you want to move is open.
This makes it easier to move files without having to leave the tab, and saves time while keeping things organized in an efficient manner. If you are looking to learn more about Google Drive and the related apps, or any other Google product, please contact us today to see how our experts can help you.
Google has some incredibly useful programs and services that have revolutionized the Internet and even communication. One of the reasons their platforms like Gmail are so popular is because you can install add-ons and apps that extend their functionality. While this is great, there will likely come a time when you don’t need these extensions, and removing them isn’t so straightforward.
Here’s how you can uninstall plugins, extensions and apps you have connected to your Gmail account. When you do go to remove extensions or plugins, you should be aware that you didn’t actually install these apps to Gmail, you installed them to your Google account and likely the browser that you use e.g., Chrome or Firefox. Therefore you get rid of them, you will need to do two things:
1. Revoke the app’s access rights This can be done by:
Be sure to scroll down a bit and look if there are any duplicates. If there are, press Revoke Access beside these as well. Once you reload Gmail, the apps should be gone. They may still ask you for permission though. If they do, this means that the app or plugin is also installed in your browser. You will need to uninstall it from there as well.
2. Remove an app from your browser Even after the permission has been revoked, the app may still ask you for it. If it does, this means that the app or plugin is also installed in your browser. You will need to uninstall it from there as well. Here’s how you can do it in Chrome and Firefox
Remove an app from Chrome
Remove an app from Firefox
It would be a good idea to only do this if you really want to get rid of the app or plug-in in question. When you are looking at different apps and permissions associated with your account, be sure to leave them alone, especially if you aren’t sure about the app. Or, you could contact us to see how we can help.
Smartphone and tablet apps enable users to do a nearly limitless number of things. One of the more popular apps on all platforms, is Google’s Maps. Maps offers some great features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view and transit information in most countries. In an effort to make maps even better, Google released an updated version in July. This latest version of Maps has a new interface and extra features which improve functionality. However, as with any tech development, there will inevitably be users who don’t know how to get the most out of the latest Maps.
Here are five tips to help you get more out of the new version of Google Maps on your smart device, (Android, iPhone and iPad).
1. Set home and work addresses Many people use Maps for directions, not surprisingly, and in order to improve this, Google now allows you to set your home and work address. When you set these addresses, you can not only get better directions, but your device will also show more accurate traffic levels and could even give you alternate routes. All without asking.
To set your home and work address:
When you set a home and work address, with the Google Now app, you should notice directions and suggested routes to and from work/home automatically pop up.
2. A different way to zoom The vast majority of users navigate maps with one hand, with the other holding the device. While most people use the pinch to zoom method, there is actually another way to zoom: Double tap the screen where you want to zoom and slide your finger up to zoom in, or down to zoom out.
You can also move the orientation of the map by placing and holding one finger in the center of the screen and moving another in a circular motion to rotate the map.
3. Offline maps Not every device will have a constant data connection. In previous version of Maps, you could cache, or download, an area of a map and make it available offline. With the new version, this option is nowhere to be found, at first glance at least. If you zoom to an area you would like to be available offline, tap on the Search bar, hit the microphone and say “Ok, Maps.” The map will download to your device if this is possible.
To access the map while offline, just open the Maps app and navigate to the area where it was cached. It should be available then without being online. Note: Google has said that this feature is currently only available for Android devices, but will be available soon for iPad and iPhone.
4. Access Street View Street View is an incredibly useful tool, especially if you are going to a new location and aren’t too sure where to park, get off the bus or what the building looks like. To access Street View simply press and hold on the map at the location and a red pin should appear, with a white bar in the bottom that has the address. Slide the address up to reveal more information, including a picture from Street View. Tap on the picture to go into Street View.
5. Save a location for later If you visit a good restaurant, or want to quickly find a business on a map again, Google allows you to star locations. When you star a location, it will show up on all versions of Map (as long as you are logged into the same Google account). When you tap on this location, you can quickly get directions and even contact information.
To star a location, such as a business, find where it is on the map and tap on the business name. A card should pop up with information, including the address, website, contact info and three buttons at the top: Save, Share, Route. Tap Save and Maps will star the location on your map.
If you are looking to learn more about the Google Maps app please contact us today and we will point you in the right direction.
Over the years the Internet has evolved from something solely inhabited by websites to an unrivaled content generator. The vast majority of people find this content – articles, blogs, etc. – by using Google’s Search. In recent months, a concept known as Author Rank has started to make waves in marketing and Search Engine Optimization followers. If you read tech, marketing or even business blogs you may have seen this term thrown around. But do you know what it is?
This article is a brief overview of Google’s Author Rank and why it could be important for your business.
What is Author Rank? This is probably one of the biggest Internet marketing and SEO terms of 2013, yet so few small businesses are aware of it. If you have a website where you post regular content like blog articles, Author Rank is something you should know about.
In order to explain this concept, you first need to look at one of Google+’s newer features: Authorship. What this feature does is enable you to link your Google+ profile page to content like blog articles that you have written and posted on the Web. Google ranks the quality of the content using an algorithm called Author Rank.
For example, if Google views you as an expert in Microsoft Dynamics because you have written a number of quality articles on a regular basis that are shared and liked, your articles are more likely to be higher ranked and will show up near the top of search results for similar topics.
If you have been searching on Google for various topics, say SEO, and seen results with people’s pictures beside them, the link is likely to an article where the writer has linked the content to their Google+ profile. Because they rank highly in that one term, their content will show in the results. This is actually Authorship/Author Rank at work.
What does this mean for my company? There is a bit of a knock-on effect with this concept: In general, if you produce high quality content on a regular basis that focuses on a singular topic or group of topics, Google is more likely to view you as an expert.
If you are viewed as an expert and your content is shared or +1’ed, there is a higher chance that the content and your website will show highly in search results. If your site and content show higher in search results this means more exposure for your company and possibly more sales.
How to establish Authorship Are you writing articles for your company’s blog? If you are, you should look into linking your Google+ profile to the content you create. You can do this by:
Once you have established authorship create content and be sure that the URL is posted on each post. Over time, if the content is good and shared, you should see a rise in your Author Rank. If you would like help establishing your presence or would like to know more please contact us today.
The importance and usefulness of the Internet isn’t lost on many people today. It has literally changed the way we communicate and consume knowledge as a whole. There are many companies that have enabled this, one of the biggest being Google, with their popular apps and services. While there are some incredibly popular and useful Google apps, there are many more that aren’t used as much but are still just as useful. One such platform is Google Groups.
Google Groups is one of the best functions for businesses that use Gmail. The core idea of this service is that it allows you to create online and email based groups where you can communicate with like-minded users. Some uses of Groups include:
Google Groups has been around since 2001 and while it has largely flown under the radar for many users, Google has kept the service alive and running, and has even recently revamped it to make some improvements.
New in Google Groups One of the new features introduced in the new version of Groups is an improved inbox which allows members of the group to create, share and track tasks and responsibilities with one another. The interesting thing about this feature is that you can create a single email address for the group that can be managed by all of the members. They can then assign tasks and mark these as resolved after completion. In other words, the new Groups feature is potentially a great way for companies to track workflow, and support tasks getting finished on time.
Another new feature is a mobile optimized version of Groups that can be accessed from any mobile device. This means you can access, manage and contribute to Groups from anywhere.
You can also look for and find Groups to join and contribute to. If you can find one that is related to what your company does, you could join and contribute. If you have associated your profile with your company, you will, over time, gain recognition and could start looking for new clients or ties through the Group.
How to set up a Group If you would like to create a new group you can do so by:
When you click on this, the Create Group window will open. From there, give the group a name, email address description, pick the Group type and set the permissions. You will be able to pick from up to four Group types including:
Once you have picked a Group type, you should set the Basic permissions which include:
Finally, once you have finished, press Create and your Group will be established.
If you are looking to learn more about Google Groups or any of Google’s other products, please contact us today to find out how this interesting platform can add to your business.
Productivity software can be found in pretty much every business. While there is usually a bundle of software available, the most useful is arguably the spreadsheet. Google users have a solid spreadsheet program in Google Drive. However, at first glance you may think this is missing some key features, such as the ability to transpose data. In truth, it actually is there, just slightly hidden.
If you are unfamiliar with Transpose, a popular feature found in other spreadsheet programs like Microsoft’s Excel, it allows users to switch, or flip, selected rows and columns quickly and easily. While this may seem like a feature that you wouldn’t use too often, it can be a big help, especially when it comes to graphing and creating charts.
If you have ever painstakingly entered information into columns and rows, then gone to visualize it in a chart or graph and realized that it looks terrible, and it would look better if it was reversed, transpose can make this process easier.
How to transpose rows and columns To transpose rows and columns in Spreadsheet, you first need to have data entered. From there you can:
It is a good idea to be aware of whether you need to flip cells with text, say label cells, as well. Simply select these cells, along with the data cells, and Spreadsheet will take care of the rest.
If you want to copy the data from the new cells into the old cells, don’t simply copy and paste the cells, as this will actually delete all the information. Instead, select the new cells and copy them as you usually would. When you go to paste, right-click on the first cell, hover your mouse over Paste special, and select Paste Values Only. This will paste ONLY the numbers and words, but it won’t take the formatting. You should then be able to go and delete the transposed cells you previously created.
Transpose can be a useful feature, especially if you need to quickly flip data in cells. If you would like to learn more about Google Spreadsheets, or any of the other Drive products, please contact us today.
Cloud based storage and productivity solutions are among the more popular cloud-based services. Google’s offering – Google Drive – has been gaining popularity with businesses around the globe. While Drive does have built in word processor, spreadsheet and presentation apps, many are unsure as to whether there is a file size limit for these.
With Google Drive, it’s important to firstly qualify that any limitations relate to individual files. Google actually allows users to have an unlimited amount of Google files (documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations), but limits the file size of each.
Presentations If you create a presentation using Google Slides, each file can be a maximum of 50MB. This equates to roughly 200 slides with an average amount of content. Uploaded files, like those created using PowerPoint, that have been converted to a Google Presentation, can also be a maximum of 50MB.
Drawings There is a file size limit but Google has noted that they have never seen a drawing actually reach it.
Documents For documents created using Google Docs you have a limit of 1,024,000 characters, regardless of the number of pages or font size. If you import a document, say a Word document, and convert it to a Google Doc, you have a file size limit of 2MB.
Spreadsheets Google Spreadsheets can have a maximum of 400,000 cells across the workbook and 256 columns per sheet. If you upload a spreadsheet created in programs like Excel and convert it to a Google Spreadsheet the file can be a maximum of 20MB, and under 400,000 cells and 256 columns per sheet.
Other files If you upload files, but don’t convert them into a Google Doc, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc. you have a limit of 10GB per file. The only downside with this, is that you may not be able to open or edit the files from Google Drive.
Google gives every individual user 15GB of storage space while Business Apps and Education accounts get 30GB. This limit is shared across your Google account and includes Gmail, Google+ photos and Drive files. If you require more storage space, you can purchase more by going to the storage settings of your account, or talking to your account administrator.
Looking to learn more about Google Apps and how it can be used in your business? Please contact us today.
Internet browsers like Google’s Chrome are always changing and introducing new features and ideas. One of the more popular in recent memory is the tab. Tabs allow for different webpages to be open in one window, and have definitely made browsing easier. As with almost everything tech related, there is more than one way to use these tabs. Do you know how to optimize your use of Chrome’s tabs?
This article looks into how you can get more out of Google Chrome’s tabs.
Open a new tab There are three different ways you can open a new tab in Chrome. The first is by pressing the gray parallelogram with the curved edges above the URL bar. You can also open a new tab by hitting Ctrl + T on your keyboard (Command + T on Mac). Finally, if you right click on any tab, you can select New tab to open one beside the tab you just clicked on.
When you open a new tab and navigate to any website, you will notice that the website’s name is in the tab along with an icon. You can click on any tab to open it, and if you left-click and hold on a tab you will be able to drag it to a new location (move the mouse left or right) or pull the mouse down to open the tab in a new window.
Close a tab As with opening a tab, there is also a number of ways you can close tabs. The easiest thing to do is to look at the right-hand side of the tab you would like to close and hit the X. You can also right click on the tab and select Close tab. Finally, you can hit Ctrl + W (Command + W on the Mac).
Reopen closed tabs Did you know that you can reopen recently closed tabs by hitting Ctrl + Shift + T? You can also right-click on any tab and select Reopen closed tab. You can hit the Ctrl + Shift + T again to reopen the previously closed tabs in the reverse order in which you closed them (most recent first).
If you open a new tab, look at the bottom of the new tab screen (it has a bunch of Google icons in the middle) and click on Recently closed to see a list of tabs that have been closed. You can click on any of the site names to reopen the tab.
Choose what to do with tabs when Chrome starts By default, when you close Chrome all of your tabs will also be closed. This means that when you open it again, you will see the blank tab or home page you have chosen. If you would like to change what happens to your tabs when you close and open Chrome, i.e., make it so your tabs from the previous browsing session open the next time you open Chrome, you can:
If you select Open a specific page you will be able to set a page or pages you want opened when you open Chrome. Continue where I left off will save your tabs and reopen then when you next open Chrome. Open the New Tab Page on the other hand will open a blank tab with icons for various Google apps in the middle. Clicking on one, e.g. Drive, will open the app.
Looking to learn more about using Chrome in the office? Contact us today to see how we can help.