6 Little Known Google Features You Should Be Using
Google is known for a lot of things. Not only is it home to the most utilized search engine on the web, but it also provides an array of services that a lot of people heavily use. The most well-known of which include Gmail, Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar. Want to watch your favorite cat videos? Check YouTube. Need to know the stats of your website? There’s Google Analytics for that. Then there’s also Android, the companies’ foray into the mobile arena, and Apple’s greatest nemesis.
Yes, Google’s tools and services have certainly made life in the digital world much more convenient. And the fact that the company keeps it all under one roof makes things even easier. All you need is one login (your Google account) and you’ll be able access its complete toolbox.
The question is though, are you taking advantage of all the tools in that box? Answer: probably not. And that’s mainly because Google is offering so many services, it’s getting a little difficult to keep track.
If you’re wondering if there are any other Google services out there that could benefit you, then read on. The following are some of the company’s not-so-famous services that could be immensely useful for you or your business:
Google Account Activity Reports – Get a monthly overview of how you use Google products and services by activating Google Account Activity Reports. Sign up for this feature and you will receive monthly reports of your account activity across Google products.
Find out “how many emails you have sent and received, how often you have searched on Google, from which countries you have logged in and how often your YouTube videos have been viewed.”
It’s a great way to get detailed analytics about your activities, and the knowledge that you gain will help you determine if you’re spending your time wisely and if you’re using Google products in the most effective ways.
Gmail Remote Sign Out – Have you ever used a public computer to check your Gmail account and forgot to logout? Or maybe you were at a friend’s place and needed to send an email immediately, but you can’t remember if you hit the log out button. No need to be too paranoid; with Google’s remote sign out feature, you’ll be able to rest easily knowing that you can log out of your email from any computer, at any time.
Here’s how it works. At the bottom right of your Gmail inbox, you’ll see text that reads, “Last account activity”. Click the details link and Google will show a table of your activity information. You’ll see how your account was accessed (i.e. browser, mobile, POP3, etc), the IP address your mail was accessed from, and that date and time when the account was accessed. If you see something fishy, such as an IP address that you do not recognize, then simply click “Sign out all other sessions” and you’re done.
Gmail Meter – Need deeper analytics for your Gmail account? Set up Gmail meter and get the lowdown on your email. Gmail meter generate charts and graphs that summarize various email metrics, such as daily traffic, email categories, email word count, response time, and more. Gmail meter is pretty handy when you want to track your email habits and productivity.
Think with Google – Need new content for your blog? Trying to find industry stats to back up your presentation or white paper? Check out Think with Google, the search giant’s online research hub. Think with Google has a ton of resources that can give you data on consumer trends, marketing insights, and industry research.
The site has a wide library which houses “custom research from Google and select partners, case studies, interviews with thought leaders, soundbites from many industry events, and more. It's designed to arm marketers and agencies with knowledge and proof points to move their businesses forward.” And one of the best things about it is that all its resources are free and on demand.
Think with Google gives you access to research planning tools such as a customer survey creator, a real-time insights finder, a brand impressions tool, a display benchmarks tool, and more.
You can also check out Google’s Facts & Stats sheets for quick statistics and data that you can use to beef up your presentation or blog post.
Need inspiration for your ad campaign? Then check out Think with Google’s Creative Inspiration section, a “collection of awesome campaigns that push the boundaries of creativity and technology.”
Think with Google is an insightful hub that offers a ton more tools that you can use in any data-driven project that you may have. You should definitely check it out even if you’re not in the middle of research, as it will allow you to get to know your industry and your consumers a little better.
Google Alerts – This is one of the most convenient ways to track online mentions. It’s a tool that allows you to create alerts for particular keywords so that you’ll receive an email each time Google indexes a page containing that particular keyword.
For instance, if you want to get alerted every time “FullTraffic” is mentioned online, just set up a Google Alert for the term “FullTraffic” and you’ll get an email whenever someone tweets the term, types it in a forum, or mentions it in an article.
Quick and easy to set up, you can use Google Alerts to track your clients, competitors, or any particular topic in your industry.
2-Step Verification – Add an extra layer of security to your Google Account with 2-step verification. This security feature will require that you enter a code in addition to your username and password when you sign in to Google. So whenever you login to your account with 2-step verification, Google will send you a special code either via text, voice call, or a mobile app and you would have to enter that code in order to login.
Don’t worry; you won’t have to do this every single time. To make things more convenient, you can tell Google not to ask for a code again when logging in from specific computer (such as your home PC) so you won’t have to enter the code again and again.
Do you use any of these tools? Are there any other little-known Google features that you wish to share? Comment below!