Google plus and why you should be using it

google +Google what?

Google Plus (Google +) is Google’s punt at being ‘social’ and oh are they serious about it. Google have an awful lot ridding on this and are constantly looking at making it better.

But why have they bothered?

Social media is increasingly becoming a more integral part of the SEO mix. Below is a recently published MOZ image showing ranking factors as they see them. As we can see social media has a nice slice of the pie here and it is in fact larger than you may have first thought (it’s the dark navy one for those who prefer not to open the image fully).

moz-local-ranking-factors-600x608

What does this mean?

Well along with everything else in an SEO mix, Google is watching what you do (or your company does) on social media. But which social media platform will Google listen to most? Yeah that thing that Google has plunged lots of money and time into; Google +.

So what to do?

Well get using Google +, it really is a great platform once you get into it, use the communities, comment and +1 at will. This post is a great guide on what to do on Google+ 29 tips for Google +

Until next time…

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The top 10 android apps I used 2012

How someone uses their mobile device is a great insight into them as a person. So I thought I’d give you a top 10 apps that I use, week in week out, last year and also the app I have I wish I used more.

Play music
Google Play

Even though activation in the UK only happened towards the back-end of the year this app is used most days. It plugs a massive hole in apple vs android arguments, namely “well I can integrate my music library with my phone” well now can android users and it is quite frankly ace.

TV catch up
The oddly named app (as you can’t catch up with tv, just watch live tv, ) allows you to watch an array of digital channels from BBC 1,2 all the way to Dave and E4. It’s like having a digital tv in your phone.

Tweetdeck
Such a good way of managing your social media, you can have multiple feeds coming in and send out messages on lots of different channels – brilliant.

Camera zoom fx 
My default camera on my phone, it gives that extra bit of creativity to any Android phone. It has loads of effects, focus ranges, shoot modes the whole lot worth the money to make your phone a great performing digital camera.

Plixr Express
This is another bit of essential gear for taking photos, it’s like having a cut down photoshop in your pocket. It allows you to edit photos to great detail and make them look their best before showing the world.

Deezerdeezer_logo

Again another music playing app but one for EE customers (if you use your swapable on your contract the service is free in its mobile version). Essentially it’s Spotify but without subscription – with this offer you can’t use the desktop version but even so it’s library of music and ability to play your own playlist of music offline is great.

Sky Go
Another subscription dependent app but if you have full Sky Broadband you can watch the sky channels you pay for on the move. This comes in handy when away from home if you need to just check football scores quickly on a Saturday you can just watch score centre live. Be warned though this is only available on some devices and then only on the latest operating systems, this is getting better but Sky can be quite slow at updating.

Ratebeer for Android
You can rate your holiday, music, in fact most things in your life then why not beer? Simply find the beer you are drinking at the time (you can scan the barcode or search it;s vast database) then give the beer scores for different categories. Just be careful linking it to your social media – scanning all the beer you drink in a week might come across rather bad.

Met office
The problem with most weather apps is that they do the US rather well, then every other part of the world is an afterthought. The solution then is to use the Uk’s own weather data from the Met office. With every update this app gets better, don’t get me wrong it still has its issues but it does have a lot of data inside it, like radar predictions overlaid onto your location. Well worth a download if you’re in the UK.

Google Currentsgoogle_currents_feature
Not a festive themed app about the ingredients of a Christmas cake but a great way of collecting all the news websites you want to read into one place. I only started using this after its latest update (start of December) but it’s quickly become a great way of keeping up to date with different branches of technology news and news in general.

And a ‘and finally’ spot now –  the app I so wish i used more but …well I don’t…

Google +
This app is just awesome, everything looks lovely, it works well (although a bit process heavy), if only I had more to say. On twitter I feel I can share most things quite quickly without thinking “I hope this looks ok”, on Facebook I sometime think a bit more but those posts are more friend based. Google + I feel like the post has to be good, full of content and basically i don’t normally have time to do that.

So that’s it my tech loving mates, roll on 2013 with more apps and more development it can only get better!

Tax (optional)

Tax

Another week another company avoiding (not evading) tax in the UK. This time it’s the Ritz, “it an’t the Ritz” but no NO it is the Ritz. But on top of Amazon, Google and the easiest one to boycott Starbucks  should we get mad at the Ritz owners or company directors that run it?

In my opinion – nope. They are a company, a highly profitable company, that can afford to have some of the best accountants and more importantly tax experts employed and as such they are paid to find loopholes in law and exploit them. It might not be pretty but it’s the cold face of business and sometimes it isn’t good when in pursuit of profit. 

So who shall we blame, HMRC? The Government? oh yes. In all of these stories and stories to come to light in the future you will see a statement from the company, and in that statement you will find words to the effect of “We have done nothing wrong and acted within UK Tax Law” – The Bastards, How dare they? Immoral swines….wait they haven’t done anything wrong have they?

Some rules are made to be broken – indeed, what happens if there isn’t any? All the government has to is to put a bill into the Lords saying lets close this loop hole, but has this happened yet? No? Hmmmm what might that mean? 

Well then what would happen if they did? The economy would slow down as some companies withdraw from the UK maybe not their branches but their head offices for sure would find a better country to call home. Can you imagine defending that in the House? “So why has the economy shrunk?” “Well Mr Speaker we closed that Tax Loophole and everyone left…” “well at least we did the right thing…”

I’m not offering a solution here all I’m saying is getting mad at a company for being a non-tax paying corporation isn’t the right thing to do, get mad at successive governments for turning a blind eye for years.
 

My face was massive in NYC Times Square

Hi all,

Just a quick post to tell you what happened yesterday. I was flicking through my Google + feed (mainly for F1 news) and I saw a post from Google UK promoting Google Chrome book.

image

image

So I thought “why not?” and took this photo. Google asked you to add “For xxx” so I used “For Charity”

I then received an email last night, saying my image had been used at 12-1pm that day. So here I am!

image

So cheers Google that was awesome and the highlight of my week!

(Edited later in the day as I created the post on my phone.)