Category Archives: Tech Tools

Gmail the greatest thing since eMail

Why am I such a fan of Gmail? It has the best SPAM filtering of any email program I have ever used. I only get about 3 spam messages per day in my inbox instead of 50-60 because they are accurately filtered out by Gmail. I also almost NEVER have legitimate mail dumped into the junk folder by accident.

Another thing I love about Gmail is that I can have all my email addresses delivered to one inbox that is accessible from any computer via the internet. So, my personal email accounts, my business account, the accounts I have at client sites can all come into the same inbox. This saves me having to check multiple email accounts each day. Outlook can do this too, but the other benefit of Gmail is that I can log into my account and view my emails from any computer with internet access (great for traveling or when I need something at a client site.)

Gmail is SO easy to search and you get so much storage space that you never have to delete a mail. You can just archive them and then, if you need that info again, use the search box to search for words or phrases that you know were in the message you’re looking for.

You can flag messages with a star for follow up, create filters to sort certain types of messages, and label messages to help keep them organized.

Gmail uses a “thread” type system for keeping track of mails so if you send an email out to a distribution list, everytime someone replies, it gets linked to the original mail message so you can always track back through the thread to find “who said what.”

And as with most Google services, Gmail is free. The only thing you need to be able to deal with is seeing Google Ads next to your mail messages like the ones along the right column in this screenshot:

Personalized Results from Google

If you have a Google account for Gmail, Google Calendar, Adwords, Analytics or other Google services, your Google search results will now be “personalized.”

What does this mean? Here’s an excerpt from the Official Google Blog:

Today, we’re taking another step toward making personalization more available to you by combining these two into a single signed-in experience. Now, when you’re signed in, you’ll have access to a personalized Google—one that combines personalized search results and a personalized homepage.

Keep in mind that personalization is subtle—at first you may not notice any difference. But over time, as the search engine learns your preferences, you’ll see it. For example, I (Sep) am an avid Miami Dolphins fan (no joke). Searching for [dolphins] gives me info about my favorite football team, while a marine biologist colleague gets more information about her salt-water friends.

What does this mean for those of us who optimize websites? Well, it means that checking the rankings of a website has less meaning than ever. Where a site ranks on my personalized search may be very different than where a site ranks for you.

So, as an internet marketer, if you’re not focusing on rankings as a measure of success, what do you use? Increased number of unique visitors, leads, conversions and sales have actually always been a better measure of successful internet marketing than being able to say “we rank #1 for ______.” Know your visitors, watch your stats, design your site for conversions, make it the best it can be and don’t worry about where you rank.