Google factors into Leading the Learning Revolution in a number of ways. That was inevitable, but it was also inevitable that Google would change and, as a result, make parts of the book out of date pretty rapidly. I have been meaning to log some of the key changes that have happened since publication. Here they are, finally:
Layout of the Search Interface
This happened almost as soon as I sent the book hit the presses, but I decided most readers would be able to figure it out. Basically, all of the tools that I refer to as being in the left hand column (see, for example “Broad Strokes With Search” in chapter 2) are now across the top. None of the key search tools have disappeared, though, as far as I can tell. And you still want to be sure to be logged out of Google when you do your searches. (You may also want to check out How to Assess Your Market With Search.)
Death of Google Reader
This was a tough pill to swallow – for me and millions of others – but Google killed off its RSS reader this summer. This directly impacts “Assembling a Dashboard,” in Chapter 2, as Google Reader was the core of that dashboard. Personally, I have switched to Feedly and have found it to be excellent – quite a bit better than Google Reader, actually, once you get adjusted to it.
Death of the External Keywords Tool
Google used to make a version of its Keywords Tool available to people who do not have an Adwords account. (I cover the Keywords Tool briefly in chapter 2 under “Leveraging the Google Keywords Tool.) That version is no longer. You now have to log into Adwords and find the tool under Tools and Analysis > Keyword Planner. This may be a bit of an inconvenience for some, but I think the keyword tools are more valuable when used with Adwords, and as I argue in the book, Adwords itself is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. (Be sure also to check out Knowing and Growing Your Market with Adwords.)
Decline of Google Alerts?
I’ve been hearing some rumblings that Google Alerts is not performing as well as it once did and that it could eventually suffer the fate of Google Reader. For at least a short while, the option to save alerts to RSS – which is what I recommend – seemed to disappear, though as of right now it is back. In any case, I have switched to Talkwalker and may look at some other options as well.
Those are the updates for now. If you have found great replacements for any of the tools mentioned, or figured out workarounds, please comment and share.