Though Google has made it clear it doesn't want businesses to create Plus profiles just yet, that doesn't mean you can't use your personal account to test the enterprise-y waters. This week we gave you some tips on how to do that, as well as the lowdown on the Google+ traffic drop, Page Speed Service, and two-step verification upgrades.
Google made a big show of being peeved at businesses that made Plus profiles after they were specifically asked not to. Unauthorized profiles have been taken down and will continue to be disabled until the enterprise-y update rolls out in Q3 of this year, but don't fret! If you can't wait to see how Google+ jives with your biz, you can test a few features within your personal account:
- Circles for Privacy and Security: Google's approach to social connections is inherently more professional than Facebook, and (arguably) any social network before it, thanks to a bit of sorting strategy. The Circles feature makes it easy to organize one's connections into groups such as Family, Colleagues and Acquaintances, so that a user may decide which clique gets to be privy to which posts.
- Hangouts for Video Conferencing: Google puts Hangouts in a really casual light, but the company's built-in multi-user video chat tool has all the makings of a professional platform. The potential is obvious right off the bat: rather than ping people in order to initiate a conversation like you would with a traditional application, you literally 'hang out' in a room by advertising your presence with your your camera stream. If nobody is available to chat, you can let the app run in the background while you work. And, because it's browser based there's no extra launching needed, and the approach allows for much more spontaneous collaboration than most.
- Integration for Everything Else: If your organization is already using Google's bevy of applications — Gmail, Docs, Calendar, etc. — this one isn't necessarily a tip as much as it is a highlight of how exciting the the coming integration between these tools and Google+ is. In fact, the demand for Plus to integrate with Google Apps "is the single biggest bit of feedback we got," said Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product for Google Apps.
Website performance is dependent on a lot of factors — traffic, server load, compression, size of the content and the like. This week big G aims to help webmasters take the load off their minds (and wallets) with an optimization service called Page Speed Service.
The service promises anywhere from 25% to 60% speed boost in most applications, and comes hot on the heels of previous efforts at web optimization, including the Page Speed browser extension, Page Speed Online API and the mod_pagespeed Apache module that rewrites webpages for better speed. The Page Speed Service is a cloud-based service that optimizes page content using Google's "best practices."
Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices and serves them to end users via Google's servers across the globe. Your users will continue to access your site just as they did before, only with faster load times. Now you don't have to worry about concatenating CSS, compressing images, caching, gzipping resources, etc.
Google+ Sees First Traffic Drop Since Release
The time has come, dear friends, for Google+ to slow its roll. The network saw its first drop in traffic since it graced us with its presence last month, winding down 3%. According to Experian Hitwise, the drop occurred during the week of July 23rd as Google+ saw 1.79 million total visits compared to the 1.86 million the previous week.
It's a tiny number, but Experian's report comes after a steady climb. Last week, comScore reported that the network hit 20 million unique visitors. In fact, rumor has it some were so enamored with Google+ that they closed out their Facebook accounts and moved all their activity to the new network.
Although it's hard to say what caused the drop, it's likely just the beginning of the magic wearing off. But soon, Google+ plans to have its business profiles available, and who knows what that will do for traffic.
Two-Step Verification for All
Earlier this year, Google announced a security protocol for Google accounts holders called 2-step verification. Essentially, the process is an added layer of password protection that decreases automated password breaking attacks.
According to the Google Blog:
Two-step verification is easy to set up, manage and use. When enabled by an administrator, it requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps account, something you know: a password, and something you have: a mobile phone. It doesn’t require any special tokens or devices...This makes it much more likely that you’re the only one accessing your data: even if someone has stolen your password, they'll need more than that to access your account. You can also indicate when you're using a computer you trust and don't want to be asked for a verification code from that machine in the future.
Today this extra layer will be available to the rest of the world. Released in 40 languages across the globe, the move aims to assist Google account holders all over the world.