Google is hosting a free, online community-based course called Power Searching with Google, designed to showcase advanced Google shortcuts and lesser known search features. The course will be released in six 50-minute sessions and will show you how to use Google to solve everyday problems and find what you need faster. As a business owner, you’d be wise to register.
And do it fast; the first class will be released later today!
From the Power Searching with Google announcement post:
“Lessons will be released daily starting on July 10, 2012, and you can take them according to your own schedule during a two-week window, alongside a worldwide community. The lessons include interactive activities to practice new skills, and many opportunities to connect with others using Google tools such as Google Groups, Moderator and Google+, including Hangouts on Air, where world-renowned search experts will answer your questions on how search works. Googlers will also be on hand during the course period to help and answer your questions in case you get stuck.”
To graduate from the course, users will need to pass a post-course assessment. Once completed, you’ll receive a Certification of Completion.
Obviously, it’s not the printable certificate that you’re after. SMBs should enroll in this free online course because, quite simply, learning how Google search operates and how to take advantage of all its features makes you a better, smarter and more prepared business on the Web.
What will it offer you?
1. Competitive Intelligence: If there’s one thing small businesses owners know all too well is that Google is always on the move. New features and shortcuts are released all the time and you may not catch them the first time around. By educating yourself on the advanced features that Google deems important may open your eyes to things you should be incorporating on your Web site.
For example, if you know that Google offers users a way to search by recipes than you know that you’ll want to use Schema.org to help you include certain types of information in your meta data to make it searchable. Similarly, if you know Google can translate content on the fly or identify where pictures have been taking, that may give you new ideas about how to get your content seen by more people.
Knowing a Google shortcut exists gives you the chance to optimize and leverage it.
2. Think Like a Searcher: As business owners and consultants, we think differently about search and our sites than other people. We spend so much time worrying about keywords and links that we forget what it’s like to be a “normal” searcher with basic searcher needs. By getting yourself back into the searcher mindset you’ll focus on what’s important to them.
- What types of information are most requested?
- What question types are searchers trying to answer?
- How can you answer that question faster?
By becoming educated on how Google is speeding up search for users, we can then look at our sites through the same lens to address users’ needs faster. If Google is helping customers track down information related to a zip code, that’s a clear indication these are things “normal” searchers are after and we should make sure (a) our site contains them and (b) that they’re easy to find.
3. Save Time: Hey, you use Google too, right? And you’re typically pretty busy? Wouldn’t it be nice to learn about some of the advanced Google features you didn’t know about so you can complete your tasks faster and impress your friends with your Google knowledge? It’s important consultants and biz owners learn how to maximize the tools they rely on to get more from them. And that includes Google. If you’re using Google to bring traffic to your site and grow your business, it’s your responsibility to stay up-to-date on how it works and the opportunities available to you.
4. Potential Networking: As part of the interactive approach of this class, attendees will be able to attend Hangouts on Air with noted search experts and Google employees. They’ll be able to ask specific questions and get potential face time with people in the know. It seems to me this kind of networking opportunity – one where you can rub virtual elbows with experts AND people in similar situations – is one that no consultant should want to pass up.
Registration for Powering Searching with Google is open until July 16th, however, the first course will be released today (July 10). After that, new classes will become available every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Attendees will have a two week window to complete them and earn their certificate.
Power Search Photo via Shutterstock