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Google, in my humble opinion, is the most amazing invention since anything else I can really think of. And Google is not just a big search engine, although it would still be awesome if that’s all it did.

Google has been offering a suite of incredibly powerful tools for years; way before ‘in the clouds’ become the next big thing for companies like Apple and Microsoft. And to make it even better, Google has recently created a platform for musicians that offers even further tools that will help independent musicians all over the world to thrive in the digital world called ‘Google Apps‘.

Google is, quite simply, a portal that truly puts all of the worlds electronic information at your fingertips – there’s a good reason why the word “Google” has become synonymous with searching online.

Here are 7 Google Apps designed to help you through all of Google’s awesomeness and use it to your benefit.

1. Google Alerts
Have you ever spent hours trying to track down articles on a certain subject, topic or even about your band / your brand? With Google Alerts, whatever words you select will be searched by Google and emails will be delivered to in your in-box.

To Setup A Google Alert

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  1. Visit http://www.google.com/alerts
  2. Choose your search terms.
    1. You may include wildcard characters (*) to expand the search to find words containing the search terms, i.e. “fi*” will return results for “fish,” as well as “ficus”
    2. Use quotation marks ( Cyber PR ) to search for only the exact words in the search, in the exact order entered
  3. Choose the type of alert you would like.
  4. Select the frequency of alert emails.(Daily works best)
  5. Enter the email to which you would like the alerts emailed

2. Google Blog Search
This is basically a filter for only searching blogs; and with 270 million blogs out there, on top of all the websites, this is a great filter for all the noise. This is also a great place to track your band on blogs. To search on Google’s Blog search, go to this link: http://blogsearch.google.com/

3. Gmail
If you still have an AOL or hotmail address, you’re in trouble. Gmail just may be the best e-mail program/website on the planet. Many bloggers and new media makers use Gmail and it shows you’re in the know, so get signed up.

Google e-mail is so wonderful because it is searchable by topic or by word, and Google provides you with a huge amount of storage space.

Using Gmail as your default mail host, you can set up an URL and add GoDaddy for 7.95, then point it to the server and voila! You have a customized e-mail addresses for free.

4. Google Drive
Google Drive (formerly Google docs) is, in essence, the entire Microsoft Office suite offered to you for free, is synced completely online so you can access it from anywhere without taking up any storage space on your computer, and can be shared with anyone who has a Google account. This is an incredibly helpful tool for you and your team to take advantage of to keep track of lyrics, merchandise, accounting, and anything else you would otherwise use Word or Excel for.

5. Google Music Artist Hub
Google recently introduced their first digital music store called Google Music, and unlike iTunes and Amazon, Google has made Google Music incredibly easy for you to get your music listed for sale by creating the Google Music Artist Hub, a platform for you to be able to list, organize and manage all of your music being sold in their store. And to make it even better, having your music for sale in the Google Music store also means that you can sell your music though Youtube as well!

All you need to do to get on Google Music is to register for an Artist Hub account, which requires a one-time, $25 fee, and they will walk you through how to get your music published!

6. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is a highly integrated, yet very simple calendar application that is synced to your Google account so it can be accessed form anywhere you can access the internet. The best reason for you to be using Google Calendar is that multiple users can sync to the same calendar, which means it is a free solution for you, your band, and your team to be on the same page for any upcoming events or deadlines that you may have.

7. Google+
Google introduced Google+ in 2011, and the Facebook meets Twitter design and functionality made it the latest and greatest social networking platform to enter the competitive market. What makes Google+ so important for you is that, because it is a Google owned and operated platform, it ranks very highly in Google searches, helping you with your search engine optimization.

Google+ is so deep that we dedicated an entire Musician’s Guide article to the platform, covering many of the important features you’ll need to know about!

Category: Sound Advice

  • http://kurbpromotion.wordpress.com Matt @ Kurb

    Also like the trends tool as a layman’s keyword tracker, while adsense is a great place for artists to start learning and implementing ad supported revenue platforms.

    The blog search I’ve also seen hacked to present only “dofollow” results for SEO

  • http://timelineonline.org Netvalar

    I enjoy reading your great tips for musicians most of these can be applied to other areas of interest too including bloggers. I wanted to mention a twitter alerts site though called tweet beep

    http://tweetbeep.com/

  • Jonathan Sykes

    Whoa, aren’t you helpful and full of rich resources and knowledge, thank you so much. I just recently signed up as a member of your Ariel Publicity and I love what you’re doing. I know you just send several emails to my yahoo account about a free PR consultation, just haven’t had a chance to look at it right away. Away, I’m a positive rapper/poet that talks about reality in my songs and I need info like this to keep me going. Now I’m signing up for gmail because of you. Once again you are extremely appreciate! Thank you and I look forward to talking with you soon.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sunshine20659 Pam Picciotta

    Ariel,

    Thank you for providing the most up to date tips and tricks of the trade in the music industry. Your knowledge and expertise is greatly valued.

  • http://www.ourmusicspace.com/sonsofharmony THE SONS OF HARMONY

    GOD IS CONTINUING TO OPEN UP TO US OPPORTUNITIES, AND YOU ARE PART OF THAT PROCESS.

    THANK YOU!

  • http://testube.com Testube

    Nice tips – the only caveat I would add is about GMail. While I have tried it and think it is great, I have also heard some horror stories about hacked accounts, so I would not recommend switching ALL of your email to Gmail…

  • http://TrakZilla.tv RokaMic SmashMouth

    Two new features from Google I’ve been highly interested in is Google Voice and Google Friend Connect.

    Google Voice gives you a free phone number to connect all your real phones to. Imagine One number that will call every member of your band. The first one that picks up receives the call. Voice has a bunch for cool features.

    Google Friend Connect is a simple script/code that you drop in your website. It enables your site to have people sign with their google or yahoo accounts. I also has a chat feature and many other social networking features, all embedded in your website. No programming necessary.

  • Marionsmusic

    THis is great information Ariel- thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/relaxdaily Michael

    Thank you Ariel. This made me just claim and update my Google Music Artist Page via your link. And it was free, since they already had some of my music there, which I submitted via dittomusic.

  • Doreen Pinkerton

    Learning more and more every day! I also added a security team to my computer, Bubble PC, to provide safety in this world of information overload and social media outreach. Think about adding that too!

  • Anonymous

    Google apps are SO useful. Didn’t know about some of these, thanks for the insight!