A little over a week ago I wrote the post ‘10 Reasons I Hate Google.’ As it stands I am a heave Google user and for the most part they have a lot of great products that have made my both my professional and personal life a lot easier. While I could probably write a whole volume on all the Google services I happily enjoy there are a few that really stand out above the rest. Here are my top 10 reasons I love Google:
1. Single account for everything
With so many services it is nice to be able to use my Google account on nearly everything. From my phone to my email and more my Google ID is really how I communicate to the world and being able to do so with a single login makes it a lot easier.
It took me a long time to get away from Firefox, but ever since I went to Chrome I haven’t looked back. It’s faster and more stable than anything else I have used. When combined with its sync service and extensions it is the first browser that has comfortably allowed me to move my life into the cloud.
3. Google Apps
The ability to brand my Gmail addresses has been quite a benefit both at work and at home. At work Google Apps has reduced the time spent maintaining our email and related infrastructure to zero while still increasing services that were simply unaffordable when we were hosting our own email. At home Apps has allowed me to get the best of Gmail and Google services on my own domain and been an amazing improvement over email accounts at the many web hosts I’ve used over the years.
4. Google Voice
I’ve used Google Voice since the early betas. At this point it is pretty much my primary phone number and has not only given me a local number without dealing with the phone company (I still have my Hawaii phone number and haven’t wanted to change it for fear of losing touch with people). In addition, I use it at the office to call out saving my company quite a bit on long distance charges to tech support and other services.
5. Google Analytics
As a long-time user of AWstats it was hard for me to accept Google Analytics at first. Now I don’t know what I would do without it. Not only has it made keeping track of numerous vectors very easy, but it has allowed me to easily share any data needed easily with those who need it.
Bing and others might try, but Google is still the king of search. I don’t remember the last time I found something on another search engine that I couldn’t find on Google.
With Google Apps integration Android has really been the perfect phone OS. It is the only smartphone OS I’ve found that both integrates essential functions such as email, calendar, and contacts with ease while still allowing the geek in me sufficient room to change what I want.
8. Google Reader
As with many other Google services I came to Google Reader after trying nearly everything else on the market. Google reader is the first aggregator I’ve actually been able to make real use of and has in fact greatly reduced my research time at work and home. In addition, as I continue to add more feeds to my list it has become quite a source of inspiration for both this blog and other products.
Unlike so many other services that require you to log out before using a different account, Google can let you use up to 3 completely separate accounts at once. With both my work and personal life tied up in Google Apps accounts this has been a major time saver and made Gmail the first mail service that can compete with the likes of offline mail in Microsoft Outlook or other programs.
10. Google Adwords
There are a lot of ways to get paid ads on to the web, but non of them are as effective as Google Adwords. Using this single service we can combine what used to take us 3 or 4 services and many hours creating appropriate ads for different venues and do it all in one shot and get it all to a bigger, more appropriate audience than with services that simply blast your ads everywhere.