Google Game Changers

By: Kelly Bodell

Google made two big announcements in the past week that will change your Google game. This post gives you a quick summary of the updates for each, and will share how they impact you and your practice.

Google Maps Goes Offline

Google Maps’ users will now be able to navigate to their destinations offline. Typically, Google Maps’ directions are only accessible with an Internet connection, which can be spotty, unreliable and even non-existent in certain areas.

With Google’s new download feature, a user can download an area, city, county or even country they live in or travel to, and once downloaded, the user’s phone will switch into offline mode whenever they encounter low connectivity areas.

Image1_GoogleMaps

Image originally appeared on the Google Maps announcement on googleblog.blogspot.com.

Being able to access the directions, contact information and operation hours offline means that your Google listing will always direct patients to your practice, as well as provide them with any additional information they may need, wherever they are and despite any connectivity issues.

Google+ Update Emphasizes Online Health Community

The tech giant also announced updates to Google+, its social networking site that is linked to the Gmail and Google listing you created in Course 100. The new Google+ puts more emphasis on interests and sports in a more simplistic, mobile-friendly design.

Image2_GooglePlus.PNG

Image originally appeared on the Google+ announcement on googleblog.blogspot.com.

So, what does this update mean for your practice? Google+ is now focusing on the Communities and Collections, two user-driven experiences that feature topics and interests.

For example, one popular community called Health and Happiness has more than 100,000 members who have joined the community to either share information on health-related topics or to learn from articles, quotes and tips that others post. These groups provide a place for you to get involved in an online health community in order to share research or thought leadership articles from your providers, as well as to find content to post on other social sites, such as Facebook.

Both of these Google updates present more opportunities for practices to reach patients, and for patients to reach you. Thank goodness for Google.

Google Maps’ offline feature and the Google+ updates are rolling out soon. For more information about these updates, visit googleblog.blogspot.com.

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