Google has been making some changes in its appearance lately. Some are more drastic than others.
No one, except for the people at Google, know where the Google Plus project is going at this point in time. However, if its any indication, at the end of July, Google will change the name of Picasa, its photos application, to Google Pictures, and the name of Blogger to Google Blogs. I have a feeling this has to do with increased brand recognition, and further spreading their brand name, however, I wonder why they were so inconsistent with the changes. For example, they would never mess with Youtube, one of the world’s biggest search engines. They’d never consider renaming it Google Videos (as far as we know). It does make me wonder what other changes are on the horizon.
Second, Google Places pages have changed. For the last few years, Google has been at odds, particularly with Yelp. Yelp claimed that the reason Google had scraped their data and the results of many other reviews sites was to launch their own similar product, and Yelp was seeing no benefit from it. (Which seems odd to me; it seems like a big benefit would be the increase in organic traffic). Yelp and others were also disappointed because while Google did scrape their reviews, Google still gave their own reviews higher on-page positioning, and minimized visibility of Yelp’s reviews.
Coincidentally enough, Google recently removed the reviews of Yelp and others from their Places pages, saying Google Places had acquired enough results to be a standalone site.
The third change Google made was with their adsense product. Basically, Google changed the name of “Google Boost” to “Google AdWords Express“. Adwords express is targeting local business, who may not have a lot of time to manage their adwords account. Basically, Google Adwords Express takes care of everything automatically, once an initial ad is created.
I’m sure many changes will be made in the future, as Google continues to test what works and what doesn’t. I guess we’ll all be kept in the dark until these changes happen.