Trending March 2024 # Google Updates Google Directory Listings # Suggested April 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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Google has recently updated the Google Directory listings, which use the Netscape Open Directory Project (DMOZ) as their base of information. When searching on Google, sites that are indexed in the Google Directory include the directory placement under their Google Search listing. According to discussions on WebMasterWorld and difference in search engine results on Google, updates in the Open Directory have finally made it into Google Directory Indexing.

Meaning that sites that are in the Open Directory which were not indexed by the Google Directory, seem to now be indexed.

For example, try searching for “blog search” on Google. The Blog Search Engine’s listing now includes its Google Directory/Open Directory listing

The Directory listing in under “Category:”, highlighted in Green above.

Many search engine optimization specialists feel that listings in the Open Directory Project help to enhance a site’s listing in Google search results. For those searchers who prefer directory searches to full web index searches, submitting a site to the Open Directory Project is a must. The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web and is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.

Submitting Your Site to the Open Directory Project

The Open Directory Project is easy to submit to and usually takes about a month or two to have your listing approved and indexed.

Here is the submitting info given directly from the Open Directory:

Step One

* Determine whether a site is appropriate for submission to the ODP:

* Do not submit mirror sites. Mirror sites are sites that contain identical content, but have altogether different URLs.

* Do not submit URLs that contain only the same or similar content as other sites you may have listed in the directory. Sites with overlapping and repetitive content are not helpful to users of the directory. Multiple submissions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites.

* Do not submit any site with an address that redirects to another address.

* Do not submit sites “under construction.” Wait until a site is complete before submitting it. Sites that are incomplete, contain “Under Construction” notices, or contain broken graphics or links aren’t good candidates for the directory.

* Submit pornographic sites to the appropriate category under Adult.

*Submit non-English sites to the appropriate category under World.

* Don’t submit sites consisting largely of affiliate links.

Do a quick search in the directory at chúng tôi (the home of the Open Directory) to be sure your site isn’t already listed. This saves everyone time.

Note: Some categories do not have “suggest URL” or “update URL” links. These categories don’t accept submissions, so you should find a more specific category for your site.

For more information, visit the Open Directory Project or the Google Directory.

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Google Updates Search Snippets For Product Review Pages

Google updates search results for product review pages by listing an item’s pros and cons in the search snippet.

In addition, there’s structured data to go along with this update, but it’s not 100% mandatory to qualify for the new snippets.

While the new pros and cons structured data is recommended, Google says it will try to pull the information into the snippets automatically.

Here’s what’s changing and how to manually add the structured data to your product review pages.

New Search Snippets For Product Review Pages

Google is displaying more detailed snippets for product review pages with new lines of text listing pros and cons.

In a blog post, Google states:

“Product reviews often contain a list of pros and cons, which our research has shown to be popular with shoppers when making their purchasing decisions. Because of their importance to users, Google Search may highlight pros and cons in the product review snippet in Search results.”

An example of the new search snippet is shown below:

Google can create these new snippets automatically, as long as the information appears somewhere on the page.

You can make the information clear to Google by marking up your product review pages with pros and cons structured data.

New Pros & Cons Structured Data

In conjunction with the update to product review search snippets, Google is introducing a new type of structured data.

As a best practice, it’s always recommended to use Google-supported structured data when possible, even if it’s not a requirement.

To manually tell Google about the pros and cons of an editorial product review, add the positiveNotes and/or negativeNotes properties to your nested product review.

Examples of both types of markup code are shown below:

See Google’s official documentation for more information about applying this markup.

If you add pros and cons structured data, you must follow these guidelines:

Currently, only editorial product review pages are eligible for the pros and cons appearance in Search, not merchant product pages or customer product reviews.

There must be at least two statements about the product. It can be any combination of positive and/or negative statements (for example, ItemList markup with two positive statements is valid).

The pros and cons must be visible to users on the page.

Install Google Analytics With Google Tag Manager

🚨 Note: Since Google Analytics will be sunsetted on July 2023, we recommend starting the GA4 migration process.

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to start using Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager?

In this guide, we’ll learn the step-by-step procedure to install Google Analytics tracking on your website with the help of Google Tag Manager.

Here are the steps to install Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager:

So let’s jump right into it!

Create a Google Analytics Tag

We’ll start this tutorial with a demo shop with Google Tag Manager installed. If you don’t already have it, we suggest installing Google Tag Manager as the first step. 

It will also show all the different Tags and triggers set up for the website from the Google Tag Manager account. Currently, we don’t have any Tags running. 

The first step in building your Google Analytics Tag is to access the Tracking ID from the Google Analytics account for your website. 

Under this Admin section, navigate to Property → Tracking Info → Tracking Code. 

You’ll see that the Tracking Code will deploy on all the pages of your website for Google Analytics to function correctly. 

We will not use the Global Site Tag for this guide. Global Site Tag code is an all-in-one code that will directly deploy Google Analytics tracking on our website. 

Since we’ll be deploying everything via Google Tag Manager, we just need to copy the Tracking ID instead of the code.

Once the Tracking ID is copied, we’ll come back to Google Tag Manager. 

We’ll need to create a new Tag on Google Tag Manager to configure the tracking ID. 

In your Google Tag Manager account, you can use the Tracking ID to create a new Tag.

Open a new Tag with Google Analytics: Universal Analytics as the Tag type. 

Google Tag Manager provides different tracking templates so we don’t have to manually implement any kind of code. We just choose a template from all the options. 

Once we choose a template, it will give us some fields to fill out. The first field is the Track Type. What kind of interaction do we want to send over? 

In our case, it would be Pageview tracking that we want to deploy on all the pages.

Next, we’ll choose our Google Analytics Setting Variable. Variables will contain our tracking ID. 

Configure a Google Analytics Settings Variable

In case you already have any variables set up in the past, then you can use them. However, we’ll create a new Google Analytics Settings Variable for this Tag. 

This is where we will need our Tracking ID. But we don’t have anything available here yet, so we’ll select New Variable.

On the variable, we’ll add the Tracking ID that we copied. We won’t make any changes to any other fields. 

Next, we’ll add a Name to the Variable. A good practice is to add the tracking ID itself as the name. 

This way, if you have more than one account, you can easily access tracking ID variables for each account. 

Once the variable is set up, we’ll also add a trigger to deploy the Tag. 

Attach a Trigger to your Tag

A trigger defines when you want to deploy the Tag. You can choose to deploy it on all pages or only on certain pages. 

In this case, we’ll choose the pre-defined trigger named All Pages. 

Hence, we’ve configured an All Pages trigger to a Page View Tag. So, we’ll track whenever a user views any of our pages on the website. 

Before we go any further, it’s best practice to test this implementation to make sure everything is working correctly. 

Test Your Tag Implementation

From your Google Tag Manager account, enter Preview mode. 

We’ll refresh Google Tag Manager and our website so our Tag gets uploaded. 

If the installation is done correctly, our Pageview – All Pages Tag will fire on the website. 

Additionally, you can also open any random page on your website to make sure that the Tag fires on all pages. 

At this point, we’ve already fired the Tag. However, we also need to make sure that this information is carried along to our Google Analytics account. 

There are two easy ways to make sure that Google Analytics is receiving data from this Tag.

The first step is to use an extension in Chrome called the Tag Assistant Legacy by Google. We can see under the Tag Assistant Legacy extension which tags have fired. 

In this case, the extension shows that Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics tracking codes have been fired on this page. 

Also, some users might see the Non-standard implementation option in blue instead of green. That’s fine. 

Google Tag Assistant simply shows the information that was sent over to Google Analytics or any other tools. 

Therefore, we’ll also be able to see the same information on the Google Analytics interface. 

Let’s open our Google Analytics account. 

On the home screen, we’ll open Real-time → Overview. 

Whenever a user opens a page or any other interactions take place, we’ll get the results on this page. 

🚨 Note: If you’re using Google Analytics 4, the process will take longer since GA4 batches data. 

Your page path for the Active Page will also change accordingly. 

🚨 Note: If you see pageviews appearing twice in your reports when you should only see one, check for other Google Analytics implementations. 

You may have a Gtag or other implementation hard-coded into your website, which would result in double-tracking and bad data. 

Make sure to check your website theme files for unwanted code or extra tracking implementations. 

In case you aren’t able to see any visuals on the Overview page on your Google Analytics account, it might be because your account is fairly new to report any results. 

There may also be problems with the implementation of the Tag or tracking ID of Google Analytics. 

But it may also be due to any filters you may have added to your Google Analytics interface for better optimization. 

Moreover, our installation isn’t complete yet. We still need to publish the changes we made to the website in the preview mode so our Tags become live for other users. 

Publish GTM Changes to Your Live Site

You can also give a Version Description that describes the changes made in this update. 

Each time you publish, you’ll create a new version of your website. The number of the version will appear on the screen along with the name of the version. 

So, that’s how you can install Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager.

What can I do with any implementation done beforehand?

Here is one frequently asked question related to implementations on Google Tag Manager. 

If you have any plugins installed on your website or your WordPress accounts, or if you have GTag or Google Analytics installed in your theme files of the website, we recommend you uninstall them. 

Currently, we’re deploying our tracking through Google Tag Manager. We won’t necessarily need the previous implementation anymore. 

If you have both the implementations intact, then it might fire the Google Analytics Tag twice. 

In this case, you’ll get double results for your website tracking, and such an issue can also hamper your Google Analytics reports. 

Therefore, we recommend you remove any hard-coded implementation of GTag or Google Analytics tracking script. 

It’s recommended to deploy everything through Google Tag Manager. 

FAQ What is a Tracking ID, and where do I find it in Google Analytics?

A Tracking ID is a unique identifier associated with your Google Analytics property. To find the Tracking ID in Google Analytics, go to the Admin section, navigate to Property → Tracking Info → Tracking Code. Copy the Tracking ID displayed on that page.

How do I create a Google Analytics Tag in Google Tag Manager?

To create a Google Analytics Tag in Google Tag Manager, you need to create a new Tag and choose “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics” as the Tag type. Configure the Track Type as “Page View” and select or create a Google Analytics Settings Variable that contains your Tracking ID.

How can I test if my Google Analytics Tag implementation is working correctly? Summary

This is a simple method to configure Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager. With this, you can start tracking your pageviews without writing any code. 

This is recommended because instead of adding various codes to monitor each type of tracking on our website, we can do it directly through Google Tag Manager.

Additionally, once you start analyzing the data through Google Analytics, you can also learn to set up goals in Google Analytics for better website performance. 

🚨 Note: Want to make the most of your tracking with GTM? Make sure that you’re tracking your popups and form fields.

Build A Google Analytics Dashboard With Google Sheets

🚨 Note: All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on October 1, 2023. That’s why it’s recommended to do the GA4 migration.

Google Analytics dashboards are not always comprehensive—which is why digital analysts prefer exporting their data into other tools, like Google Sheets. 

Google Sheets is a great option to create a Google Analytics dashboard using the GA Reporting API. It is free, flexible, and can help you with quick analysis.

In this guide, we’ll learn how to import Google Analytics data into Google Sheets to create meaningful dashboards. We’ll also use a Google Sheets plugin called Supermetrics to import and visualize data. 

An overview of what we’ll cover:

So let’s start!

An Overview of Reporting Tools

Google Analytics is one of the best tools to track your website traffic. 

However, it is not flexible enough to create custom reports or data visualization dashboards that can be sent to clients.  Without data visualization, your clients may not be able to understand the data you’ve collected, no matter how thorough it is.

This is why many digital analysts prefer to export their data to different tools. 

For example, you can use the tool Klipfolio to display your data in a more comprehensive manner.

Klipfolio has a few different products and different pricing tiers, including one that is free. It’s great if you are confident in your coding so that you can customize your reports, but it can be challenging if you don’t have that experience.

Similarly, if you require more data visualization and analysis, you can use Tableau. 

Tableau is a well-developed software with huge data processing capabilities, although it’s a steep learning curve for most users. It also doesn’t have a free tier, although you can customize your paid plan and maximize cost-efficacy for your needs.

R projects are easy to connect to Google Analytics accounts and fetch data, but it’s quite the time investment to learn.

But sometimes, all you need is a basic analysis of your data—which you can accomplish with MS Excel or Google Sheets.

Google Analytics already has a functionality that allows you to export data directly using the Export option. With this function, you can transfer all of your data directly to Excel or Sheets.

A better way to import data from Google Analytics is using something called the Reporting API. 

Let’s see how this works!

The Google Analytics Reporting API

The Google Analytics Reporting API is the interface that collects and manages your tracking data. By working directly with the reporting API, you can simplify several aspects of your data analysis workflow—including data exports.

First, you’ll need to go to the Core Reporting API and log in with the Google account that you use for Google Analytics.

This view will be the same as the one you’d see in the Home tab of your Google Analytics account. 

Next, you can select the Query Parameters that you want to import. For example, let’s try to recreate the Source/Medium report of Google Analytics. 

In the Query Explorer, select the start-date and end-date that you want for your report. You can also select the metrics from the drop-down menu. 

To generate the Source/Medium report, we’ll select sessions as metrics and sourceMedium as dimensions. 

You’ll see the Source/Medium report from the fetched data. 

There are several other parameters such as segment and filters that you can select. You can also define your samplingLevel.

One great thing about this is that it’s available even in the free version of Google Analytics. It gives you a sample of free data from your Google Analytics account via the API. 

If you want, you can also write a script in Python or PHP to connect to the API and fetch data. Or, you can use plugins in Excel like Analytics Canvas or Axon Analytics to import data and analyze it.

But in my opinion, Google Sheets is an easier option to create reports and dashboards. 

Let me show you why. 

Pros of Using Google Sheets for Reporting

To start with, Google Sheets is a free tool, and it’s easy to share your files with clients and collaborators. All they need to do is open a link—no need to download files or use special software. 

As a reference for you, I have created a dashboard from scratch that contains data of an e-commerce website directly from Google Analytics. 

You can download this dashboard template to create your own reports and customize it according to your requirements. 

This tool allows you to connect your Google Sheets directly to the Google Analytics Reporting API and pull the data directly into the correct cells. 

From there, you can format, analyze, and present the data for more insights. It’s my favorite tool for fast, easy data analysis and presentation. Let’s take a look at an example.

Pulling Data from Google Analytics Using Supermetrics

To launch Supermetrics in Google Sheets, go to the Add-ons → Supermetrics → Launch sidebar. 

Make sure to connect your Google Analytics account to the add-on.

Next, we’ll go to Data source → Select views. Under the Select Dates option, we’ll select This month to date to fetch data from last month. 

Going further, we can Select metrics. Let’s go with Sessions and Users. 

The next option is Split by. You can split your data from rows as well as columns. In our example, the rows are already split into Sessions and Users. But we’ll split the columns by Month. 

Then you can select any Segment that you’ve defined in your Google Analytics account, or you can use the Filter option to refine your data. 

Lastly, you can explore the Options tab. This gives you an option to avoid data sampling (which is usually a problem with the free version of Google Analytics). If you use this feature, Supermetrics will fetch your complete, unsampled data bit by bit.

For this example, we’ll keep it unchecked to speed things up—but it’s a very useful tool if you have tons of data. 

We’ll see the Sessions and Users data for the current month up to this date. 

If you want, you can also add some basic Excel or Google Sheets calculations on this data. For example, we can enter a formula to find the number of sessions per user in this Sheet (done by dividing the number of sessions by the number of users). 

Lastly, we can connect this data to our final dashboard by using this cell address (‘Raw Data’!C4). 

But there’s much more you can do with the Supermetrics tool. It has both a free and a paid version, and which you can select based on your requirements.

Not sure what you need? Let’s break down some of the most important features.

Supermetrics Features

The paid version of Supermetrics has the ability to schedule updates to Google Sheets reports automatically and send those reports out using emails.

To access this feature, go to Add-ons → Supermetrics → Schedule refresh & emailing. 

This automation saves a lot of time, especially while working with multiple Google Analytics accounts. You can also send regular reports to your clients. 

The basic version is free for Google Analytics. It can also connect to a number of other tools including AdWords or YouTube to import data into Google Sheets. 

However, you can only import data up to 100 rows. If you want to import more data, you’ll need to pay the price starting from €99 per month for these integrations. 

Depending on your requirements, you can choose different plans. Additionally, if you want, you can also create a custom plan for your business that will be charged according to the data sources you choose. 

FAQ How do I import data from Google Analytics into Google Sheets? Can I create custom reports and dashboards with Google Sheets and Google Analytics?

Yes, you can create custom reports and dashboards using Google Sheets and Google Analytics. After importing the data into Google Sheets using Supermetrics, you can format, analyze, and present the data according to your requirements. You can also customize the dashboard template provided in the blog post and tailor it to your specific needs.

Do I need to migrate to GA4 for using the Google Analytics Reporting API and Google Sheets integration?

No, the Google Analytics Reporting API and Google Sheets integration can be used with both Universal Analytics and GA4 properties. However, it’s recommended to migrate to GA4 as Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, and 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop on October 1, 2023. Migrating to GA4 ensures compatibility and access to future enhancements in Google Analytics.

Summary

That’s it! This is how you can build a Google Analytics dashboard using Google Sheets and the Supermetrics add-on.  

Google Sheets is a free tool that provides customizability and flexibility to analyze data. It also has various plugins to import data. Supermetrics is definitely my favorite way to pull data into Google Sheets, but you also can learn other ways to export data from Google Analytics to Google Sheets in this guide.

Google Pixel 5 Review

Google Pixel 5 Review – Goodbye Gimmicks

The Pixel 5 has a lot to prove. Google’s 2023 flagship not only needs to convince shoppers to open their wallets in an unusually challenging year, but demonstrate that the sins of last year’s Pixel 4 are not to be repeated. If there was anything to give us confidence it could do that, it was the pitch-perfect Pixel 4a: now, the question is how much of that magic can rub off on the Pixel 5.

Side by side with recent flagships from Samsung and others, the Pixel 5 looks a little underwhelming, on pure specifications at least. Then again, it’s also considerably cheaper. Starting at $699, it’s half the list price of a Galaxy S20 Ultra.

I give Google credit for stepping off the spec-sheet treadmill and thinking about what’s actually important, beyond just being able to shout “latest and greatest!” at the highest volume. The decision to go with a Snapdragon 765G, for example, rather than an 8xx-series chipset, bets on Google’s own pure Android efficiencies. Happily you get a healthy 8GB of RAM, which I suspect is more important day-to-day than pure CPU clock speed.

128GB of storage matches the cheaper Pixel 4a 5G, and since it’s non-expandable you’re stuck with the cloud if you need more space. Pixel 5 ships with Android 11 out of the box, and Google promises a minimum of three years of OS and security updates after that.

Officially, the Pixel 5 is made of aluminum with a bio-resin coating. In your hand, it feels a lot like plastic. Not cheap plastic, no, but definitely different to the glass-and-metal sandwich we’re familiar with from other recent smartphones. The “Sorta Sage” of my review unit is an unexpectedly accurate description: in some lighting it looks like a pale green, while at other times it has more of a stony gray tone to it. I wish Google had added a third color – something bright, alongside the “Just Black” option – but I do like the chromed power button, and how nicely the whole thing fits in the hand. Smaller phones look to be making a comeback, and I know I’m not alone in being pleased about that.

There’s a SIM tray on the left side, and the Pixel 5 supports eSIM too, along with Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS). It’s worth noting that if you turn DSDS on you lose 5G support, however. A USB-C port on the bottom is the only physical connector: 3.5mm headphone fans are out of luck. Google doesn’t include an adapter, either, or USB-C headphones in the box, just an 18W power adapter and cable.

The Pixel 4’s Soli chipset has been abandoned, and you get a fingerprint reader in a slight dimple on the rear. Both seem like good decisions to me: Soli felt like genius tech used for gimmicky features, sadly, while face-unlock systems are suddenly a lot less useful in these masked-up times. It’s quick to unlock and seems to handle off-angle or partial taps well, which is more than I can say for most in-screen fingerprint sensors.

Flip over, and the 6.0-inch OLED display forces another decision. Slightly larger than the 5.81-inches of the Pixel 4a, but slightly smaller than the 6.2-inches of the Pixel 4a 5G, at 1080 x 2340 it has the same resolution and so falls in the middle with its 432ppi density. The contrast ratio is markedly better, however, and there’s up to 90Hz refresh. The Pixel 5 can switch between 60Hz and 90Hz task-depending, though the 120Hz we’ve seen from other recent phones is beyond it. Still, graphics look smooth and scrolling is jag-free.

An 8-megapixel front-facing camera pokes through a hole in the upper left corner of the touchscreen. On the back, meanwhile, there’s a 12.2-megapixel regular camera – familiar from earlier Pixel phones – and a new 16-megapixel ultra-wide, as on the Pixel 4a 5G. That has a 107-degree field of view.

Tastes vary, but I generally prefer a telephoto lens to an ultra-wide. Google’s argument is that, with some algorithmic magic, it can craft pretty decent close-ups from what sensors the Pixel 5 does have. Indeed, computational photography remains a cornerstone of the Pixel strategy.

Other phones have more megapixels, or more sensors, or fancier optics. Google’s argument has long been that anything hardware can do, software can emulate, and often surpass. For a while I wondered if the absence of the Neural Core would leave the Pixel 5 lacking on that front, but my fears proved unfounded.

You can either pinch-zoom to flip between the sensors, or drag the zoom bar that appears when you tap and hold on the icons for the 0.6x, 1x, and 2x modes. Weirdly, if you drag up or down on those icons, you just flip between the three modes: for a smooth zoom, you have to press, wait a moment, and then drag. For the new ultra-wide camera, Google lobs in a little machine-learning powered adjustment to make faces look less stretched-out.

There are two big computational photography features Google has added this time around. The first is Portrait Light, which basically mimics the effect of having a moveable light source when you’re taking portrait shots with background blur. As long as the image has depth data, the Pixel 5 can figure out how the light source you drag around would fall naturally across facial features or glasses.

That also means you can adjust it not only in photos the Pixel 5 has taken, but any Portrait mode image you might have backed up to your Google Photos account. The overall effect can be subtle, but it’s a neat way of showing the value of depth information.

The other big introduction is more of an expansion: Night Sight support in Portrait Mode. Google’s low-light mode – which now activates automatically in low-light situations, as well as supporting manual switching – has always been impressive for how much detail it can pull out of nighttime scenes. Now, you can combine that with adjustable background blur, too.

For video, the Pixel 4 tops out at 4K at 60fps, or 1080p at 240fps. The front camera can do 1080p/30. New here is a Cinematic Pan option, a subset of the image stabilization that promises to borrow more theatrical movements like pan and dolly.

That all sounds fancy, but what Google is basically doing is slowing the video down to half speed and then panning along the dominant axis, cropping in a little as necessary to smooth out shake. It looks pretty good, too, but it’s worth noting that you don’t capture audio at the same time.

You get the same camera features – indeed, the same cameras – on the Pixel 4a 5G. Given Google’s history there’s no reason to believe those talents won’t end up rolling out in some form to its older phones like the Pixel 4, too.

The same goes for new Android features, like Hold for Me and the updated Recorder app. The former aims to bypass tedious call-center hold music, the Google Assistant listening out for when it’s a real human on the line rather than music or a recording that your call is important. When a person actually picks up, the Assistant will notify you it’s time to jump back in yourself.

Google’s updated Recorder, app, meanwhile, now makes jumping between sections of the transcript easier by picking out what it believes are the keywords. You can edit audio too – cropping out sections of the recording by deleting that part of the transcript – as well as editing the text, word by word. Recorder can also export clips as video, combining both audio and the text, though only if it’s under 60 seconds in length.

What Google couldn’t really do with software, though, is improve the Pixel 4’s battery life. The Achilles heel of last year’s flagship, the fact that the 2,800 mAh battery was going to be insufficient only seemed to come as a surprise at the Googleplex. For the Pixel 5, though, they’ve not made the same mistake.

The battery is still non-replaceable but it’s now 4,080 mAh on average, Google says, a far healthier size. As you’d expect that pays dividends on runtimes: the Pixel 5 can happily get through a full day now, with no need for that pesky top-up that Pixel 4 owners know all too well.

When it does come to recharging, the 18W bundled charger is fine but nothing special. We’re seeing much faster rates from other Android devices, after all. There’s Qi wireless charging support too, along with reverse wireless charging for accessories. That, cleverly, automatically turns on when you plug the Pixel 5 into its wired charger, though you can also activate it manually.

Somehow 5G manages to be both the big deal about the Pixel 5, and the new feature I’m least excited about. Certainly, supporting it feels like table-stakes for a new, high-end smartphone in 2023, especially one with any hopes of longevity. All the same, right now it just doesn’t make that much of an impact on my day to day use.

That would probably be different were I living in an area with mmWave support, since the Pixel 5 includes both that and Sub-6 GHz capabilities. Millimeter wave is undoubtedly the fastest way to experience 5G in the US right now, but it’s also the rarest. If you’re not in one of the handful of locations – and, for that matter, in just the right spot in those locations – then for the moment it doesn’t really matter.

I’m more bemused by the absence of WiFi 6 which, in this time of working-from-home, seems more important. Like 5G coverage, the argument against WiFi 6 has until now been one of price versus availability, but we’re starting to see compatible routers trickle down in price.

Arguably the biggest challenge the Pixel 5 faces was announced yesterday. Apple’s iPhone 12 mini kicks off at the same price, supports the right flavors of 5G, has WiFi 6 and UWB, and is likely to give Google’s phone a run for its money on computational photography, too. It also has the same flagship processor as the considerably more expensive iPhone 12 Pro Max, and I suspect many will be waiting for the first iPhone 12 mini reviews to see just how persuasive a package that turns out to be.

How To Make Sure Your Google Photos Sync To Google Drive

The new ‘upload from drive’ feature which Google introduced recently can be rather confusing for users, especially if your backup has been on auto-pilot since you set up your Google Photos and Drive account (which was probably years ago). But in case you weren’t aware, Google Photos is a cloud service offered by Google to store all your photos and videos that worked in automatic sync with Google Drive before this new change.

Before this new feature was introduced, everything that used to be backed up on Photos would also automatically be backed in Google Drive and vice versa. That’s not the case now. Google Photos and Drive have become separate entities from July 10, 2023.  So you now have to ensure that photos from your phone are backed up in Google Drive as well as Google Photos because the backup won’t happen on its own anymore.

RELATED: How to back up your Android device

How to ensure your photos are backing up to Google through Photos app

The process is fairly simple. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Google Photos app on your phone.

Step 2: Tap the menu button on the top-left.

Step 3: Go to ‘Settings‘.

Step 4: Select ‘Backup & Sync’.

Step 5: Enable the ‘Backup & Sync‘ option

You’re good to go! All your photos will resume backing up from Photos to Drive after this.

Why should you save photos to Google Drive

Google Drive offers you the ability to seamlessly backup your photos to your Google account which is a handy feature to backup your photos. These backed up photos can then be accessed and downloaded by you through the web, the desktop app or the mobile app. Saving your photos to Google Drive is an easy way of ensuring that you do not lose track of your memories in case you end up losing your phone or other devices in the future.

Additionally, you also get the ability to access your photo library from multiple devices simultaneously which makes it easier for people that own different devices. If you are a photographer, then this feature can be exceptionally handy to you as it eliminates the need to carry your library on a physical Drive in case you need to transfer it between devices for further editing.

Hence saving your photos to Google Drive is an easy way of backing up your photos and accessing them from various devices without the need for a physical storage device.

How to add more photo folders to sync

How to add any folder to sync to Google Drive

Google does not allow you to natively sync external local folders to your Google Drive automatically but there are many third-party apps out there that you can use for this purpose. We recommend using Autosync Google Drive by MetaCtrl. Download the app and grant the necessary permissions to get you started.

You will then need to connect your Google Drive account to the app, if you have multiple Google accounts signed in to your Android device, you can select the one you want to use for backup during this step. After the setup is complete, simply tap on ‘Choose what to Sync’ and get started. The remote folder is the field where you want your backup to be stored on Google Drive while the local folder field will let you select a folder on your device to automatically sync to the cloud.

Simply tap on save next and your local folder will automatically be set up to sync to your Google Drive account. You can even modify your sync intervals in the settings menu of the app which will let you decide how often your folder gets synced to the cloud.

How to check how much Google Drive space do you have?

Checking your storage space on Google Drive is a fairly simple process. Simply open up your Google Drive app and open the sidebar using the menu icon in the top right corner of your screen. You will see your storage details at the bottom of the sidebar which will show you your total storage as well as how much space you have left in Google Drive.

If you do not have the Google Drive app, you can use this link to directly download it to your smartphone from the Play Store.

How to buy more storage on Google Drive

Head over to your Google Drive app and open the sidebar using the menu icon in the top left corner of your screen. At the bottom of your sidebar, Google will display the amount of storage you have used in Google Drive.

Tap on it, and the app will redirect you to a storage page where you will be able to acquire additional storage on your Google Drive. Simply select the plan that best suits your needs and make the necessary payments using your favorite payment method.

Should you sync Videos too on Google Drive?

Yes, why not! Google Drive virtually lets you sync any file to the Drive without any file format restrictions. As long as your video does not exceed the free storage space in your Drive, you can sync it to the cloud directly from the app itself.

You can also use Google Photos to sync your videos and in case they are stored in a compressed format, you can always use a service like Autosync for Google Drive to sync it to the cloud.

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