Google docs might be a very interesting marketing tool

Tue 29 September 2009 13:45, Bas van den Beld

Google docs might be a very interesting marketing tool

Google docs is widely regarded as an alternative for Microsoft Office and a way to work together online without having to send around updated documents. And Google docs is in some ways a sneak preview of what we can expect from Google Wave.

In the past couple of weeks Google has made a couple of changes to Google docs which all of a sudden make it much more than just a collaboration tool. It can now also be a marketing tool.

Within two weeks Google added two important features to Google docs: it will be indexing public documents and you can now embed your pdfs or powerpoints to any webpage using Google docs.

On the official Google Blog Google explains:

"Viewing files right in your browser is fast, and it keeps your downloads folder clean. Plus, it spares you the hassle of saving your files to the machine you're using, which could be a shared or public computer."

So how does it work? Its very easy actually. You make your document and then publish it. You simply embed the url to the document via an iframe into the post using the following code:

<iframe src="http://docs.google.com/gview?url=http://infolab.stanford.edu/pub/papers/google.pdf&embedded=true" style="width:600px; height:500px;" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Any document you have published online, whether its PDF, TIFF or Powerpoint, you can embed using the code above. You just have to replace the bold URL with your own adress.

Google also has an explanation and a tool to generate the urls you need: https://docs.google.com/viewer. However there are a couple of flaws. It seems its a bit harder to actually embed Google docs. Just putting the Google docs link into the url won't work. For that you have to use this iframe and replace the bolded part with the number of the the Google doc:

<iframe frameborder="0" width="100%" height="500" id="gview" src="http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&amp;pid=explorer&amp;chrome=false&amp;api=true&amp;srcid=0B-AnjZW2OHw-ODUwYzY2ZTMtMzFlZi00ODI3LTk0NTEtYmJkZDhiZTJkZTU5"></iframe>

This feature just gives Google docs that little bit extra which can make it a marketing tool. Uploading all your presentations and whitepapers and embed them on your site is good for your (personal) branding and the fact that Google indexes these docs can be very good for your search results.


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