Google has been heavily focused on serving the needs of Indian web users with the recent launch of apps like Tez for payments, Areo for food ordering, Neighbourly for communities, data-friendly versions of apps like Search and YouTube, and others. Now, the company is launching an app to serve the need of Indian bloggers with an app called “Blog Compass.”
The new app, now in beta, quietly popped up in the Google Play Store this week with a note that’s it’s “only available in India.”
According to its Play Store description, Blog Compass helps bloggers manage their sites and find topics to write about based on Google’s trending topics. These suggestions will also be based on the bloggers’ interests and posting history, it says.
The app also helps bloggers manage their sites by tracking their site stats, approving comments and reading through tips for how to make their blogs more successful.
It works with both Google’s own Blogger.com blogs as well as with WordPress sites. These are two of the largest platforms used by bloggers around the world. WordPress alone powers around 30 percent of websites, in fact.
Blog Compass feels something like an introductory app for those who aren’t as familiar with how the web or blogging works. That may be appropriate for an emerging market like India, where many are coming online for the first time by way of mobile devices, having skipped the PC era of internet connectivity.
However, as any old-school blogger would tell you, writing posts simply to cater to whatever is currently trending on Google is something of a traffic hack — and not necessarily how you want to build an audience for your site. Sure, it may bring you clicks as you chase one hot topic after another — but it’s better to develop your own voice and write what you’re passionate about if you really want to develop a relationship with readers.
On the Blog Compass website, screenshots show some of the sample teachings the app will contain. These include courses on things like getting started with SEO and analytics, for example. And, of course, getting your website listed on Google.
The app is simply designed, with navigation via tabs at the bottom of the screen for moving through sections like Home, Activity, Topics and Badges.
It seems the idea is to centralize a lot of the topic research and blog management overhead in a central place — something you can’t necessarily do with WordPress or Blogger’s own mobile apps, where the focus is more on using those apps’ publishing tools.
We’ve reached out to Google to ask for more information about its intentions with Blog Compass, including whether it intends to roll it out to more markets in the future, or if it’s been developed specifically for India.