What is Google Keen? And how can it benefit bloggers?
Years ago now I started a wee startup call Scrattch. It was meant to bring people together over common interests and allow communities to share interests with those who shared similar passions.
I used to talk to people about it and explain it with the analogy of “what if you were really into growing tomatoes? How would you find out all the info you wanted to about that, but in a way that connected you to a community” … ha ha ha …
In the end… we ran out of money. Lol. But I still look back fondly at what we tried to build. It meant something. It was real, and to this day, I still believe that that’s what life is all about.
Creating communities around common interests.
As COVID 19 is sweeping the world we are all looking for more meaningful ways in which we can both come together and collaborate. We are in search of new ways to be a community.
So, I was thrilled when I stumbled upon Keen.
A new development project that has come out of Area 120 at Google.
I LOVE that their ethos is all about making this one precious life count.
And instead of relying solely on a search algorithm, people are able to find info on things they love through a more semantic search approach.
What is Keen?
Keen allows you to curate and collect the things that are the most meaningful to you. You can then share these tidbits or “Gems” with others, creating communities around the things you love. I LIKE IT. A LOT.
Keen uses machine learning to identify further gems for you and as your collection grows, Keen learns more and more about your preferences, and is able to find more nuggets for you as time goes by.
It’s a bit like Pinterest, but has a few more layers to it in terms of its capability to handle different media types, its AI foundation and its dedication to community creation, so IMHO could become something pretty special. In fact, it’s been dubbed the Google Pinterest …
But, one of the main differences to pay attention to is it’s ability to serve you up the good stuff.
Googles press release about Keen describes it like this “ On keen… you say what you want to spend time on, and then curate content from the web and people you trust to make that happen.” Beautiful!
I would describe it as Pinterest for those who want more from their content.
You can add links, text, tags, images and text as your Gems to your Keens. Unlike Pinterest, which is only imagery and video.
Confused yet? Ha ha ha … let me explain…
How do you use Keen?
What is a Keen?
A Keen is the folder where you keep your gems. A keen is a folder for one specific topic. It’s a kin to a Pinterest Board.
My first Keen is below 🙂
What is a Gem?
A Gem is a tidbit of info that you add to each Keen, this could be a link, an image, some text, a # or an @mention. Think “Pin”.
These are some of my first Gems add to my Keen
It’s super easy to set up, as you would expect from Google.
Simply set up your account using your current Google login. Head to their landing page and click Sign in top right.
This will take you to your main Dashboard where you can either create your first keen or explore others’ Keens.
How to create a Keen
Make sure you select your level of privacy on you keen… Public, shared with link or private…
You can also choose to add collaborators to your Keen if you so desire. Kinda like group boards on Pinterest.
How to add your first Gem to Keen
How to find other content?
You can search for other Keens using the search bar.
Or… you can use the explore function on your home page …
On your Keen page you’ll see tabs for Gems, explore or search… The explore and search tabs are super intelligent and the more you sue them, the more Keen will become more attuned to your preferences for content.
Under the search tab you can add new suggested searches to make the platform more intuitive to your areas of interest.
Why is Keen relevant for bloggers?
Anywhere that you can establish a quality backlink to your blog post or page is a good idea for SEO. So, adding your brilliant content to Keen is another way to not only share your content to a wider audience, but also to get some good link juice.
Keen is a bit different to a search engine in that it actively searches for new info for you on any given topic, as opposed to waiting for you to search for a term yourself… it’s a whole new layer of content discovery…. So, so good! And exceptional if you are wanting to gain new traffic to your awesome blog!
It’s good to be an early adopter. I was an early adopter of both Pinterest and Twitter. This gives you a bit of a leg up. You get the hang of this new platform meanwhile everyone else is wasting time over on other platforms that are not converting for them.
Blogging is ALLLLLL about creating community around your specific niche. And Keen does exactly that. Unlike Pinterest, Keen specialises in creating communities! And makes it far, far easier for people with like minded interests to connect to the information that they are seeking.
I can see Keen as being of particular interest to beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers and health and fitness bloggers! It’s highly visual and has a beautiful UI.
But, I would add here that it’s far more than pretty pictures. Keen has the ability to offer real, meaningful content.
Bloggers who offer topics like How to do XYZ… or answer specific questions will be delighted and I can see the powerful search component of Keen being a massive drawcard to all niche blogger communities.
So, get yourself over to Keen! You can get started with Keen on the web or download the Android app from the Google Play Store, no IOS app as yet. Create some new Keens, I’d LOVE to see what you create!
Cover image from Keen homepage.