DeepMind Buy Another Google “Moonshot” Of Sorts

DeepMind logo Re/code offers some additional insight into the $400+ million acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) startup DeepMind that was reported last week. The people at DeepMind will apparently work with the search team at Google but not exclusively: Or as search is known at Google today, the “Knowledge” group, so-called because it no longer just finds keywords on web pages, but instead connects larger concepts. Knowledge is led by Google SVP Alan Eustance, but DeepMind will work closely with a team led by Jeff Dean, a near 15-year Google veteran, best known for his work on distributed syst [...]


Google To Replace Smartphone User-Agent To Improve Smart Phone Indexing

Google mobile app logo Google announced they are replacing the old smartphone crawler user-agent with a new one in order to make it possible for Google to index more smartphone content. Zhijian He, a smartphone search engineer at Google said that the previous user-agent "made it impossible for Google to index smartphone content of some sites, or for Google to recognize that these sites are smartphone-optimized." The new smartphone user-agent crawler will follow robots.txt, robots meta tag, and HTTP header directives for Googlebot instead of Googlebot-Mobile. This will give webmasters more control, but Google s [...]


AdWords Cross-Device Conversions: How 1-800-FLOWERS Is Using The Data To Be More Customer Centric

1800flowers-mobile Yesterday,  we got an early preview of the first case study Google will publish on the use of estimated cross-device conversions in AdWords. It features 1-800-Flowers and also addresses the company's use of click-to-call. When Google first announced the release of estimated cross-device conversions in October, it seemed to be received with a collective shrug. Much like the view-through conversion metric, several marketers I spoke with at the time were skeptical of its worth. Yet, there are many, such as the 1-800-Flowers team, who have embraced the new insights as a positive move toward gi [...]


Google Again Updates iOS App With Improved Maps Integration

New iOS 7 optimized Google Search app On the heels of a very recent iOS Maps update, Google has further updated and optimized its search app for iOS 7. Some of the changes are cosmetic: "iOS 7 styling and true full screen browsing" for example. There's also improved image search for the iPad and better integration with Google Maps. Google Now also seems more "prominent" but I could be mistaken; there are no apparent changes to Google Now on the official "what's new" list. Google Maps is nicely integrated into Google search results (I don't remember the old experience frankly because I infrequently use the Google Search app [...]


Breaking The Mobile Speed Barrier For SEO Gold

smartphone-tablet-featured

2014 will offer a new killer SEO technique or two, it’s my bet that leading the charge will be changes to the mobile SEO algorithm in Google. Or, more specifically, changes to the algorithm’s sensitivity to your site render speed on a smartphone device.


Google Adds “Now” Content, Features To iOS Maps Apps

Google maps icon larger In October, Google started adding Google Now style cards to its PC Maps. Now, Google is adding some of those same features to its iOS Maps apps. If you update Google Maps for iOS and sign in, you can now see flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations from Gmail in Maps -- and then search or get directions. Here's a PC Maps screenshot from Google for its October update: I don't have a good screenshot for the new content in mobile given that I have no upcoming reservations. But below is a set of screens from my iPhone that illustrates the "Nowification" of Google Maps. Google is doi [...]


Analyst Gives Both Google Now And Siri A “C+”

Siri logo Piper Jaffray financial analyst Gene Munster performed his now annual comparison of Google Voice Search/Google Now and Siri to determine which one performed better. Using 800 queries under a variety of "controlled" and "uncontrolled" conditions, Munster and his team tested and compared the two "assistants." Munster gave Google Voice Search/Now a C+, an improvement from the D- it received a year ago. Siri received the identical C+ grade, up slightly from a C last year. It may well be that Google Voice Search/Now and Siri have achieved some level of parity in their ability to understand a [...]


Google Search App Now Answers Your Questions In French, German Or Japanese

google-voice-search Google announced an international upgrade to the Google Search App, which enables the voice response answers that work currently in English to also work in French, German or Japanese. So not only can you ask your question in English, French, German or Japanese or other languages via voice search -- Google will respond to that question in English, French, German or Japanese. All you need to do is install the latest version of the Google Search App and speak your question in French, German or Japanese. The examples Google has given include: If you need some coffee in Munich, just say [...]


US Mobile Search Revs To Hit Nearly $4 Billion This Year

Google iOS Search App A new report from Forrester Research projects US mobile paid search will be worth $3.8 billion by the end of 2013. Analyst forecasts are often aggressive, but this turns out to be a very reasonable estimate. US mobile ad revenues were slightly below $3 billion according to the IAB for the first six months of 2013. That means, assuming higher mobile spending in the second half, mobile ad revenues should come in around $7 billion for the full year. PC-based paid search was 43 percent of all digital ad revenue in 1H 2013. However paid search is a somewhat larger percentage of mobile ad reve [...]


Google Search Now Discovers Content Within Android Apps

google-apps-featured Google announced you can now search content within Android apps through their new App Indexing protocol they launched at the end of October. Currently available on Android smartphones, when you search Google and there is an app that has content related to your Google search, you will see search results that open the app, directly to the piece of content in that app, that matches your query. Google said, "Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search." Here is an example [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Adds Smartphone Specific Crawl Errors

google-webmaster-tools-featured Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, announced a new feature within Google Webmaster Tools that shows webmasters crawl errors specific to smartphone devices. The issue is: it is often hard for webmasters to detect and thus fix errors that happen on smartphone devices. Google decided to add a section to the crawl errors report that shows some of the more common errors Google sees webmasters make when smartphone users access the site. Google said that some of these errors may "significantly hurt your website's user experience and are the basis of some of our recently-announced rank [...]


New Google Maps Adds More Search Results To Info Window

Google maps icon larger The (relatively) new Google Maps is certainly visually richer than the old Maps UI. However it may be somewhat less functional. As one example, it eliminates one of my favorite and most-used features: "search nearby." It's now also somewhat harder to access multiple results on a category query, ironically. Yesterday, Google Operating System spotted a change in the number of search results showing in the main info-window below the search box. Google is now showing three results per category query. The following is an example result for "San Diego Sushi." Below is the same search resul [...]


SEO Changed Forever In 2013. How To Adjust And Thrive In 2014

2013-2014-featured If there's ever been any question that SEO marketers need to put user needs first, 2013 was the year the search engines made it clear. Nearly every innovation in search -- algorithm updates like Google Hummingbird, SERP enhancements, social integrations -- was aimed at creating a better experience for the searcher. These innovations require SEO marketers to think more closely about the value their content creates for users and to take the technical steps that communicate that value to the search engines. Additionally, with an increasing shift toward mobile, it's even more important t [...]


The Brave New World of SEO: Beyond Websites

changes-ahead-exit-sign We hear it regularly -- the death knell tolling for SEO. In the past several years, we've been bombarded by a barrage of change in organic search, from Penguin to Panda to Hummingbird, from inbound link penalties to [not provided]. Let's face it: the only constant in search is change. But I propose that SEO isn't dead by far. In fact, the role of SEOs is expanding rapidly, and the reality is that we now have to look beyond just the company website. Let's review some of the ways search has changed in 2013 and take a look at how those changes have impacted the role of search marketers. Mobi [...]


Matt Cutts: Wrong About Responsive Web Design

matt cutts In the SEO world, many view Matt Cutts' word as gospel, and indeed, he is usually spot on with his recommendations and advice. However, Cutts recently released a video in which he explains to viewers that responsive Web design is does not have a negative impact on SEO -- and I couldn't disagree more. Ever since Google officially provided a clear stance on best practices for mobile SEO, they've held up responsive Web design as the recommended configuration for mobile. But many have found that there are SEO problems inherent in a responsive design website. In my column on Marketing Land tod [...]


Getting A Better Read On The Value Of Smartphone Paid Search

google-adwords-mobile-featured The increasing ubiquity of mobile devices has been a mixed blessing for paid search advertisers. On the one hand, most industry stats show smartphones and tablets driving nearly all Internet traffic growth, while volume from traditional desktop and laptop computers has begun to fade. But as more consumers have taken to using new devices for browsing the Web, their propensity to buy products or otherwise convert still appears much weaker on smartphones than it does on computers or tablets. This has left many advertisers facing a marketplace where their fastest growing audience is often their [...]


OK Google: How About OK Jarvis, OK Android, Or Even OK Barry

okay-google-android Android Community noticed that some other phrases outside of "OK Google" trigger the voice search on the latest Android operating system, KitKat. So I tested this on my Nexus 5 and discovered that OK Google has alternatives. I tested the following phrases that seemed to work: OK Glass OK Jarvis OK Android OK Barry Now, I am not sure if Google confused Barry with Google and I tested it several times afterwards and sometimes it activates voice search and sometimes not. Here is a video of this in action: I suppose Google's voice search trigger is pretty flexible when matc [...]


The Return Of Pegman And Other New Google Maps Features

googlemaps The new full-screen Google Maps were announced this summer at Google's developer conference. However, the company is still rolling it out to users. Today on the Google LatLong blog, a number of new (or returning) features were introduced. Among them, the "Pegman" Street View icon is back. He/it appears in the lower right corner of the map. Click it and you'll see highlighted areas on the map (in blue) that give you access to Street View images. Mouse over those areas and you get a thumbnail preview. Zoom in and you see blue and yellow dots or circles. Blue dots indicate user-uploaded [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: Don’t Worry About An SEO Down Side To Responsive Design, There Is None

responsive design alone not mobile seo In a video released today by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, he said you don't have to worry about there being a down side, related to SEO, when using a responsive design approach for mobile web sites. The question posed to him was: Is there an SEO disadvantage to using responsive design instead of separate mobile URLs? The answer is no, in fact, there is no duplication of efforts when it comes to linking and PageRank, which does have a benefit when compared to using separate mobile URLs. Here is the video: For more on mobile SEO topics, see the stories below: Goog [...]


Google Maps’ Mobile Reach Drops In September — comScore

google-maps-iphone-icon Yesterday, comScore's US smartphone market share figures for September came out. There weren't many surprises -- except for one thing: the Google Maps app has fallen three spots in comScore's rankings. The smartphone app, which used to be the most popular in the US, fell from 5th to 8th position in comScore's "Top 15 apps" chart. In roughly September of last year, Google Maps was overtaken by Facebook as the top individual smartphone app in the US. The replacement of Google Maps by Apple Maps as the default mapping app on the iPhone was largely responsible for the change. In July [...]


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