Saturday, April 7, 2012

[G] Record number of student applications for Google Summer of Code

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Google Open Source Blog: Record number of student applications for Google Summer of Code





Earlier today the application deadline for students wishing to participate in Google Summer of Code 2012 came to a close. Thank you to all the students who applied to be a part of this year’s program. We had a record 6,685 student proposals from 4,258 students submitted to this year’s 180 participating mentoring organizations.



The mentoring organizations will now take the next couple of weeks to read through all of their student proposals and decide which students their organization will mentor this summer.



Students: stay tuned to the Google Summer of Code site where we will announce all of this year’s accepted Google Summer of Code students on April 23 at 19:00 UTC. For additional important information about the program check out our timeline and read our Frequently Asked Questions.



You can always stay up to date on all things Google Summer of Code on this blog, our mailing lists or on our IRC channel #gsoc on Freenode.



Good luck, students! May the odds be ever in your favor.



By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/BwTchR0jOfc/record-number-of-student-applications.html

[G] Travel businesses on YouTube make it easier to get outta town

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YouTube Blog: Travel businesses on YouTube make it easier to get outta town

Planning to get away this spring? Want to see your destination--rather than just read about it? You’re not alone. According to our research, nearly half of all travelers watch a travel video online when planning a trip.



YouTube is full of travel-related information from how to ride the Metro in Paris on the GeoBeats Channel to packing tips from travel guru Rick Steves. For businesses looking to reach future travelers video can help visualize destinations and services. Check out a few travel businesses already turning video views into reservations.



Take, for example, Airbnb, a travel business connecting hosts (property managers and owners willing to open their homes to guests) with travelers looking for a home away from home. Their YouTube Channel has gained a large following and millions of video views. By clearly illustrating what they offer and how their service works through how-to videos, such as "How to Airbnb," they’ve gained credibility and established trust with an active community of intrepid travelers.








As Virgin America announces more U.S. routes they’re using their YouTube Channel to get the word out. Their videos are full of their characteristic quirky humor, like when the infamous Greenman character from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” made an appearance in their video announcing Virgin America’s new Philadelphia route.








With white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters, the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board seems like an obvious fit for online video. But they use video to do more than tempt dreamers looking to escape winter weather. The board uses ads on YouTube to quickly spread relevant news. For example, when an airline recently added new nonstop flights from New York to Nassau, the board was able to show ads about this route to viewers in the New York area - ensuring that they reached the right people with relevant news.








We hope your business can use some of these tips to make your next video campaign take flight! You can learn more about promoting your business, content or cause with online video by joining our conversation on Google+ and adding the YouTube for marketers Google+ page to your circles.



Baljeet Singh, group product manager on video monetization at Google, recently watched "DollarShaveClub.com - Our Blades Are F***ing Great."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/L_rwRvpLpaw/travel-businesses-on-youtube-make-it.html

[G] Get Local with AdWords

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Official Google CPG Blog: Get Local with AdWords


Get organized this spring with new location features in AdWords and share your stories

Over the past 30 years, California Closet Company has grown from the brainchild of a college student organizing his dorm room closet to a successful business with more than 77 franchise locations. To reach customers across the U.S. and internationally, the company centered their digital marketing strategy on creating locally relevant campaigns.

It’s no surprise that local campaigns are a focus for many businesses--from finding directions to looking up a phone number, more people are going online to find local information. In fact, more than 20% of searches on Google are related to location, and people often act quickly on local searches. Research shows that using smartphones, 88% of people who search for local information take action within a day.

To help you organize your local ad campaigns this spring, we’re introducing three new features in AdWords to help you create ads that are more relevant to local customers.

Target customers by zip code
If you customize your direct mail, outdoor ads, or newspaper ads at a postal code level, you now can easily do the same in AdWords in the US. We are introducing the ability to target more than 30,000 US ZIP Codes with your AdWords campaigns.

You will be able to add up to 1,000 postal codes at a time to your search ad campaigns with AdWords Location Targeting. Plus, you can get feedback on the performance of your local campaigns by viewing campaign performance statistics at the postal code level.

"Location targeting within AdWords helped us double lead volume and cut the cost to acquire new customers in half,” said Lois Erbay, Director of Marketing, California Closet Company. “We plan on building on that success by using ZIP Code targeting to create even more locally relevant campaigns for our customers.”


More locally relevant ads in less time
To help you easily create a custom ad title, text, display URL, and/or destination URL for all of your locations at scale, we’ve developed location insertion for location extensions. You’ll no longer need to create multiple ads for multiple locations--this new feature automatically inserts the city, phone number, or zip code of your local business into your ad text.

For example, if your ad text says: “Find a {lb.city:Local} Store or Shop Online,” a user viewing your ad in Chicago would see: “Find a Chicago Store or Shop Online.” This new feature cuts out all the work to building out ad text featuring local information for all your locations.

Ad with location insertion in the text and display URL

“We’ve had amazing success manually customizing our creative with local information for our top markets, which shows us that customers want locally-relevant results when it comes to a service like storage,” said Chris Laczi, Advertising Director, Uncle Bob's Self Storage. “That’s why we’re very excited about location insertion. It will simplify the task of creating locally customized ads for our 400+ locations, and we expect it will greatly enhance conversion rate of our ads.”

You must have location extensions set up and running in order to enable location insertion. Location insertion will work even if your location extensions don’t show because of other extensions. We detect location based on where your customer is physically located or by the geographic locations she may have shown interest in.


Better clarity and control
When we launched advanced location targeting in March 2011, we provided you with more control over how you geographically target your ads. Based on advertiser feedback, we’re implementing four additional enhancements that will make location targeting options clearer and more powerful. Read more about these enhancements in the Help Center and in this blog post.

There is significant opportunity for businesses to reach local customers online and win moments that matter by delivering the right ad in the right context. Stay tuned for more information on how ZIP Code targeting can help you grow your business.

We want to hear from you about your success in getting local with AdWords--share your story here and we might reach out to you to participate in our upcoming blog posts.

Posted by Richard Holden, Product Management Director
URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2012/04/get-local-with-adwords.html

[G] More clarity and control with location targeting improvements

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Official Google CPG Blog: More clarity and control with location targeting improvements

When we launched advanced location targeting in March 2011, we provided you with more control over how you geographically target your ads. Based on advertiser feedback, we’re implementing four additional enhancements that will make location targeting options clearer and more powerful. Here’s an overview of what’s changing.

Location targeting is now easier to understand.

First, we’ve reworded the options to help make them clearer. Here is what the options for advanced location targeting used to look like:


Here is what we’re unveiling today:


Show ads to people in a physical location, without exception.
Previously, if you had selected “Target using physical location,” your ad would show to people in your targeted location as long as they were not searching for something related to a different location. Now, when you select “People in my targeted location,” your ad shows to people in your targeted location, without exception.

Let’s say you are an airline using physical location targeting to reach customers in Atlanta, GA looking to fly to Hawaii. You have the keyword “flights to hawaii” in your ad group. Previously, your ad wouldn’t appear for any prospective customers in Atlanta that were searching for “flights to hawaii” because the search term indicated that they were interested in Hawaii. With the new setting “People in my targeted location,” the airline can now reach the customers in Atlanta searching for “flights to hawaii.”

This enhancement has been beneficial in increasing VEGAS.com’s ability to target offers to users based on where they are located at the time of the search. “As a leading destination travel site, our goal is to send the right message to a user as they plan their travel well ahead of time from their home market. Advanced Location Targeting has given us that ability,” said Dan Hippler, Vice-President of Marketing, Vegas.com.

Greater control over location targeting on the Display Network
Previously, the only location targeting signal applicable to ads on the Google Display Network was the likely physical location of the user. Now, both the location extracted from the content of the page and the likely physical location can be used, making advanced location targeting applicable for the Display Network for the first time. The default setting is to show to people “in” or “viewing pages about” your targeted location, but you can edit this option at any time.

Let’s say a customer in Atlanta is planning a trip to Hawaii and she’s looking at websites about fun things to do in Hawaii. A coffee plantation tour service from Hawaii would like to show ads about its offers to such a user. Similarly, an airline would like to advertise flight services to this user. The new targeting enhancements give the tour service and airline such capabilities, as both an ad targeted to Hawaii for a coffee plantation tour and an ad targeted to Atlanta for flights from Atlanta may now both show on the same page.

There are several situations in which we will not use location to target an ad. For example, a user reading about news in Hawaii may not be interested in “Hawaii tours”. For this reason, we currently only consider the location signal on a limited set of pages when we believe it may be useful. You can gain insight into the sites on which your ads are showing on the placement report, and into the locations on the geographic report.

Note that all campaigns targeting the Display Network will automatically be opted into the default option, which is to reach people in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location. If you wish to exclude campaign traffic from people viewing pages about your location, you can choose “People in my targeted location” in advanced location options.

More easily avoid getting impressions for excluded areas
We have also changed the advanced location exclusion methods. Previously, the less restrictive option, “Exclude by physical location only,” was the default. Based on feedback from advertisers, we have re-worded the exclusion options and made the more restrictive option, “People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my excluded location,” the default. This way you avoid getting impressions for excluded areas regardless of whether your customers are located or interested in those areas.

What it looked like before:


What we’re launching today:


For example, now by default excluding Chicago means your ad won’t show for customers in Chicago or those outside Chicago who included “Chicago” in their searches.

This change will only impact newly created campaigns and will not affect existing campaigns.

Remember, advanced location targeting may limit the exposure of your ads, so it isn’t suited for all advertising goals.

To find out more about advanced location targeting or to change your settings, visit our help center. If you use AdWords Editor, details on how these changes will impact you can be found in the AdWords Editor help center.

Posted by Smita Hashim, Group Product Manager Local Ads
URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2012/04/more-clarity-and-control-with-location.html

Friday, April 6, 2012

[G] Help improve the “blue dot” for people visiting your venue

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Google Lat Long: Help improve the “blue dot” for people visiting your venue


When we announced the availability of indoor maps for Android last November, we also introduced Google Maps Floor Plans as a tool for business owners to upload the floor plans for their venue and have them appear in Google Maps for Android. Today we’re releasing the Google Maps Floor Plan Marker app, which enables those who’ve uploaded floor plans to improve the indoor location accuracy their visitors experience when using indoor maps within their venue. The app is available for people in the United States through Google Play.


If you’ve uploaded a floor plan through the Google Maps Floor Plans tool, once you install the Google Maps Floor Plan Marker app, you’ll be guided through the process of walking around the entire surface area of your place of interest. Using the app, you collect data from sources such as GPS, cell tower, and publicly broadcast WiFi information that can help us make the My Location feature’s familiar “blue dot” icon accessible for Android users when they’re inside the venue. The time it takes to complete this process depends on the size of the venue, but you can pause and resume a marking task at any time if you want to take breaks.

The information you choose to submit will ultimately help visitors and customers more quickly and easily orient themselves, see where they are and what’s around them. Customers will even be able to see which floor they’re on in buildings with multiple floors, and the map will automatically update to the right floor if they go up or down a level!

To get started, download the Google Maps Floor Plan Marker app from Google Play. The app is currently only available in English for people in United States.

Posted by Cedric Dupont, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/help-improve-blue-dot-for-people.html

[G] Tornadoes in Texas, Storms in Japan, Final Four riots

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YouTube Blog: Tornadoes in Texas, Storms in Japan, Final Four riots

Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week we post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.

  • We watched hellish scenes in Texas as a number of tornadoes were recorded tearing through the Dallas area.
  • We saw the most powerful storms in 50 years claim the lives of two people in Japan, and injure 160.
  • We were shocked at the behavior of some University of Kentucky Wildcats fans as they rioted on Saturday night after a 'Final Four' victory over Louisville.
  • We witnessed a plane crash shortly after take off in Siberia, leading to the deaths of 32 passengers.
  • We followed the GOP candidates on the US campaign trail, as Mitt Romney took another decisive step towards the Republican nomination with a hat-trick of wins on Tuesday.
  • We marked a historic day in Myanmar as voters celebrated the election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi into parliament.
  • We observed riot police and Greek protesters clashing after angry demonstrations that followed a pensioner's public suicide.
  • We viewed protests and concern for detained Bahraini hunger striker Abdulhadi Al Khawaja as his hunger strike headed towards 60 days.
  • We felt the sense anticipation build in London as many test events got underway during final preparations for the London 2012 Olympics.
  • We witnessed the Mega Millions lottery jackpot hitting $640 million, with the first winning ticket confirmed as being sold in Maryland.

Come back to see the news unfold on YouTube.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "First Video:F-18 Navy Jet Crashes into Virginia Beach Apartment".



URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/pV3AE8JCjk4/tornadoes-in-texas-storms-in-japan.html

[G] A Change to Our Retailer Partner Program: eBooks Resellers to Wind Down Next Year

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Inside Google Books: A Change to Our Retailer Partner Program: eBooks Resellers to Wind Down Next Year

Posted by Scott Dougall, director, product management, digital publishing

With the launch of Google eBooks in 2010, we introduced a multi-faceted approach to selling ebooks: online, on devices, through affiliates and through resellers. One part of that effort -- the reseller program -- has not gained the traction that we hoped it would, so we have made the difficult decision to discontinue it by the end of January next year.

This change will help us focus on building the best ebooks experience we can across hundreds of devices with millions of books. Books will continue to be a major content pillar alongside apps, music and movies in the Google Play store. And -- regardless of where they bought them -- customers will still be able to access and read their ebooks on the web, phones, tablets and compatible eReaders.

We will work closely with our sixteen reseller partners as they transition in the coming months. Also, booksellers will still be highlighted in the “Buy this book” section of Google Book search, supported with our affiliate program and have access to free Books APIs.

Looking at the results to-date, it’s clear that the reseller program has not met the needs of many readers or booksellers. While our role as an ebooks wholesaler to booksellers will be coming to a close next year, we remain as committed as ever to making the eBooks experience from Google the best it can be for readers around the world.
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2012/04/change-to-our-retailer-partner-program.html

[G] Final Hours to Submit Student Proposals for Google Summer of Code

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Google Open Source Blog: Final Hours to Submit Student Proposals for Google Summer of Code







Students, the deadline for submitting your proposal for Google Summer of Code is only hours away. Be sure to submit your proposal to the program site by this Friday, April 6th at 19:00 UTC (Noon PST) to be considered for this year’s program.



For tips on writing a quality proposal that will grab the attention of the mentoring organizations check out the student manual. This is a highly competitive program and the quality of your proposal is what will set you apart from the rest of the applicants.



For more tips, see a list of some helpful dos and don’ts for successful student participation written by a group of experienced Google Summer of Code administrators, our user’s guide for the program site, Frequently Asked Questions and timeline. You can also stay up-to-date on all things Google Summer of Code on our Google Open Source blog, mailing lists or on IRC at #gsoc on Freenode.



Don’t miss out on an exciting summer full of open source coding by waiting until the last minute and missing the deadline. All proposals must be submitted before Friday, April 6th at 19:00 UTC.



By Stephanie Taylor, Google Open Source Programs





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/D4s1BxI9mvU/final-hours-to-submit-student-proposals.html

[G] Check out the nominees for April’s “On The Rise” spotlight!

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YouTube Blog: Check out the nominees for April’s “On The Rise” spotlight!

Each month, we identify four YouTube partners whose Channels have experienced significant growth and are on the cusp of really taking off for our On The Rise program. In April, we’re showcasing partners in the performance, beauty, sports and film industries. None of them have hit the 100,000 subscriber mark just yet, but they’ve already built significant followings on YouTube.



You can help them get closer though, starting with the opportunity for one of these partners to be featured on the YouTube homepage. Check out the videos below and vote for your favorite in the top right corner of this blog. In addition to your votes, each Channel will be evaluated (by YouTube) on criteria such as viewer engagement and Channel optimization techniques to decide which partner will be featured on the homepage, Google+, Facebook and Twitter at the end of the month.



In past months On The Rise nominees, partners like marydoodles and AnyoneButMeWebSeries have gained many subscribers thanks to your support. The poll will be open until April 13 at 5pm PT, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite Channel. Check back to see who secured the homepage feature on April 26th.



anaheimballet

The resident ballet company of Anaheim, CA, since 1997, the Anaheim Ballet hosts classical ballet performances and provides dance education. The school and company are non-profit organizations, and they produce weekly videos for their YouTube Channel.
















nurberxo

Want makeup and styling inspiration, or advice about how to present yourself effectively? Nur’s beauty channel is worth browsing for both, giving you holistic beauty advice.
















strskillschool

Steve Roberts has been coaching sports in the UK for over 12 years. His passion is soccer (or football, if you’d like), and his sports coaching company’s channel provides excellent tips for how to improve your techniques.
















ultraslo

The Ultraslo production company and channel were founded by a two-time Emmy Award winner Alan Teitel. As the name suggests, these videos showcase slow-motion subjects ranging from action sports to insects.
















If you’re interested in checking out more rising YouTube Partners, visit our On The Rise Channel, which features nominees, trending partners and monthly blog winners.



Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “Improv Everywhere: Quadruplets.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/adMv5EI2XNo/check-out-nominees-for-aprils-on-rise.html

[G] Get Local with AdWords

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Inside AdWords: Get Local with AdWords


Get organized this spring with new location features in AdWords and share your stories

Over the past 30 years, California Closet Company has grown from the brainchild of a college student organizing his dorm room closet to a successful business with more than 77 franchise locations. To reach customers across the U.S. and internationally, the company centered their digital marketing strategy on creating locally relevant campaigns.

It’s no surprise that local campaigns are a focus for many businesses--from finding directions to looking up a phone number, more people are going online to find local information. In fact, more than 20% of searches on Google are related to location, and people often act quickly on local searches. Research shows that using smartphones, 88% of people who search for local information take action within a day.

To help you organize your local ad campaigns this spring, we’re introducing three new features in AdWords to help you create ads that are more relevant to local customers.

Target customers by zip code
If you customize your direct mail, outdoor ads, or newspaper ads at a postal code level, you now can easily do the same in AdWords in the US. We are introducing the ability to target more than 30,000 US ZIP Codes with your AdWords campaigns.

You will be able to add up to 1,000 postal codes at a time to your search ad campaigns with AdWords Location Targeting. Plus, you can get feedback on the performance of your local campaigns by viewing campaign performance statistics at the postal code level.

"Location targeting within AdWords helped us double lead volume and cut the cost to acquire new customers in half,” said Lois Erbay, Director of Marketing, California Closet Company. “We plan on building on that success by using ZIP Code targeting to create even more locally relevant campaigns for our customers.”


More locally relevant ads in less time
To help you easily create a custom ad title, text, display URL, and/or destination URL for all of your locations at scale, we’ve developed location insertion for location extensions. You’ll no longer need to create multiple ads for multiple locations--this new feature automatically inserts the city, phone number, or zip code of your local business into your ad text.

For example, if your ad text says: “Find a {lb.city:Local} Store or Shop Online,” a user viewing your ad in Chicago would see: “Find a Chicago Store or Shop Online.” This new feature cuts out all the work to building out ad text featuring local information for all your locations.

Ad with location insertion in the text and display URL

“We’ve had amazing success manually customizing our creative with local information for our top markets, which shows us that customers want locally-relevant results when it comes to a service like storage,” said Chris Laczi, Advertising Director, Uncle Bob's Self Storage. “That’s why we’re very excited about location insertion. It will simplify the task of creating locally customized ads for our 400+ locations, and we expect it will greatly enhance conversion rate of our ads.”

You must have location extensions set up and running in order to enable location insertion. Location insertion will work even if your location extensions don’t show because of other extensions. We detect location based on where your customer is physically located or by the geographic locations she may have shown interest in.


Better clarity and control
When we launched advanced location targeting in March 2011, we provided you with more control over how you geographically target your ads. Based on advertiser feedback, we’re implementing four additional enhancements that will make location targeting options clearer and more powerful. Read more about these enhancements in the Help Center and in this blog post.

There is significant opportunity for businesses to reach local customers online and win moments that matter by delivering the right ad in the right context. Stay tuned for more information on how ZIP Code targeting can help you grow your business.

We want to hear from you about your success in getting local with AdWords--share your story here and we might reach out to you to participate in our upcoming blog posts.

Posted by Richard Holden, Product Management Director
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/get-local-with-adwords.html

[G] More clarity and control with location targeting improvements

| More

Inside AdWords: More clarity and control with location targeting improvements

When we launched advanced location targeting in March 2011, we provided you with more control over how you geographically target your ads. Based on advertiser feedback, we’re implementing four additional enhancements that will make location targeting options clearer and more powerful. Here’s an overview of what’s changing.

Location targeting is now easier to understand.

First, we’ve reworded the options to help make them clearer. Here is what the options for advanced location targeting used to look like:


Here is what we’re unveiling today:


Show ads to people in a physical location, without exception.
Previously, if you had selected “Target using physical location,” your ad would show to people in your targeted location as long as they were not searching for something related to a different location. Now, when you select “People in my targeted location,” your ad shows to people in your targeted location, without exception.

Let’s say you are an airline using physical location targeting to reach customers in Atlanta, GA looking to fly to Hawaii. You have the keyword “flights to hawaii” in your ad group. Previously, your ad wouldn’t appear for any prospective customers in Atlanta that were searching for “flights to hawaii” because the search term indicated that they were interested in Hawaii. With the new setting “People in my targeted location,” the airline can now reach the customers in Atlanta searching for “flights to hawaii.”

This enhancement has been beneficial in increasing VEGAS.com’s ability to target offers to users based on where they are located at the time of the search. “As a leading destination travel site, our goal is to send the right message to a user as they plan their travel well ahead of time from their home market. Advanced Location Targeting has given us that ability,” said Dan Hippler, Vice-President of Marketing, Vegas.com.

Greater control over location targeting on the Display Network
Previously, the only location targeting signal applicable to ads on the Google Display Network was the likely physical location of the user. Now, both the location extracted from the content of the page and the likely physical location can be used, making advanced location targeting applicable for the Display Network for the first time. The default setting is to show to people “in” or “viewing pages about” your targeted location, but you can edit this option at any time.

Let’s say a customer in Atlanta is planning a trip to Hawaii and she’s looking at websites about fun things to do in Hawaii. A coffee plantation tour service from Hawaii would like to show ads about its offers to such a user. Similarly, an airline would like to advertise flight services to this user. The new targeting enhancements give the tour service and airline such capabilities, as both an ad targeted to Hawaii for a coffee plantation tour and an ad targeted to Atlanta for flights from Atlanta may now both show on the same page.

There are several situations in which we will not use location to target an ad. For example, a user reading about news in Hawaii may not be interested in “Hawaii tours”. For this reason, we currently only consider the location signal on a limited set of pages when we believe it may be useful. You can gain insight into the sites on which your ads are showing on the placement report, and into the locations on the geographic report.

Note that all campaigns targeting the Display Network will automatically be opted into the default option, which is to reach people in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location. If you wish to exclude campaign traffic from people viewing pages about your location, you can choose “People in my targeted location” in advanced location options.

More easily avoid getting impressions for excluded areas
We have also changed the advanced location exclusion methods. Previously, the less restrictive option, “Exclude by physical location only,” was the default. Based on feedback from advertisers, we have re-worded the exclusion options and made the more restrictive option, “People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my excluded location,” the default. This way you avoid getting impressions for excluded areas regardless of whether your customers are located or interested in those areas.

What it looked like before:


What we’re launching today:


For example, now by default excluding Chicago means your ad won’t show for customers in Chicago or those outside Chicago who included “Chicago” in their searches.

This change will only impact newly created campaigns and will not affect existing campaigns.

Remember, advanced location targeting may limit the exposure of your ads, so it isn’t suited for all advertising goals.

To find out more about advanced location targeting or to change your settings, visit our help center. If you use AdWords Editor, details on how these changes will impact you can be found in the AdWords Editor help center.

Posted by Smita Hashim, Group Product Manager Local Ads
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/more-clarity-and-control-with-location.html

[G] Display Campaign Optimizer Available to All

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Inside AdWords: Display Campaign Optimizer Available to All

Recently we announced the most significant enhancement to our contextual engine ever: the ability to optimize Google Display Network campaigns down to the keyword level using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. These new controls will help advertisers fine-tune their campaign performance on a completely new level - like upgrading from a standard engine to a 6-speed manual gear-shift race car. For advertisers that prefer to put their campaigns on cruise-control and let Google technology do the heavy lifting, our suite of automatic optimization tools maximize the performance of your Google Display Network campaigns while saving you valuable time and resources. From adjusting bids with Conversion Optimizer and Enhanced CPC, to automatically finding optimal placements around the network with Display Campaign Optimizer - these features help advertisers achieve their ROI goals, with a fraction of the effort.

Display's Self-Driving Car - Display Campaign Optimizer
The Display Campaign Optimizer was launched in 2010 as a limited beta, and since has become one of our most popular automation tools for large advertisers managing high volume campaigns. In addition to fully automating your targeting and bidding, it uses a variety of signals like context, demographics and interest categories to find additional conversions across our vast AdSense publisher network - all at your desired CPA.

Watch how it works

As we highlighted last fall, advertisers have had great success using Display Campaign Optimizer. Recently it helped Dale Carnegie Training expand their online reach to more than 85 countries in the world without a lot of hands-on effort. After implementing the Display Campaign Optimizer on two campaigns, they increased conversions by 308% and 101% in only six months while maintaining a steady cost-per-lead.


Dale Carnagie Wins Friends and Influences Buyers with Display Campaign Optimizer

Now Open to All
With greater adoption and a significantly improved engine, we’re excited to announce that Display Campaign Optimizer is exiting “beta” and available to all advertisers through AdWords. Previously only large advertisers with very high conversion volumes (150/month) could take advantage of this powerful tool. The new and improved Display Campaign Optimizer now has the same low conversion requirement (15/month) as Conversion Optimizer. This means you can simply opt-into DCO on any campaign running on Conversion Optimizer and take advantage of the added benefit of more conversions!

Get Started!
Starting today you can easily set-up Display Campaign Optimizer campaigns in AdWords. For more information on how to set up your Display Campaign Optimizer campaigns, review our step-by - step guide on our AdWords Help Center.

Posted by David Mitby, Product Manager Display Campaign Optimizer, and Abhinay Sharma Sr Engineering Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/display-campaign-optimizer-available-to.html

[G] Get inspired with Think Quarterly’s creativity issue

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Inside AdWords: Get inspired with Think Quarterly’s creativity issue

What does creativity look like in a digital context? What does it mean for your business, your campaigns, and your customers? This issue of Google’s Think Quarterly explores these fundamental questions and more -- a must read for digital marketers!

(Editor's note, April 4, 2:58pm: the below post is cross-posted from the Google Agency blog.)

As the internet comes of age, technology is catching up with our wildest imaginations. We can realize ideas that simply weren’t possible merely five years ago. And you don’t need to be a technologist or have “Creative” in your title to utilize technology in new ways; millions of people around the world are making, remixing, and sharing every day.

Case in point: There are over 800 exabytes of digital information in the world -- words, videos, photos, music. To put that in context, a volume of the complete works of Shakespeare is about five megabytes. It would take one billion book-filled pickup trucks to make just one exabyte. This is our creative output -- the sheer volume is equally inspiring and overwhelming.

Where to begin? Right here. The Creativity issue of Think Quarterly, launching today, documents this far-reaching transformation, cutting through the noise to focus on what it all means.

In “The Curious Case of Creativity,” Google VP of Global Marketing Lorraine Twohill sees creativity through an engineer’s eyes as a way to solve problems, big and small. Interviews with the founders of two award-winning global agencies, Sir John Hegarty of BBH and Ajaz Ahmed of AKQA, discuss what creativity means in a digital context and how you can encourage it, even at a big company. Creative minds from Mullen, Wieden and Kennedy, Barbarian Group, AKQA, and Anomaly pick their most envy-inducing digital campaigns. And “Lean Communications” looks at how technology is forcing the traditional creative process to get faster, smarter, and more efficient.

We also explore how the web is inspiring entirely new forms of creativity, like YouTube remixes, 3D models, data art and infographics, that are reshaping how we see the world. (And if you want to see how the web shapes your brand in particular, try our new “Brand Impressions” tool on Think Quarterly and Think Insights.)

Take some time to check it out and let us know what you think on +Think With Google.

Posted by Allison Mooney, Think Quarterly Editor
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/get-inspired-with-think-quarterlys.html

[G] Building Display Creatives for Your Audience

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Inside AdWords: Building Display Creatives for Your Audience

If you’re audience targeting (or considering it), customizing your ads for your audience can yield better performance. Here are the top tips for audience targeted creatives learned through the collective experience of hundreds of Google AdWords account teams.

1. Make your ads a helpful step in the user experience
Make audience specific recommendations, differentiate yourself from the competition, and provide new information. For example remarketing ads could show complementary products that an existing customer may need. If you’re targeting new users, feature positive testimonials and reviews to highlight your good reputation.

Make better use of audience targeting by addressing different stages in the buying cycle within your ad.


2. Be Transparent
This is particularly important if you’re using remarketing. Your audience may wonder how you knew they were on your site or interested in specific products. Be upfront; link to a description of why they’re seeing your ads and how they work from your landing page. Showing a variety of ads helps minimize overly-specific targeting and repetition.

3. Tailor ads to your user
To drive better performance: personalize ads based on the product or service your audience would be interested in. If you’re remarketing to a user who browsed your site, match your ads to content they viewed. For example, if a user viewed a variety of smart phones, you could show ads promoting individual phones, phone plans, or phone accessories.


4. Landing Page Relevance
Seamlessly link your audience-relevant creative message to a landing page on your website with content pertinent to the product or service the audience is interested in.

To improve your audience campaign performance, ensure that your landing page is optimized for conversions. Tools like Website Optimizer or Google Analytics can make optimizing your landing pages much easier.


5. Call-to-Action
A compelling call-to-action is crucial for any targeting type or advertising goal. Use your knowledge of your audience to match your call-to-action to the user in both content and style.

Phrases like ‘See Offers’ perform double duty by communicating next steps and highlighting a promotion or benefit in clicking.


6. Use All Ad Formats & Sizes
Not every site will offer every ad size and format – if you’re missing ad sizes you could be missing out on thousands of impressions. Remember, you want to reach your audience wherever they are online. Maximize your opportunity to reach your audience anywhere on a network and increase volume by utilizing all ad formats, text ads, and display ad sizes available.

We’d love your feedback. Let us know if this was helpful or how it can be improved at better-ads@google.com.

Posted by Katie Miller, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/building-display-creatives-for-your.html

Thursday, April 5, 2012

[G] Celebrating six students receiving the AP-Google Journalism & Technology Scholarship

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Official Google Blog: Celebrating six students receiving the AP-Google Journalism & Technology Scholarship

Last summer, we announced a joint scholarship program for aspiring journalists with the Associated Press, administered by the Online News Association. Congratulations to the six students who will each be receiving $20,000 to pursue degrees that lie at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media:
  • Emily Eggleston, 24, graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, studying journalism and geography.
  • Reginald James, 30, undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying political science and African American studies.
  • Katie Zhu, 20, undergraduate at Northwestern University, studying computer science and journalism.
  • Rebecca Rolfe, 25, graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying digital media.
  • Kevin Schaul, 20, undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, studying journalism and computer science.
  • John Osborn, 29, graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying journalism.
These students have big plans that range from producing hyperlocal data-driven stories, to developing open-source apps that allow for democratic news gathering and greater collaboration, to data visualization for current events and entertainment, to producing political news games and teaching journalists how to code.

We hope these scholarship winners, and their future projects, inspire the broader journalism community to keep rethinking how to report and share stories through new technologies.

For all undergraduate and graduate students already brainstorming ideas for next year, read more about the application process and eligibility on the scholarship program’s website. Thank you to the Associated Press and the Online News Association for making this scholarship program possible, and we look forward to seeing the impact these students have in their communities and in journalism.

Posted by Sean Carlson, Global Communications & Public Affairs
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/celebrating-six-students-receiving-ap.html