Friday, June 28, 2013

[G] 4 ways to win in retail this 4th of July with DoubleClick Search

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Inside AdWords: 4 ways to win in retail this 4th of July with DoubleClick Search

This post originally appeared on the DoubleClick Search Blog

Ah, the 4th of July: a time for day-long picnics at the park, fishing trips by the lake, night skies filled with fireworks -- and of course, shopping. If you’re a search marketer focused on retail, you know that holidays like the upcoming 4th of July can be an enormous opportunity to capture additional traffic from shoppers looking for the best deals online. So while you’re planning your annual hot dog eating contest, we want to help you start a new tradition this year to win in retail, using integrated solutions from DoubleClick Search. Today, we’re offering up a few retail-ready features to make sure you kick off your holiday search campaigns with a bang:

Manage your product inventory, along with your barbecuing.
There’s no need to step away from the grill: with inventory-aware campaigns, create and update your search ads, keywords, and bids automatically, based on your product inventory. And seamless integration with Google Merchant Center means you can leverage your existing feeds, with no extra work, at no extra cost. Set up rules that let you:
  • Expand your reach by automatically creating new ad groups, ads, and keywords based on product availability. And with deep coverage across your product catalogues, we’ll generate those highly relevant long-tail keywords that can be a chore to manage manually. In fact, we’ve seen that inventory-managed keywords more than doubled return on ad spend for heavy users(1).
  • Cut out the repetition in managing existing campaigns, by tying the behavior of ads and keywords to your inventory levels. For example, you can pause keywords when a related product is out of stock, and reactivate them when it’s back in stock, or update ad copy to align with promotions and style changes. You can also change landing page URLs when the links in the feed change.
  • Express rich customization with ad templates that enable granular product-level messaging at scale. We’ve seen that this rich customization delivers higher conversion rates by attracting only the most qualified clicks.


Plan a PLA picnic: you bring the fruit salad, we’ll bring the richer search ads.
With our fully integrated solution, DoubleClick Search makes creating and managing Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns as easy as apple pie. Incorporate product-rich information and measure, optimize, and report on PLA performance using the same familiar workflow you use with the rest of your ads:
  • Integrate with Google Merchant Center to easily view Merchant Center feeds in the DoubleClick Search UI, and to preview exactly what products fall under a product target.
  • Save time and upload product targets in bulk, using our standard upload sheet workflow to quickly create product targets for your highest revenue-generating products.
  • Analyze PLA campaign success with existing reporting features from DoubleClick Search. For example, track budget and key KPIs for PLA campaigns using our budget pacing reports. And with full PLA integration, your reports reflect the same Floodlight or Google Analytics conversion data you use for the rest of your campaigns, to give you a more accurate view of attribution.


Light up your most fiery landing pages through A/B testing.
Which landing page is worthy of a fireworks show? With DoubleClick Search landing page testing, identify and drive traffic to the highest ROI landing pages; then, calculate the exact impact of your landing page optimizations and update your ads immediately to boost results:
  • Easily split your search ads traffic across multiple landing pages to get just the insights you’re looking for. In addition to evenly splitting traffic across your search ads, you can define custom traffic splits (for example, a 90-10 split).
  • Analyze and compare through historical reporting from previously completed tests to help you determine the exact impact of your landing page changes.


Host a cross-channel block party, get search and display talking.
It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with the neighbors. With display remarketing from search ads -- a cross-channel feature from the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform -- use paid search clicks from DoubleClick Search to show consumers display ads across major ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across the Google Display Network, all with an easy and tagless workflow. With this feature, you can:
  • Quickly take advantage of new opportunities before they're gone, with a turn-key setup on one integrated platform. Set up your remarketing lists in 4 easy steps, and begin remarketing to users to quickly deliver the right message to the right consumer, soon after they’ve left your site. And with instant conversions, immediately report on the impact of your remarketing efforts, and fine-tune your approach to improve performance.
  • Convert browsers to buyers. Re-engage consumers who visited your website, but left without making a purchase. For example, you can reach consumers who placed a pair of sparklers in their shopping cart, but did not complete the checkout process.
  • Increase loyalty or reinforce brand messages. Re-engage consumers by introducing new product categories from the same brand. For example, show a display ad for Brand X lawn chair to someone who previously purchased Brand X outdoor umbrella after clicking on the brand’s search ads.
  • Up-sell to converted audiences. For example, after a consumer purchases tickets to an amusement park in Anaheim, CA, show him/her display ads for hotel deals in Anaheim.

Don’t miss a beat this year. With solutions from DoubleClick Search, connect to in-market audiences with the right messages, and report on it all in real-time to capture even more seasonal opportunities. Now that’s certainly something to celebrate!

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search

1. Google internal data, 2013
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/4-ways-to-win-in-retail-this-4th-of.html

[G] GoogleServe 2013: Giving back on a global scale

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Official Blog: GoogleServe 2013: Giving back on a global scale

Every year in June comes a week where Googlers around the world stop reviewing code, ignore their inboxes and leave their cubicles behind to participate in GoogleServe, our global week of service.

This year, more than 8,500 Googlers from 75+ offices participated in 500 projects. Not only was this our largest GoogleServe to date, but it was also one of the more unique, as many projects were designed to expand the notion of what it means to give back to the community. Here’s a glimpse at some of what we were up to this year:

  • In Thimphu, Bhutan, Googlers led a workshop about media literacy at the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy helping youth prepare to participate in shaping the future of this young democracy.
  • Googlers in Mountain View, Calif., created a bone marrow donation drive and partnered with the Asian American Donor Program to raise awareness about the need for more donors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Googlers from our Hyderabad, India office volunteered at Sri Vidhya's Centre for the Special Children, helping children who suffer from a wide range of cognitive disabilities to learn how to identify colors, write their own names, and prepare meals for themselves.
  • A team of Googlers walked the New York, N.Y., streets gathering information to improve AXS Map, a crowd-sourced platform for mapping wheelchair accessibility which is populated with data from Google Maps and Google Places APIs.
  • In Lagos, Nigeria, Googlers mentored entrepreneurs at Generation Enterprise, a small business incubator that equips at-risk youth to start sustainable businesses in slum communities.
  • In Randwick, Australia, Googlers taught computer and Internet skills with the Australian Red Cross Young Parents Program which aims to develop the capacities of young parents to live independently and to parent successfully.
  • A group of gourmet Googlers cooked a meal for families with children undergoing cancer treatment with Ronald McDonald House in London, U.K.
  • Googlers tutored and mentored youth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the Dignity For Children Foundation.
  • Googlers partnered with Un Techo Para Mi País to help build a new house for a family living below the poverty line in Bogota, Colombia.
  • In Dublin, Ireland, Google engineers taught youth how to program interactive stories and games with Scratch in partnership with Coder Dojo.


Click for more photos from this year's GoogleServe

Over the past six years, GoogleServe has transformed from a single week of service into a week of celebration and inspiration for ongoing giving. Googlers also give back year-round through our GooglersGive programs which include 20 hours of work time annually to volunteer with an approved charitable organization. If you’re inspired to join us, please check out All for Good or VolunteerMatch for opportunities to give back in your community.

Posted by Zanoon Nissar, on behalf of the GoogleServe Global Leadership Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/googleserve-2013-giving-back-on-global.html

[G] Take a stroll through abandoned “Battleship Island” on Google Maps

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Google Lat Long: Take a stroll through abandoned “Battleship Island” on Google Maps


Do you remember the villain’s secret island hideout in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall, the one that looked like a decaying industrial wasteland? That fictional location was actually based on a real place — the island of Hashima off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. Due to its unique flat shape, the island is most widely known in Japan by its nickname Gunkanjima — aka “Battleship Island.”

Starting in the late 19th century, Hashima served as a coal mining facility and residential complex for 5,000 people. After the decline of coal mining in the 1970s, however, the island became completely abandoned, only opening up again to tourists in 2009. Hashima has transformed into an eerie tourist destination where you can see a once thriving town decaying and totally devoid of life. Apparently, Hashima’s buildings are deteriorating so rapidly that you can hear parts of the concrete collapse as the wind blows from the ocean.

While we can’t replicate those unearthly sounds on Google Maps, we can now give you 360° panoramas of the Hashima with today’s launch of Street View imagery for the island. Thanks to assistance from Nagasaki City, we were able to collect imagery with the Google Trekker beyond the cordoned-off areas for tourists and into off-limits paths around the island. We also used our Business Photos technology to let you peek into the abandoned buildings, complete with ancient black-and-white TVs and discarded soda bottles.



Winds have been very unkind to Hashima over the last several decades, and with the buildings falling apart, we hope this imagery can serve as a digital archive of its current state before further collapse. Today you can virtually explore the ruins of Hashima, pretending you’re James Bond waiting to be rescued. If you are really inspired, you can visit the real place next time you get down to Nagasaki, Japan.



Posted by Wakaba Ohkura, Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/06/take-stroll-through-abandoned.html

[G] Changes in rankings of smartphone results

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Inside AdSense: Changes in rankings of smartphone results

As the number of smartphone users continues to surge globally, many of you are responding quickly with mobile-friendly sites. Regardless of the device a user views your site on, their experience should be rich and consistent. With this in mind, the Google Webmaster Team is making some changes to the way they rank search results on smartphones. In particular, these changes will address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users. Read the original post and learn more about common configuration mistakes as well as recommendations from the Webmaster Team on building your mobile-optimized website.

Posted by Suzanne Headon - Inside AdSense team
Was this blog post useful? Share your feedback with us.
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone.html

[G] Website Satisfaction By Google Consumer Surveys -- For Free

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Analytics Blog: Website Satisfaction By Google Consumer Surveys -- For Free

If you are like most business owners, you know how important a healthy online community is to your business’s success. Traditionally, collecting user feedback has been an expensive and time-consuming process, but now you can hear from your site visitors for free using Google Consumer Surveys.

Website satisfaction surveys allow you to easily create customer satisfaction surveys in order to stay in tune with what your customers think. All you have to do is paste a small snippet of code in the HTML for your website. This will load a discreet satisfaction survey in the lower right hand corner of your website so you can get immediate feedback from your users. 



Users will be asked to complete a four-question satisfaction survey. Surveys will run until they have received 500 responses and will start again after 30 days so you can track responses over time. This is currently limited to US English visitors on non-mobile devices.



The default questions are free and you can customize questions for just $0.01 per response or $5.00 for 500 responses. By using Google Consumer Surveys to measure website satisfaction you automatically get aggregated and analyzed responses, provided to you through a simple online interface.

Creating a website satisfaction survey is simple. Give it a try now!

Posted by Marisa Currie-Rose, Product Marketing Manager, Google Consumer Surveys
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/06/website-satisfaction-by-google-consumer.html

[G] 4 Ways To Win In Retail This 4th Of July With DoubleClick Search

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Analytics Blog: 4 Ways To Win In Retail This 4th Of July With DoubleClick Search

The following post originally appeared on the DoubleClick Search blog.

Ah, the 4th of July: a time for day-long picnics at the park, fishing trips by the lake, night skies filled with fireworks -- and of course, shopping. If you’re a search marketer focused on retail, you know that holidays like the upcoming 4th of July can be an enormous opportunity to capture additional traffic from shoppers looking for the best deals online. So while you’re planning your annual hot dog eating contest, we want to help you start a new tradition this year to win in retail, using integrated solutions from DoubleClick Search. Today, we’re offering up a few retail-ready features to make sure you kick off your holiday search campaigns with a bang:


Manage your product inventory, along with your barbecuing.
There’s no need to step away from the grill: with inventory-aware campaigns, create and update your search ads, keywords, and bids automatically, based on your product inventory. And seamless integration with Google Merchant Center means you can leverage your existing feeds, with no extra work, at no extra cost. Set up rules in the UI that let you: 
  • Expand your reach by automatically creating new ad groups, ads, and keywords based on product availability. And with deep coverage across your product catalogues, we’ll generate those highly relevant long-tail keywords that can be a chore to manage manually. In fact, we’ve seen that inventory-managed keywords more than doubled return on ad spend for heavy users(1) (cite: Google Internal Data).
  • Cut out the repetition in managing existing campaigns, by tying the behavior of ads and keywords to your inventory levels. For example, you can pause keywords when a related product is out of stock, and reactivate them when it’s back in stock, or update ad copy to align with promotions and style changes. You can also change landing page URLs when the links in the feed change. 
  • Express rich customization with ad templates that enable granular product-level messaging at scale. We’ve seen that this rich customization delivers higher conversion rates by attracting only the most qualified clicks.


Plan a PLA picnic: you bring the fruit salad, we’ll bring the richer search ads.
With our fully integrated solution, DoubleClick Search makes creating and managing Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns as easy as apple pie. Incorporate product-rich information and measure, optimize, and report on PLA performance using the same familiar workflow you use with the rest of your ads:
  • Integrate with Google Merchant Center to easily view Merchant Center feeds in the DoubleClick Search UI, and to preview exactly what products fall under a product target.
  • Save time and upload product targets in bulk, using our standard upload sheet workflow to quickly create product targets for your highest revenue-generating products.
  • Analyze PLA campaign success with existing reporting features from Doubleclick Search. For example, track budget and key KPIs for PLA campaigns using our budget pacing reports. And with full PLA integration, your reports reflect the same Floodlight or Google Analytics conversion data you use for the rest of your campaigns, to give you a more accurate view of attribution. 


Light up your most fiery landing pages through A/B testing. Which landing page is worthy of a fireworks show? With DoubleClick Search landing page testing, identify and drive traffic to the highest ROI landing pages; then, calculate the exact impact of your landing page optimizations and update your ads immediately to boost results:
  • Easily split your search ads traffic across multiple landing pages to get just the insights you’re looking for. In addition to evenly splitting traffic across your search ads, you can define custom traffic splits (for example, a 90-10 split). 
  • Analyze and compare through historical reporting from previously completed tests to help you determine the exact impact of your landing page changes.


Host a cross-channel block party, get search and display talking. It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with the neighbors. With display remarketing from search ads -- a cross-channel feature from the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform -- use paid search clicks from DoubleClick Search to show consumers display ads across major ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across the Google Display Network, all with an easy and tagless workflow. With this feature, you can:
  • Take advantage of new opportunities immediately with a turn-key setup on one integrated platform. Set up your remarketing lists in 4 easy steps, and begin remarketing to users to quickly deliver the right message to the right consumer, soon after they’ve left your site. And with instant conversions, immediately report on the impact of your remarketing efforts, and fine-tune your approach to improve performance. 
  • Convert browsers to buyers. Re-engage consumers who visited your website, but left without making a purchase. For example, you can reach consumers who placed a pair of sparklers in their shopping cart, but did not complete the checkout process.
  • Increase loyalty or reinforce brand messages. Re-engage consumers by introducing new product categories from the same brand. For example, show a display ad for Brand X lawn chair to someone who previously purchased Brand X outdoor umbrella after clicking on the brand’s search ads.
  • Up-sell to converted audiences. For example, after a consumer purchases tickets to an amusement park in Anaheim, CA, show him/her display ads for hotel deals in Anaheim.

Don’t miss a beat this year. With solutions from DoubleClick Search, stay connected to in-market audiences with the right message at the right time, and report on it all in real-time to capture even more seasonal opportunities. Now that’s certainly something to celebrate!

Posted by the DoubleClick Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/06/4-ways-to-win-in-retail-this-4th-of.html

[G] Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 2

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Google Open Source Blog: Who is New in Google Summer of Code - Part 2

This is the 9th year of Google Summer of Code and we are excited to welcome over 40 new open source organizations into the Google Summer of Code community. Last Friday we started our summer series of weekly posts describing some of these open source organizations and the projects their students are working on this summer. We have three more organizations featured below.




Cesium is a JavaScript library for creating 3D globes and 2D maps in a web browser without a plugin. It uses WebGL for hardware-accelerated graphics, and is cross-platform, cross-browser, and tuned for dynamic-data visualization. Cesium is open source under the Apache 2.0 license.

We're thrilled to have two students working with us on Cesium this summer. André Nunes will be adding client-side support for the KML standard, allowing users to easily visualize the many geographic feature data sets which are widely available in KML files. Ravi Agrawal will be adding a Navigation Widget, providing on-screen camera controls to give users another way to interact with the globe in addition to our current click-and-drag mouse controls.

By Scott Hunter, Cesium Organization Administrator 


----- 


mlpack is a recent effort to provide a "swiss army knife" of fast implementations of machine learning methods, with a focus on tree-based algorithms. It has been shown to be faster than other similar toolkits in a recent paper. Some important issues we are focusing on are the breadth of the algorithms offered, the accessibility of mlpack methods from languages other than C++, and the automatic publication of accurate and relevant timing information for mlpack. 


Three projects were accepted for our inaugural year in Google Summer of Code and each of these addresses one of the three points listed above.

  • Addition of two new collaborative filtering methods to improve the breadth of the algorithms mlpack implements (QUIC-SVD and ALS-WR); this will be done by Mudit Raj Gupta.

  • The development of a system for the automatic generation of bindings for various languages with minimal maintenance requirements; this will be done by Nick Johnston.

  • The creation of a system for automatic benchmarking of mlpack methods and comparisons with other libraries, to be integrated into our Jenkins build server setup.  This project will be done by Marcus Edel.


We are grateful to have been accepted into Google Summer of Code 2013 and look forward to this wonderful opportunity to contribute open-source code into the machine learning world. 


By Ryan Curtin, mlpack Organization Administrator 


----- 




DUNE, the "Distributed and Unified Numerics Environment" is a modular toolbox for solving partial differential equations, like they arise when simulating weather, oil fields, biomechanics, air flow around your car, etc. DUNE was initiated in 2002 and has since evolved to a rather complete toolbox that provides slim templated C++ interfaces allowing efficient use of legacy and/or new libraries. 


We are very excited to have two students contributing to DUNE during Google Summer of Code 2013. Miha Čančula will work on a performance testing framework that will allow us to assess the impact on performance of recent changes. Xiaoxue Gong will help us to visualize surfaces, constructed by bisecting triangles, with Paraview. 


By Markus Blatt, DUNE Organization Administrator

These are only a few of the new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. Stay tuned for more of the 40+ new organizations as they are highlighted next Friday. A complete list of the 177 organizations mentoring students this year and the program timeline are available on the Google Summer of Code program site.



By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/hQ5lshuNo7I/who-is-new-in-google-summer-of-code_28.html

[G] Starting at 2:30 ET/ 11:30 PT today: Hangout with Liz Schimel, EVP & CDO, Meredith Corporation

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Starting at 2:30 ET/ 11:30 PT today: Hangout with Liz Schimel, EVP & CDO, Meredith Corporation

In today's edition of "Video in the Future", Lucas Watson, Google's Vice President of Global Sales and Industry Marketing, speaks with Liz Schimel, Executive Vice President & Chief Digital Officer at Meredith Corporation, about how they're adding sound and motion to print.You can watch the conversation when it goes live here or join from the Think with Google +page with your Google account and leave questions for Liz with the hashtag, #videointhefuture.



Posted by Yamini Gupta, Product Marketing Team
URL: http://doubleclickpublishers.blogspot.com/2013/06/starting-at-230-et-1130-pt-today.html

[G] Apply now to be the next Google Maps Trekker

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Google Lat Long: Apply now to be the next Google Maps Trekker


We’re working to build the very best map of the world, and we’d love your help to do it. Today we’re kicking off a pilot program that enables third party organizations to borrow the Street View Trekker and contribute imagery to Google Maps. For the first time ever, this program will enable organizations to use our camera equipment to collect 360-degree photos of the places they know best -- helping us make Google Maps more comprehensive and useful for all. This program is part of our ongoing effort to make it possible for anyone to contribute to Google Maps.

Our first partner, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), has already begun using the Trekker to take photos of the most popular, well-trafficked sites on the Hawaiian islands for future inclusion on Google Maps.



Street View Operations Lead Chris Fiock teaches Jaci Matsuo of HVCB and Rob Pacheco of Hawaii Forest & Trail how to operate the Trekker using its Android device at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Just a few days ago, our team arrived in Hawaii, the Big Island, to train our HVCB partners on how to operate the Trekker technology. Relying on HVCB’s expertise, we worked together to choose the locations where they’ll collect panoramic imagery, including trails through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa Observatory, Onomea Bay, Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley, Pololu Valley and more. Once images from the Hawaii Island are collected, HVCB will move on to capture photos from adjacent islands including Oahu, Maui and Kauai. By working in partnership with HVCB, we can bring these locations online much faster than working alone.



Rob Pacheco treks the uneven terrain and rocky beaches of Pololū Valley

With 360-degree interactive imagery of the islands, people all over the world can see and explore the beautiful islands before they go, including some remote and hard-to-reach places they may never have discovered on their own. We also hope this imagery will be used by our partners to increase awareness and interest in their locations, potentially increasing tourism.

Now it’s your turn! If you’re a tourism board, non-profit, government agency, university, research organization or other entity interested in borrowing a Street View Trekker to capture and share imagery from a place you know and care about, please apply today. In the coming months, we’ll open up this pilot program to a limited number of other organizations around the world.

To apply to be the next Trekker, please fill out the form.



Happy Trekking!

Posted by Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/06/apply-now-to-be-next-google-maps-trekker.html

[G] Connecting across continents

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Official Blog: Connecting across continents

There’s only so much students can learn about the world from the static pages of a textbook. Meeting people from other countries face-to-face provides unique insight into the world’s varied cultures, and the Internet is making this possible in unprecedented ways. To increase global connections, we’re working with First Lady Michelle Obama, the State Department and the Global Nomads Group, to connect students across continents over Google+ Hangouts.

As a keystone event in The White House’s Africa Tour, the First Lady will host a Google+ Hangout On Air from the SciBono Discovery Center in Johannesburg this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. EDT. After Mrs. Obama shares her thoughts on the importance of education, students in Johannesburg, L.A., Houston, New York, and Kansas City will get the chance to talk with one another directly, sharing ideas about education in their countries face-to-face-to-face—it’s a 21st-Century pen pal program, hosted by the First Lady. (RSVP to watch.)


The discussion won’t stop there. This Hangout On Air kick-starts a series of global exchanges on Google+, organized by the State Department and the Global Nomads Group, a nonprofit organization that facilitates cultural exchanges, launching early in the new school year. During the summer, students are encouraged to join the Global Nomads Group’s Google+ Community, “Connecting Continents,” to discover and connect with peers around the world. We look forward to announcing the next hangouts in the near future—stay tuned to the Global Nomads Community for details.

Posted by Will Houghteling, Lead, Google+ Education Partnerships
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/connecting-across-continents.html

Thursday, June 27, 2013

[G] More News at Your Fingertips

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Google News Blog: More News at Your Fingertips

Anand Paka, Google News Product Manager

Did my favorite team win or lose? Should I carry sunscreen or rain gear when I go hiking this weekend? And what did I miss in the world of technology and business? These quintessential questions of the day are all ones that Google News can provide quick answers to with some nifty new features. The aim is all about making news more relevant and useful to you by surfacing content that you might need in a hurry.

1. For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.


2. Our homepage also has a new Weather section on the right-hand column. With a quick glance, this section lets you see the 4-day weather forecast starting from today. The weather section is ‘smart’ - it defaults to show the weather for your current location. (As with local news, you can set this location manually.) We think this is a neat feature as you can track local weather conditions right next to the top stories without having to jump elsewhere to get this information.


3.The Editors’ Picks section has been a great channel for publishers and readers alike. It offers publishers a unique way to showcase their best work and build their brand, while enabling readers to discover great content that they might otherwise miss. Today we have extended Editors’ Picks from our homepage to our section pages so that you can now enjoy these hand picked articles for the particular section that you are reading at any given time. Editors’ Picks are now being introduced into the Technology and Business sections with plans to add more over time.

 

Look for these features the next time you visit Google News.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/more-news-at-your-fingertips.html

[G] Sharing enhanced campaigns stories to help you prepare for the July 22 auto-upgrade

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Inside AdWords: Sharing enhanced campaigns stories to help you prepare for the July 22 auto-upgrade

In today’s world of constant connectivity, people are switching between multiple devices throughout the day. This multi-screen reality creates new opportunities for marketers to reach customers across devices anytime, anywhere. In February, we launched AdWords enhanced campaigns to help advertisers capture these new opportunities and manage their ad campaigns more effectively.

With less than a month until the auto-upgrade on July 22, advertisers have already upgraded more than 4.5 million campaigns. We realize that the upgrade takes some work, so we appreciate the effort that many of you have put into the process. Many industry leaders and advertisers have shared their progress, results and stories with us.  Here are just a few examples:
  • M&M’S - Working with its agency partner, The DuMont Project, M&M’S brand MY M&M’S reported very strong results after upgrading to enhanced campaigns, including a 41% increase in conversion rates, 22% increase in revenue, and 31% boost in ROI for search campaigns. Across search and display, MY M&M’S reported a 15% boost in ROI. They initially thought that combining desktop and tablets into one category might negatively impact sales. But, they very quickly realized that the combination actually led to a higher ROI. The company also reduced the number of campaigns they managed from over 100 to 50 - saving five hours a week on campaign management.
  • Colombo & Hurd - This small Florida-based law firm worked with its search software and agency partner, WordStream, to upgrade its campaigns. The two teams completed the upgrade - including a full update of Colombo & Hurd’s mobile, location, and time bidding strategies - in less than 30 minutes. Since upgrading to enhanced campaigns, Colombo & Hurd reported that mobile click-through rates rose by 53%, CPCs fell by 13%, and mobile conversion rates increased by three times.
  • American Apparel - The retailer needed an easier, better way to reach customers wherever they are, whenever they’re searching for American Apparel items or stores. With enhanced campaigns, they used the proximity bidding feature and set mobile bid adjustments at 100% for a certain radius around their stores. Since upgrading, they’ve seen impressive results, with mobile conversions growing 2X and aggregate click-through-rate increasing by 7%. They’ve also found value in new features that are part of enhanced campaigns like upgraded sitelinks and sitelink reporting.
  • Third party ad platforms - Many search engine marketing platforms and agencies have integrated with enhanced campaigns to help their clients take advantage of the powerful new features. One provider recently published a detailed guide to help advertisers with the upgrade, and shared the positive progress it was seeing across clients. They noted: “We’ve seen positive results from advertisers that have opted to migrate early. Recently, a large financial services company successfully migrated to enhanced campaigns on [our] platform and optimized to increase leads by 64% while lowering their CPL by 37% across a significant portion of their campaigns.” They also observed that in the first month after upgrading, CPCs dropped by 2%, while clicks increased by 6%.
Since the earliest days of the rollout, dozens of search marketing companies have offered advertisers advice on transitioning to enhanced campaigns. Some advice (like the help provided by many of the companies above) has been extremely valuable, while some has been more speculative. Every advertiser is different, so the important thing is to review your own metrics and iterate based on your business goals. No two accounts are alike, so it’s important to get started to see how enhanced campaigns can best work for you. The key benefits that we’ve consistently heard from industry leaders and advertisers are:
  1. Better decision making made possible through improved reporting by device and location, as well as more detailed reporting on ad extension performance.
  2. Time savings by reducing the number of campaigns required to manage varying user contexts.
  3. Improved campaign management through features such as bid adjustments, device-specific formats and flexible bid strategies. 
  4. New ways to align with your business goals and operations with the ability to schedule the specific dates, days of the week, or times of day for your extensions and sitelinks, at either the ad group or campaign levels.
  5. Better ways to engage with mobile consumers using mobile-preferred creative and sitelinks, as well as proximity bidding to reach people who are nearby and on the go.
You can read about enhanced campaigns best practices and other advertiser stories on the enhanced campaigns website.

We’re learning from your feedback as we continue to improve AdWords for this new world of constant connectivity. It’s more important than ever for every business to reach customers across devices in a relevant way, and we’re hard at work building new features and improvements to help you do that successfully with AdWords.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/sharing-enhanced-campaigns-stories-to.html

[G] Review extensions: The new 'Don't take our word for it' tool for your search ads

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Inside AdWords: Review extensions: The new 'Don't take our word for it' tool for your search ads

Richer information about your business can help potential customers understand why your product or service is right for them. Advertisers have long found it valuable to show positive reviews, awards, or accolades in their ads. Today, we're bringing this capability to your search ads. With review extensions (beta), you can show accolades from reputable third parties right in your search ads.


You can submit either a direct quote or a summary of a key point from a review, as shown above.

It's important, both for you and for users, that the reviews provided be high-quality:
  • Content displayed in review extensions must come from a reputable 3rd party source, and must comply with standard AdWords policies.  
  • It’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re allowed to use a specific review in your ads.  
  • To protect users and other businesses from deceptive claims, we use automated and human-based systems to confirm the validity and policy compliance of all review extensions.  
Currently, review extensions are available globally in English only.  Please stay tuned for updates as we expand to other languages.  We're looking for more advertisers to participate and soon we'll be adding support for review extensions in the AdWords interface. If you would like to participate in the beta, please contact your AdWords representative.

Posted by Lakshmi Kumar Dabbiru, Software Engineer, AdWords
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/review-extensions-new-dont-take-our.html

[G] Introducing a new way for brand advertisers to reach their ideal customer

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Inside AdWords: Introducing a new way for brand advertisers to reach their ideal customer

Brand Advertisers often know who they want to reach, but connecting online with the audience that matters most to their brand at scale has proven to be a challenge. To help address this, we’re excited to announce the launch of Affinity Segments in AdWords and YouTube, which have been designed with TV-style audiences in mind to help solve the problem of connecting with ideal customers online. To understand someone’s affinity, our system takes into account the types of pages a user visits, along with how often and how long they spend there, associating interest categories with each person’s browser. Optimized for reach and frequency, Affinity Segments helps advertisers reach those most likely to enjoy their brand.

Make life easier
With Affinity Segments, we make it easy by helping brand advertisers reach their ideal audience via 80 unique lifestyle segments based on Interest Categories and Demographics . Brands can now reach their target audience at scale based on their interests – such as green living, fashion, or travel – and watch engagement grow.

And it doesn’t stop there. We know that as an advertiser you’re probably used to buying audiences offline for TV, and we know how challenging buying an online audience can be. To make life even easier for you, we defined our affinity segments the same way you target your TV audiences, so you can achieve massive reach online using the same segments you use on TV.

Mazda Canada drives success using Affinity Segments
Like most advertisers out there, Mazda Canada has been on the lookout for a solution that would enable them to reach precise audiences at scale. Over the past decade, the Mazda6 has undergone a few key redesigns – 2013 marked the launch of an all-new model combining Mazda’s signature design style with SKYACTIV Technology, its cutting-edge performance and fuel-saving technology, as well as some innovative safety features including Smart City Brake Support and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The launch of this flagship vehicle demanded an innovative marketing approach: to build awareness of these technological advancements, inform consumers of the car’s new features, and drive them to the Mazda6 website to engage directly with the brand.


They knew their target audience: male urban professionals who are typically interested in technology and up-to-date on all the latest gadgets and automotive advancements.

Mazda Canada decided to give Affinity Segments a try, selecting the “technophile” segment to connect them with their ideal tech-savvy customers, who have demonstrated an interest in technology through visits to various websites focused on new gadgets.  By targeting the technophiles segment across Google Display, Mazda reinforced the messaging and impact of its television campaign geared to the same type of audience. Mazda saw impressive results and reached 10X more users than they were able to with previous campaigns, greatly exceeding their expectations.

“Affinity Segments delivered perfectly for this campaign in allowing us to reach many users in a short period of time who we knew would have a predisposition to appreciate the Mazda6’s technology upgrades.” said Michael Tsang, Interactive Marketing Manager at Mazda Canada. As a result of their overwhelming success, Mazda Canada decided to integrate Affinity Segments into their online media mix for their other car models and as a vital component for their advertising efforts.

Connect with the people who care
Affinity Segments offer broader reach by encompassing the broad passions that reflect a user’s lifestyle rather than niche curiosities.  Our wide variety of segments let you reach your perfect audience – from hardcore gamers, to foodies, to luxury shoppers, we have a high-reach segment designed to connect you with your ideal customers. If there isn’t a segment that is a perfect fit for your brand’s needs, you can contact your account manager to create a custom segment just for you.
Consumers can also update their own interest categories through Ads Settings – which gives users control over the ads they see online.

Learn More
Just like Mazda, you too can use Affinity Segments to expand your reach across the Google Display Network and focus on engaging with individuals who match what your brand is all about – delighting customers and creating future brand advocates.

To find out how to get started with Affinity Segments today, visit our Help Center for more information.

Posted by Diya Jolly, Senior Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/introducing-new-way-for-brand.html

[G] Combined Power of AdWords and Analytics

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Inside AdWords: Combined Power of AdWords and Analytics

Last Tuesday, Rachel Witalec and Simon Rosen, Global Sales Strategy Leads, shared tips for getting more out of your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts by using them together. During the webinar, they showed why it’s important to link your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts (which is now even easier to do) and how to see Google Analytics data in AdWords as well as AdWords data in Google Analytics. They also presented a live demo of the reports and how to use them.

If you missed the webinar, you can check it out here:



Read on below for answers to some of the top questions we received during the webinar:

Why should I link my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts?
Linking your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts is an important practice to ensure the two measurement tools can work together to help you get the most from your advertising. The bottom line is that linking Analytics and AdWords gives you powerful information that can tell you where you should be spending more or less based on real ROI data. When you link accounts, the data can flow both ways - from Google Analytics to AdWords (for example, engagement metrics or remarketing lists), and from AdWords to Google Analytics (for example your AdWords cost data). In particular, you can take advantage of powerful features such as:
We covered this topic in detail during the webinar, so watch the video above to learn more.
    Could you share the list of resources that were provided during the webinar?
    Of course! Here are the links and resources we shared:
    What are the best practices around importing Google Analytics Goals? If i’m using AdWords Conversion Tracking should I also import goals?
    If you’re currently using AdWords Conversion Tracking, there are still benefits to also importing some of your goals from Google Analytics. In particular, some goals (such as engagement goals) can’t be tracked with AdWords Conversion Tracking, so importing these into AdWords can complement your Conversion Tracking data. However, it’s important not to import any goals that you are already tracking through AdWords Conversion Tracking as this can create double-counting and duplication, which would make your conversion data hard to interpret.

    Is it possible to link a My Client Center (MCC) account to Google Analytics?
    At this time it’s not possible to link an MCC to Google Analytics. Each individual AdWords account within an MCC needs to be linked to the appropriate Google Analytics property. Learn more here.

    How do I import Google Analytics engagement metrics into AdWords?
    The process for importing the metrics is straightforward, but it’s important to note that there are a couple of additional steps needed beyond linking the AdWords and Analytics account. The full set of instructions can be found here.

    I have noticed discrepancies between the data in my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, do you know why?
    AdWords and Google Analytics differ in some very important ways regarding how they measure and report on data. It’s important to understand these key differences, which are outlined here. Additionally, there are key differences between AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics, which are covered in detail here.

    Can someone help me get more support with AdWords and Google Analytics?
    Yes, Google partners with a global network of certified partners to help. For AdWords, you can get support directly from Google or you can work with a Google Certified Partner to help with your AdWords management. You can learn more about both of those options here. If you’re looking for help with Google Analytics, you can tap into our global network of Google Analytics Certified Partners, who offer paid services for anything from Google Analytics tag implementation to product training to more strategic support. Learn more here.

    What is a tag?
    Tags are tiny bits of website code that let you measure traffic and visitor behavior, understand the impact of online advertising and social channels, use remarketing and audience-based marketing, test and improve your site, and more. The tags we mentioned in the webinar are AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics. These both help you understand the performance of your digital campaigns. While AdWords tracks the performance of your Google AdWords campaigns, Google Analytics tracks the performance of any traffic to your website -- such as from email marketing campaigns or social media. You can learn more about how they’re different here and through some of the content in the webinar.

    What is a conversion?
    A conversion is an action that a customer takes on your website that has value to your business, such as a purchase, a sign-up, or a view of a key page. These actions are called conversions because a customer's click translated -- or converted -- to business. Think of it as the cha-ching! from your cash register. A conversion happens when someone clicks your ad and then does something that’s valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or a call to your business from a mobile phone. Conversions help you understand how much value your ads bring to your business. You can read more here

    Posted by Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics
    URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/combined-power-of-adwords-and-analytics.html

    [G] Securing your WiFi network

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    Google Public Policy Blog: Securing your WiFi network

    Posted by John Munoz, Technical Program Manager 

    This post is part of a regular series of privacy and security tips to help you and your family stay safe and secure online. Privacy and security are important topics—they matter to us, and they matter to you. Building on our Good to Know site with advice for safe and savvy Internet use, we hope this information helps you understand the choices and control that you have over your online information. -Ed. 

    More than a quarter of Internet users worldwide use WiFi at home to connect to the web, but many aren't sure how to protect their home network, or why it is important to do so. The best way to think of your home WiFi network is to think of it like your front door: you want a strong lock on both to ensure your safety and security. 

    When data is in transit over an unsecured WiFi network, the information you’re sending or receiving could be intercepted by someone nearby. Your neighbors might also be able to use the network for their own Internet activities, which might slow down your connection. Securing your network can help keep your information safe when you’re connecting wirelessly, and can also help protect the devices that are connected to your network. 

    If you’re interested in improving your home WiFi security, the steps below can help make your home network safer. 

    1. Check to see what kind of home WiFi security you already have. Do your friends need to enter a password to get on your network when they visit your house for the first time and ask to use your WiFi? If they don’t, your network isn’t as secure as it could be. Even if they do need to enter a password, there are a few different methods of securing your network, and some are better than others. Check what kind of security you have for your network at home by looking at your WiFi settings. Your network will likely either be unsecured, or secured with WEP, WPA or WPA2. WEP is the oldest wireless security protocol, and it’s pretty weak. WPA is better than WEP, but WPA2 is best. 

    2. Change your network security settings to WPA2.Your wireless router is the machine that creates the WiFi network. If you don’t have your home network secured with WPA2, you’ll need to access your router’s settings page to make the change. You can check your router’s user manual to figure out how to access this page, or look for instructions online for your specific router. Any device with a WiFi trademark sold since 2006 is required to support WPA2. If you have a router that was made before then, we suggest upgrading to a new router that does offer WPA2. It’s safer and can be much faster.

    3. Create a strong password for your WiFi network.To secure your network with WPA2, you’ll need to create a password. It’s important that you choose a unique password, with a long mix of numbers, letters and symbols so others can’t easily guess it. If you’re in a private space such as your home, it’s OK to write this password down so you can remember it, and keep it somewhere safe so you don’t lose it. You might also need it handy in case your friends come to visit and want to connect to the Internet via your network. Just like you wouldn’t give a stranger a key to your house, you should only give your WiFi password to people you trust. 

    4. Secure your router too, so nobody can change your settings.Your router needs its own password, separate from the password you use to secure your network. Routers come without a password, or if they do have one, it’s a simple default password that many online criminals may already know. If you don’t reset your router password, criminals anywhere in the world have an easy way to launch an attack on your network, the data shared on it and the computers connected to your network. For many routers, you can reset the password from the router settings page. Keep this password to yourself, and make it different from the one you use to connect to the WiFi network (as described in step 3). If you make these passwords the same, then anyone who has the password to connect to your network will also be able to change your wireless router settings. 

     5. If you need help, look up the instructions.If you’ve misplaced your router’s manual, type the model number of your base station or router into a search engine—in many cases the info is available online. Otherwise, contact the company that manufactured the router or your Internet Service Provider for assistance. Please check out the video below to learn more about the simple but important steps you can take to improve the security of your Internet browsing.

     

    For more advice on how to protect yourself and your family online, visit our Good to Know site, and stay tuned for more posts in our security series.
    URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/06/securing-your-wifi-network.html

    [G] Meet 15 Finalists and Science in Action Winner for the 2013 Google Science Fair

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    Official Blog: Meet 15 Finalists and Science in Action Winner for the 2013 Google Science Fair

    Creating a world-class science project is no easy task, but this year thousands of 13-18 year olds from more than 120 countries submitted their project to the third annual Google Science Fair. After further judging and deliberation, today we’re announcing the 15 finalists from our top 90 regional finalists, as well as the winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award.

    From the creation of an exoskeletal glove to support the human hand to managing the impact of infrastructure projects on endangered species to an early-warning system for emergency vehicles, the caliber, ingenuity and diversity of this year’s projects is a testament to the fact that young minds really can produce world-changing ideas.

    The 15 finalists will join us at our Mountain View headquarters on September 23 to present their projects to an international panel of esteemed scientists for the final round of judging. The Grand Prize winner will receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions, $50,000 in scholarship funding and more.


    Congratulations to our finalists:

    Age 13-14
    Alex Spiride (USA): Squid-Jet: Bio-Inspired Propulsion System for Underwater Vehicles
    Venkat Sankar (USA): Ecology or Economy: Managing the Impact of Infrastructure Projects on Endangered Species
    Kavita Selva (USA): Superconductor Tapes: A Solution to the Rare Earth Shortage Crisis
    Liza Sosnova and Tina Kabir (Russia): Lyytinen - Universal hydrostatic densitometer
    Viney Kumar (Australia): The PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program

    Age 15-16
    Elif Bilgin (Turkey): Going Bananas!-Using Banana Peels in the Production of Bio-Plastic As A Replacement of the Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic
    Ann Makosinski (Canada): The Hollow Flashlight
    Yi Xi Kang, Kwok Ling Yi and Tricia Lim (Singapore): Efficacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression
    Valerie Ding (USA): Rapid Quantum Dot Solar Cell Optimization: Integrating Quantum Mechanical Modeling and Novel Solar Absorption Algorithm
    Shrishti Asthana (India): Solar Light Assisted nanoZnO Photo Catalytic Mineralization - The Green Technique for the Degradation of Detergents

    Age 17-18
    Charalampos Ioannou (Greece): An Exoskeleton Glove which Enhances and Supports the Movement of the Human Palm
    Esha Maiti (USA): Stochastic Monte Carlo Simulations to Determine Breast Cancer Metastasis Rates from Patient Survival Data
    Elizabeth Zhao (USA): A Novel Implementation of Image Processing and Machine Learning for Early Diagnosis of Melanoma
    Eric Chen (USA): Computer-aided Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Combat Flu Pandemic
    Vinay Iyengar (USA): Efficient Characteristic 3 Galois Field Operations for Elliptic Curve Cryptographic Applications

    We’re also announcing the winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award, which honors a project that makes a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. An independent panel has selected Elif Bilgin from Turkey for this award for her work using banana peels to produce bioplastics. Congratulations to Elif, who will receive $50,000 and and a year’s worth of mentoring from Scientific American to help develop her project. Elif’s project is also one of the 15 finalists, and she is still in the running for the Grand Prize Award.

    Which of the 15 finalist projects do you think has the potential to change the world? While the official judges will decide the 2013 Grand Prize Winner, in August you’ll be able to participate in this year’s competition by voting for the Inspired Idea Award. Visit the Google Science Fair website August 1-30 to vote for the project you think has the greatest potential to change the world.

    Check back for more details, and tune in live to see the finalist gala on September 23, which will be broadcast on our website, Google+ page and YouTube channel. Congratulations to all our finalists. We look forward to meeting in Mountain View!

    Posted by Clare Conway, Google Science Fair team
    URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/meet-15-finalists-and-science-in-action.html