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July 17 2018

17:00

An update to referral source URLs for Google Images

Cross-posted from the Webmaster Central Blog

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Google Images to visually discover and explore content on the web. Whether it be finding ideas for your next baking project, or visual instructions on how to fix a flat tire, exploring image results can sometimes be much more helpful than exploring text.

Updating the referral source

For webmasters, it hasn’t always been easy to understand the role Google Images plays in driving site traffic. To address this, we will roll out a new referer URL specific to Google Images over the next few months. The referer URL is part of the HTTP header, and indicates the last page the user was on and clicked to visit the destination webpage.

If you create software to track or analyze website traffic, we want you to be prepared for this change. Make sure that you are ingesting the new referer URL, and attribute the traffic to Google Images. The new referer URL is: https://images.google.com.

If you use Google Analytics to track site data, the new referral URL will be automatically ingested and traffic will be attributed to Google Images appropriately. Just to be clear, this change will not affect Search Console. Webmasters will continue to receive an aggregate list of top search queries that drive traffic to their site.

How this affects country-specific queries

We hope this change will foster a healthy visual content ecosystem. If you're interested in learning how to optimize your pages for Google Images, please refer to the Google Image Publishing Guidelines. If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, please let us know through the Webmaster Tools Help Forum.

The new referer URL has the same country code top level domain (ccTLD) as the URL used for searching on Google Images. In practice, this means that most visitors worldwide come from images.google.com. That’s because last year, we made a change so that google.com became the default choice for searchers worldwide. However, some users may still choose to go directly to a country specific service, such as google.co.uk for the UK. For this use case, the referer uses that country TLD (for example, images.google.co.uk).

17:00

Emo-gee, that’s a cool job. Meet the woman who designs Google’s emoji.

Editor’s Note: The She Word is a Keyword series all about dynamic and creative women at Google. Most of us use emoji to communicate on a daily basis, but there’s only one day a year to celebrate those delightful little characters. Today is World Emoji Day, so we sat down with Jennifer Daniel—who heads up design for Google’s emoji. Among other slightly more serious things, we chatted about her favorite emoji, how emoji communication compares to the era of Shakespeare and why the female influences in her life rule all.

JD

How do you explain your job at a dinner party?
I tell people I work on emoji, those tiny smiley faces that are on your phone. And the response is usually, “Really? That’s a job?”

It is a job, although the majority of my time is spent managing the art team within the “Expressions” group, which creates gifs, camera effects, stickers and other fun experiences for Gboard, Android Messages and Pixel.

What’s one habit that makes you successful?
Focus on finding good people to work with. Success follows people who work well together.

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers?
Just be you. As women, we’re told over and over again to lean in, but that frequently puts us in positions that are structurally unsuited and hostile. This touches on every part of the job, even seemingly trivial things like tone in emails.

Research has shown that women don’t use emoji professionally or aren’t friendly in emails, because they’re taken less seriously if they do. I understand and also reject it … our humanity is essential to effective communication. Don't use enough emoji and you're seen as hostile. Use too many and you're seen as unprofessional. It's a lose lose. So, forget it. Just be yourself.

dancer

One of Jennifer's illustrations of the dancer emoji. 

Who has been a strong female influence in your life?
In the industries I work in, there’s a lack of women in what my friends and I call the “just-ahead-of-me group.” So, I’d say my peers are the strongest influences in my life. The artists, writers and designers I’ve met along the way are incredibly motivating and inspiring. And, for those moments where things feel highly discouraging, well, I hope everyone has friends who pump them up like mine do, because it rules.

What’s your most-used emoji?
Lately instead of using the standard smiley 😀 (which is the 10th most popular emoji by the way … the most popular is ), I’ve been using the cowboy 🤠. I recently retired the party popper 🎉 for the saxophone 🎷. Everytime I use it, I can faintly hear Lisa Simpson...

Your work is transforming the way we communicate with each other. Do you think we’re losing anything with this shift to communicating in gifs, emoji and memes?
Is the way we communicate now better than the era of Shakespeare?

Hey, I’m asking the questions!
I just mean … the way we communicate is a reflection of the time period we’re in. And we live in an era were we communicate more with the written word than ever before. Language has existed for at least 80,000 years but it first arose as speech. If humanity existed for 24 hours, let’s say writing only came around 11:07 p.m. So first there was speech, then writing, and now, we have emoji.

Some expressions are better suited for images than they are with text. I can’t tell you what 🐒🐒🎷🐬translates into words exactly, but damned if it isn’t the perfect response when a friend texts me that our plans are on for tonight. Emoji become inside jokes, slang, memes. Like language, it’s fluid. We all intuitively know when to call someone versus suggest a video chat, when to write an email or send them a text. It’s important to know who you’re speaking to and the best way to connect with them.

How did you first discover your interest in design?
Hard to say. It could be when I realized my drawings could make my classmates laugh. I was in second grade and I had just moved from the East Coast to the Midwest and it was the first time I really remember feeling heard. I truly connected with people in a way I hadn’t previously.

You have three-year old twins! What have they taught you about achieving balance in your life?
Work-life balance is when everyone wants your attention at the same time (ha, sort of kidding). At times my jenniferdaniel/the-designification-of-motherhood-6f704dc0c43d">personal life is the most important thing and other times I need to be very focused on work. This balance, which is more of a dance, allows room for things to happen even when you least expect it, like when I get a call from the daycare and I have to drop everything to attend to … let’s just say, a pile of 💩. I’ve learned over time that you can’t be prepared for everything and that’s perfectly okay.  

baby gif

Just another day at the office. 

How do you ensure that everyone is represented in emoji?
We do our best to surround ourselves with experts and ask a lot of questions. Designing emoji (and stickers, and gifs and camera effects) for a global audience requires a certain level of humility and curiosity about the world.

And how does that work from a design perspective?
As a principle, we want to create images that are iconic and timeless. Stylistically,the more abstract an emoji is, the more you can project yourself onto it. On the flip side, the more detail a drawing has, the more people fixate on how real or accurate it is. Taking detail away from an emoji can offer more opportunity for interpretation and personality, making emoji an extension of your own. I prefer to think of Google’s emoji like words—keep them as abstract as possible.

What’s next for your team?
This week we’re releasing a series of animated stickers in Gboard and Messages that bring back our favorite blob emoji. And every month we launch more stickers and GIF effects in Gboard. I love seeing what people make, so please share your creations!

17:00

Stay on top of your day with proactive help from your Assistant

Check the traffic. Pay the bills. Pick up the package. Don’t miss the flight to Charlotte. We run through our mental to-do lists dozens of times throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be nice to have proactive help to keep our lives on track?

This week, we’re rolling out a new visual overview of your day when you open the Google Assistant app on your phone, with proactive suggestions and personalized information to help you stay on top of your day. The new visual snapshot provides curated, helpful information based on the time of day, location, and your recent interactions with the Assistant, and will be available on Android and iOS devices in all languages supported by the Google Assistant.

Travel times are front and center, so you know when to hit the road whether you’re getting ready for work, a lunch meeting, or heading home for the night. As you scroll down, you’ll see your agenda, reminders, restaurant or movie reservations, your favorite stocks, upcoming bills, packages in transit, and suggestions for new Actions you should try.

visual snapshot_gif

Access the new experience by tapping on the new icon in the top right corner of the screen after you’ve activated your Google Assistant. Or if you have an iOS device, your personal updates will be shown as soon as you open the Google Assistant app.

We’ll continue to add more useful features to your snapshot over time—for example, an overview of your notes and lists from Google Keep, Any.do, Bring!, Todoist and others; a new discovery section to help you find activities nearby; reminders on where you parked; personalized recommendations for music and podcasts; and much more.

The Google Assistant can also send proactive notifications on your phone to remind you of important upcoming events. You can get notifications for upcoming bills, packages, even an alert that your flight has been delayed—your Google Assistant will keep track so you don’t have to.

Try out the new visual snapshot and make sure you have notifications turned on for your Google Assistant so you can stay on top of the things that matter most to you.

16:00

Delivering increased connectivity with our first private trans-Atlantic subsea cable

This year, we’ve announced major expansions to our global cloud infrastructure, which helps us provide high quality services to our customers. We introduced new cloud regions in the Netherlands, Montreal, Finland, and opening just yesterday, Los Angeles. We invested in three consortium subsea cables--Havfrue, HK-G, and JGA-S. And we we became the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable with our investment in the Curie cable.

Today, we’re announcing our newest private subsea cable project: Dunant. This cable crosses the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia Beach in the U.S. to the French Atlantic coast, and will expand our network--already the world’s largest--to help us better serve our users and customers. The Dunant cable is expected to become available in late 2020.

Google Cloud Platform presense and subsea cables

Dunant adds network capacity across the Atlantic, supplementing one of the busiest routes on the internet, and supporting the growth of Google Cloud. We’re working with TE SubCom to design, manufacture and lay the cable for Dunant, which will bring well-provisioned, high-bandwidth, low-latency, highly secure cloud connections between the U.S. and Europe.  

In keeping with the theme we established with Curie, Dunant is also named after an influential innovator, Henri Dunant, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Red Cross. Like Curie and Dunant, future Google private cables will follow a similar alphabetic theme.

GCP Subsea Cable

A common question we get with these projects is why we’re building them privately.

There are a few different ways to go about building a subsea cable. The first is to simply purchase capacity from an existing cable, or one being built by someone else. The second is to create a consortium of partners with similar needs and build a cable together. The third is to build it yourself.

All of these options come with different pros and cons, and we use a combination of all three methods to best serve our customers. When approaching a new cable project, and deciding on which of the three methods to use, we consider our needs, and the needs of our customers, in a few areas:

  • Performance and latency: Cables are often built to serve a very specific route. When we build privately, we can choose this route based on what will provide the lowest latency for the largest segment of customers. In this case, we wanted connectivity across the Atlantic that was close to certain data centers, but the reasons could also include the ability to land in certain countries, or to connect two places that were previously underserved, such as was the case with Curie.

  • Capacity: The bandwidth that we want to deliver can vary widely, depending on what already exists and where our customers need more, now and in the future. Our capacity planning includes estimates of Google’s and our customers’ needs for years to come.

  • Guaranteed bandwidth for the lifetime of the cable: The life of a cable can vary from 15 to 25 years, but as with many infrastructure projects, they sometimes continue to serve the route beyond their initial projected lifespan. Our ability to guarantee our customers a certain level of connectivity helps them confidently plan for their businesses going forward.

We started off with two private cable projects that run over relatively short distances. These were our Alpha and Beta cables (a nod to how we name software releases), and their success led us to build both Curie and Dunant privately. We’ve worked with consortia on other new cables—including Havfrue, HK-G and JGA-S--and will continue to invest in consortium cables in the future.  

Our investments in both private and consortium cables meet the same objectives: helping people and businesses can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.  We’ll continue to look for more ways to improve and expand our network, and will share more on this work in the coming months. In the meantime, you can learn more about our network on our website, or try our demo to see how our infrastructure looks today.

GCP Subsea Cable
Google Subseab Cable Investment
16:00

Extending Google’s Grab and Go program to businesses so they can save time and money

Devices are more than tools; they’re the home base where your employees go to connect, collaborate, and get their work done. So when an employee’s device isn’t working, the effects are greater than simply the cost of replacement. In addition to the hours employees devote to troubleshooting devices instead of completing projects, there’s the time your IT team spends on repair and replacement when they could be focusing on more strategic initiatives. In fact, IHS estimates that IT downtime costs a large enterprise $60 million a year.

But what if you could decrease that lost time from hours and days to just a few minutes? We answered this question at Google by creating our Grab and Go program, allowing employees to use self-service stations to quickly borrow and return devices.

Chrome devices and Chrome Enterprise are the key ingredients that make this program so effective. With Grab and Go, centrally-located racks with fully-charged Chromebooks are available 24/7. As soon as an issue arises, employees can grab any of these devices and log in through their corporate account. Because their work is already stored in the cloud, they can jump back into projects immediately, as if they never left their old device.

The Grab and Go program makes life easier for our IT admins as well. Chrome Enterprise provides simple manageability through the Google Admin Console. Employees sign in to the Chromebook and all of the company’s management policies are immediately applied upon startup. This ensures that employees are using a secure device and can access all websites, emails, and documents they need to do their job. And all of their bookmarks, passwords, extensions, browsing histories, and personal settings are available on the new device thanks to Chrome Sync.

Employees using a Grab and Go Chromebook automatically get an email upon sign-in that explains how and when to return the device, plus instructions on how to extend the loan, if needed. Upon return, devices can go directly to the next user—no reset or setup is needed because Chrome OS encrypts individual user profiles by default.

We’ve deployed Grab and Go in many of our offices around the world, and the program has seen more than 30,000 unique users rack up more than 100,000 loans in the last year. In fact, our Grab and Go program administrators estimate that their initial investment in deploying the program paid for itself in productivity time saved after only 50 days.

Our success with this program prompted us to release a detailed white paper to help businesses create their own Grab and Go programs. However, we know many businesses can benefit from a turnkey solution that makes deployment fast and easy. As a result, we’re offering an early access program to get them started. With this early access program, IT admins will have all the resources required to start their own Grab and Go program—including an open source app for inventory management, a Chrome OS companion app that greets users upon sign-in, and a full deployment guide.

Because the program is so simple, Grab and Go is also an ideal solution for other business cases where employees require temporary access to a device. For example:

  • Frontline workers who only need devices for short periods of time—such as for training or sending emails.

  • Shift workers in workplaces with shared devices, such as healthcare and call centers and can use virtualization solutions through Citrix and VmWare to access legacy apps.

  • Remote workers who travel between office locations, or frequently work outside the office and need both a work and home device.

If you're interested in launching a Chrome Enterprise Grab and Go program in your business, register your interest in our Early Access program and read our detailed white paper on how Google uses Grab and Go to keep employees productive.

16:00

Introducing Course Kit: new ways to collaborate with G Suite in your LMS, designed for Higher Ed

Effective teaching and learning require seamless collaboration between instructors and students. The right technology and training can help facilitate this connection, which is why many universities, colleges, schools and other educational institutions provide their instructors and students with a Learning Management System (LMS). In addition to using an LMS, educators and students often also use G Suite's cloud-based productivity tools to create, collaborate and communicate in real time. Until now, there hasn’t been an easy way to integrate G Suite with many LMSs.


Enter Course Kit—a free toolkit that allows instructors to use Google Docs and Drive to collect assignments, give faster and richer feedback to students, and share course materials within the LMS they’re already using. Course Kit is built using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard so it's easy to set up and works with all LMSs that support LTI. Course Kit currently includes an assignment tool and a file embed tool, making it fast and secure to integrate G Suite's powerful collaboration capabilities into teaching and learning workflows. We piloted Course Kit over the last semester with higher ed institutions, and are now making it available more widely through a beta program.

Save time for thoughtful feedback with Course Kit's assignment tool

Creating and collecting assignments in an LMS with Course Kit's assignment tool is efficient and secure. When submitting their work, students don’t have to worry about the format of their files because any file that can be stored in Google Drive works with Course Kit. Once students turn in their completed work, Course Kit automatically manages permissions and students no longer have edit access to their submitted files while being graded. For instructors, being able to use Google’s cloud-based tools that their students use every day is critical.

We have a lot of tech we’re trying to integrate together, so making it as easy as possible for faculty to receive assignments and grade in Google Docs is a big win for us. Holly Zakos
Senior Instructional Technologist
Course Kit Google Drive Instructor

Educators can use Course Kit's grading interface to easily toggle between students and their submitted files, all in one tab. They also have the ability to privately give feedback on assignment submissions with the rich collaboration features of Docs and Drive—such as in-line suggestions and margin comments. To save time for deeper, personalized feedback, Course Kit includes a new feature that lets instructors quickly insert commonly used margin comments using a customizable comment bank. “Educator comments are added to a bank, which can be easily reused over and over, or edited to make feedback more personal. Our professors found that very useful,” said Ben Hommerding, Instructional Technologist at St. Norbert College.

Course Kit Comment Hashtag

When educators are finished reviewing assignments, grades and feedback are synced to the LMS and files are returned to students. “This saves a lot of time managing grades manually,” said Hommerding. Course Kit also creates an archival copy of every returned assignment so professors have an easy-to-access record of submissions -- especially helpful if the assignment needs to be turned in several times. Students get notified when their assignment is returned and can view the instructor’s comments and feedback directly in their LMS.

Embed course materials in an LMS with Course Kit's file embed tool

Using Course Kit's file embed tool, LMS users can add course materials from Google Drive directly into LMS pages, making it easy to share materials seamlessly. Instructors can embed anything from assignment information and syllabi to lecture presentations and videos. This tool simplifies the process of sharing related materials because embedded files are right there in the LMS, organized in Drive and automatically shared, saving faculty from manually configuring sharing settings.

Course Kit Create Assignment

Join the beta


Now with the Google Docs and Drive integration within your LMS, it’s possible to streamline assignment workflows, give richer feedback, and collaborate with students. Course Kit meets industry standards for accessibility and is available in 44 languages. If your institution uses G Suite for Education, get started by requesting access to the beta. Once whitelisted, your IT administrator can install Course Kit in your LMS. Currently using Google Classroom? We are also working to add new and improved feedback functionality directly to Classroom, so stay tuned for more updates in the next few months.

It’s our goal to build tools that enable meaningful connections and lead to effective learning. As always, we’d love your feedback about Course Kit so we can continue to improve these tools, and build others that help improve teaching and learning.

July 16 2018

23:00

Helping more people in the U.K. find their next job

Like anyone who has searched for a job at some point in their lives, I know from experience how hard it can be to find the right role. You can spend days scouring job postings that are scattered across the web, flicking through newspapers or dropping into local employers, yet still struggle to find a job that suits you. Employers may be feeling the impact of this too: three quarters of U.K. employers face talent shortages and have issues filling open positions with the right candidate.

Today, more people are turning to Google to find information about their next role. We have a long history of using our technology to connect people with information, so we’re excited to bring a new job search experience to Google to connect people in the U.K. to job opportunities. This new feature in Search lets you more easily explore jobs from across the web and find job postings that suit your needs and skills.

Starting today, when you search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar queries in English in the U.K., you’ll have the option to click through to a feature that lets you explore jobs from across the web that meet your unique needs. You can access salary information, reviews and ratings of the employer and different options to apply for a job, or use a location filter to see jobs in the areas that are convenient for you. Thanks to Google Maps, if you’re signed in, you’ll even be able to see how long it would take to commute to a job from your home.

Searching for a job can take time, and keeping up with new jobs that are posted throughout the day can be impossible. Now in Google Search you can save individual jobs with a single tap so that they are accessible across any of your devices. And if you step away from your job search, you can stay in the loop on opportunities that interest you by turning on alerts to receive an email notification whenever new jobs arrive.

Job Search in UK

The new jobs experience in Search is the result of deep collaboration with the job-matching industry, and benefits both employers and job seekers. We first introduced this experience in the U.S. last year, and it’s now live in several countries. Since launching it, we’ve seen 130 percent more companies showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people around the world to new job opportunities.

In the U.K., we’re working with organizations from across the job-matching industry to bring you the most comprehensive listing of jobs, like The Guardian Jobs, Reed.co.uk, Haymarket, Gumtree, The Telegraph, Reach plc's totallylegal, CV-Library and totaljobs.com. This means anyone searching for jobs on Google will see postings from these sites and many others from across the web as soon as they’re posted. To ensure even more jobs are listed over time, we’re publishing open documentation for all jobs providers detailing how to make their job openings discoverable in this new feature.

This launch also builds on the commitment we made last year to help 100,000 people in the U.K.find a job or grow in their career by 2020. We’re doing that through our Google Digital Garage program, which gives anyone free training in digital skills and products to help grow their career, business or confidence. So far we’ve helped tens of thousands of people find their next job through free training at four city-center hubs and with partners across the U.K.

Whether you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job, a parent supporting a growing family, or simply hunting for your dream role, we hope this new experience on Google will help make the job search simpler and connect you with your next job.

July 13 2018

18:15

High Fry-ve: sundaes for everyone this weekend

I've been told I have a flair for the dramatic (see byline), but if I were you, I'd stay away from ladders and look out for black cats today. Friday the 13th inspired lots of searches this week, and here’s a look at a few of the other trending searches, with data from the Google News Lab.


It’s Fry Day Fry Day, gotta get down on Fry Day

Today is Friday but also National Fry Day, as if I need another excuse to shove fried potatoes down my throat. If search interest is any indication of America’s fav fry, McDonald’s would take the top spot, followed by Burger King, Wendy’s and Five Guys. If you’re waffling over the best type of fry, curly fries are a cut above—they’re searched 14 percent more than waffle fries. Oh but wait, there’s more healthy food to celebrate as Sunday (or shall I say Sundae) is National Ice Cream Day. Search interest in frozen treats always spikes each summer, but July 2018 has recorded the highest search interest ever for ice cream in the U.S., great work everyone! More of a fro-yo guy myself.

I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious

The planets are in retrograde, plus it’s Friday the 13th which explains my wild hormonal swings this week. Looks like Nevada is the most intrigued by this spooky day as it holds the top spot for all-time search interest in Friday the 13th. You do you, Nevada. Looking further into the data, one of the top-searched questions around this trend is, “Is today Friday the 13th?” (Might be quicker to glance at a calendar). If you’re really into Friday the 13th and you live in Arizona, you can get inked for $13, and people have been flocking to Google to figure out where they can get those services.

All about that cash 

You know what they say, mo money, mo problems, but my life is already pretty problematic so might as well sprinkle a few million on top. We’ve got a massive lotto drawing coming up, and people from New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts are searching the most for that $340 million cash prize. One of the top-searched questions about the lottery was, “What to do when you win the lottery?” Glad you asked. I’d buy an island, and plant a bunch of bushes, then trim those bushes to depict scenes from my favorite “Friends” episodes and run around on the island drinking mimosas listening to Taylor Swift. Ugh, one can dream.

A miraculous rescue

The world watched with intrigue and optimism as the Thai soccer team, trapped in an ocean cave, were rescued in a three-day operation involving 19 divers. Search interest in Thailand is at an all-time high in the U.S., having spiked by 600 percent this month, but Singapore, New Zealand and Australia had the most searches worldwide. Everyone made it out safely through the maze of rock and rope, complete with plastic cocoons and floating stretchers.

Blessed be the fruit

It’s been said that we’re living in the golden age of television, lucky us! Emmy noms are hot off the press, and one of this week’s top-searched questions about the awards was, “Who won the most Emmys?” We’ll have to wait until September to find out, but here are the winners for the week’s most-searched shows: of the nominees for Outstanding Drama, it’s “Game of Thrones.” And for a comedy series, it’s “Atlanta.” And for best show of all time, “Friends.” Okay made that one up, but man, that show is great.

17:45

#teampixel’s cool inspiration on hot summer days

Have you ever dreamed of the perfect summer vacation? If it includes endless blue skies, colorful cafes, or ancient cobblestone streets, check out the latest round of shots from #teampixel’s favorite summer spots.

When you go on your next adventure, remember to take us with you by tagging #teampixel. You might find yourself featured on The Keyword, @google or @madebygoogle the next time we’re looking for some cool inspiration on these hot summer days.

08:00

Lifelong learning for everyone: What we’ve learned from our European social innovation partners

The skills needed in today's workplace are changing fast. A recent report from McKinsey forecasts that the demand for technological, cognitive, creative and interpersonal skills will accelerate by 2030.

Despite technology offering more learning options than ever before, we haven’t yet figured out a way that this can truly benefit everyone. Take, for example, the early enthusiasm for bringing university content online to democratize higher education—and the sobering reality that these online courses are overwhelmingly used by people who already have a higher education. We learned from a recent IPPR report that it is vital for digital skills programs to address a diverse audience and provide skills for the future as well as skills for immediate use. And as the labor market transforms, it's clear we need a more flexible model for facilitating reskilling and lifelong learning for both current and future workers.

So how can we make sure that technology supports lifelong learning for those who need it most? About a year ago, we launched the Google.org Work Initiative, a $50 million fund to support social innovators tackling this question. In addition, since 2015 our Grow with Google programs have been equipping people with the digital skills they need to succeed in the digital economy. What we’ve learned from our Google.org and Grow with Google collaboration with European partners and social entrepreneurs is that making lifelong learning a success requires four tactics: working with organizations who are on the frontline of serving the most disadvantaged, developing clearer signals about the pay-off of engaging in learning new skills, using technology to drive incentives to persevere throughout the learning experience, and developing better ways to signal skills to employers.  

Technology can make learning more accessible

First and foremost, learning must continue to become more accessible. The biggest opportunities for people to upgrade their skills are at work, but the options to retrain are few for those without a workplace. According to research from the European Commission, only 9 percent of people who are out of work have access to upskilling opportunities, compared to almost one in two people on permanent contracts.


To tackle this, public institutions and nonprofits must integrate skill-building opportunities into their programs. Google.org grantee Bayes Impact, a tech nonprofit in France, is an example of this approach in action. Bayes's machine learning-powered search assistant recommends training resources and learning opportunities for people who are out of work. With an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent in France, Bayes helps millions of job seekers fill their skill gaps through smart technology and a partnership with the country's national unemployment agency.


The pay-off of learning needs to be clear

We know that time and financial investment are key considerations when people think about engaging with new learning opportunities. This means that the pay-off must be clear for learners from the outset. If people don't feel like training will lead them to a better life, there's little chance that they'll take advantage.

A practical way to address this is by helping learners clearly identify the benefits of engaging in a particular course at the beginning of their journey. OpenClassrooms, one of Europe's leading providers of vocational education online and another organization we’re supporting, does this by promising to reimburse course fees if learners haven't found a job six months after completing their certificate. They've also partnered with European government agencies to get official accreditation for several of their courses, further ensuring that the value of a commitment to learning is clear.

Targeting completion is key

The most effective learning experiences are those built with completion in mind. A couple of years ago, the online learning platform Coursera shared that only 4 percent of its users completed the course and earned a credential. When we built the Google IT Professional Support certificate—a Grow with Google program that enables anyone to become an IT support specialist in eight to 12 months without a college degree—we thought carefully about how to ensure as many people as possible complete a course.

One thing we found to be useful is to support blended learning experiences, where online learning is complemented by in-person coaching and meetings with other students. To achieve this, we've partnered with nonprofit organizations to bring an additional layer of support for students to the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. In Germany, we've piloted this approach with Kiron, a nonprofit that is supporting refugees to continue their education and provide access to employment opportunities.

We’ve also been experimenting with using machine learning to identify when students might be in need of support to help them keep going with a course. For example, we’ve rolled out machine learning prompts that show up at key moments as a means to motivate learners.

Capabilities must be expressed in new ways

The final piece of the puzzle is to enable people to showcase their abilities in a format that's convincing to employers. French social enterprise Chance, another one of our grantees, uses a semi-automated system to match companies with candidates who have the capabilities they require but don’t necessarily have access to the professional networks who can help their resume stand out of the pile, or don’t know what employers are looking for and therefore don’t know how to express their own abilities. Backed by AI, projects like these enable a wider pool of job seekers to find the right opportunities for their skill set.

The labor market will continue to evolve, and technology can ensure we keep pace with the growing demands of the future workplace. As our European partners show, it's possible to improve the access, design and experience of learning new skills—putting lifelong learning for everyone firmly within our grasp.

July 12 2018

16:32

Google Measurement Partners: Trusted measurement solutions for the entire customer journey

We believe that measurement you can trust is critical for brands trying to understand the impact of their marketing. But as the customer journey has become more complex, measurement has become increasingly challenging. And while Google strives to build great solutions, some marketers prefer to rely on third-party measurement solutions.

That’s why we’re announcing Google Measurement Partners, a program that brings together new and existing partnerships to offer brands a variety of options to measure their advertising media.

The program is launching with 20+ verified partners across seven specializations: viewability, reach, brand safety, brand lift, sales lift, app attribution, and marketing mix modeling. Partners offer various solutions that work across Google advertising products, including Google Marketing Platform (including Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360), Google Ads, YouTube, and more. Existing partner programs like App Attribution and Marketing Mix Modeling are now included in Google Measurement Partners.

Our launch partners are recognized leaders within their focus areas and provide solutions widely used by the industry. They meet rigorous standards for accuracy and use reliable methodologies to measure KPIs that matter for marketers. And we work closely with them to ensure the solutions respect user privacy.

With trust and transparency at its foundation, Measurement Partners continues our commitment to providing both quality and choice when it comes to measuring performance and helping marketers better understand their customers. Alongside our partners, we’ll keep working to establish commonly accepted standards and advanced measurement solutions that help raise the bar for the industry.

July 11 2018

17:00

How to prepare for the cloud worker era

The cloud has fundamentally transformed the world around us. In our personal lives, we stream media, order food, schedule transportation, and stay in touch with friends and family across devices. At work, enterprise developers like Cisco, Adobe, Citrix and VMware have redefined how we get our jobs done, making data and apps easily accessible when and where they’re needed. We call this the era of the cloud worker.


Today, employees expect access to the information and services they need without the barriers of legacy tools. Managers and admins want to move away from administrative tasks, like managing devices, and focus more on what has the most potential for real value creation.


A recent study we commissioned with Forrester found that one in four workers in today’s enterprises are already cloud workers. They spend, on average, 4.6 hours working in browser-based business apps across multiple devices, and regard the freedom to access company resources from any location as fundamental to their work/life balance. Additionally, the quantity of cloud-based apps businesses rely on is only increasing. In 2018 about 53 percent of apps are in the cloud. However, by 2020 it’s estimated that figure will be above 80 percent.


This increase in cloud adoption has made many businesses rethink the technology and tools they need to ensure their workforce is effective. Office workers are no longer sitting exclusively behind desks. Field teams need real-time connectivity when they’re working remotely or interacting with customers. Employees are increasingly on the move, and they expect their apps and devices to be as mobile and flexible as their workstyle. In fact, 77 percent say they prefer technologies that give them the freedom to choose how and where to get their work done.


At the same time, IT organizations entrusted with managing devices, browsers, and apps are rethinking how to best serve the needs of a cloud-centric workforce. They need reliable and secure tools and devices that give their users the flexibility they need while at the same time being simple for IT to manage and maintain.


At Google, we’ve found that cloud-native devices like Chromebooks not only increase employee collaboration and productivity, but also decrease IT support hours and operational overhead. For example, take device deployment and provisioning. At Google, we’ve found that it takes about 33 minutes for an inventory tech to prepare a Chrome OS machine to be deployed to an end user. For Windows devices, we’ve found it typically takes 2 hours and 21 minutes, and for macOS it takes 2 hours and 23 minutes. 


Device deployment and provisioning time

We’ve also found that we receive two to four times more support requests with macOS and Windows devices that we do with Chrome OS. Using cloud-first tools like Chromebooks can translate into substantial support savings over time.

ChromeOS Support Request Comparison

As the cloud-connected workplace continues to evolve, and an increasing number of employees transition from knowledge workers to cloud workers, selecting the right tools should be top of mind. The question to ask is, in the age of cloud worker, how can you best provide employees with technology that will improve their experience and create better results for your business?


To learn more about how you can prepare for the era of the cloud worker, register for Forrester’s Cloud Worker webinar, and explore resources on our website. For those of you attending NEXT ‘18, we’ll be hosting a Cloud Worker Showcase where you can meet with specialists, interact with demos, and explore the latest devices. Learn more on the Next ‘18 website.
16:00

Must-see sessions on Android Enterprise at Next '18

Android continues to see success this year in enterprise, with several initiatives to help organizations enhance their mobility efforts. Android Enterprise Recommended, the improved work experience in Android P, and increased protections from Android security efforts are among the many investments we’ve made to enrich and strengthen the ecosystem.

At Google Cloud Next, July 24-26 in San Francisco, CA, we’ll be taking to the stage with key partners and customers to discuss the latest in Android’s solutions, best practices, and what they mean for enterprise mobility.

You can learn more about these sessions and register at the Google Cloud Next site. For those unable to attend the conference, you’ll be able to check out sessions on YouTube at a later date.

16:00

Google Hotel Ads joins Google Ads

In 2010, we started showing hotel information in a more useful way with sponsored hotel prices in Google Maps. Since then, we’ve expanded Google Hotel ads to more than 150 countries on Google.com and Google Maps, helping travelers browse hotels on mobile devices and spot hotel deals. Our Hotel ad partners are happy with the volume of leads and bookings - in the first six months of 2018, the number of leads to partners grew 65 percent year over year. As Hotel ads has grown, we’ve heard feedback that some partners have a hard time managing their Hotel ads in a separate platform from their other Google Ads, like their search and display campaigns.

To help partners efficiently scale, Hotel ads will become a part of the Google Ads platform with a new campaign type. Hotel campaigns in Google Ads will launch later this year, enabling you to manage your Hotel campaigns alongside your other campaigns in a single platform. We’re also launching a new Hotel Center to simplify the management of your hotel price feeds.

Google Hotel Ads join Google Ads

Yesterday at Google Marketing Live, we introduced a new campaign type in Google Ads called Hotel campaigns. This campaign type will simplify campaign management and optimization. Specifically, the benefits include:

  • Hotel groups to organize hotels by important attributes like brand and class
  • Robust bidding controls that allow marketers to optimize for bidding dimensions unique to hotels like a traveler’s length of stay or check-in day and audience bidding
  • Smart bidding powered by machine learning to maximize bookings at your ROI goal
  • Rich reporting and familiar responsive interface available with the newly redesigned Google Ads

Hotel Ads Screenshot

We’re testing this new Hotel campaign type with a few initial partners, and they are excited by the results.

Despegar logo

"As the largest travel agent in Latin America we're focused on getting interested online leads to our site and Google Hotel ads have been a great channel for us thus far. As an alpha tester, we're excited by the promise of Hotel ads in Google Ads. We think it'll help us save time, scale our efforts and started to move more of our hotel inventory to the new Hotel campaign type."

- Andrés Patetta, Chief Marketing Officer, Despegar.com

Koddi logo

"At Koddi, we have over 400,000 hotels in our global portfolio including large global advertisers. We're always looking for ways to drive more bookings, and Google Hotel ads are a central part of many of our partner's distribution strategy. We've seen Google Hotel ads traffic steadily grow, with our partners experiencing an average 31% increase every year. The upcoming Ads integration will uncover new insights that will allow us to scale our clients' reach and bookings further."

- Deep Kohli, Senior Director of Client Services, Koddi.

New Hotel Center for hotel price feed management

Hotel price feed management can be complex and time-consuming. With Hotel campaign management moving into Google Ads, we’re also redesigning how partners optimize and manage their hotel price feeds in a new Hotel Center. This Hotel Center will:

  • Simplify feed troubleshooting with faster and more intuitive in-product guidance
  • Quickly optimize your feed’s health with actionable opportunities and one-click fixes
  • Use a central hub to power other price feed-based hotel features in the future, like dynamic remarketing creatives.

The existing Hotel Ads Center will be replaced with the new Hotel Center in phases. We’re starting with the basics first, focusing on a better way to submit your hotel inventory and describe your hotel properties.

Learn more

Hotel Ads will launch as an open beta available to advertisers later this year. If you’d like to stay up to date on the Google Ads integration and Hotel Center launch, beta test Hotel ads in Google Ads or learn more about Hotel ads in general, please fill out this interest form.

Whether you’re a hotel owner trying to fill your rooms or an online travel agent wanting to drive more leads, we hope Hotel ads in Google Ads and the new Hotel Center will make it easier than ever to connect with travelers at scale.

16:00

Making Morse code available to more people on Gboard

Earlier this year, we partnered with developer Tania Finlayson, an expert in Morse code assistive technology, to make Morse code more accessible. Today, we’re rolling out Morse code on Gboard for iOS and improvements to Morse code on Gboard for Android. To help you learn how to type in Morse code, we’ve created a game (on Android, iOS, and desktop) that can help you learn it in less than an hour! We’ve worked closely with Tania on these updates to the keyboard and more—here, she explains how Morse code changed her life:

My name is Tania Finlayson, and I was born with cerebral palsy. A few doctors told my parents that I probably would not amount to anything, and suggested my parents put me in an institution. Luckily, my parents did not take the advice, raised me like a normal child, and did not expect any less of me throughout my childhood. I had to eat my dinner first before I could have desserts, I had to go to bed at bedtime, and I got in trouble when I picked on my older brother.

The only difference was that I was not able to communicate very effectively; basically, I could only answer “yes” and “no” questions. When I was old enough to read, I used a communication word board with about 200 words on it. I used a head stick to point to the words. A couple of years later, my dad decided that I should try a typewriter and press the keys with the head stick. Amazingly, my vocabulary grew. My mom did not dress me in plaid any more, I could tell on my brother, and I finally had the chance to annoy my Dad with question after question about the world. I am quite sure that my Dad did not, in any way, regret letting me try a typewriter. Ha!

Several years later, I was one of four kids chosen to participate in a study for non-verbal children at the University of Washington. The study was led by Al Ross, who wrote a grant funding the creation of a Morse code communicator for disabled children. Morse code, which is a communication system that dates back to the 1800s, allowed us to spell out words and communicate just by using two buttons: a dot “.” and a dash “—”.

The device was revolutionary.  It would convert my Morse code into letters then speak out loud in English and had a small printer installed in it.  I could activate a light to “raise my hand in class.” At first I thought learning Morse code would be a waste of time, but soon learned that it gave me total freedom with my words, and for the first time, I could talk with ease, without breaking my neck. School became fun, instead of exhausting. I could focus on my studies, and have real conversations with my friends for the first time. Also, I did not need an adult figure with me every moment at school, and that was awesome.

My experience with the Morse code communicator led me to a partnership with Google on bringing Morse code to Gboard. Working closely with the team, I helped design the keyboard layout, added Morse sequences to the auto-suggestion strip above the keyboard, and developed settings that allow people to customize the keyboard to their unique needs. The Morse code keyboard on Gboard allows people to use Morse code (dots and dashes) to enter text, instead of the regular (QWERTY) keyboard. Gboard for Android lets you hook external switches to the device (check out the source code my husband Ken and I developed), so a person with limited mobility could operate the device.

gboard ios

I’m excited to see what people will build that integrates with Morse code—whether it’s a keyboard like Gboard, a game, or educational app, the possibilities are endless. Most technology today is designed for the mass market. Unfortunately, this can mean that people with disabilities can be left behind. Developing communication tools like this is important, because for many people, it simply makes life livable. Now, if anyone wants to try Morse code, they can use the phone in their pocket. Just by downloading an app, anyone anywhere can give communicating with Morse code a try.

When I was first able to communicate as a child, the first feeling that I had was “Wow! This is pretty far out!” The first thing I typed was “You’re an old fart, Dad!” That was the first time I saw him laugh with tears in his eyes; I still don’t know if I made him really laugh or if I made him really sad! Probably a little of both.

15:00

Speed matters when providing assistive experiences

Getting better results from your online ads today requires more than just the right keywords or the right bids. You need to deliver the helpful and frictionless experiences consumers expect from brands. Yesterday at Google Marketing Live, we shared ad innovations powered by Google’s machine learning that help you do just that.

However, even the best ads struggle to deliver results if they’re sending people to slow landing pages, especially on mobile. In retail, we see that for every one second delay in page load time, conversions can fall by up to 20 percent.1 That’s why we’re making it easier to diagnose and improve your mobile site speed.

See if your mobile pages are slowing you down

Consider this: more than half of all web traffic now happens on mobile. Yet the average mobile webpage takes 15 seconds to load.2 And for many brands this equates to missed opportunity, especially when more than half of visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes more than three seconds to load.3 So where does your business land in all of this?

To help you understand how landing page speed affects your ad performance, we introduced the new mobile speed score. Evaluated on a 10-point scale, 1 being very slow and 10 being extremely fast, the mobile speed score lets you quickly see which pages are providing a fast mobile experience and which ones may require your attention.

Mobile Speed Score Screenshot

See your mobile speed score on the Landing Pages page in Google Ads

Mobile speed scores are based on a number of factors, including the relationship between page speed and potential conversion rate. It starts rolling out to advertisers globally today.

Improve your mobile experience with AMP

Now that you know what’s slowing you down, how do you speed up? Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) provide a faster, smoother, and more engaging mobile experience. In fact, AMP pages typically load 85 percent faster than standard mobile pages.4 They’re so fast, they appear to load instantly.

Once you’ve sped up your site, you can direct your search ad clicks to those AMP pages and create the super-fast and delightful mobile experiences people expect. Brands like Greenweez, a leading French organic retailer, are using AMP to improve mobile site landing page speed and performance. Greenweez was able to increase its mobile page speed by 5X, resulting in an 80 percent increase in mobile conversions!

Build your case for a faster mobile site

When someone has a negative experience on mobile, they’re much less likely to purchase from you in the future. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to prioritize speed within your organization. To help you do that, we’ve built two free tools: the Speed Scorecard, which lets you see how your mobile site speed stacks up against your peers, and the Impact Calculator, which lets you estimate the revenue you’re potentially leaving on the table by having a slow mobile site.


You can learn more about these tools and best practices for speeding up your mobile site on Think with Google.


1. Google/SOASTA, “The State of Online Retail Performance,” April 2017

2. Google Research, Webpagetest.org, sampled 11M global mWeb domains loaded using a globally representative 4G connection, Jan. 2018.

3. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=3.7K, Global, March 2016

4. Google Data, Global, April 2017

13:00

Driving results with video at every stage of the customer journey

People increasingly visit YouTube to learn new things, in addition to entertaining themselves and connecting with others. In many ways, YouTube has become as much an information destination as an entertainment hub. And that quest for information certainly extends to brands, products and services. So what does that mean for marketers?

It means video has a role to play in every stage of your consumer’s journey. And in order for you to be effective during each and every interaction, you need options.

This week at Google Marketing Live, we shared the work we’re doing on new ad formats and bidding strategies for YouTube that are designed to align to your campaign objectives—whether you want to build awareness for your brand, shift perceptions or drive a specific action.

For brands with awareness or reach goals, we built TrueView for reach. It brings our primary in-stream format together with the simplicity of CPM buying. In an initial TrueView for reach test, used car retailer DriveTime drove 2,400 dealership visits at a CPM 40 percent below what they were paying for local TV, enabling them to reach 66 percent more people at the same budget.

Beyond reach, many brands rely on YouTube’s attentive audience to shift perception—be it consideration or purchase intent. To help you accomplish and measure this, we’re launching Maximize lift. This new bidding strategy uses Google’s machine learning and continuous brand lift measurement to help you efficiently reach people who are more likely to consider your brand after exposure to an ad. COVERGIRL recently used Maximize lift bidding with TrueView in-stream ads to influence consideration for a new mascara and drove an estimated 2x return on ad spend.

Increasingly, video is also leading people to take action. In fact, globally, conversions generated by YouTube ads are up 150 percent year over year.1 Using TrueView for action, you can drive any action on your website that’s important to your business, like booking a trip, scheduling a test drive or requesting more information.

Later this year, we'll introduce a new flavor of TrueView for action designed to help you generate high quality leads directly from your video ads. This new form feature enables people to submit their email address or phone number directly from your video ad, making it even easier for them to sign up for your service or learn more about your business. Additionally, you’ll soon be able to choose between Target CPA bidding and Maximize conversions bidding for TrueView for action campaigns, giving you more ways to drive even better results.

Dick's Sporting TrueView for Reach

While effective on their own, these new ad options for YouTube truly shine when used in concert. That’s what DICK’S Sporting Goods did during last year’s holiday season.

To build awareness and reach a broad audience with an inspirational message showing the brand’s commitment to youth sports, the retailer used TrueView for reach. They built on this momentum with standard in-stream, TrueView in-stream and six-second bumper ads to deliver promotional messaging to in-market audiences. Then, they followed up with TrueView for action ads to drive people to their website to buy.


This strategy moved their customers seamlessly through the full purchase journey, achieving a return on ad spend of 10 to 1.


DICK’S Sporting Goods demonstrated one approach to a full-funnel YouTube strategy, but the possibilities are vast. We’re excited to see how you use YouTube to deliver results at every stage of your customer’s journey and we'll continue to build solutions that help you do so.

1  Google Internal Data, Global, 6/1/16 - 5/1/17 vs. 6/1/17 - 5/1/18

July 10 2018

16:00

Service NSW empowers customers and reduces costs with Chrome Enterprise

Editor’s Note:Today’s post is from C-suite duo Colin Jones, CTO, and Ben McMullen, CIO, ofService NSW, an agency that helps residents of New South Wales, Australia, connect online and in person with government services. The agency uses Google Chrome Enterprise, Chromebooks and G Suite to reduce IT administration and costs, and to give employees more work flexibility.

When you replace inefficient technology with easy-to-manage tools, you become inspired to build on your success. That’s what we found after we adopted Chrome OS to run our government customer-service kiosks. Once we saw how easy it was to manage and use our kiosks, we started to look for ways to use Chrome OS more widely. By bringing Chrome Enterprise into our offices as well as our customer storefronts, we found we could reduce IT workload, trim network costs, and most importantly, help our employees work better together.

Our journey started with a goal to improve customer service. At 130 Service NSW locations across New South Wales, people can use self-service kiosks for 1,200 types of transactions, like obtaining driver’s licenses and ordering birth certificates. The kiosks offer a much faster way for people to request these services compared to standing in line. Our customers love using them, and since Service NSW launched in 2013, we’ve completed about 70 million transactions.

Before switching to Chrome OS in 2015, our kiosks ran on a legacy OS that lacked reliable remote service features. When kiosks needed repairs or upgrades, field support agents had to visit offices and spend a couple of hours rebuilding hard drives. This meant that kiosks could be out of service for as long as two days.

Once we purchased 800 Chromebase all-in-one desktop computers, we immediately found Chrome Enterprise reduced our costs, streamlined IT management and increased security. Over a six-month period in 2015, we estimated that Chromebases required only 5 percent of the support hours we were spending on the Microsoft devices previously in use.

Because our kiosks didn’t need as much maintenance and could often be repaired or upgraded remotely, their uptime improved, giving customers more kiosks to use. And with kiosks more readily available for users, Chrome OS is helping us meet our goal of performing 70 percent of all transactions digitally by 2019. As we moved resources to the cloud, we found we no longer needed costly private WAN networks for each service location, only broadband and Wi-Fi. Eliminating private networks is an enormous savings by itself. When you add in the savings on devices and IT management, we’re targeting reducing our operational costs by 46 percent per year.

As a result of our successes with Chrome OS in our service locations, we began replacing legacy desktops and software at our head office locations with Chromebooks and G Suite. We're actively rolling out Chromebooks and G Suite to all of our staff in the next 12 months.

In our offices, we see the same reduction in cost and IT administration that we experienced with the kiosks. We also realized that we can give employees much more flexibility in the ways that they work. Their applications and files are in the cloud, so they can do their jobs from any place that has internet connectivity, instead of being tied to an office. And G Suite helps employees save the time they used to spend traveling to other offices. Collaboration has increased now that our employees can work from any device, anywhere, and be productive.

As a result of all of this, Chrome OS has become our digital platform of choice at Service NSW. We’ve recently purchased 1,200 additional Chrome OS devices to replace the remaining Windows desktops at all of our service locations. We expect that we’ll continue to see the same dramatic savings in costs and admin time that we’ve already experienced with our kiosks—and our employees will get the benefits of working in the cloud.

What started as a journey to make our customer experience faster and easier became a solution that made our employee experience faster and easier as well. As we continue on this journey, we’re expecting to see even more positive effects on costs, IT workload, and worker flexibility in the future.

15:05

Drive stronger collaboration with Display & Video 360

Two weeks ago, we announced that we’re unifying our DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under one brand: Google Marketing Platform. We also introduced Display & Video 360 as a key part of Google Marketing Platform. Display & Video 360 is a single, integrated product that helps creative, data and media teams work together to execute end-to-end ad campaigns.

Today, we’re sharing more about Display & Video 360, including how it helps marketers collaborate across teams, gain transparency and control over their investments, and use the latest advances in machine learning and automation to get better results. Read on to learn more, or watch the live stream from our Google Marketing Live event happening later today in San Jose, CA.

About Display & Video 360

Display & Video 360 brings together features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center in a single product.

So what does that mean?

First, Bid Manager will soon become Display & Video 360. This will happen automatically—customers won’t have to take any action and campaigns will continue to run uninterrupted. Second, Display & Video 360 is organized around five integrated modules that work together to simplify the end-to-end campaign process: Campaigns, Audiences, Creatives, Inventory and Insights.

Display and Video 360 Modules

These new modules reflect the fact that Display & Video 360 offers more than just Bid Manager’s programmatic capabilities. It also includes the campaign management, cross-platform measurement, creative and audience capabilities that are currently part of DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center. (Don’t worry, these products aren’t going anywhere right away—we’ll gradually transition customers of these products to Display & Video 360 in the future as additional features become available.)

By bringing these solutions together, Display & Video 360 enables marketers to fully manage their reservation, programmatic and programmatic guaranteed campaigns across display, video, TV, audio and other channels, all in one place. And using a single product to manage advertising campaigns and workflows end-to-end offers significant advantages compared to a more piecemeal approach.

Collaboration across teams

We know that getting a successful ad campaign up and running requires media, creative, data and analytics teams to work closely together along the whole journey. In fact, recent data from Google’s Media Lab—the team that manages all of Google's advertising campaigns—shows a 1.5X improvement in campaign performance when creative strategies and design are aligned to media, compared to when creative is built in a silo.1 But today, the typical digital campaign workflow is complex and manual, involving handoffs across multiple people, organizations and products—which makes it really hard to collaborate.  

Display & Video 360 changes that. It helps teams share campaign data and insights at each step of the process, so they can work together to plan campaigns, design and manage creative, organize and create audience segments, find and transact inventory, then measure and optimize results.


"Running digital marketing for Major League Baseball is a unique opportunity because we cover all 30 MLB teams and a total of 2500 games each year. Display & Video 360 helps us to achieve the scale we need to meet this demand because it allows our creative, campaign management and analytics teams to collaborate really well. For example, our analytics team can share feedback on creative performance much faster than before, and then this feedback can easily be applied to many campaigns at once."

Barbara McHugh

SVP, Marketing, Major League Baseball



Transparency and control

With Display & Video 360 you can see precisely how your money is being spent and know exactly where your ads are running—across all of your campaigns. Understanding how your marketing is performing in real time gives you more control. You can quickly see what’s working and what’s not, and then make informed decisions to adjust your tactics and improve campaign performance.

Buying media through a single platform like Display & Video 360 also leads to better results—as measured in terms of both reach and efficiency. For example, Nielsen found that marketers who consolidated their traditional reservation deals with their programmatic guaranteed deals in a single buying platform increased their reach of unique consumers by an average of 11 percent—for the same investment in impressions.2 In another recent study, BCG found that programmatic guaranteed deals are 29 percent more efficient for agencies than traditional reservation deals measured in hours spent on deal set-up and management.3


“By consolidating all of our campaigns in Display & Video 360, we can easily control how many consumers we reach and how often we reach them. This means we don’t have to worry about wasted impressions or a bad consumer experience from people seeing our ads too many times. Instead, we can direct that investment to reach more of the people who are likely to fly with us.”

Justyna Valente

Digital Marketing Manager, TAP Portugal



Faster, smarter marketing

According to a recent study of global marketing organizations by Bain & Company, speed in decision making separated the leaders—the top 20 percent of respondents based on revenue and market share growth—from the laggards, who represent the bottom 20 percent. Marketing laggards are 1.7X more likely to be held back by slow decision making4, while marketing leaders are using technology to surface trends and patterns in near-real time so they can deliver more relevant marketing with speed to assist consumers at the right moment.

Display & Video 360 takes advantage of Google’s unique capabilities in machine learning to automate tasks like bidding and optimization, so you can respond to users’ needs faster. Built-in intelligence across the product automatically surfaces insights and recommendations—such as where to shift budget to improve campaign performance—so you can act quickly to achieve your goals.

Tune in to learn more

Display & Video 360 will begin rolling out to all Bid Manager customers in late July.  We’re excited to introduce this end-to-end advertising solution as part of Google Marketing Platform, and we’re eager to hear your feedback.


Please join me for the live streamed keynote at Google Marketing Live today at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET or watch the recording after the event. I’ll be sharing more about Display & Video 360, including demos of some of the new features.


1. Based on Q4'17-Q1'18 internal Google data.

2. Based on a Google-commissioned Nielsen study, May-Dec. 2017.

3. Based on a Google-commissioned BCG report, “A Guaranteed Opportunity in Programmatic Advertising,” July-Sept. 2017.

4. Bain/Google Marketing Leaders Study, Nov. 2017.

15:00

Putting machine learning into the hands of every advertiser

The ways people get things done are constantly changing, from finding the closest coffee shop to organizing family photos. Earlier this year, we explored how machine learning is being used to improve our consumer products and help people get stuff done.

In just one hour, we’ll share how we're helping marketers unlock more opportunities for their businesses with our largest deployment of machine learning in ads. We’ll explore how this technology works in our products and why it’s key to delivering the helpful and frictionless experiences consumers expect from brands.

Join us live today at 9am PT (12pm ET).

Deliver more relevance with responsive search ads

Consumers today are more curious, more demanding, and they expect to get things done faster because of mobile. As a result, they expect your ads to be helpful and personalized. Doing this isn’t easy, especially at scale. That’s why we’re introducing responsive search ads. Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads.

Simply provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will do the rest. By testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query. So people searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context.

We know this kind of optimization works: on average, advertisers who use Google’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.1

Responsive search ads will start rolling out to advertisers over the next several months.

Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube

People watch over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day. And increasingly, they’re tuning in for inspiration and information on purchases large and small. For example, nearly 1 in 2 car buyers say they turn to YouTube for information before their purchase.2 And nearly 1 in 2 millennials go there for food preparation tips before deciding what ingredients to buy.3 That means it’s critical your video ads show at the right moment to the right audience.

Machine learning helps us turn that attention into results on YouTube. In the past, we’ve helped you optimize campaigns for views and impressions. Later this year, we’re rolling out Maximize lift to help you reach people who are most likely to consider your brand after seeing a video ad. This new Smart Bidding strategy is also powered by machine learning. It automatically adjusts bids at auction time to maximize the impact your video ads have on brand perception throughout the consumer journey.

Maximize lift is available now as a beta and will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.

Drive more foot traffic with Local campaigns

Whether they start their research on YouTube or Google, people still make the majority of their purchases in physical stores. In fact, mobile searches for “near me” have grown over 3X in the past two years,4 and almost 80 percent of shoppers will go in store when there’s an item they want immediately.5 For many of you, that means driving foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations is critical—especially during key moments in the year, like in-store events or promotions.

Today we’re introducing Local campaigns: a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively. Provide a few simple things—like your business locations and ad creative—and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store.

Show your business locations across Google properties and networks


Local campaigns will roll out to advertisers globally over the coming months.

Get the most from your Shopping campaigns

Earlier this year, we rolled out a new Shopping campaign type that optimizes performance based on your goals. These Smart Shopping campaigns help you hit your revenue goals without the need to manually manage and bid to individual products. In the coming months, we’re improving them to optimize across multiple business goals.

Beyond maximize conversion value, you’ll also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. Machine learning factors in the likelihood that a click will result in any of these outcomes and helps adjust bids accordingly.

Machine learning is also used to optimize where your Shopping ads show—on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web—and which products are featured. It takes into account a wide range of signals, like seasonal demand and pricing. Brands like GittiGidiyor, an eBay company, are using Smart Shopping campaigns to simplify how they manage their ads and deliver better results. GittiGidiyor was able to increase return on ad spend by 28 percent and drive 4 percent more sales, while saving time managing campaigns.

We’re also adding support for leading e-commerce platforms to help simplify campaign management. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to set up and manage Smart Shopping campaigns right from Shopify, in addition to Google Ads.

Tune in to see more!

This is an important moment for marketers and we’re excited to be on this journey with you. Tune in at 9am PT (12pm ET) today to see it all unfold at Google Marketing Live.

For the latest news, follow the new Google Ads blog. And check out g.co/adsannouncements for more information about product updates and announcements.


1. Internal Google data

2. Google / Kantar TNS, Auto CB Gearshift Study, US, 2017. n=312 new car buyers who watched online video

3. Google / Ipsos, US, November 2017

4. Internal Google data, U.S., July–Dec. 2015 vs. July–Dec. 2017

5. Google/Ipsos, U.S., “Shopping Tracker,” Online survey, n=3,613 online Americans 13+ who shopped in the past two days, Oct.–Dec. 2017

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