Posts Tagged ‘Google’

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Google has announced a change in its AdWords rules in that businesses can no longer include their phone number in the advertisement’s text starting in April. The company has updated its policy, which now states that its call extension feature, must be used. Here’s what’s changing:

In the next few weeks, Google will no longer allow phone numbers to be used in the ad text of new ads. Advertisers who still want to promote phone numbers in their AdWords advertising can use the call extensions feature. This feature lets advertisers add a phone number to their ad so customers can call them directly as well as tracking how many calls they receive. Google is posting this alert now to provide adequate lead time to make ad changes.

autoenhanced-click-to-call-blog-image-600x505

pay_per_click_advertising_agencyIn April 2013, ads that are using phone numbers in their ad text will be disapproved before the March 2013 policy change. Although Google monetizes all those clicks and taps on phone numbers, the company is making this change mainly to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. After all, with the increase in mobile usage, many people search on Google for a business with the sole intention of calling them. So this change affects not only anyone advertising on Google, but also users.

When a customer clicks the phone number (call extension) on a mobile device which is capable of making a phone call, advertisers are charged the same as for a standard click on the ad. Note that phone numbers are clickable only on devices that allow a user to click and call (so, for example, ads will not show a clickable phone number on iPod Touch devices).

Software giant Microsoft triggers the compettion by challenging Apple with sleek gadgets.

Microsoft has unveiled its own line of tablet computers which it expects will be an “iPad killer”. Hoping its Surface tablets will take on both Apple and Google in the market; Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft Windows division president, called the new device a “tablet that’s great PC – a PC that’s a great tablet”.

Speaking at a press launch, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said the two new tablet PCs were part of a “whole new family of devices” the company is developing. They will run versions of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 software because the company wants to “give Windows 8 its own companion hardware innovations”. Although the company has not given any pricing information, Mr Ballmer said that they will be “comparable” to current tablet prices when they go on sale later this year.

Microsoft traditionally relied on others to make computers and phones that run its software. However, the company now offers both gadgets and software and hopes to take on Apple. “We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects, hardware and software, are working together.” added Mr Ballmer.

The Surface is 9.3mm thick, with a magnesium case and a 10.6-inch HD widescreen display. It also has an integrated kickstand, and weighs less than a kilo (1.5lb). A slightly thicker version – still less than 14mm thick and under 2lb – will work on Microsoft’s Windows 8 Pro operating system. Both devices comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad that attach magnetically to the tablet.

However, according to experts the company faced a tough battle. IDC analyst Al Hilwa said: “It raises the bar on how Microsoft executes on this, because now Microsoft’s name is on it. They’ve got to get it right – they’ve got to really hit it out of the ballpark.”

It has been more than 1 month since I put my last post. But I have a valid reason for this discontinuity, not an excuse. I have arrived to London for my master degree and been trying to settle down. This is the first time in London and I hope it won’t be the last time. And for at least 1 year, I will be writing from London. I think it will be a good chance not only for me but also for you. Because in London I have a chance to reach different sources as well as experiencing different markets so I will be able to share sometimes interesting but sometimes maybe not so interesting matters.

Everyday in the tube, I am reading the newspaper “Metro” distributed freely and sometimes I see interesting news from marketing, brand management, social media and so on, which is worth to sharing. This headline above is from this newspaper.

Definitely, Google is the ultimate brand of the internet era. It is a brand which most of the time makes us surprised with its thinking way out of the box. However, a few days ago Google embraced a more traditional form of retail technology for the first time in its history.

The world’s first “Google store” was opened in the less glamorous setting of PC World in Tottenham Court Road. Unfortunately, I have not been there yet although it is only 10 minutes away from my university. But I am planning to go as soon as possible.

The 285 sq ft pop-up shop — within a shop — only sells Google’s Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones. It is planned to run for three months up to Christmas. However, Google might follow its great rival Apple in opening permanent stores around the world if this experimental shop becomes successful.

On the other hand, very few people were aware of Google shop — officially known as “the Chromezone” — and there were certainly no queues round the block in contrast to huge Apple Store in Regent Street.

Arvin Desikan, head of consumer marketing at Google UK, said: “It is our first foray into physical retail. This is a new channel for us and it’s stil very very early days. It’s something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.”

Emphasizing that the company’s research had shown 80 per cent of laptop sales are through shops, he added: “We found anecdotally that when people tried the device and played with it, that made huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about. People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices. We want to see whether people understand what this device is all about and monitor their reaction when they try it out.”

To date the Samsung-made Chromebook has only been available in the UK online from Amazon and PC World. It costs £349 for the wi-fi only version and £399 for wi-fi and 3G.

A second pop-up store is expected to oepn at Lakeside shopping centre in Essex on October 7 and more pilot shops are planned around the world in the coming months. A spokeswoman said: “We’ve put a lot of effort into making it feel welcoming, homely and, dare I say it, ‘Googley’.”

The rivalry between Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. has a new face: privacy.Facebook has finally introduced privacy changes to its user functionality. From now on, users can manage who can see information about them by viewing content on their profile page, and approving any images they are tagged in before it is visible to their friends. So users can avoid being tagged in undesirable photos. With this step, Facebook is one step closer to Google+’s.

With the new privacy changes, the company plans to move a number of privacy controls—which previously required navigating to a separate settings page—to users’ homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content.

Since many users have hundreds or thousands of friends, Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended. However, this new step seems to solve the main problems that get a lot of stick.

Facebook’s vice president for product, Chris Cox said that making privacy controls easier is “absolutely critical” to Facebook’s future success. In his post on Facebook, he claimed that users will now be able to command who among their friends list can see their postings. So users will be able to create smaller groups of people from their main friends list.

The function is similar to Google+’s Circles feature, which allows users to manage their contacts adding them to various lists, or build so-called “circles” of audiences for their content. This feature promises to let users “share just the right things with just the right people.”

However, Mr. Cox said the changes weren’t made in response to Google since his company had been working on the changes for the last six months based on longstanding user requests. “We are launching this now because it is ready,” he said.

According to the WSJ, A Google spokeswoman said in a statement: “We welcome Facebook’s efforts to give users more control over their privacy because it helps to improve the overall web experience. With Google+ we’re creating a new and different approach to make sharing on the Web more like sharing in the real world.”

Facebook’s privacy changes include adding icons to individual posts so that users can quickly understand and control who gets to see each post. Users can change their minds about who has permission to see a post after it has gone out. Facebook is also renaming the sharing option it formerly called “everyone” to “public.”

And, addressing a longstanding gripe by some privacy advocates, Facebook users will now be able to decide whether their names can be attached as a so-called tag to a photo before it is circulated. Although users won’t have the power to delete the photos posted by another user they don’t like, they will be able to suggest other user that it should be removed in a quick and appropriate way.

The moves are somewhat of a turnabout for Facebook, which in past years appeared to encourage its users to share information with as many of their friends as possible.

“This is Facebook competing on privacy,” said Justin Brookman, the director of the consumer privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who was consulted by Facebook on the newest changes. “People responded well to Google’s very controlled, granular settings,” he said.



Last month I mentioned Google “+1” button as a rival to Facebook’s “Like” button in one of my posts. The aim was to compete with Facebook’s “like” button. Although Google has unveiled Google+, it is still developing a  Google+ experience for businesses and is asking brands not to create Google+ profiles just yet.

In a post and the video below, Product Manager Christian Oestlien stresses that the Google+ team is still working to create a unique experience for businesses, especially for businesses  which require deep analytics. Google tries to connect Google+ to products like AdWords. As a result of this developing process, Google is asking businesses to put their Google+ efforts on hold.

On the other hand, there are several global brands which have already joined Google+ and these brands include Ford, Breaking News and Mashable. It is unknown yet when Google will shut down non-user profiles and how the process will work.

“The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses,” Oestlien says in his post. “We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

Therefore, brands have to be patient and wait for, probably, several months before stepping into Google+ to be able to experience all promised business features. Over the next few months, Google seems to launch a ‘small experiment with a few marketing partners’ in order to test the brand-oriented accounts. Meanwhile, Google Spreadsheet in which ‘non-user entities’ can apply for the program has been already opened up.

Almost all of us are “Facebookers”, which I use to define people having a Facebook account and actively using it. Today, it seems impossible for “Facebookers” to be far away from the “Like” button while travelling around the pages, watching the videos uploaded by their friends and looking at their friends’ pictures. Even many companies that make their presence felt in Facebook mostly as official pages organize competitions by asking open-ended questions and choosing the winners according to the number of “Likes” to their post.

Although “Like” button of Facebook is not new, there is something new in this social world: New steps of not-new competitors fighting against Facebook’s like button, which was launched more than a year ago. Google and Twitter have just introduced their own rival buttons for the social web.

There is no doubt that Facebook’s like button increased traffic for all sites which implemented the product since it has been launched. According to Guardian.co.uk reports, the like button has been added to 250,000 sites outside Facebook, feeding information back to the site on the activity and preferences of its 650+ million users.

Twitter, which has 20.6 million US audience in 2011 compared to Facebook’s 132.5 million adults for the same year, announced its “Follow” button and 50 sites including Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal have already plugged in. Thanks to the follow button, users can easily follow the account on Twitter with one click. By this launch, Twitter, which is also to launch a photo sharing service, expects the innovation to bring more activity on the site and users back to their sleepy accounts. For publishers and brands, adding the Follow Button to your website and using Twitter to stay connected with your audience is a powerful combination,” said Twitter in the announcement.

Google also has launched its new “+1” button to compete with Facebook’s “like” button. With this unclear name, right now it’s not evident how it will impact search results.

Since Google’s +1 invites an explanation and Twitter’s follow is somewhere in between, like button as a concept still seems to be more immediate and understandable it. Moreover, Facebook’s like, which doesn’t require interpretation, seems to remain number one among sharing buttons with its largest user base.

According to experts, it’s good for all web users if this new generation of third-party buttons offers consumers more choice. Otherwise, it might just add misunderstanding of the provided options.

I am sure that most of us are using Google map to find a location not only in a different country but also in the same city. Although Google map seems doing jolly well, we need more and more as the day goes on. However, this is not a big problem for Google hitching its wagon to a star to respond our never-ending needs.

Google has just launched Map Maker function in U.S. and the feature is available in 183 countries so far. Thanks to this feature, users can edit easily Google Maps by providing more information on their local area. The underlying aim of this function is very obvious: to facilitate the orientation, finding routes, specific business enterprises and just places of interest which are generally included in traditional maps.   A user must be signed in his/her Google account during the editing process in which he/she can mark a place or a route and then submit the edits for further review and approval. Other local Google Maps users or those authorized evaluate the edit. Since the innovation is created for the good of the community, providing your personal data to Google Maps (for instance, specifying ‘your girlfriend or boyfriend’s house) is not allowed.

What is more, Street View and advanced search features has been integrated to Google Maps. So it is possible to search for any places you want to visit for shopping, entertainment, education in the area you choose.

Since the launch of this function overseas, it has proved a great success. Users took over the initiative and created very detailed maps of their local areas.

“When we launched in Romania, it was blank. Every road, every building was created by users.” said Map Maker tech lead Lalitesh Katragadda in an interview to washingtonpost.com.

To learn more about the feature, please visit mapmaker.google.com.