Why people need to know before they go

A new Think with Google article has been published: “Why people need to ‘know before they go‘: Today people can – and do – prepare for every aspect of any experience, big or small. Whether they’re taking a vacation across the globe or dining at a neighborhood café, people have a low tolerance for surprises.”

Here are some of the highlights I found particularly interesting and helpful…

We analyzed search trends and spoke to consumers, identifying three motives that drive them to know before they go. Explore the data to understand how your brand can provide value in these moments.”

Sparking Excitement:

  • Many want a look at what their experience could entail. For example, we’ve seen over 55% growth in mobile searches for “menus” over the past two years.
  • Rising inquiries include…

Building Confidence:

  • People feel a need to prepare for every detail of their experience – from exploring maps to confirming business hours. Consider this: mobile searches for “wait times” have grown 120% over the past two years.
  • Rising inquiries include…

Making the most of a budget:

  • In the past two years, mobile searches for “do you tip in _” have grown over 70%
  • Rising inquiries include…

Why it’s hot / implications for marketers: 

  • Understand intent signals: Whether it’s to get excited, build confidence, or manage their money, people are using search to shape and validate the decisions they make. We should understand this to adapt our messaging accordingly.

  • Build useful tools: People rely on the web to plan the best experience possible. We should provide assistance with tools that cater to these experiences.

Source: Think with Google

Bing Brings Sentiment Analysis, Multiple Perspectives To Search Queries

In one of the most important steps that will give marketers greater understanding of intent in search queries, Microsoft Bing integrated technology often referred to as sentiment analysis, will provide the ability to understand the context of the content, either positive or negative. The engine also has begun to serve up multiple perspectives on the positive or negative topics, which will allow the person querying the information to consider all options.
Is coffee good for you? How many times must I work out weekly to lose weight? So many answers to questions have variables. So, Bing may serve two answers from two different perspectives, allowing the person to decide which is the correct one for them, since there is not one definitive or correct answer to most questions that are asked in searches on the web.
Bing offers clues about what signals they are looking for in sites they rank for intelligent snippets. Here are some of the attributes of the sites they rank:
1. Authoritative and high quality
2. Relevant to the topic
3. Content is easy to crawl and index
4. Good user experience on the web page

The way it works when you type a question:
1. Their Web Search and Question Answering engine selects candidates from web pages.
2. They organize the candidates in clusters to determine similarity and sentiment
3. Bing ranks the most relevant passages from the web pages from each sentiment based cluster

For example, when searching the term “is coffee good for you” on Bing, the search engine will serve up passages as search results that offer two different perspectives on this topic, instead of just one.

Why It’s Hot
The fact that Bing has confirmed they are using sentiment analysis is big news. Google has also announced their intention to add sentiment analysis to their Featured snippets. Sometimes queries can provide incorrect information. Microsoft hopes this multi-perspective approach will improve the experience on Bing. In January, Google said it would use a multi-perspective approach to rid results of bias and a skewed point of view.
Diverse perspectives certainly help to bring a more balanced view of information plucked from the internet and help information seekers obtain a more rounded and well-informed view.

Google Helps Nudge People Toward Solar Power


(Source: Google Project Sunroof)

A team of Google engineers just released a tool called Project Sunroof to help users understand the sun your roof gets and the benefits of installing solar panels to capture that energy. They adapted the high-resolution aerial maps from Google Earth to estimate the total sunlight a rooftop receives throughout the year. The tool then tells you how much you can expect to save with solar panels under different financing plans (you can plug in your current electric bill for a more refined calculation) and connects you with local companies that do installations.

Why It’s Hot:

This tool is certainly valuable for anyone thinking about a solar panel installation, and for anyone who wants to know whether he or she should be thinking about it. It’s a potentially valuable tool for Google as well since those suggestions for companies to install solar panels for you are sponsored by the companies themselves. In other words, Google is giving you a tool with unbiased information to point you in the direction of a service (paid advertiser) that can help you with the install. Providing a simple to use service that helps solve a problem or overcome a barrier leads to a better customer experience and ultimately a purchase.


Google Adds Tweets to Mobile Searches

On Tuesday, Google and Twitter announced that they are partnering up to enable the search engine to have tweets emerge to the forefront in search results.

In an effort to start their update, Google will be integrating this feature into their mobile search on both iOS and Andriod apps. Don’t worry though because Google’s regular web search will follow suit.

This type of searchability will allow users to obtain trending/popular tweets given a keyword without having to search directly through Twitter to look up specific Twitter accounts, hashtags or tweets concerning given topics.

“If you want to search for a particular handle, for example, you can simply search “NASA Twitter” to view the handle and account’s most recent tweets. Searching for specific hashtags or other topics that may be trending will also turn up Twitter results.”- Karissa Bell

Tweets Google search


Why It’s Hot

As if finding brands on social media wasn’t easy enough, Google just made things a whole lot easier. People will be able to use Google as a source to gain real-time info now! Twitter content will become more engaging considering that tweets will be exposed to a global audience.

How TV Ads Drive Digital Impact

Google is stepping up its efforts to help TV advertisers understand the precise impact their ads have online, announcing a new partnership with Rentrak to expediently show marketers how their ads impact minute-by-minute Google searches, down to the spot level.

The company is upgrading its TV Attribution product—which measures the digital impact of ads on television and radio.  The technology has now integrated Google search query data to help advertisers understand exactly how consumers are interacting with its brands online.

“Ahead of the upcoming upfronts, we really want TV advertisers to understand how consumers are making decisions about their brands in the moments that matter, not only when they see their ads, but how they engage with their brands online,” said Dave Barney, Google product manager. “Whether that drives a website visit, or engaging with the brand through search, or in some other way.”

While a Nielsen study found that 87 percent of consumers engage with a second screen while watching TV, Barney noted that traditional TV measurement techniques “describe what aired, but don’t describe how effective the ads are.”

Why It’s Hot

“For the first time ever, advertisers have the ability to see how search queries on Google are being influenced by their TV ads, in real time,” said Barney. (The data is aggregated Google search query data; advertisers don’t have access to individual search information.) This can help a brand refine its SEO and paid search strategy, as the product’s insights explain how consumers are searching online in response to a TV ad. The Google search data can also show how TV ads drive more generic category searches, which often drives consumers to a competitor instead.

While website data accounts for people who responded to a TV ad and eventually ended up on the product’s website, it fails to include those consumers who search for the product, but never click through to the website.  This could be a very interesting way to learn more.

Source: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/how-tv-ads-drive-digital-impact-164434

Domain Name Explosion: Beyond the .com

Through the course of 2015, domain options will grow exponentially. More than 1,300 new domains are being phased in. Big brands, tech titans, major cities and entire industry verticals are all playing a part in this attempt to usher in a new era of the internet with the next few billion users in mind according to a new emarketer report out this week.

The landscape is significantly expanding with the introduction of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) including everything from .guru and .life to .sucks—which as one might expect, is a point of contention among many brands.

The initiative isn’t without controversy. What some view as a “blank canvas for innovation” to spur more creativity, diversity and trust on the internet, others see as costly, exploitative and bound to cause consumer confusion. Nonetheless, it continues to move forward, requiring all internet users to adapt.Domain Name chart

The expansion of gTLDs is being spearheaded by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the governing body of the internet’s domain name system. The basis for this initiative, according to ICANN, was rooted in the desire to make domains more representative of the global and diverse nature of the internet, as well as to introduce more competition among sellers of domains (known as registrars) and more choices for buyers.

Right, but who cares?

Domain Name what think

Why it’s Hot:

For most domain buyers, what comes after the dot in a name is just as important as what comes before. As .com options decreased over the domain’s 30-year history, new names like .info and .mobi were created, and other buyers turned to country code domains like .me and .tv to define their place on the internet.

For marketers and advertisers, this domain name explosion creates new considerations: the worthiness of being an early adopter, the potential to affect search rankings and the opportunity to integrate new domains into campaigns. This report provides background on the expansion program and presents factors that can be weighed when determining an approach to using these new domains.



Twitter Cuts Deal With Google To Let Tweets Appear In Searches

Twitter has struck a deal with Google to make its 140-character updates more searchable online.

In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter’s firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. Google previously had to crawl Twitter’s site for the information, which will now be visible automatically. Twitter’s shares jumped in early trading.

There’s no advertising revenue involved in the deal between Twitter and Google, one of the people said. That suggests Twitter will receive data-licensing revenue, which was $41 million in the third quarter, up from $16 million a year earlier.

The agreement underscores the progress that Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo is making in getting tweets seen by more non-users and generating more advertising revenue from a larger audience. Twitter, which also provides data to Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search service and Yahoo, is aiming to draw more people to its site as user growth slows. Twitter this week announced deals to show advertising in Flipboard’s mobile application and with Yahoo Japan Corp.

Engineers from Twitter and Google are already working on the arrangement, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal isn’t public. The two companies had a similar deal from 2009 to 2011. Ali Rowghani, Twitter’s former chief operating officer, had been against renewing the agreement to keep more control over Twitter’s content and it lapsed, the people said.

Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial officer, said at the company’s analyst meeting in November that it had been working to make tweets easier to find through search engines, and that negotiating with search providers could be a “unique opportunity” to distribute tweets to more people.

Why It’s Hot

This is going to give Twitter posts more opportunity to be seen organically, as Google is currently the #1 search engine. While nothing is being boosted by paid search, this will give them the opportunity to get a significant amount of additional volume to the site.  That, in turn, can help them sell more advertising space.  If you can prove people will see your ads even more, it’s much easier to be able to sell your space.

Source: http://adage.com/article/digital/twitter-strikes-deal-tweets-google-searches/296996/?utm_source=digital_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1423757450