Google's taking a stab at making web browser social. And in typical Google fashion, it's turning to algorithms to do it. The company has announced and launched a new project, Google Sidewiki, a Firefox and Internet Explorer add-on (Chrome support is in the works) that adds a sidebar for commenting on sites across the web.
Users with the plug-in installed can add their own opinions to the discussion of precise web pages. While there are range of products that already do this sort of thing, Google differentiates with its algorithm.
Google's explanation of the technology is actually fairly succinct, so here is their explanation on the Google Blog:
"In developing Sidewiki, we wanted to make sure that you'll see the most relevant entries first. We worked hard from the beginning to figure out which ones should appear on top and how to best order them. So instead of displaying the most recent entries first, we rank Sidewiki entries using an algorithm that promotes the most useful, high-quality entries. It takes into account feedback from you and other users, previous entries made by the same author and many other signals we developed".
It has been discovered that Microsoft's Bing search engine is continuing to go from strength to strength, as they have increased their share of the competitive market by 4.5% between July and August.
As reported from Computer World, Bing still remains in third place, behind Yahoo in second and Google still reigning best at the top. The boost now means that Bing has a share of 9.3% so far, compared to Yahoo's 19.3% and Google's 64.6%.
Considering that Bing has only been available as a fully fledged search engine for a short amount of time, to reach almost 10% percent of the search market is fairly impressive by Microsoft.
Back in July, a social media reported that Facebook had become the Internet's ultimate time waster, with users spending an average of 4 hours, 39 minutes on it per month, more than any other site on the Web.
Since then, though, that number has only gone up. According to numbers from Nielsen Online, users spent an average of 5 hours, 46 minutes on Facebook in the August month. To put that in viewpoint, that's triple the amount of time they spent on Google.
In fact, the next nearby site in Nielsen's top 10 is Yahoo, which, despite still having huge traffic in time consuming areas like news, sports, and financial data, could only get users to stick around for 3 hours and 14 minutes on average during the month. YouTube, surprisingly, only engaged 1 hour and 17 minutes of the average user's time.
Of course, one of Google's avowed philosophies is that they "may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our homepage as quickly as possible." However, that ethos was set in stone long before users started spending an inordinate amount of time on social Web sites - sites that now want to compete in search.
For now, Google's answer seems to be expanding its reach in search through other products - primarily its Chrome web browser and upcoming OS. But not having the strong presence in social networking remains the company's Achilles' heel, becoming ever more apparent as Facebook pulls away from the pack in usage stats.
In these unsure economic times, people want answers - one reason perhaps why Google's brand value is soaring and bank brands are plunging.
Google's brand value rose 25% to $31.9bn (£19.5bn) from the year before according to Interbrand's survey of global brands, the year's largest rise. This is the first time that the total worth of the world's top 100 brands - down 4.6% at $1.15 trillion - fell.
The world's two most valuable brands are Coca Cola and IBM. In a year when some banks were taken under government control and others fought off collapse, the worth of financial brands plunged. Citi's brand worth fell 49% to $10.2bn, while that of UBS fell 50% to $4.3bn. The worth of American Express's brand fell 32% to £14.9bn and that of Morgan Stanley fell 26% to $6.39bn.
Car companies are struggling to make cars that people want to buy in these straitened times, were also hard hit. Toyota, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Porsche all saw their brand values plunge. "Some historically valuable brands normally associated with scale and stability, experienced a very bad year," Interbrand said, alluding to the deprived performance of bank and car brands.
Brands that performed badly were those perceived to have "fundamentally broken" businesses, a category which included UBS, it said. Tougher economic times can lead to people re-evaluating "the nature of the relationships that we have with brands and indeed how confident we feel in brands to live up to the promises they make," Jez Frampton, Interbrand CEO, said.
"Brands are promises which we value and are prepared to pay for and if we feel those promises have been broken, we're less probable to trust." But some brands are resistant to downturn. While consumers may have less cash for big-ticket items such as cars, and their distrust of banks has increased, they still have sufficient coins in their pocket for Coca Cola, McDonalds, Gillette and H&M. Interbrand said that "Brands that are day-to-day staples and are easy to purchase and experience have done well."
The very top-end brands - those which speak of lavishness for the very few, with names such as Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hermes - held their own, falling less than the average drop of 5%. World's top 10 valuable brands in 2009.
Last month Google launched a new feature of AdWords called Bid Simulator. Bid Simulator takes a few of the guess work out of cost per click (CPC) bidding by estimating the number of clicks or impressions you could have received if you had used a different maximum CPC bid. Today, I thought I would take the chance to help you make the most of this new feature by explaining how to use the data from Bid Simulator to maximize the profit from your marketing investment.
In general, when you increase your maximum CPC bid for keywords on search you are able to create more clicks to your site. This may be because your new bid qualifies you to appear higher up in the Sponsored Links on the search results page, or because your higher bid qualifies your ad to appear in new, more costly auctions. The ambition for you as an advertiser is to decide whether or not these additional clicks come at a cost that is still profitable for you.
To make this decision, you want to compare your expected value per click to your incremental cost per click. Your value per click is how much a click for a particular keyword is value to you, on average. Your incremental cost per click is how much extra you are paying, on average, for the additional clicks you are getting from your higher bid. When your value per click is higher than your incremental cost per click it creates sense to increase your bid. On the other hand, if your value per click is lesser than your incremental cost per click, you probably want to decrease your bid.
LG has announced that their GW620 model phone will be their first smartphone powered by Google Android. As you can see the picture, the GW620 is a smartphone with a slide-out keyboard and a 3-inch touchscreen keyboard.
The LG GW620 will also have a social networking flair, which obviously means that web sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like, will all be fully represented. By the method, LG is planning on unveiling three new Windows Mobile smartphones in the next few weeks.
After we discovered what Google thinks of Twitter we were enthused to spelunk a bit deeper into the strange and wonderful territory of Google Suggest. A feature from Google Labs, Suggest presents you real-time suggestions to complete your search query as you type. One of the factors in the algorithm that determines the results is the overall popularity of the searches by other users.
Google launched a new technology at TechCrunch50, Google FastFlip, designed to help users quickly browse a number of web sites. "At Google, we've had a very aggressive objective around speed," said Marissa Mayer, the vice president of search and user experience. "When you make the Web faster, you use it more".
Google has been shaving milliseconds here and there, Mayer said; however, co-founder Larry Page raised a question last fall: how come if you go to a new page, the content isn't preloaded?
Google FastFlip is type of an answer to that. The interface seems somewhat based on Google News, allowing users to preview sites oriented around particular topics. A slideshow slides left and right, allowing users to preview the screenshots of stories. The prototype service is being launched with The New York Times, The Washington Post, US Weekly, and TechCrunch, amongst others.
The interface just slides screenshots left and right on the screen. But the technology doesn't fairly solve the problem of speed, as to read the full article you need to click on it -- which opens the article on the publisher's home page. And the text is often too small to read on the linked web sites. So does this optimize the screening experience?
Google has enlarged its search box to make it "easier" to use, the company said late Wednesday. In a blog post, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for search products and user experience, said the simple modify to the company's home page "symbolizes" it's "focus on search." She added that alteration to the height and width of the search box makes the company's home page "even easier and more fun to use." Yeah, I don't get it either.
Google said in an e-mail message that the fresh search box is "roughly twice the size of the (original) search box." The company also made its search buttons are "more similar" for those viewing Google "on different operating systems and browsers." Even with a bigger search box, the company's search still only allows for up to 2,048 characters in a single query.
The anniversary of September 11th evokes complicated memories here in New York and all over the world. The events of the day left an ineffaceable mark on many New Yorkers, including me. The offices of my startup were at 30 West Broadway, right next door to the 7 World Trade Center, so I was downtown that morning. I saw the planes hit and then watched and shocked, from the West Side Highway as the towers fell. It was a very bad day for all who were there, an impossible day for those who lost friends and loved ones and a shared experience of loss and grief for New York and the world.
Today I'm very proud that Google is part of the launch of make History, a website created by the National September 11th Memorial & Museum in partnership with design firm Local Projects. Make History is a participatory archive that invites people to share their experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath in an effort to conserve the memories of that time. The Museum has created a collaborative storytelling tool that makes innovative use of Street View via the Google Maps API. The Make History website allows people to place and then share their photos and videos in geographical context, collectively piecing together the history that was witnessed, one photo and video at a time.
To participate, simply go to the website and click "Add Your Story." You'll be asked to write about your experience of September 11th and share your photos and videos, and then to place them at the spot where they were captured.
To power the Make History site, the Museum is using App Engine and leveraging the power of cloud computing. By taking benefit of the scalability of Google's infrastructure, the Museum can focus on building great applications and telling important stories - not on how many servers they will need.
The developer community that uses our tools and APIs is a source of motivation for all of us at Google who work on platforms, partnerships and developer outreach - and Make History is a powerful example of why we all do what we do. This September 11th, as we sit with our memories of the day, we're honored to have been able to help enable the making of such an important and deeply moving archive.
Sinai Marketing, a Google SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company, is offering free SEO services on its newly launched affiliate Web site: www.mastergoogle.com. In addition free SEO, Master Google gives other guaranteed paid SEO packages to place companies Web site on top of search engines as well as other Google marketing services such as Adwords management.
Master Google's Free SEO program is a mean to serve startup companies looking to start a presence online. It hopes to make relationships with entrepreneurs and aid any company that is looking to compete online. The free SEO services include Web site optimization, keyword(s) analysis, link building, Web site traffic reports, and weekly Web site ranking reports.
Monday is a big national holiday in the United States, and a small holiday or two as well. September 7th, like every first Monday in September, is the Labor Day. Just about all official is closed - schools, banks, state and federal government offices. In fact, all sorts of folks have the day off - with pay - in tribute to the labor movement and themselves as working people, and also to mark the casual end to the summer beach and swimming-pool season.
And Monday will be a type of National Lots of Other Things Day as well. Like each day of the year, special anniversaries, odd holidays, and birthdays - if you want to call them that - will be noted and celebrated.
Monday, for example, is the beginning of National Payroll Week - and getting paid is something that all the laborers celebrating Labor Day value highly. It is also the 95th anniversary of the New York City post office building on Eighth Avenue. That's important to the rest of the country because a famous saying was inscribed on that building. Freely translated from the olden Greek historian Herodotus, it reads, Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. It became the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Postal Service.
Monday is also marks the birth of the late rockabilly singer Buddy Holly in 1936, and the 11th anniversary of the beginning of Google, the Internet search-engine company. It's Grandma Moses Day, too! Anna Mary Grandma Moses was a famous primitive painter who did not pick up a brush until she was 78. She died at age 101 in December 13, 1961 and is remembered, at least by her fans, to this day on her birthday.
Every day is like that in America - a celebration of something, anywhere. The most fun this Labor Day might be found at the annual Great American Bathtub Race Front Street in Nome, Alaska.
A multinational game of Monopoly will be launched on Wednesday when Hasbro and Google Maps collide to bring online game called Monopoly City Streets to the world. The Monopoly City Streets game, which assures 'a world of property empire building on an inconceivable scale' launches on 9 September.
Game's official site said, "An online worldwide game of MONOPOLY using Google Maps as the game board".
Goal: "The goal is simple. Play to beat your friends and the world to become the richest possessions magnate in existence". "Own any street in the world. Build modest houses, crazy castles and stupendous skyscrapers to collect rent". "Use MONOPOLY Chance Cards to sabotage your mates by building peril on their streets".
Sony Corp. is selling its Vaio-brand computers installed with Google Web browser Chrome for users in the U.S. and Europe. Sony said that Chrome has been pre-installed on the Vaio computers as the default browser in the U.S. and Europe since May. The Sony devices continue to provide Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer - the world's most widely used Web browser - allowing users to have an alternative between the two.
Sony is the first PC creator to sell computers with Chrome pre-installed. The company doesn't reveal breakdown of sales figures, but said that it expects to sell 6.2 million PCs worldwide in the economic year through March 2010.
For small businesses looking to optimize their online presence and take benefit of digital marketing tools, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing are emerging as increasingly precious strategies.
A latest report from digital marketing intelligence firm ComScore revealed that the number of global online searches increased 41 percent, rising from 80.5 billion searches (July 2008) to 113.7 billion searches (July 2009).
Google search engines may be the most excellent investment for a small business' search engine marketing dollars, as Google websites saw the maximum amount of searches - The 76.7 billion Google searches seen in July 2009 mark a 58 percent increase over the last year, and now represent 67.5 percent of the market share.
Yahoo search engines were in second place, yet far behind Google at 8.9 billion searches in July 2009, marking a 2 percent increase year-over-year. AOL was the only search engine to see moribund use, falling 11 percent since July 2008 to just 1 billion searches in July 2009.
Approximately two-thirds of businesses use search engine optimization (SEO) in their marketing efforts, according to a survey from Korn/Ferry International, iPressroom and the Public Relations Society of America.