Google Intros New Features for Search, Maps and Shopping

Google is starting to publicly roll out many of the new features introduced at its Search On event in September. Spanning Google Search, Shopping and Maps, the tools let consumers do things like search their favorite restaurant dish by name, like “truffle mac and cheese near me.” A visual search experience for Maps called Live View lets users glimpse street scenes in cities including London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo. And an AR shopping feature invites people to try on everything from makeup to accessories using a library of 148 models. Continue reading Google Intros New Features for Search, Maps and Shopping

Google Search Reinvention Focuses on Visuals and Discovery

Google is the latest tech giant to be swayed by the influence of TikTok and Instagram as it reimagines a more visual, discovery-centric type of search. That was major media’s takeaway from the third annual Google Search On event, which continued the trend of trying to find more intuitive ways to search, namely visually and vocally, by snapping a photo or asking your phone a question. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, the Alphabet company says it is “going far beyond the search box to create search experiences that work more like our minds.” Continue reading Google Search Reinvention Focuses on Visuals and Discovery

Google’s Ad Growth Slows While Search Exceeds Projections

Alphabet had a rocky second quarter with revenue of $69.69 billion, up 13 percent from the same period in 2021, though net income was down 14.6 percent to $16 billion. It was Alphabet’s slowest growth rate since Q2 2020, when COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the economy. In a contracting 2022 advertising market, Alphabet posted 12 percent ad growth, totaling $56.3 billion for the quarter ended June 30 versus the same period the previous year. Ad growth was down substantially over the 69 percent increase of Q2 2022, but increased nonetheless where others are declining. Continue reading Google’s Ad Growth Slows While Search Exceeds Projections

Google Shopping Adds Analytics Tools, Trusted Store Badge

Google Shopping is introducing new tools to help merchants and brands improve online sales performance. A Shopping Experience Scorecard will provide retailers the opportunity to earn a “Trusted Store” badge. In addition, Google is offering data analytics, including a conversion rate measurement tool, a price comparison feature and shipping and return overview pages. Since revamping its market portal as Google Shopping in 2019, the company has been trying to make it easier for users to “research and buy” using Google Search. Continue reading Google Shopping Adds Analytics Tools, Trusted Store Badge

Apple Privacy Changes Hurt Meta, Help Google, Pundits Say

Rumblings are surfacing about the impact to Meta Platforms advertising on Facebook and Instagram due to increased costs resulting from the new user privacy policy introduced by Apple last summer. Meta expects to take a hit of as much as $10 billion to this year’s revenue as a result of the change, which requires users to grant permission to apps to track their activity for advertising purposes. Meta’s market value dropped by roughly $300 billion in the wake of that forecast. In light of Google’s discussion this month of implementing privacy changes of its own, it remains to be seen whether the changes are triggering a digital advertising transition or crash. Continue reading Apple Privacy Changes Hurt Meta, Help Google, Pundits Say

Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 recently introduced Qaya, a new service that helps creators build their own digital storefronts. Qaya, which was co-created by Area 120 founder-in-residence Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey, is designed to help creators monetize their products and services by offering them directly to fans via personalized storefronts that can be integrated with Google Search and Google Shopping. Currently in beta, the Qaya-powered storefronts can host up to 1,000 products each. Google Pay is built into the service, with support for subscriptions, tipping and one-time payments. Qaya also offers sales analytics. Continue reading Google Service Helps Creators Build Personalized Storefronts

Google’s Bot-in-a-Box Brings Conversational AI to Enterprises

Google Cloud recently unveiled a new AI-powered service product named Bot-in-a-Box. The feature, available via Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Business Messages, will help enterprises easily manage conversations with their customers. Bot-in-a-Box creates chatbots that can naturally respond to customers’ questions by using Google’s Dialogflow software. The conversational bot does not require any additional coding but will learn directly from businesses’ customer service data. The new product is expected to cut the customer service budget for businesses and improve the service level of chat function on GCP Business Messages. Continue reading Google’s Bot-in-a-Box Brings Conversational AI to Enterprises

Google Ad Growth Propels Alphabet to $65.12 Billion Quarter

Alphabet’s third quarter earnings saw revenue hit $65.12 billion, a 41 percent increase characterized as the company’s largest quarterly gain in 14 years. Profit of $21.03 billion is a nearly 300 percent increase over profits reported prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights include 43 percent growth in Google’s advertising sales business — across Search, Maps and YouTube — for a total of $53.13 billion. YouTube “recently surpassed 50 million Music and Premium subscribers, including those in trial,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on the Q3 conference call. Continue reading Google Ad Growth Propels Alphabet to $65.12 Billion Quarter

Google Search Will Use MUM AI to Combine Text and Images

Google Lens visual search will be updated to incorporate the company’s new AI technology, the Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which understands context and draws from various formats, including text, images and videos. With MUM, users will be able to incorporate text in order to specify queries on visual search. For instance, you could use your phone to snap a photo of a favorite shirt using the Google Lens feature — or find a shirt you like through Google Search — then tap the Lens icon on the open image and type in “socks with this pattern” to search with specificity. Continue reading Google Search Will Use MUM AI to Combine Text and Images

Google to Update Its Product Searches to Attract Advertisers

In its latest effort to take on Amazon in e-commerce advertising, Alphabet announced that Google will update its product search pages to include more images of items such as accessories and apparel. Rather than Google’s traditional scroll of links with accompanying text, the results will feature a look more similar to a digital store. The move is part of the search giant’s larger strategy to fend off Amazon, Target, Walmart and others that have been ramping up their digital ad businesses to complement retail and e-commerce operations. While Google still enjoys the lead in online search, it does not join these competitors in directly selling products. Continue reading Google to Update Its Product Searches to Attract Advertisers

Google Updates Search to Boost Safe, Mobile-Friendly Sites

By the end of this month, Google will update its site with a new “page experience” designed to limit user frustration that results from slow-loading sites. Google will assess websites via three core web metrics, giving preference and higher placement to those that offer 1) secure connections, 2) lack of intrusive elements such as pop-ups and 3) are mobile-friendly. Publishers have expressed concern about this expected update, but some experts, such as RustyBrick chief executive Barry Schwartz, say the “overall impact” will be minimal. Continue reading Google Updates Search to Boost Safe, Mobile-Friendly Sites

YouTube Adds Visuals and Multi-Language Results to Search

Google’s YouTube revealed a plan to release improvements to its search functionality that will use visual appeal to provide a better sense of what videos contain, making it easier and more efficient for users to find their desired video content. In the YouTube app, both the Android and iOS versions, users will be able to see a snippet of video rather than a mere thumbnail while scrolling through the content. A section below the videos will also show all chapters, if relevant, enabling the user to click on a specific chapter of the video. Continue reading YouTube Adds Visuals and Multi-Language Results to Search

Google AI-Enabled MUM Aims to Reinvent, Empower Search

Google revealed its work on a new AI-enabled Internet search tool dubbed MUM (Multitask Unified Model), which can “read” the nuances globally of human language. The company says that users will be able to find information more readily and be able to ask abstract questions. MUM is not yet publicly available but Google independently used it for a COVID-19 related project. Vice president of search Pandu Nayak and a colleague designed an “experience” that gave in-depth information on vaccines when users searched for them. Continue reading Google AI-Enabled MUM Aims to Reinvent, Empower Search

Google Reports Its Highest Quarter Ever for Sales and Profits

In Q2 2021, Google recorded its highest quarter ever for sales and profits: revenue of $61.88 billion, up 62 percent year-over-year; profit that more than doubled to $18.53 billion; advertising sales of $50.44 billion, a 69 percent surge, and YouTube ad business reaching $7 billion, up 84 percent from a year earlier. The numbers, which exceeded Wall Street expectations, were driven by e-commerce, streaming video and other online business and entertainment activities that surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, driving online advertising. Continue reading Google Reports Its Highest Quarter Ever for Sales and Profits

Google’s Ad Sales Shatter Records as Brands Shift to Digital

The pandemic-driven stay-at-home year supercharged Alphabet’s digital ad sales in Q1 to $55.31 billion, 34 percent up from a year earlier. Advertising sales via signature products such as Search, Google Maps and Gmail rose 30 percent to $31.88 billion as brands transitioned ad spending from print, TV and in-store promotions to Google services. Profit also more than doubled and per-share earnings were higher than expected. YouTube earned $6 billion, a 49 percent increase from last year, and total profit soared 162 percent from the previous year to almost $18 billion. Continue reading Google’s Ad Sales Shatter Records as Brands Shift to Digital