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What’s Going On With Google?

The reason that Google is the most popular search engine on the planet is because this powerhouse engine keeps reinventing itself by developing new, exciting products that break the barriers of the status quo. Recently, they have launched several new tools that ensure a better user experience and qualitative search results. So, let’s see what’s new with Google this season.

What’s going on with Google?

1. Google Acquires YouTube for $1.65 Billion in Stock – The 19-month old Silicon Valley start-up YouTube that pioneered the sharing of online videos was just acquired by Google. Google’s acquisition of YouTube contributes to Google’s efforts towards providing better user experiences by using powerful and compelling media entertainment. Find out more.

2. Google Launches New Site Map Tool – Google recently lunched a new site map tool for webmasters to ensure proper indexing of a website in the search results. Milestone has enrolled all of their clients in this great tool. Site map inclusion keeps us informed about our client website status in Google, in terms of indexability, crawlability, etc. We can quickly troubleshoot any problem that Google might be experiencing in indexing your site.

3. Google News Archive Search – Google is turning back the hands of time – well, sort of – by releasing its new News Archive Search. The News Archive Search allows users to search historical content, articles, and news – some over 20 decades old – that had not been available through any search engines prior to this. You can start exploring Google’s Archive Search functionality.

4. Google Images Labeler – To improve its image search functionality, Google has introduced the tagging of images – similar to Yahoo! Flickr. Tagging relies on human-power to label (tag) images rather than computer-based results. It then labels images based on the most relevant tags that users are assigning to that image. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words!

If you’re familiar with an ESPGame designed by Carnegie Mellon Professor Louis van Ahn, you probably know how tagging works. For the rest of us, ESPGame pairs you with another anonymous user. You both see the same image and you’ll both have to give the image a name (tag). Only when both tags are the same for an image, you proceed to another image and can continue until your time has run out. Google Image Labeler utilizes a similar principle when categorizing or naming images. Try out the online game on Google at http://images.google.com/imagelabeler/ and check for yourself how many images you can tag in 90 seconds. This initiative improves the relevance of image search results for online surfers.

5. Good Content Reduces Your PPC Cost – When determining the cost-per-click (CPC) for search terms, Google is now looking at the content of the page. In the past, Google has paid very close attention to Click through Rate (CTR) as a way of determining the overall quality of the ad and the CPC for the advertiser, and eventually how much an advertiser would have to pay per click. However, when a user clicked on the ad and ended up on a landing page, the quality of the landing page would not affect the cost per click – even if it was a poorly written page that resulted in a poor user experience, which would not reflect highly on Google Ads.

Well, things have now changed and content is king! A positive user experience on a content rich landing page, meaning a landing page that does not have excessive advertising but rather relevant content, will reduce your CPC. Landing pages with more enhanced content are rated highly by Google, which will in turn bring down an advertisers cost for the ad. At Milestone, we’ve always adhered to this philosophy, creating thoughtful content that enhances the page and user experience.

6. Google Premium Advertising Position is Based On User Clicks Not On How Much You Are Paying! – In continuous efforts to deliver the best user experience, Google is ensuring that a premium position is only secured by advertisers who are getting the maximum clicks. If you are an advertiser paying top dollar for the highest position but you are not getting any clicks, your ad will disappear from Google’s top sponsored research and will be placed on the right hand side. Again, content is most important to web users who will only click if your words are enticing.

7. Google Checkout - Familiar with PayPal? Now there’s Google Checkout (https://checkout.google.com, a new service released by Google that makes online shopping faster, safer and more convenient. When you’re shopping online at Google.com, look at for a “shopping cart” icon next to the advertisers’ name. Any advertiser that has this “shopping cart” icon is using the secure Google Checkout, which gives a comforting feeling to the end-user when entering personal and credit card information.

8. Google Adwords for Mobile Device – Google has recently added PPC ads for Mobile Networks in the US, UK and Germany. Mobile PPC ads will run along with search ads, and by clicking on these ads surfers will either go directly to the display advertising, mobile website or can call the advertiser directly. Wow!

9. The Google Car Is Coming Soon! What will the color be of this car?
The Google.org Foundation is helping and working with hybrid-engine scientists and automakers to design a new ultra-fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid car engine that runs on a mix of ethanol, electricity and gasoline. The goal of this hybrid auto is to exceed 100 miles per gallon and to use a more environmentally conscious fuel.

10. See How Your Ads Look Before You Place It on Google – Google recently announced a new tool which lets advertisers see how your ad looks locally or based on certain geographical criteria before you actually place it. Check it out.

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