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Google News & Analysis

Marketers Are Mastering Digital Advertising, Adobe Suggests

Adobe's fourth quarter 2014 Digital Advertising Report shows digital advertising is becoming increasingly efficient — and that smart advertisers understand the nuances of customer behaviors, including the top days of the week for search.

The report analyzed search and social media data and trends around Google, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook. It's based on more than 500 billion Google and Yahoo Bing ad impressions and some 400 billion Facebook post impressions gathered throughout 2014.

The key take-aways:

  • Google Shopping Ads grew dramatically over the holiday season as expected, outperforming text ads eight times over.
  • Digital advertising continues to become more efficient with click-through-rates (CTRs) growth outpacing cost-per-click (CPC) growth.
  • Certain days of the week are better than others for certain ads — for example, Sunday is best for mobile ads, Monday for desktop ads and Friday for Facebook ads.
  • Despite a change in Facebook's algorithm that forced businesses to buy more ads, retailers still turned to Facebook during the holiday season to drive sales.

News Bites: Celum, Xerox, Google, Oracle, More

The latest in processing, collaborating, sharing, restoring, understanding, integrating, expanding and joining from the Spinach Capital, the West's Most Western Town, Oyster Town, The Land of Milk and Honey, the Birthplace of Aviation, Powder City and the City in a Garden.

Google, VMware Partner for Hybrid Cloud Computing

Google announced today that it has inked a new partnership deal with VMware that should give its public cloud services a considerable boost in the enterprise.

According to a statement issued by the two companies, VMware is making four Google cloud services available to enterprise customers through its vCloud Air hybrid cloud. The services include Big Query analytics, Google Cloud Storage, as well as Google Datastore and DNS services.

Google Takes on the Tower of Babel

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If you have ever used the Google Translate tool to translate text from one language to another, you will know that it is limited. However, Google announced this week that it was not only improving the service, but that it was also offering translations in real time through Android and iOS devices.

TheTranslate app already lets you take a photo of text and get a rendition of it in one of 35 languages. This next step forward will allow users to take snap shots of street signs with a phone camera and have them translated into another language automatically, with the translated text layered the original photo.

More Cash for Tech Workers in Silicon Valley Antitrust Lawsuit

Apparently, $324.5 million wasn't enough.

Former tech workers at major Silicon Valley companies could cash in on an antitrust lawsuit settlement for even more money than an earlier deal that was already was the largest of its kind.

The 64,000 or so former employers of Adobe Systems, Intel Corporation, Apple and Google, Inc. have reached another settlement with the tech giants, according to a Jan. 13 letter from a Google attorney to the San Francisco-based US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Workers claim in the lawsuit the tech companies illegally agreed not to call each other's employees.

Google Price Cuts, Amazon Restructuring Shake Up the Cloud

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An information technology research firm has announced a decline in its cloud price index (CPI), attributing the fall to price cuts at Google and reductions of up to 43 percent on bandwidth by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

451 Research's Cloud Price Index fell 1.32 percent over the past eight weeks to $2.53 at the start of December due to price cuts of up to 79 percent by Google and the AWS restructuring. The London-based research firm created its cloud pricing index last month.

Is Gmail Google's Way to the Future?

Google wants you to keep your files on Google Drive and for you to spend more time in Gmail. So it's raising its game and your experience to help make that happen.

And this is no small deal for Google. The internet sweetheart is suddenly being squeezed by competition on all sides. On one end, it seems that more and more people are going straight to Amazon when searching for products (ComScore says that Amazon’s desktop search queries were up 47 percent between September 2013 and September 2014), which is hurting Google’s core ad search business. And, on the other end, Facebook is not only beginning to woo mobile marketing dollars away, but it may also be in a better position to leverage video in its News Feed.

Can Facebook Crack Search - Without Bing?

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Facebook has quietly stopped including Microsoft Bing search results on its social networking site, Reuters first confirmed. Instead, the social network has revamped its own search offering with a new tool it claims makes it easier for users to filter and search through comments and other information from friends.

On one hand users might find the change limiting. Now, when they use the search bar they are not taken outside of Facebook for results. On the other, the tool is more robust than previous Facebook offerings — and besides, there is always Google for straightforward search.

That, however, may change again as Facebook ramps up its search tool set. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said search is a growth initiative for Facebook. And as the company's push into mobile has shown over the last few years, once Facebook identifies a growth sector it goes after it.

Search, though, is a very different animal than mobile.

Microsoft Soups Up Office Online with Contextual Search

2014-11-December-Tall-Bicycle.jpgNo one likes dumb anything, least of all technology companies. In a move to smarten-up Hangouts, Google added "smart" suggestions yesterday. Microsoft is on the case as well, making its Office Online app a lot smarter with the addition of contextualized Bing search into documents.

If that sounds complicated, it’s not. The new feature, called Insights for Office, lets users search for information from an inline search box inside a document. The answers include information scraped from Bing Snapshot, Bing Image Search and Wikipedia, among others.

RIP Google Authorship: What It Means and What's Next

2014-11-December-Typewriter.jpgBack in 2012, AuthorRank was a hot topic among the SEO and inbound marketing sect.

Similar to PageRank, which aims to establish authority for domains and pages on those domains, AuthorRank was thought to be the key to measuring individual authority. Although Google never officially referred to it by that name, they patented techniques to use individual reputation as a search ranking suggested as much. Once awareness of the patent went public, the SEO industry quickly began talking about it as individual authority.

Author Authority would have made it much easier to rank people in different areas of expertise. It would reduce spam and scammy behavior, and push reputable content creators up the SERPs. What could possibly be wrong with that end result?

The excitement was nipped in the bud on Aug. 28, 2014 when, in a surprise move, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced via Google Plus that the Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending.

Google for Work Puts Security in the Hands of Employees

Microsoft may be making a lot of noise about additional security features in Office 365, but Google has been working away behind the scenes too, if perhaps in a less vocal way. Yesterday, it launched the Devices and Activity dashboard, which monitors Google accounts on enterprise devices.

The new dashboard provides IT administrators a way of monitoring who has been accessing what accounts, where and why, but adds an underlying current to the security discussion that's becoming increasingly important in enterprises: responsibility.

Would You Pay to Not See Google Ads?

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Who would have thought it? Google will now let you pay to avoid seeing its ads. Through a new service called Contributor, launched last night, Internet users can opt-out of Google ads for a fee of $1 to $3 dollars a month.

Participants will see a thank you message instead of the ads on participating websites, including Mashable, ScienceDaily and The Onion.

Bye-Bye Microsoft Lync, Here Comes Skype For Business

2014-11-12 skype for business.jpgWhen Microsoft paid $8.5 billion in cash for Skype in 2011, it left some scratching their heads where the product would fit in the Microsoft ecosystem. And while Microsoft has since integrated the software into a number of its products, we now have a better sense of its future. As of next year, the Lync name will disappear and be replaced by Skype for Business.

This is not just a rebranding exercise. It involves joining together the Lync infrastructure with Skype, which includes the ability to use on-premises servers, optional integration with external communications networks and the use of the Skype interface on top of Lync.

Office 365 Dominance Grows with New Markets

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Microsoft is releasing Office 365 into another nine countries, bringing its total market penetration to 140 of 196 countries worldwide.

The fact that you can now get Office 365 just about anywhere there is a business culture is not surprising. But the pace at which it has developed is startling.

When it launched just over two years ago, it was available in around 40 markets. A year later it was in 88 markets. By the end of 2013, it was up to 127 markets and now ... well, just about everywhere.

Free the Web From Google, Cage the IT Gorillas #OWF14

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PARIS — The final note for today from Paris and the Open World Forum (OWF): Let’s de-Google the Internet. If that didn’t catch your attention, then this will: It can be done.

It’s almost a given that at any gathering of open source workers there’s going to be a lot of shouting about taking the web back, and putting Microsoft, Google, IBM, Apple and all the other IT gorillas back in their cages.

From previous experience, this usually takes place after about the fifth glass of wine, beer or whatever your particular poison happens to be (OK, after the second glass, if you don’t do it often).

OWF is no different, except the call to free the web from Google came during one of the sessions this afternoon. Pierre-Yves Gosset of Framasoft, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of free, libre and open source software and culture, pointed out that not only should the web be freed of control by the big companies, but that it should also be decentralized.

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