Google Smartwatch Coming, Probably Not In Time For Holidays

Dick Tracy stamp In Shanghai China, there's a giant digital ad on one of the massive skyscrapers looming over the Huangpu River promoting Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch. But no amount of splashy marketing can save the poorly-designed, rushed-to-market device. The Samsung smartwatch debuted to withering reviews (poor design, functionality, battery life) and supposedly is seeing returns north of 30 percent in the US. Google will seek to avoid Samsung's mistakes as it prepares to go into production on its own smartwatch. Rumors of a Google smartwatch have been circulating for months but according to the Wall [...]


YouTube Preps New Subscription Music Service

youtube-logo-200 According to Billboard, YouTube is readying a new on-demand music service. Google has not confirmed the report and declined to comment. Citing people "familiar with the plans," Billboard reports that there will be a free version and a paid version of the new YouTube music service. But wait, doesn't Google already have a subscription music service? Yes, it's Google Music/All Access and costs $9.99 per month. It was introduced at Google I/O earlier this year and offers unlimited skips and curated content. And that's precisely what enables this new YouTube offering. Google has already secur [...]


First Evidence Of Google Smartphone Ranking Penalty

Smartphone only error page on Disney’s responsive site. Why would Google knowingly send a smartphone user to a page like this that they cannot use? In June of this year, Google announced it would be adjusting search rankings appearing on smartphones based on how well the site in question handled the mobile user experience. The company didn’t say exactly when these changes would be rolling out, but only said it planned “to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.” These smartphone misconfiguration errors include faulty redirects like app interstitials or homepage redirects, and smartphone-only errors such as unplayable videos, smartphone-only 404 pages and [...]


Moms & Their Smartphones: Is mCommerce Becoming A Reality?

mobile-websites-smartphones-featured According to recent research conducted by Babycenter.com (and digested via eMarketer), smartphones have become the "go everywhere, do anything device" of choice for mothers in the U.S. With the number of mothers using smartphones rising from 34% to 46% in the last year alone, it's clear that this device is becoming ubiquitous among the demographic that has taken the household reins when it comes to purchasing decisions. In fact, women in the U.S. account for 85% of all purchasing decisions, including everything from cars to health care coverage. There were two things in particular that s [...]


Tricky Treat: Google Smartwatch Rumored For Halloween

Galaxy Gear The site 9to5Google yesterday reported a rumor that a Google smartwatch will be announced on October 31 this year. Well before this, Google was rumored to be working on a smartwatch. Not long ago, the company acquired WIMM labs, builder of smartwatches. I have no doubt that Google will introduce an Android-based watch. But will it be a treat or a disappointing "1.0" product? Here are the relevant questions: What will the design look like? How much will it cost? What will be its core functions/capabilities? How will it interact with Android devices (and iPhones)? Will it become [...]


Most Of Fortune 100 Don’t Live Up To Google’s Mobile Best Practices — Even Google

mobile-websites-smartphones-featured Which of the top Fortune 100 brands do the best job living up to Google's mobile best practices? The answer is: Coke, FedEx, TIAA-CREF, Walgreens and insurance company Liberty Mutual. Some of the names on the list, created and complied by The Search Agency, are not surprising while others are. One of the surprises is that mobile commerce powerhouse Amazon only comes in at number 14. Another is that Google itself is number 20. The Search Agency only evaluated mobile sites, not apps. The marketing firm created its "Mobile Experience Scorecard" by taking Google's mobile best practices a [...]


Mobile And The Rise Of “Real World Analytics”

Google indoor maps The new reality of multi-screen conversions compounds the already difficult challenges of accurate attribution and ROI calculation. That's on top of the persistent but largely ignored fact that most internet-influenced consumer spending happens offline. Digital marketers have mostly avoided trying to account for offline conversions in the past because they've been so hard to track on a per-campaign basis. Yet e-commerce is still only about 6 percent of overall US retail (billions vs. trillions). By contrast online-to-offline spending is at least 10x the value of e-commerce. Now, the awar [...]


Smartphone Market: Android Plateaus But Google Near 100 Percent Audience Reach

google-samsung-nexus-phone-featured The August comScore US smartphone market share report is out. The story is familiar: Apple and Samsung are the top two OEMs, while others are down or flat. On the OS side, comScore agrees with earlier Kantar data showing small gains by Windows Phone in the US. But the news here appears to be that Android may have hit a ceiling. This may be in part because, in the US at least, the Galaxy S4 has underperformed. These data also don't reflect the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The most interesting part of the report are the data on app and mobile web usage.  They show that Fac [...]


Is Adaptive Web Design Or RESS Better Than Responsive Design For SEO?

adaptive web design seo Kudos to all of you smart marketers for keeping me on my toes. At SES San Francisco last week, I was asked three good questions that I hadn't heard before and wasn't really prepared to answer. The title of this post is one of them: When it comes to SEO, is adaptive Web design or RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components) better than responsive Web design? If the person who asked the question had phrased it as, "Is dynamic serving better than responsive Web design for SEO?" it would have been an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, with so many new terms being used to describe [...]


Google Offers Getting Out Of Pre-Paid Voucher Business

Google Offers Google Offers is shifting from pre-paid vouchers to digital coupons exclusively. Previously, there was a mix of both. As a practical matter that means there will no longer be deals purchased up front that could expire without redemption. Instead, all deals will be incentives to buy online or visit a store, redeemable at the time of purchase. According to AllThingsD Google is pledging to refund the value of pre-paid but unused vouchers. (I have several unused, expired vouchers but haven't received any such refund offer.) Google Offers are currently distributed in multiple ways: through th [...]


Study: Nexus 7 Usage Flat, Kindle Up Following Discounts

Amazon Original Kindle Fire Ad network Chitika has released data on the comparative traffic being driven by the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, prompted by the introduction of the new Nexus 7 in July. Chitika looked at North American tablet-based web traffic between June and August of this year. While Nexus 7 web traffic remained remarkably consistent during the period, Kindle's traffic increased, based largely on Amazon discounting to move devices ahead of the anticipated roll out of the next generation of Amazon tablets. What's the lesson? Price matters. In order to generate this report, Chitika examined "tens of [...]


Forecast: Mobile Devices To Eclipse PCs In Q4 This Year

computer-smartphone-tablet-featured IDC has released its latest devices forecast arguing that tablets will overtake PC shipments (desktop + laptops) in Q4 of this year. The firm said that for the full year PCs will still have larger numbers, but that will change by 2015 with tablets outpacing PC shipments. IDC expects essentially flat growth for the PC market during the four year forecast period with laptops offsetting declines in the desktop market. However I think that's a bit of wishful thinking on IDC's part. Only if the enterprise market compensates for declines in the consumer market will we see flat or modestly positiv [...]


July Mobile Data: Apple Gains, Google Top Mobile Site, Facebook Top App

smartphones ComScore released its July smartphone subscriber market share data for the US. The story is very similar to past months: the market continues to be a contest between Apple and Samsung, iOS and Android. In the handset category, the iPhone continued to be the top individual smartphone with Samsung gaining 2 points. All other makers were down. The Moto X has just become available and has yet to register. It remains to be seen whether it can reverse Motorola's long decline. For its part HTC has just launched an expensive branding campaign featuring actor Robert Downey Jr.  It's unlikely to [...]


Samsung Announces Galaxy Gear, Apple iWatch Next Week

gear As expected, Samsung has announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the IFA conference in Berlin. Danny Sullivan live-blogged the event, which also saw a number of other announcements, including the Galaxy Note 3 and a new 10-inch Galaxy tablet. Earlier today Sony introduced its new and improved smartwatch at IFA. The new Samsung smartwatch comes with a camera (+ video) and a speaker. The camera is 1.9 megapixels. I'm sure the quality will improve over time. Gear can be used as a phone, but it's not a phone. It relies on a bluetooth connection to a Samsung smartphone: The built-in speak [...]


Google Announces Android 4.4 In Global Promotion With KitKat

android-kitkat-featured Google announced this morning that the company had activated more than 1 billion Android devices. And in a very interesting and irregular move decided to name the next version of the Android OS after commercial candy bar KitKat. The candy company is giving away Nexus 7 devices or Google Play credit in stores if users buy branded packages of KitKat. KitKat is produced by Hersey's in the US and Nestle in the UK and Europe. The immediate questions that popped into my mind were: 1) who came up the with cross-promotion idea and 2) how much money is changing hands? Google told the BBC that it [...]


Chinese Handset Maker Steals Hugo Barra From Google

Hugo Barra Android VP of Product Management Hugo Barra announced yesterday that he was leaving Google. Following Android founder Andy Rubin's transition off the team, Barra is the second major departure for Android within a period of six months. Barra has been "the public face of Android." As recently as a month ago, Barra was on stage in San Francisco introducing the new Nexus 7. He came to Google from Nuance and had been on the Android team for roughly three years. Barra is going to Xiaomi, which is known as "China's Apple." Xiaomi makes higher-end devices that run a highly customized version of [...]


Forecast: Mobile To Be 48 Percent Of Display Revenue By 2017

money-growth-chart-featured Data aggregator eMarketer has published a revised set of ad-revenue forecasts with an emphasis on mobile. The firm projects that mobile advertising will account for an increasing share of display revenue and represent nearly 50 percent ($14.5 billion) of all display advertising by 2017. Google will capture more than 50 percent of global mobile ad revenue this year; Facebook is gaining, however. According to eMarketer, Facebook's share of mobile ad revenue will grow from just over 5 percent last year to almost 16 percent this year. In terms of the broader category of global digital ad [...]


Google Now Adds More Cards, Including Car Rentals & Concert Tickets

Google Now for iOS Google announced yesterday that it has added more "cards" to Google Now. The following are the new types of content and data that Google Now will be showing: Car rentals card Concert ticket card Improved public transit cards Commute sharing card Set reminders while you search Updated TV card NCAA football scores Of particular interest in the list above is the "commute sharing card," which will allow others to track your movements and get a better sense of when you'll arrive. Here's Google's explanation of the feature: "When leaving work, you can now choose to inform your lov [...]


Google’s Field Trip App Now Available For Google Glass

field-trip-logo Google's Field Trip, a local discovery app that offers information about your surroundings, is now available for Google Glass. The app was introduced last year for Android devices and later came to the iPhone, too. Google's Timothy Jordan described the app today as "a guide to help you discover hidden gems and interesting information around you as you explore the world with Glass." Field Trip has data from more than 100 local publishers in categories like "Historic Places and Events," "Lifestyle," and "Food, Drinks and Fun." It haven't had a chance to try it yet (I'm guessing nothing [...]


Google Brings Tag Manager To Mobile Apps

google-tag-manager-mobile Google's Tag Manager tool is now available for use in mobile apps. The company previewed the new tool back at its I/O developer conference in May, and made the formal announcement today. Google says Tag Manager for Mobile Apps should bring more flexibility for mobile marketers who have to deal with the static nature of mobile apps. Forget to add an event to a key button press? Tough! Need to add conversion tracking for a last minute campaign? Too bad! Realize you need to change an important configuration setting? Sorry, not possible... that is, until now! Previewed at Google I/O earlier [...]


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