Google brings store visits to Google Display Network, debuts cross-device retargeting

Google is going all-in on location. From search (and now display ads) to store, Google is finding more ways to close the loop.
That’s because, when store visits and offline impact are captured and factored back into return on ad spend, the value of that spend goes way up — from 2X to well over 10X according to Google data. The company has been testing and refining store visits measurement for the past two years.
At its “GPS” ads conference in San Francisco earlier this summer, Google announced a dramatic expansion of store visits. It also trumpeted that notion that Google was now the “largest omni-channel measurement company in the world,” having tracked over 1 billion store visits globally over the past two years.

Using a case study with Home Depot, earlier today Google introduced location extensions and store visits measurement for the Google Display Network:
The ads that show your business address, Google Maps directions and photos. It’s a high-impact,

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Google expands Now on Tap to translate app screens, discover button & barcode scanning

Google has announced they’ve added a few new features to the Now on Tap service. Google Now on Tap lets Android users bring Google search features to any screen they are looking at with the tap of a button.
The new features include the ability to translate text on any page/screen, a new discover button to learn more about what is on your screen and a search by scanning QR codes and bar codes in Search by Image.
Translate with Now on Tap
Google Now on Tap now lets you translate text on any screen you are viewing. It can be within any app or webpage. Long-press the home button, tap the “Translate this screen” button, and it will translate it instantly for you. This works for phones with their language set to English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
Here is a screen shot:

Discover button with Now on Tap
You can now tap the “Discover” icon with Google Now and

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Google’s latest Now on Tap update shows more info for selected words & photos

Google announced today new updates to its Now on Tap feature for Android, making it possible to see more information about a selected word, phrase or photo.
Before today, the Now on Tap feature was a way to see more information about whatever you were viewing on your phone screen. With the latest updates, Now on Tap users can see more information on a selected word or phrase within an email, chat or news article.
“For example, if you’re reading a news article you can select a specific word, like crustacean, and get a definition and links to relevant apps.” says Google on its Inside Search Blog.

The update also works within an image search by touching an image and the home button simultaneously. Google says the feature will work across all apps, not just within the Image search or your Google photos. Users can even use the feature via their camera app in real time.
“If you’re standing in front

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Google says 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches

Alexander Supertramp /
Earlier today Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced during his Google I/O keynote that 20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. He spoke about this in the context of introducing Google’s new Amazon Echo competitor Google Home.
This 20 percent figure is actually lower than one mentioned by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in September 2010. At that time he said, “25% of Android searches in the U.S. are voice searches.” Regardless of the precise number, it’s clear that voice searches are growing.
In December, we reported on survey data from MindMeld that found that there has been a significant increase in voice assistant and voice search usage, with 60 percent of survey respondents saying that they had started using virtual assistants and voice search in the past 12 months.

The range of virtual assistants, such as Siri, Cortana, Google Voice Search/Now, Viv, Amazon Alexa and now Google Home are

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Serial fans rejoice — You can now listen to podcasts directly in Google app on Android

After launching podcasts in Google Play Music on Monday, Google is now making it possible to listen to podcasts directly in its Android app.
According to the announcement, listeners can choose from thousands of podcasts, including Serial, This American Life, Hidden Brain, Fresh Air and Radiolab.
To try it out, search for a podcast and you’ll see three recent episodes, a play button for each, and an option to see more episodes.Google Inside Search Blog
Google says its in-app podcast function includes play, pause, rewind and fast-forward controls. Once a podcast is playing, users can browse the web, or turn off their screen, while listening.

Google noted available podcasts can be accessed globally in English.
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Google Improves Weather Search Results On Android In Time For Winter Storm Jonas

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov /
As winter storm Jonas reports continue to roll in across the Northeast, Google announced an update for weather-related searches on Android phones.
Now, “weather” searches or weather-related questions like “will it rain today” via the Google app will deliver a wide-range of information, including:

Hourly sky conditions
Chances of rain
Severe weather alerts
Detailed 10-day forecast
Air quality
UV index
Sunrise and sunset times

“… [W]hether you’re facing a blizzard in Boston, rain in London or unseasonably cold weather in Sydney, you’ll be better prepared to take on the day with Google.”
Google’s Updated Weather Experience On Android

Google has also included a design refresh with changing background colors to reflect the sky conditions, as well as the ability to save specific locations: “When you tap on the weather result, you can also save your favorite locations by searching for a new location and selecting ‘Add.’”
The post Google Improves Weather Search Results On Android In Time For Winter Storm Jonas appeared first on

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Google Tests “What’s Hot” & “What’s Nearby” As Android Search Options

Artem Russakovskii found an interesting Google search options test for Android. In addition to recent searches, Google inserted a “What’s Hot” and “Nearby” option in the pull-down menu. Here’s what it looks like:

I asked Google for a comment or more information on this. Google provided the following statement: “We’re always experimenting with the look and feel of our products but have nothing to announce.”
Given that Google does numerous tests, it’s not clear this will get a broad rollout. In testing this functionality, Google is likely responding to the growth of “nearby” or “near me” queries.
Last May, the company said that such searches had doubled in the past year. Roughly 80 percent of those searches came from smartphones.
The post Google Tests “What’s Hot” & “What’s Nearby” As Android Search Options appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google Maps For Android Gets “Driver Mode” Feature To Anticipate Your Next Stop

Android’s Google Map app will soon be able to advise users where to go next via its new “Driving Mode” feature.
According to a report on VentureBeat, the new feature will anticipate where a user wants to go and advise how best to get there.
A Google spokesperson told VentureBeat that users will be able to use the feature “with just one tap” by creating a shortcut on their home screen.
“With a simple shortcut on your home screen, you’ll head straight into the new driving mode so you’re sure to get where you’re going on the quickest route possible — without entering a destination,” said the Google spokesperson.
Google said users would be able to access information like ETAs, traffic updates, nearby gas prices and the quickest routes to familiar destinations “… all from your home screen.”

Venture Beat reports the new feature will be rolled out through the end of this week and will only be available to Android users.

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Google Maps Rolls Out Upgrades For iOS: Gas Prices, Busy Times, Offline Navigation

Google has updated Maps on iOS so that its features are more in line with its Android sibling. The updated features, some of which have already been announced and rolled out, include offline maps and navigation, busiest venue/store hours and gas prices.
While other mobile apps have offered gas prices in the past, this small update adds convenience and utility, enabling users to locate stations and simultaneously compare prices.

Another small but useful addition to Maps for iOS, previously only on Android, is store traffic graphs. These visually illustrate when the venue or business location is likely to be busiest. This is like Google car traffic data, but for foot traffic. The company captures the data from “anonymized and aggregated visits to places from Google users who have opted-in to sharing location data.”

The most significant of the three recent upgrades to Google Maps on iOS is offline maps and navigation. This feature, pre-announced at Google’s developer conference, started to

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From Search To Store: Google Shows You Ads And Keywords Driving Offline Visits

Google released data earlier today on foot traffic patterns during the holiday shopping season. The data were collected from anonymous mobile users with location history enabled.
These capabilities are part of Google’s broader Estimated Total Conversions effort to connect digital advertising with store visits. It matters because local commerce is more than 10X larger than e-commerce. Lack of visibility on what is helping generate offline visits means lack of clarity on ROI.
To help remedy that, Google announced that you can see how specific keywords or ad groups are impacting physical store visits — by day, week and month:
Starting today, advertisers can get a more detailed view of offline measurement with the ability to breakout store visits at a keyword or ad group level, and the ability to view visits by day, week, or month to better inform bidding and campaign strategy. By reviewing data at this level, advertisers can understand which keywords or ad groups drive the most

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