A merry mobile holiday with Google Shopping

1 month 3 weeks ago

In those spare moments between basting the turkey, assembling gingerbread houses, and planning your ugly-sweater party, you might find yourself reaching for your phone to research holiday gifts you still need to buy. You’re not alone: With information readily available at the swipe of a finger, holiday shoppers are doing more research before buying than ever before. Indeed, Black Friday searches containing “best” have more than doubled over the past two years on mobile. People are also scrutinizing products from every angle, including the packaging—mobile watchtime of unboxing videos is equivalent to watching “Love Actually” over 20 million times!


Before you head “over the river and through the woods” to deliver your presents this season, we’re introducing improvements to mobile shopping experiences on Google that’ll help you browse, research, compare, and get the items crossed off your holiday gift list.


What’s hot on the list this year  

As always, there's a new crop of gifts climbing the trends chart. Here's a look at popular searches going into Black Friday:



Get the shopping scoop in a snap To help you search for gifts on the go, we recently redesigned mobile shopping on Google, bringing more product information to the forefront. Click the “Quick View” button in the Google Shopping ad to preview details like a bigger image, product description, reviews and seller rating—and to see if you can score a good deal by checking if it’s on sale. If you see an item that’s almost perfect but not quite what you want, scroll down to view visually similar or related products underneath, or to discover more products from the same brands or retailers.

More quickly and easily research, compare and narrow down your gift options

We know you’ve got limited time and lots of gifts to buy. Knowing that researching items and comparing prices are two of the most common mobile shopping activities, we recently introduced enhancements to the knowledge panel on Google.com to help you quickly find product photos, videos, reviews, descriptions and more.


To help you further narrow down your options and give you deeper insight into potential purchases, we’re now showing buying guides on Google for broad categories (like sewing machines or coffee grinders).

Also, when you search for a specific product, Google.com now shows you other helpful information, like related items, and allows you to compare reviews, prices and other specs, side by side. And if you’re searching for tech gadgets, we’ll help ensure that you're looking at the latest and greatest. You’ll now see a label alerting you there’s a “newer model available” if you're browsing last year’s product.

Shop by voice with the Google Assistant

As much as we try to plan ahead, procrastination happens. If you find yourself looking for something at the last minute, try using your Google Assistant to see where you can purchase needed items nearby by saying “Ok Google, where can I buy…”, or to get it sent right to your doorstep by saying “Ok Google, buy…”. Heading into the holidays, we see people with a Google Home device—which enables voice shopping with the Google Assistant—are using their voice to most frequently buy or add everyday essentials like paper towels or pet food to their shopping lists. We’re also seeing people using voice to find other types of products to prep for the holidays —including kitchen tools like basting brushes to perfectly glaze those Thanksgiving dishes, toys to slip under the tree, or fuzzy blankets to keep warm by the fireplace.


Whether you’re researching on your phone or shopping with your voice, we wish you happy deal-hunting this holiday season!

Get Work Done: Strategies for Getting More Efficient and Finishing

1 month 3 weeks ago

For the second week in a row, I’m tackling reader question Monday on a Tuesday.  This time, my excuse involves the mini-move my wife and I made over the weekend that I originally mentioned on Friday.  So traveling, unpacking and all that.  But, better late than never.  Today, I’ll talk about how to get work […]

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Erik Dietrich

The High Five: our searches go on, and on

2 months ago

Turkey, “Titanic” and the pope’s new ride were on our minds this week. Here are a few of the week’s top search trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

Almost time for turkey

As people in the U.S. prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving next week, our Thanksgiving insights page has all the trends. Pumpkin pie dominates searches in the U.S., but pecan pie is more popular in the southeast and apple pie is the state favorite in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. A smoked turkey is popular in most states, though some contend it should be roasted, fried or grilled. And Friendsgiving continues to rise in popularity, with searches like “friendsgiving ideas,” “friendsgiving invitations” and “friendsgiving games.”

We’ll never let go

Two decades ago, “Titanic” left an iceberg-sized hole in our hearts, and now it’s coming back to theaters in honor of its 20-year anniversary. In the years since its debut, search interest in “Titanic” reached its highest point globally in April 2012 when Titanic in 3D was released. All this talk of sinking ships made us think about other famous boats—the top searched shipwrecks this week include the Batavia, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the USS Indianapolis.

Hot wheels

The “popemobile” got an upgrade this week. Lamborghini gifted the pope a special edition luxury car, which he decided to auction off for charity. Though the pope is known for his affinity for Fiats, interest in “Pope Lamborghini” zoomed 190 percent higher than “Pope Fiat.” People also searched to find out, “Why did the Lamborghini company give the pope a car?” and “How much does the Lamborghini that they gave the pope cost?”

That’s a foul

Searches for “UCLA basketball players” shot 330 percent higher this week when three players returned home after being arrested for shoplifting while on tour with the team in China. The search queries dribbled in: “How long are the UCLA players suspended for?” “Why did China let the UCLA players go?” and “What were the UCLA players stealing?”

All about the music

With hits like “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” taking over the globe this year, the Latin Grammys last night were a hot ticket. People searched “How to watch the Latin Grammy awards online,” “What time are the Latin Grammy awards on?” and “How does music qualify for a Latin Grammy award?” Of the nominees for Record of the Year, “Despacito,” “Guerra,” and “Felices Los 4” were the most searched.

DaedTech Digest: Code Quality, Feature Flags, and Physical Migration

2 months ago

Happy Friday, everybody.  It’s DaedTech Digest time today. I am just wrapping up my work week and preparing to spend all day tomorrow (today, by the time you read this) driving south to the US Gulf Coast for the next 5 weeks.  Why?  Because it’s cold where I am in Michigan, and it’s not cold […]

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Erik Dietrich

Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust Project

2 months ago

Every day approximately 50,000 web pages filled with information come online—ranging from the weird, the wonderful and the wacky to the serious, the subjective, and the spectacular.

With a plethora of choices out there, we rely on algorithms to sort and rank all this information to help us find content that is authoritative and comes from credible sources. A constantly changing web means we won’t ever achieve perfection, but we’re investing in helping people understand what they’re reading by providing visual signposts and labels.  

We add clear labelling to stories in Google News (e.g., opinion, local, highly cited, in depth), and over year ago we launched the Fact Check tag globally in Google News and Search. And just recently we added information to our Knowledge Panels to help people get a quick insight into publishers.

Today, we’re announcing a move toward a similar labeling effort by the Trust Project, which is hosted at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Project, which is funded by Google among others, has been working with more than 75 news organizations from around the world to come up with indicators to help people distinguish the difference between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation.

In a first step, the Project has released eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content. This information will help readers understand more about what type of story they’re reading, who wrote it, and how the article was put together.

These eight indicators include:

  • Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
  • Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.
  • Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
  • Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
  • Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.
  • Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
  • Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
  • Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.
The publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times and more. (Photo courtesy of the Trust Project.)

News publishers embed markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReview schema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.


Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowledge Panels.


We believe this is a great first step for the Trust Project and look forward to future efforts as well.

New tools to make your job search simpler

2 months ago

To help the millions of people who turn to Google to start their job search, we worked with leaders across the industry to introduce a new experience earlier this year. Since then, we’ve seen 60 percent more employers showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people to new job opportunities.

Now, based on feedback from job seekers, we’re introducing some new features to help make the process more efficient. Directly in Search, you can access salary information for job postings, improved location settings, job application choices, and in a couple of weeks, the ability to save individual jobs.

Salary is an important factor in finding the right job—but by our estimate, this information is missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today. So to provide this essential information, we’re showing estimated salary ranges right alongside many jobs, based on the specific job title, location and employer. These are drawn from sources across the web like Glassdoor, PayScale, LinkedIn, Paysa and more. For those jobs that do have a salary listed, we’ll show a comparison to the estimated range for that job, if available.   

Many job seekers tell us they want more control over the geography Google uses to find matching jobs for a search. To help, we’re now adding an easy way for you to tell Google what search area to use when finding jobs that match your query. Just click the “Location” filter, and you’ll see a range of distances, from two miles up to 200 miles or “anywhere” if you’re a bit more flexible. Once you select the distance that works for you, we’ll display postings only from the area you’re interested in—whether that’s walking distance from your home, or across the whole country.

Once you find a job you’re interested in, we want to make it easy for you to apply. However, jobs are often posted in multiple places on the web, and most job seekers have a preference for where they apply. If you’ve already put in the time to build out your professional presence or profile online (on Monster or CareerBuilder, for example), you might prefer to apply to future jobs on that same site. Now when we find the same job in multiple places on the web, we’ll give you a choice of which site you’d like to visit to view the job.

Finally, finding the right job for you can take time. That’s why in a couple of weeks, we’re adding the ability to save jobs right inside Google Search. With a bookmark button alongside each posting, saving is as simple as a single tap. Then that job will appear in your “Saved jobs” tabs on Google, which is accessible across any of your devices.  

We all know the job hunt can be stressful, so Google is here to help. We review every piece of feedback we receive (to submit click the “Feedback” button beneath the feature), and we’ll continue to add tools to help make the job search easier for you.  

Be a Freelance Web Developer? You’re Asking the Wrong Question

2 months ago

I get a lot of reader questions about freelancing.  People interested in freelance web development or freelance mobile development or what have you.  I applaud the desire to go free agent, and I think you should do it.  But I think you get a lot of bad advice about how to do it.  Bad advice at a […]

The post Be a Freelance Web Developer? You’re Asking the Wrong Question appeared first on DaedTech.

  
Erik Dietrich

Impostor Syndrome and Expert Beginners

2 months ago

Happy Tuesday, everybody.  Let’s start the week with a reader question, the way I do every Monday.  This week, I’m going to answer a question about impostor syndrome and expert beginners.  And I’m going to do it on a Tuesday because I was on the road this weekend and didn’t get a chance to post […]

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Erik Dietrich

The High Five: Just like the movies—breakfast at Tiffany’s and uniting with wizards

2 months 1 week ago

Grab your holiday beverage and check out this week’s trends, with data from the Google News Lab.

It’s that time of year

Starbucks holiday drinks are in full swing (or swig, in this case). People are searching about the “buy one get one free” deal happening this weekend, trying to find out “what drinks are included in the Starbucks BOGO?” and “what time is Starbucks buy one get one free?” Some may be surprised that the fall favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte is missing from the list of most-searched Starbucks drinks this week, which includes hot chocolate, peppermint mocha and flat white.


I’ll take a coffee and a croissant

Starting today, you can actually eat breakfast at Tiffany’s. With the opening of Tiffany and Co.’s “Blue Box Cafe” in New York, people are are searching, “How much would breakfast at Tiffany’s cost,” and “What was Audrey eating in Breakfast at Tiffany’s opening scene?” The most searches are coming from New Yorkers themselves, followed by Holly Golightly fans in New Jersey and Maryland.


Wands Phones at the ready

Where can you find fantastic beasts? In your own backyard (no matter what House you’re in). In 2018 Niantic will debut a Harry Potter augmented reality game called Wizards Unite, in the style of Pokemon Go. The Muggles among us have been searching: “Harry Potter Wizards Unite come out?” and “Is Harry Potter Wizards Unite real?” Harry himself, Hermione Granger and Voldemort were the most-searched characters this week, while Slytherin prevailed over Gryffindor as the most-searched House.


Elle Woods and Rachel Green come together

This week, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston announced they will co-star in and executive produce a series about the lives of two morning TV anchors. Fans are wondering, “What have Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon been in together?” and “Are Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston friends?” Though this latest venture will be a TV series, people are searching for the actresses’ movies this week too. “Just Go With It” was Jen’s most-searched movie, and Reese’s was “Home Again.”


A Little Bit Country On Wednesday, country music stars came together for the 51st annual CMA awards. Despite Garth Brooks’s lip-sync snafu, fans remained most interested in the winners (search interest in “CMA Award winners” was 520 percent higher than “CMA lip sync”). The most searches for CMA awards came from Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama; and Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton were the most searched CMA winners.

DaedTech Digest: Bad Code, Evils of Coverage, Spending Your Money

2 months 1 week ago

Happy Friday, DaedTech readers.  I’m at three in my streak of DaedTech digest posts.  So far, so good. If you’ll recall, last week I introduced the idea of “picks,” so let’s continue with that for starters. Picks (Shameless plug alert)  Someone asked me on Twitter today about finding an epub version of my book, Developer […]

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Erik Dietrich

Ace Your Exit Interview Using Little White Lies of Omission

2 months 1 week ago

Ah, the exit interview.  If you’ve had this experience, the first one probably arose in confusing fashion.  You put in your notice and the team scheduled your goodbye lunch.  At someone point, HR put a meeting request on your calendar that prompted you to say, “an exit what — what is this?”  And then you […]

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Erik Dietrich

Learn more about publishers on Google

2 months 1 week ago

As tens of thousands of publishers of all sizes push out content every day, chances are you’ve come across a publication you’re not familiar with or one you wanted to learn more about.

To help in this situation, publisher Knowledge Panels on Google will now show the topics the publisher commonly covers, major awards the publisher has won, and claims the publisher has made that have been reviewed by third parties. These additions provide key pieces of information to help you understand the tone, expertise and history of the publisher.

Today’s additions are a further step toward surfacing useful information based on your search query. This access to relevant and additional context can help you learn more about different sources and which you’d like to read. We’ll continue to refine and improve this experience, and look forward to future updates to keep you in the know about areas of interest. If you’d like to learn more about this new feature, please check out our Help Center.

Skip the line: restaurant wait times on Search and Maps

2 months 1 week ago

When it comes to a saucy bowl of pasta or a perfectly cooked steak, people are willing to wait in (long) lines for a taste of their favorite comfort foods. Rolling out soon, wait times on Google Search (and coming soon to Maps) shows you the estimated wait at your favorite restaurants. Now you can decide whether that cronut is really worth an hour wait or plan ahead to get your fix at a time when you can avoid a wait entirely.

To see wait times for nearly a million sit-down restaurants around the world that allow walk-ins, just search for the restaurant on Google, open the business listing, and scroll down to the Popular Times section. There you’ll see the estimated wait time at that very moment. And by tapping on any of the hour bars, you’ll see the estimated wait for that time period. You can even scroll left and right to see a summary of each day’s wait times below the hour bars–so you can plan ahead to beat the crowds.


Wait time estimates are based on anonymized historical data, similar to how we compute the previously launched Popular Times and Visit Duration features.

How to Politely Say No and When To Do It

2 months 1 week ago

Another Monday and another successful Reader Question Monday.  Usually I go with kind of a FIFO model for reader questions, but I bumped one that I’d just logged because it seems interesting.  It concerns how to politely say no and how to know when to say no with clients and prospects.  I’ve excerpted some of […]

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Erik Dietrich