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Google Acquires Jetpac

August 25, 2014

Search engine giant Google has acquired social travel app maker ‘Jetpac’, as was disclosed on the latter’s website, on 18th August, 2014. The announcement read, “We’re joining Google! We look forward to working on exciting projects with our colleagues at Google.” Jetpac also added that they will remove their applications from Apple’s App Store by September 15, 2014.

Jetpac was established back in the year 2011 and during its initial stages it allowed people to explore the travel pictures taken by their Facebook friends to decide whether they want to visit that place or not. For instance if you wanted to search for an Irish pub in the area you would just have to search with the most specific terms and Jetpac would sort through millions of pictures posted on social networking sites to deliver you the most relevant results. Of late however, the company has created a unique tool that is able to spot smiles (face expressions) in the pictures. This helps you to determine people’s happiness rate at a particular location. Jetpac has also developed immediate recognition of a local object as seen through a phone camera which is quite similar to the Google Goggles technology.

It is not yet clear what’s in Google’s mind with the acquisition and whether or not will it integrate the artificial intelligence technology of the app with its own map and image search services, however there are some services of Jetpac that go well with Google’s primacies. Firstly, it works on an automatic technology to extract information from different publicly accessible photos on Instagram. Jetpac also worked on a technology called ‘neural network’, to analyze the photos, which is a system of programs that can be automated to examine the photographs for different elements like facial hair, makeup or accessories to outline the atmosphere of a bar or restaurant. Jetpac also sneaks through Facebook photos and uses an algorithm to find out the place where your friends enjoyed the most during their vacations. Secondly, as many as 6000 city guide results of Jetpac are intended to provide personalized geographic details and this kind of technology blends well with the services like Google+, Google Maps and Google Now.

The skilled team at Jetpac has years of experience in deep learning, an area in which Google has spent a lot of time. The procurement would surely provide the tech giant with a lot of talented employees and creative ideas to improve expertise in image-recognition. Also, now you can expect a better merger of the real world into web search results.


Google Acquires NEST

January 17, 2014

Search giant Google has left the online world in frenzy with its acquisition of NEST labs, which manufactures the Nest Learning Thermostat and the smart smoke detector, Protect; both of which have redefined what thermostats are capable of. The company, which was founded by two former Apple executives, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, is popular for its intuitive products, which learn user behaviors and are capable of adjusting the temperature autonomously. The sale, which is expected to close within a few months, has been slated at $3.2 billion in cash.

Speculations are rife about how exactly Google intends to use NEST, as it seems that this move, when combined with Google’s language recognition abilities, could be Google’s way to enter the homes of the general public. This move is being seen as a “rocket ship” to the future, one that has the potential of transporting us into a future that we could only imagine so far. This could be a major step into realizing the vision of “conscious homes”, which could completely change the face of the world.

This is not the first time that Google has attempted to gain access to similar systems, the most recent being its own energy monitoring service. Sources reveal that Apple also showed interest in purchasing NEST, as a part of its wearable technology to counter Google Glass. However, Fadell was apparently only interested in a partnership with Google, or in remaining independent. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, and now NEST, goes to show the belief that the company has in Apple’s vision.

Post acquisition Representatives for NEST maintain that privacy and user security has always been a prime consideration for NEST, and that is not expected to change. However, skeptics have a different view, as it is believed that with this move, Google, which has a history of compromising customer privacy for product sales, will get a closer view than ever into the activities going on behind closed doors of its users. This is a critical consideration for customers who use NEST’s products, since the company collects a wide range of information about their living habits. It remains to be seen if these users will continue to trust the company after its partnership with Google.

Google Hummingbird And Website Content

November 18, 2013

The Google Hummingbird update has made people rethink about the authority of content, and redefine strategies for keyword relevance and link building. The basis of this update is that Google wants to produce more relevant and informative results to its users, which makes it obvious that the emphasis for high SERP ratings on Google is content that is relevant and informative. The following tips guide you on how to create new website content, or modify your existing content after the hummingbird update:

  • The first step is to peruse your current content, keeping in mind what your target audience is likely to be searching for and thinking of. As opposed to thinking in keyword phrases, start thinking in conversational phrases. See if using complete titles instead of keyword-rich ones can improve traffic to your website. Also, emphasize on long-tail keywords with a key understanding of your target users’ search patterns.
  • Create standalone content. Make sure that each article has its own central concept, and has something unique to share. This is opposed to the conventional SEO technique of creating multiple articles with the same theme and then linking them to a tent pole article.
  • Lay special emphasis on headlines. Ideally, you should name all the digital content on your website, right from blog posts and videos to info-graphics. Use numbers whenever possible. For instance “11 great ways to…” Also, try using action words over nouns. The focus should be on the action resulted from the content, instead of merely describing what it is about.
  • The key to creating successful website content from a Google Hummingbird standpoint is making sure that every piece of content is a well-balanced mixture of sales, customer support, company information, and education.
  • Links remain the consistent SEO authority signals amidst all of Google’s updates, which emphasizes on the need to have a natural link-building program in place. Working on building a strong social media presence through your website content is a good way to do this. Even though this is not likely to generate links directly, but it can go a long way in building an audience for your brand, which can in turn help to generate high-quality links through relationship building and asking.

Follow this content marketing plan consistently, and make sure that all the content you update on your website is fresh and relevant.

Google’s Hummingbird Update

September 30, 2013

Along with a Google Doodle that had the world going crazy with their spacebars, Google also introduced an exciting new update to mark its fifteenth anniversary. Named “Hummingbird”, this update is centered on Google’s algorithm, aiming to refine search results, and help Google respond to complicated queries with more accurate answers. This is made possible by broadening the use of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which helps the search engine to decode the concepts behind user searches, instead of merely providing keyword-based results. Google Hummingbird update is believed to affect 90% of search queries.

Here is a look at how the update is expected to refine search results:

  • A search query that does not have a simple answer will now return a comprehensive set of relevant facts. An example of this is the results that show upon searching for “impressionist artists” on Google.
  • This update has a significant impact on voice searches, as Google will now try to decode the meaning behind the search, instead of simply focusing on the keywords. For example, if you are searching for “best place to buy pizza in New York”, Google will now show up results for pizza restaurants in New York even though “restaurant” was not a part of search term.
  • Google now links a subsequent search to the previous search. For instance, if you had searched about for “images of the leaning tower of Pisa”, and your next search is “When was it built”, Google will understand that your second query is in reference to the previous one.
  • An example of how search results after the update are superior to previous results is a search for “prescription for acid reflux”. While this previous turned up a list of drugs, the search results for this query are now more user friendly, even questioning the need of drugs for the treatment of this disorder.

The Hummingbird update is bigger and huger than Google’s previous updates like the Panda and Penguin updates. This is because while those were merely modifications in the existing algorithms, this is a complete replacement, structured to meet the search requirements of today- as opposed to those of ten years ago. While the Hummingbird update is expected to take the search engine experience a step ahead, there has been no major impact witnessed on website traffic so far, as was the case with Google’s past updates. The thumb rule remains- keep publishing high-quality content and Google will reward you.

To know how Google’s Hummingbird update will affect your online business, call us at – (855) 375-9654

What is Pay Per Gaze?

September 6, 2013

Google has recently been awarded the patent for its pay-per-gaze technology, which is capable of changing the face of technology in the years to come. This futuristic invention is designed to be used on a “head-mounted gaze tracking device”, which seems to be a perfectly fitting description for Google Glasses. Despite Google’s repeated assurances that users of Google Glasses will not have to worry about their experience being hampered by ads popping in their field of vision, the pay-per-gaze patent suggests otherwise. On the other hand, it is quite possible that the reason behind Google securing this patent could be to ensure that no other company tries to implement it on Google Glasses or similar devices.

In what is being described as “creepy” and “invasive”, this technology will be able to read people’s emotions through an image recognition algorithm, which shall track items viewed by creating a “gazing log”. This shall represent a goldmine of information for advertizers, who shall be able to know not just how long a user gazed at their advertizement, but also how he felt about it. The advertizers shall then be charged on a “pay-per-gaze” basis, depending on the number of people who gazed at their advertizement long enough. This system shall be applicable to advertizements across all mediums, including billboards, television advertizements, website banners, etc.

The patent shall be able to determine emotional responses to images viewed by tracking pupil dilation patterns of the users. Another feature covered in Google’s pay-per-gaze patent is the history search feature, through which the gazes of a particular user can be compared to their purchasing history. In other words, Google Glass shall be capable of tracking user purchases, including those made online as well as in the real world. This could be the Holy Grail of advertising, as it could track the influence of an advertizement, right through the final outcome of purchase.

Pay per gaze is being described as the next step in the ubiquitous pay-per-click advertizing system. Individual privacy in this gaze-tracking system will be protected by removing personal-identifying data from the information provided to advertizers. In addition to this, it is likely that users will be able to opt-out from having their gazes tracked. How this patent will change the face of advertizing, and whether at all, Google will choose to implement it in its augmented reality head-ware, remains to be seen.

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