Google Improves Search for Tablets

We’ve barely begun talking about how to format webpages for mobile and now it’s time to start thinking about pages on tablets.

Google took a stab at it this week with a fresh, new look for their search pages. The upgrade revolves around a cleaner layout that is bigger where it counts. Because we use our fingers and not a mouse to click and navigate on a tablet, Google has added larger buttons with more white space. Now people with chubby fingers like me, can get the right command on the first try, every time.

They’ve also made it easier to define your results with a set of clear category tags across the top. Images, Video, News — it’s one click and you’re there.

MakeMyChoice Goes Offline for Online Promotion

You’ve placed your order for a double mocha latte and now you’re standing to the side waiting while the kid whips it up. What to do, what to do? Oh look, there’s a flyer hanging on the bulletin board all about a fun new website. Pull out phone, type in URL from the flyer, you’re in and the website has a new user.

Advertising your online business in the offline world maybe old-school and low-tech, but in today’s world, where so many people walk around with web-connected devices, it could be worth the effort.

Human Twitter: High Tech Meets Low Tech at the X-Games

Here’s a little something fun for Friday. The X-Games has set up a Human Twitter message board in the stands at the Moto X event which is currently happening at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Each of the 160 people seated in Section 112, Rows 6-12 has a set of alphabet cards and when the time is right, they raise the proper card to spell out a message. The tweets come in via the hashtag #humantwitter and our sent out via the Jumbotron and the TV cameras.

Here’s one message:

Other potential messages include get well wishes for Travis Patrana who broke parts of his body in yesterday’s trials and shout-outs like Navajo Nation Loves X-Games.

Google Experiments with Hotel Finder

Search is what Google does best. You can see this in their latest experiment, the Hotel Finder. Type in the city and the dates of your arrival and you’re presented with an easy-to-read, organized list of potential hotels.

Each line item is easily expanded with one click, giving you a slick overview of the property. Click the photos to get a larger slide show, click anywhere else to close the detail panel. It’s the fastest way to check out a long list of hotels without ever leaving the page.

Any hotel can be added to a shortlist with one click, for secondary comparison. You can also drag the box on the map view in order to refine the areas covered.

Twitter Lifts Up Promoted Tweets, Switches Search

Twitter is still on the move, making changes that are reportedly created to make life easier for you, the user, but really is about making things better for you, the marketer.

It begins with a new feature that pins Promoted Tweets near the top of the user stream regardless of when it actually hit. Once a user logs in to view the stream, the tweet falls into line and continues through as normal (I think, this isn’t very clear in the write-up).

Users can choose to dismiss the tweet right away with a single click. And, Twitter says, users will only see Promoted Tweets from brands they follow.

Almost Three Quarters of Online Adults Visit Video-Sharing Sites

When was the last time you watched a video on YouTube or other video-sharing site? If you said, “yesterday,” then you’re in line with 28% of internet users. 71% of online adults said they have visited a video-sharing site at some point and that includes an equal number of men and women.

These new numbers from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, show that video-sharing site usage is growing, to the tune of a 38 point increase since they first studied the beast back in 2006.

The study shows usage across the board from 18 to over 65, all levels of education and income but on a typical day, the majority player is 18-29, non-white, in an urban or suburban setting. Rural users, however, have shown the biggest growth in the past year, which is probably due to increased internet access, including mobile phone access.

Daily Facebook Posting Increases Reach

On Facebook, brands are like short people in the center seat at a stadium during a rock concert. Even if they jump up and down or wear a moose hat on their heads, they might not get noticed. There is simply too much input going on in all directions, so unless a fan is looking their way, their clever messaging sign will probably go unread.

But according to a new white paper from comScore, continual jumping is important because it increases your chance of being seen by 2.5% per day.

The reason behind this is two fold. First, it is noted that Facebook users spend more time reading their newsfeed than doing anything else on the site. Only 27%, but it beats apps which shows up at only 10%. That means that more people are seeing brand messages on their own feed than they are on brand fan pages.