Google Search Across Apps Goes Live

App IndexingAbout a month ago we told you about Google rolling out its version of search that runs across apps. We told you about the development as it appeared in the Webmaster Central blog.

Today, we’re happy to announce a new capability of Google Search, called app indexing, that uses the expertise of webmasters to help create a seamless user experience across websites and mobile apps.

Just like it crawls and indexes websites, Googlebot can now index content in your Android app. Webmasters will be able to indicate which app content you’d like Google to index in the same way you do for webpages today — through your existing Sitemap file and through Webmaster Tools. If both the webpage and the app contents are successfully indexed, Google will then try to show deep links to your app straight in our search results when we think they’re relevant for the user’s query and if the user has the app installed. When users tap on these deep links, your app will launch and take them directly to the content they need.

FTC Organizes a Workshop On Native Advertising and Confuses Itself

Scratching headYeah, the headline is correct. The Federal Trade Commission is trying to put together its case for or against native advertising. Unfortunately, the agency isn’t sure about the true nature of native ads and admitted as much following its own conference. Leave it to a government agency to, in effect, confuse itself.

Adweek reports

A day-long examination of native advertising left regulators with no clear direction about how to police what has become digital media’s hottest ad format.

The Federal Trade Commission, which organized the workshop, has been bringing cases against ads masquerading as editorial content since 1917 (the first case was against a newspaper ad for an electric vacuum cleaner). But digital media has put what the FTC once termed “masquer-ads” on steroids.

Google Trends Improves Results

Google Trends has always been interesting and fun but it can be easy to question the results and their accuracy.

Google has taken steps to make the product better and more discerning. A post on the Inside Search blog from Google explains

You may have noticed it’s easy to get tripped up measuring the wrong thing using Google Trends. When you look up “rice,” are you measuring search interest in Rice University or the rice you eat? When you look up “Gwyneth Paltrow” how can you be sure you’re counting all the common misspellings? Starting today, you’ll find new topic reports to help you more easily measure search interest in the people, places and things you care about.

The example Google shows is interesting as they compare the terms Harvard and rice. As you might guess most people are not searching for rice the food if they are looking at comparing colleges. Rice University is a great school academically but it doesn’t get the same attention as Harvard. Rice the food however gets plenty of attention and an old result may look like this in Trends

rice v harvard strings

What? More folks search for Rice University than Harvard? Not really. The post continues

Google Looks for More of Your Company With Cloud Services

google-logo1While Google’s IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offering going ‘live’ may not look like much of a marketing story it actually is.

First, understanding exactly what Google is doing with this new cloud offering might help with the context of this move.

PCWorld reports

After running the service in preview mode for over a year, Google is making its IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) Google Compute Engine (GCE) available as a full-fledged commercial service.

The company has established a service level agreement (SLA) where it guarantees GCE to be available 99.95 percent of the time. It has also cut prices and increased the number of options the service offers.

GCE “is a long-term strategic bet for the company,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s head of cloud platform marketing, adding that “we have an incredibly high bar for what general availability means.”

NJ Added to List of States Where Job Applicants Protected from Password Demands

New JerseyIn the world of social media there is nothing if there is not at least the illusion that one has some level of privacy.

It’s an illusion because we all know that that our data is available to marketers in many shapes and sizes. Heck, most of you reading this post are the ones who are looking to acquire as much information about your potential customers that you possibly can. There is nothing wrong with that and no apologies are necessary. It’s the way of the world.

Facebook Focuses on Quality Which Means Fewer Memes

facebook-icon 1Facebook users are going to find more quality content surfacing in their news feeds as a result of an algorithm change.

The social media giant is hearing what its users want more and less of which means high quality content may trump memes in the future.

Can I get an AMEN?!

An update in Facebook’s Newsroom tells us

Why are we doing this? Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme. Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.

Tumblr Adds Mobile Ad Product

FINAL_DevilsDue_TrendingBlogs_Mock_hi_270x524Brands will now be able to buy their way into the view of mobile users who are looking for the latest in trending blogs on Yahoo’s Tumblr.

cnet reports

Monday, the Yahoo-owned blogging platform soft launched a new ad unit called “Sponsored Trending Blogs” that pushes advertisers’ Tumblr blogs in front of people checking out the Explore tab in the Tumblr for iOS and Android application. The unit marks Tumblr’s fifth ad product and its second tailored just for mobile.

Tumblr is taking a swing at a form of native advertising with this offering.

The new ads are native to Explore, meaning they take on the exact look and feel of other trending blogs featured in the mobile feed. The only difference is a subtle dollar sign icon denoting that the featured blog is promoted by an advertiser.