Posts tagged Gets

Yelp Gets a Facelift, Puts Visual Content Front and Center

Yelp redesigned its look and feel to give more space to imagery and make accessing information about a local business or place simpler. With a new image carousel and more space for review content, Yelp has finally capitalized on the power of imagery.

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Twitter Search Gets Better, More Useful, With New Search Filters by @mattsouthern

Twitter announced on, of all places, Twitter yesterday that they are bringing new filters to the desktop version of their social network: We’re bringing new filters to search on http://t.co/eNvqKTup1d: by videos, news, people you follow, and more. pic.twitter.com/vkxfkNf2ou — Twitter (@twitter) January 29, 2014 Depending on what you’re looking for, you can easily restrict […]

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Matt Southern

Matt Southern is a marketing, communications and public relations professional. He provides strategic digital marketing services at an agency called Bureau in Ontario, Canada. He has a bachelors degree in communication and an unparalleled passion for helping businesses get their message out.

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Terminator No More: Google Glass Gets A Makeover

For nearly a year, Google Glass Explorers who lacked 20/20 vision—or didn’t feel like getting crafty with duct tape—were left high and dry with no way to make Glass play nice with prescription lenses. That functionality was among the device’s most requested features—and now it’s here.

As the company announced on Google+, Glass-friendly frames are now available in Google’s online Glass store. The online storefront stocks Glass itself (still an astronomical $1,500) plus accoutrements like replacement microfiber pouches ($50) and a pair of still-senseless stereo earbuds ($85).

 

The four new frame styles, dubbed “Thin,” “Bold,” “Curved and “Split”—all priced at $225—cover a decent range of hip eyewear choices. Made from titanium, the custom designs allow Glass owners to detach Glass from its existing titanium band and latch their device onto the new frame. It’s important to note that Google’s frames ship without prescription lenses, which Google suggests you procure through its small pool of “Preferred Eyecare Providers,” which are apparently fully clued into how to ensure Glass works with your prescription frames. (You can take them to your existing eye care provider too, though your mileage may vary at the local LensCrafters.)

But there’s a bit more fine print to be aware of.

From Google: “Single vision reading prescriptions are not currently recommended. Because of the curvature of the frames, we recommend cutting lenses for prescriptions within -4 and +4 with astigmatism up to 2D.” 

Since my eyesight rivals that of a bird of prey, I’m not sure how many visually-impaired people Google’s little disclaimer actually leaves out in the cold, but it’s still worth noting.

A few new options for Glass-friendly shades also popped up in the Glass store, too. And thank goodness—I’ve complained about the Terminator-style sunglasses add-on included with Glass from day one. As a woman with a passable fashion sense, that style of shades would likely get more odd looks in public than Glass itself.

The original version of Glass’ shades is now termed the “Active” shade, since you’d really have to be some kind of super athlete to pull off that kind of look at all. The two new choices from Google, “Edge” and “Classic,” both offer gradient lenses and more stylish designs. These shades don’t work like the new frames; they snap onto Glass itself, rather than the other way around. All three pairs of shades cost a not-wholly-reasonable $150, though the two new styles seem to merit the price more so than the “Active” design.

All Style… And Some Substance Too

It’s all well and good that Google is tinkering with its moonshot eyewear to fit a wider body of potential Glass Explorers, but will the changes affect how people use Google Glass? I think so.

Personally, as much as I love the imperfect-but-still-downright-cool device, I hardly wear Google Glass in public these days—it’s just too conspicuous. I don’t wear glasses, but I’d certainly consider picking up a pair of the non-prescription frames just to give my Glass more functionality. Still, $225 is a steep price to pay for being social acceptable, which I could also do by just taking Glass off my face. But I’m already $1,500 deep into being Google’s futurewear guinea pig as it is.

Would-be Glass Explorers who need prescription glasses might be able to justify this extra cost more, but they’ll be paying considerably more than $225 once their frames get fitted out with prescription lenses.

It’s easy to wonder why Google can’t just craft Glass to play nice with existing frames, but in reality, that would be a design nightmare.

Taking a look at the new Glass frames, each have a side rail that resembles that of the titanium “lens-free band” that the Glass hardware normally sits on top of. The curve of the frame goes along with the curve of the device’s arm. It’s impossible to imagine a scenario in which you could pop Glass onto any ol’ non-proprietary frames and hope it was secure enough to not fall off. Even with Google’s pricey, specially-designed frames, attaching Glass isn’t exactly a swift and painless maneuver.

To use the new frames, you’ll actually have to take a tiny screwdriver to Glass, detach it from that original band, and reattach it to your new frames. That process isn’t as easy as just popping Glass on and off, so I can’t imagine switching the Glass hardware back and forth for the heck of it.

Google’s new frames look like they’d be wearable sans Glass, though they have a weird thin metal band that doesn’t taper into a larger sits-behind-your-ear type of thing, so it might be a bit awkward.

Glass Inches Toward Usability

Again, this brings up my core complaint about Glass—the one that renders the device unusable in a day-to-day way. If Google wants Glass to perch atop our brows day in and day out, it’s going to have to get really serious about battery life. Especially with prescription lenses.

Are people just expected to pop their Glass-glasses off and swap for a normal pair while they charge up throughout the day? The idea of wearing Glass for a full day makes even less sense when taking Glass off means that you’d be rendered legally blind.

Even with the new prescription lens compatibility, Glass remains a pretty impractical device. But the thing is, it could be practical. It makes a lot of things easier and most things awesome-er. Glass might not make sense yet, but it still packs a major “wow” factor—and that feeling, the sense of whoa, this is the future—is still pretty powerful.

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Quick Guide: Create Ad Copy That Gets More Clicks than Your Competition by @PPCJoeC

Many paid search advertisers simply don’t spend enough time writing relevant ad copy and testing ad copy to improve click-through and conversion rates. Although click-through rate is not everything when optimizing ad copy, it does impact quality score, which also impacts cost per click, cost per conversion, and return on your investment. Therefore, focusing on […]

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Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom, a digital marketing & analytics agency. He has worked at Fathom since January 2008 with a concentration in search engine marketing (SEM) and display advertising. Joe’s worked with a variety of clients across various industries including education, healthcare, e-commerce, and hospitality.

The post Quick Guide: Create Ad Copy That Gets More Clicks than Your Competition by @PPCJoeC appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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With Google Glass, Fitness Gets In Your Face


ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.

It took me a long time to take to running, that solitary sport. Even now, I find myself pulling out my smartphone to check my route, see my pace and my heart rate, and maybe even fire off a tweet—anything to distract from the drudge of the trudge.

So I was intrigued to test out Strava, one of the more interesting running apps I’ve tried, on Google Glass. Strava is a fitness app that tracks your progress and allows users to create competitive intervals along a route. 

I met Mateo Ortega, an engineer focused on wearable devices, at Strava’s San Francisco headquarters. He fitted me out with a Glass headset and a paired iPhone.

“Okay, Glass,” I told the voice-controlled device. “Start a run.”

And away I went, down Third Street, past the ballpark, and past a statue of former Giants player Willie McCovey down the waterfront. As I passed the statue, Glass told me that I’d started a segment I’d previously marked on Strava’s website.

Mateo Ortega, an engineer working on wearables for Strava, tests a Jawbone Up fitness tracker, Google Glass, and a Pebble smartwatch.

Mateo Ortega, an engineer working on wearables for Strava, tests a Jawbone Up fitness tracker, Google Glass, and a Pebble smartwatch.

Not Quite Ready For The Road

The drawbacks of Glass, a $1,500 device which is still in a limited beta period, were readily apparent. The display was hard to see in the bright sun; the audio was hard to hear against the background noise of the city and the thwap of my sneakers on the pavement. A finicky data connection—the Strava app for Glass depends on your phone for a GPS signal—conked out mid-run.

Yet the potential was clear. I could keep my eyes on the road ahead rather than looking down at my phone. Snapping a photo was a simple tap of a button. And though I didn’t attempt it, it would have been cool to do a live Hangout with my nephew while showing him San Francisco’s urban landscape.

And the experience—particularly sound quality—might have been improved by the most recent update to Google Glass, which allows for mono or stereo earbuds.

The most intriguing thing, Ortega noted, is how Glass shifts how people use Strava. On Strava’s smartphone apps for running and cycling, you only see your performance on a particular segment after the fact. On Glass, a Strava user hears this information when you approach a starting point.

“Every time you start a segment, you hear your PR,” or personal record, Ortega said. “All of a sudden you’re going for time when you thought you were going for an easy ride.”

Okay, Coach

The real potential for Glass may not actually be in equipping exercisers with it. Exos, a company that trains athletes, military personnel, and executives, has been testing Glass in its fitness programs.

“It’s all about how we can make staff more efficient,” John Golden, Exos’s president of product pioneering, recently told me. A Glass-equipped coach can see key data points about clients and adjust their training on the fly, based on a set of training rules Exos developed working with athletes. (While Golden wouldn’t disclose the name of the client in question, job listings show that Exos is hiring coaches for a training center in Mountain View, California, which happens to also be the location of Google headquarters and other tech titans like Intuit.)

Glass could also work in smaller gyms. I recently trained with Chris Merritt, the cofounder of Beyond Strength Performance in northern Virginia. His gym uses a flat-screen monitor which displays trainees’ heart-rate zones and performance in real time. It’s easy to see how that data, streamed to a trainer’s Glass headset, could lead to an even more intense workout.

Pumping Up The Arm Race

The wrist remains a much more natural place for fitness devices. Grant Hughes, the cofounder of Focus Trainr, is making a bet on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch. It’s virgin territory for fitness apps: There are only seven available for the Gear today.

Focus Trainr runs on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and smartphones.

Focus Trainr runs on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and smartphones.

Focus Trainr uses the Gear’s accelerometers to determine your position, and it can process this information so precisely that it can distinguish a pushup from a situp from a squat. You start with a diagnostic fitness test, and then it adjusts your workouts on the fly based on your actual performance. You can also control your workout from either the Gear’s screen or the companion app on a Samsung smartphone. I was impressed by how tightly the app on the phone and the watch kept in sync.

Hughes doesn’t want to stay restricted to the Gear: He’s hoping to build software that can run on any wrist-based device with the right sensors. But most fitness trackers are closed systems, designed to work with their own apps and services. He’ll have an uphill battle to open that up, but it’s one worth fighting.

Pebble, the smartwatch maker, has a promising platform, though the apps currently available are limited—you can start and stop a RunKeeper run, for example, using your Pebble watch. I also saw some promising wrist devices from EB Sports Group, Mio, and Salutron at the Consumer Electronics Show, most of which will be out this summer.

The common thread between all of them is a tighter loop between the device on your wrist and the phone in your pocket (or running belt). As Dan Rowinski noted last year, the ideal smartwatch would function independently from a smartphone—but we are far from having the technology we need for that. The apps that will win in the interim will work fluidly between devices, distributing features and data wherever they’re needed.

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WMT: Google Gets Personal With SEOs?

Christmas morning, I got something I never expected: a personal email from Google. And it truly felt like a gift! Right out of bed, I had my 3 cans of Red Bull and checked my messages, as usual. Initially, I wasn’t surprised to see that I had an email from Google. I figured it was […]



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Rap Genius Gets Rapped By Google For SEO Spam – Forbes

Rap Genius Gets Rapped By Google For SEO Spam
Forbes
There're two lessons to be learned from this little episode of Rap Genius getting rapped over the knuckles by Google Google concerning SEO spam practices. The first is that it's terribly dangerous to base an entire business on someone else's platform.

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Roku 3 Gets YouTube, Becomes More Like Chromecast

Something strange is afoot in Google-land. Its YouTube service has just decided to provide some of the Chromecast’s most distinctive features—namely YouTube streaming and casting—to a Chromecast rival: the Roku 3.

Just in time for the holidays, the Roku 3 gets to unwrap YouTube video as a brand-new channel. In addition to streaming standalone vids and subscriptions, users also get the decidedly Chromecastic ability to fling YouTube videos to their TVs from their mobile devices. 

No word yet on whether owners of Roku 2 or others will also get the YouTube channel and its casting capabilities. But if those features remain on the Roku 3 alone, then that will likely help would-be customers justify the $100 expense (now $90, on sale). If the channel does come to less expensive Roku boxes, that might put a dent in its competitor’s sales during this crucial holiday period. After all, the least expensive Roku, the LT, is $50 (now $40, on sale). That’s not a major leap from the $35 Chromecast. 

Even before this announcement, the hockey puck–shaped boxes already offered a large streaming inventory, especially compared to the wee Google device. (Chromecast’s lineup only recently expanded to 17 streaming partners.) But the lack of an official YouTube channel had always been a sticking point—particularly when Google cheaper TV doohickey offered it at launch. Now that gap has closed, at least for owners of the premium Roku box. 

YouTube’s motivations aren’t all that difficult to imagine. Traffic is the name of its game, which is one reason why the service is ubiquitous across mobile, online, and TV products. Still, it’s strange to think that the biggest strike against Chromecast originated from inside Google’s own walls.

Lead image by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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