Google Assistant, the voice-activated virtual personal assistant technology widely used on home devices and mobile phones, is destined to make an appearance on new ‘smart speakers’ fitted with screens, reported CNNtech magazine, an imprint of U.S. news network CNN, recently.
The devices, known at Google HQ as ‘smart displays’, are a step up from the current wave of internet connected home speakers such as Alexa/Amazon Echo devices. Instead of just a round box with a speaker and lights, the new technology incorporates a screen for greater user-friendliness and accessibility.
Google announced the technology officially at the renowned CES technology show which was held in Las Vegas, USA from the 9th to the 12th of January this year, and the first smart displays packaged together with the Google Assistant are planned to made available in stores and online later in 2018. Not only will the displays be an improvement on current assistant devices, but also remove the need for people to rely on using mobile phones in having to stand them up in, say, the kitchen.
Google has partnered with hardware manufacturers such as Lenovo of China, and has shown some prototypes. According to CNNtech, the smart displays are sleek rectangular devices, much like a tablet, which can be stood up on counters and tables like a picture frame.
The smart displays are expected to have compatibility with other Google products, such as Photos, Duo and searches using the eponymous search engine. There is also the possibility of being able to watch YouTube videos. The company also announced it has grand plans for its Assistant, hinting that it is planning to bring the voice to more smart televisions, headphones and Android Auto, an app that links Android devices with systems in vehicles.
This article was written by Mehfuz Hussain, a digital marketing specialist based in London with expertise in online marketing concepts and Google Analytics.
Search Engine Optimisation has seen many changes in 2016 thanks to Google. From the launch of its ambitious AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project in February 2016, Google has shaken up the way traditional SEO worked. Understandably, Google knows well that the best way to dominate the industry is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and strategising SEO and content techniques accordingly. The world of SEO continues to evolve at high speed. While some SEO techniques have been a staple for several years, there will be many new ones that you will have to pay attention to. Here are some of the game-changing trends to help you stay ahead this year.
1. Mobile-first Approach by Businesses
With ongoing improvements in the mobile computing field, browsing on mobiles has become equivalent to desktop browsing if not more In many countries, mobile browsing is more popular and dominant than via traditional desktops and laptops. In the last few years, the plethora of new smartphones with internet capabilities has changed the way search engine look at them. Remember Mobilegeddon?
A few months ago, Google said, “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” This influenced their latest search algorithm which prioritised ‘responsive’ websites at the cost of older, mobile-unfriendly sites.
So, in 2017, your top priority is to separate your desktop and mobile measurement plans to account for the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop behaviour.
2. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Google Rank Brain
There is no doubt, Google’s main focus in 2017 is on Artificial Intelligence. If you followed the Google I/O event 2016, most announcements were related to AI. Google also said that the speech recognition errors have reduced from 25 to 8 percent. It’s been officially named Google’s third-most important ranking factor. Voice search will grow even more in 2017, with better voice recognition and understanding.
Infographics make complex information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. An image coupled with information tends to stay in the minds of readers. Such content generates more social shares and also generates leads. Of course, your content should also be suitable enough to add Infographics to it, and they can really make it pop.
4. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) takes centre stage
A great way to ensure better user experience is switching over to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). More brands are using this option as Google also has begun to favour the use of AMP. It contains three sections – AMP HTML, AMP JS, and Google AMP Cache. Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) allows websites to make pages equipped for loading right away onto mobile screens. Interestingly, sites that have switched over to AMP are given more visibility with a special icon in Google searches.
5. Branding gets personal
There is no denying the power of personal branding. If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool in ensuring the success of SEO campaigns. Even social media platforms like Facebook refine their algorithms to favour individual posts over branded posts. Also, once you have a personal brand in place, it gets much easier to boost user trust and engagement. This, in turn, will up the traffic to your site.
6. HTTPS Everywhere
Google has inducted https as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies hurriedly made the transition from HTTP to HTTPS in order to protect their own and their users’ privacy. It helps even more if there is money transactions happening on the website (e-commerce) and gives consumers extra confidence about their privacy. Let’s expect more websites switching to HTTPS than ever before in the history of the Web.
7. Focus on Content Curation
Though many people do not realise it, content marketing and SEO needs to work together for better results and visibility. Include all types of content in the mix: press releases and newsletters as well as articles and blog posts. A good content mix will help you increase backlinks on authority websites and establish you as an expert in your field. This strategy will help you boost your business to the top of Google’s SERPs.
2017 will see a massive hike in Internet usage. People are more concerned about the content they read. Now is the right time to prepare a well-developed strategy to survive in the market and beat the competition. As an SEO marketer, you have to be prepared for changes. Keep an close eye on SEO trends in 2017. All the best everyone!
If you have ever been curious of the benefits and uses of search engine optimisation (and enjoy nibbling the occasional pizza slice along the way) then a special workshop being held by journalism news site and trainer journalism.co.uk alongside lecturer Adam Tinworth may help give you a taster.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the technique of using selected keywords and tags to help make your article, website or blog more visible in search results in places like Google and Bing. While some blogging sites like WordPress provide SEO as standard, for many other providers, you are left on your own to figure out how to maximise your presence on search results and get a foot in on that coveted first page.
The vast majority of traffic to news sites and blogs still arrives via search engines, therefore maintaining good knowledge of the principles of SEO is extremely important for anyone with an online presence, whether writing news or running a business.
Google is by far the most popular vehicle for searches and has recently undergone some mammoth changes, with the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates shifting the search landscape beyond recognition. This has meant journalists and other having to adapt and move with the shift. The SEO knowledge of years gone by is now actually harmful to websites’ position in search results as Google now places emphasis on ‘high quality’ content and fresh information rather than simply keywords, to close the door on keyword spammers and link farms. Sadly many web publishers are still stuck behind in the times, suing models from 2008 that are doing them more harm than good.
To combat this problem, journalism.co.uk have launched a intensive and informative three-hour course at their offices in Brighton, where lecturer and visiting City University Journalism department professor Adam Tinworth will explain and guide attendees through the current principles of SEO, as well as techniques on improving the SEO value of already published content and sites. Prof. Tinworth has experience in digital journalism, blogging, training and publishing strategy. He has worked as a journalist for 20 years, and now as a consultant, has worked with several big names in media, including the Financial Times and the Telegraph, as well as smaller publishers and businesses. He has also been a blogger for a decade, writing at One Man & His Blog.
The workshop is ideal for media professionals such as employed journalists, freelancers, media students and others working in PR, marketing and communications. It will be held in an informal way in a relaxed setting. You will get free complimentary pizza as well as tea and coffee to keep your mind sharp, as well as opportunities to meet fellow professionals.
What will the course cover?
How to write for search
How to write great SEO headlines (that aren’t dull)
How to identify, analyse and use keywords – without overusing them
How to help search engines understand the meaning of your page
The role of linking in good SEO
Mistakes to avoid
How to keep up with SEO changes
Tutor(s): Adam Tinworth Starts: 18:00 1 February 2016 Finishes: 21:00 1 February 2016 Location: Shaftesbury Court, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton BN1 4ST Price: £80 (inc. VAT)
You can book a place on the journalism.co.uk Brighton SEO workshop by visiting the third article in the ‘Sources’ below and clicking the small dark pink button marked ‘Book Now’ when you reach the journalism.co.uk site.
Google is ranked as the world’s most popular search engine, with millions of web users relying on its highly scientific search technology for their research and entertainment needs. One of the keys to its overwhelming popularity is not just its handy method of indexing search results, or its crisp minimalist blue, black and white pages designed to make finding that elusive webpage or article a bit easier. It is that Google likes to be ueber-creative and think outside the box when it comes to those special extras. They may be gimmicks to old-fashioned online marketing suits, but Google’s nifty little tricks have helped endear it to many a web search wizard looking for something that bit sillier.
Here is a selection of Googling antics as recommended by the Half-Eaten Mind alongside contributor and Google fangirl Anjali Shah.
If you type in “askew” in the search box, your search results will come up on a page tilted delicately to the right, looking rather like someone at Google Inc. had one Coors Extra too many the night before. No need to adjust your monitor settings. Everything easily returns to normal on your next search. The same thing also happens if you search with the keyword “tilt”.
Fancy giving your Google homepage that unique personal touch? Do you have a burning desire to see your name (or your cat’s) in bright multicoloured Google Letters. Well all you have to do is type “goglogo” into the search bar and then hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button underneath. Enter your name, or whatever you want to Google-ize, into the search bar that will appear, and you will have your own customised Google page. Makes you feel like you run the joint, doesn’t it?. By the way if that fails, as mine did (I’m using the revamped Google UK interface) you can visit goglogo.com, and make garishly cool things happen there.
Another cool visual experiment is the infamous Google Sphere. Type in “google sphere” and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button and you will see the search results orbiting around the screen in a manic ball of text. Click on the search bar and you can use your cursor to chase the results around the screen like you don’t have more pressing issues to take care of. The boss better not catch you. Now you can finally understand the fascination that cats have for balls of string!.