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Make your smart home more accessible with new tutorials

I’m legally blind, so from the moment I pop out of bed each morning, I use technology to help me go about my day. When I wake up, I ask my Google Assistant for my custom-made morning Routine which turns on my lights, reads my calendar and plays the news. I use other products as well, like screen readers and a refreshable braille display, to help me be as productive as possible.I bring my understanding of what it's like to have a disability to work with me, where I lead accessibility for Google Search, Google News and the Google Assistant. I work with cross-functional teams to help fulfill Google’s mission of building products for everyone—including those of us in the disabled community.The Assistant can be particularly useful for helping people with disabilities get things done. So today, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re releasing a series of how-to videos with visual and audible directions, designed to help the accessibility community set up and get the most out of their Assistant-enabled smart devices.You can find step-by-step tutorials to learn how to interact with your Assistant, from setting up your Assistant-enabled device to using your voice to control your home appliances, at our YouTube playlist which we’ll continue to update throughout the year. This playlist came out of conversations within the team about how we can use our products to make life a little easier. Many of us have some form of disability, or have a friend, co-worker or family member who does. For example, Stephanie Wilson, an engineer on the Google Home team, helped set up her parents’ smart home after her dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.In addition to our own teammates, we're always listening to suggestions from the broader community on how we can make our products more accessible. Last week at I/O, we showed how we’re making the Google Assistant more accessible, using AI to improve products for people with a speech impairment, and added Live Caption in Android Q to give the Deaf community automatic captions for media that’s playing audio on your phone. All these changes were made after receiving feedback from people like you.Head over to our Accessibility website to learn more, and if you have questions or feedback on accessibility within Google products, please share your feedback with us via our dedicated Disability Support team.


Three new machine learning courses

Many years ago, I took a dance lesson in Budapest to learn the csárdás, a Hungarian folk dance. The instructor shouted directions to me in enthusiastic Hungarian, a language I didn't understand, yet I still learned the dance by mimicking the instructor and the expert students. Now, I do love clear directions in a lesson—I am a technical writer, after all—but it’s remarkable what a person can learn by emulating the experts.  In fact, you can learn a lot about machine learning by emulating the experts. That’s why we’ve teamed with ML experts to create online courses to help researchers, developers, and students. Here are three new courses:Clustering: Introduces clustering techniques, which help find patterns and related groups in complex data. This course focuses on k-means, which is the most popular clustering algorithm. Although k-means is relatively easy to understand, defining similarity measures for k-means is challenging and fascinating.Recommendation Systems: Teaches you how to create ML models that suggest relevant content to users, leveraging the experiences of Google's recommendation system experts. You'll discover both content-based and collaborative filtering, and uncover the mathematical alchemy of matrix factorization. To get the most out of this course, you'll need at least a little background in linear algebra.Testing and Debugging: Explains the tricks that Google's ML experts use to test and debug ML models. Google's ML experts have spent thousands of hours deciphering the signals that faulty ML models emit. Learn from their mistakes.    These new courses are engaging, practical, and helpful. They build on a series of courses we released last year, starting with Machine Learning Course Crash (MLCC), which teaches the fundamentals of ML. If you enjoyed MLCC, you're ready for these new courses. They will push you to think differently about the way you approach your work. Take these courses to copy the moves of the world's best ML experts.


Building for all learners with new apps, tools, and resources

Everyone deserves access to a quality education—no matter your background, where you live, or your abilities. We’re recognizing this on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an effort to promote digital accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, by sharing new features, training, and partners, along with the many new products announced at Google I/O.Since everyone learns in different ways, we design technology that can adapt to a broad range of needs and learning styles. For example, you can now add captions in Slides and turn on live captions in Hangouts Meet, and we’ve improved discoverability in the G Suite toolbar. By making these features available—with even more in the works—teachers can help students learn in ways that work best for them.Working with our partners to expand accessWe’re not the only ones trying to make learning more accessible, so we’ve partnered with companies who are building apps to make it easier for teachers to communicate with all students.One of our partners, Crick Software, just launched Clicker Communicator, a child-friendly communication tool for the classroom: bridging the gap between needs/wants and curriculum access, empowering non-verbal students with the tools to initiate and lead conversations, and enabling proactive participation in the classroom. It’s one of the first augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps specifically created for Chromebook users.Learn more about Clicker Communicator, an AAC app for Chromebooks.Assessing with accessibility in mindTeachers use locked mode when giving Quizzes in Google Forms, only on managed Chromebooks, to eliminate distractions. Locked mode is now used millions of times per month, and many students use additional apps for accommodations when taking quizzes. We’ve been working with many developers to make sure their tools work with locked mode. One of those developers is our partner Texthelp®. Coming soon, when you enable locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, your students will be able to access Read&Write for Google Chrome and EquatIO® for Google that they rely on daily.Another partner, Don Johnston, supports students with their apps including Co:Writer for word prediction, translation, and speech recognition and Snap&Read for read aloud, highlighting, and note-taking. Students signed into these extensions can use them on the quiz—even in locked mode. This integration will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.Learn more about the accessibility features available in locked mode, including ChromeVox, select-to-speak, and visual aids including high contrast mode and magnifiers.Locked mode with Texthelp extensionsTexthelp extension Read&Write in locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms.Locked mode with Don Johnston extensionDon Johnston extension Co:Writer in locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms.Locked mode in Quizzes in Google FormsLocked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, only on managed Chromebooks.Tools, training, and more resourcesAssistive technology has the power to transform learning for more students, but educators need training, support, and tutorials to help their students get the most from the technology.The new Accessibility section on our Google for Education website has information on Chromebooks and G Suite for Education, a module on our Teacher Center and printable flashcards, and EDU in 90 YouTube videos on G Suite and Chromebook accessibility features. Check out our accessibility tools and find training on how to use them to create more engaging, accessible learning experiences.Watch the EDU in 90 on Chrome accessibility features.We love hearing stories of how technology is making learning more accessible for more learners, so please share how you're using accessibility tools to support all types of learners, and requests for how we can continue to improve to meet the needs of more learners.


Affirming the identities of teachers and students in the classroom

Editor’s note: In this post, Kristina Joye Lyles from DonorsChoose.org shares about teaming up with Google.org to launch the #ISeeMe campaign.I joined DonorsChoose.org in 2013 and have long been working with organizations like Google.org who share our belief in the power of teachers. To date, Google.org has provided over $25 million to support classrooms on DonorsChoose.org, and last week, they committed an additional $5 million to teachers, with a focus on supporting diverse and inclusive classrooms. Together, we’re kicking off #ISeeMe, a new effort to celebrate the identities of teachers and students in their classrooms.As a military brat, I attended many public schools across the U.S. but only had two teachers of color from kindergarten through twelfth grade. My teachers and professors of color had a particularly strong impact on me as mentors and role models; I was encouraged to see them as leaders in our school community, and their presence alone showed me that diversity and representation matter.My story is like those of so many others. Research shows that students benefit from seeing themselves in their teachers and learning resources. For example, black students who have just one black teacher between third and fifth grade are 33 percent more likely to stay in school. Girls who attend high schools with a higher proportion of female STEM teachers are 19 percent more likely to graduate from college with a science or math major.With this support from Google.org, teachers who are underrepresented in today’s public school classrooms—like teachers of color and female math and science teachers—as well as all teachers looking to create more inclusive classrooms will get the support they need and deserve. Teachers from all backgrounds can take steps toward creating classrooms that reflect their students, whether they’re selecting novels with diverse characters to discuss or taking trainings to meet the needs of culturally diverse students. And we’re eager to help them bring their ideas to life so that more students can see themselves reflected in their classrooms.I’m thrilled that many teachers on DonorsChoose.org are already coming up with inspiring ways to foster classroom environments where every student can feel important and included.  Mr. Yung sees the power of food to bring his students together across different cultural backgrounds. Ms. McLeod is determined to bring her students from Lumberton, North Carolina, to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Toro-Maysaspires to bring her bilingual students books with culturally relevant heroes and heroines.We hope you’ll join us and the philanthropists of various backgrounds who have lit the torch for #ISeeMe today. If you are a public school teacher, you can set up an #ISeeMe classroom project right now at DonorsChoose.org. You can also access free inclusive classroom resources and ideas created for educators, by educators at any time in Google’s Teacher Center. And for those of you who have been inspired by a teacher, we invite you to explore classroom projects that are eligible for Google.org’s #ISeeMe donation matching—we would love to have your support for these teachers and classrooms.


We hear you: updates to Works with Nest

Last week we announced that we would stop supporting the Works with Nest (WWN) program on August 31, 2019 and transition to the Works with Google Assistant platform (WWGA). The decision to retire WWN was made to unify our efforts around third-party connected home devices under a single platform for developers to build features for a more helpful home. The goal is to simplify the experience for developers and to give you more control over how your data is shared. Since the announcement, we’ve received a lot of questions about this transition. Today we wanted to share our updated plan and clarify our approach.First, we’re committed to supporting the integrations you value and minimizing disruptions during this transition, so here’s our updated plan for retiring WWN:Your existing devices and integrations will continue working with your Nest Account, however you won’t have access to new features that will be available with a Google Account. If we make changes to the existing WWN connections available to you with your Nest Account, we will make sure to keep you informed.We’ll stop accepting new WWN connections on August 31, 2019. Once your WWN functionality is available on the WWGA platform you can migrate with minimal disruption from a Nest Account to a Google Account.Second, we want to clarify how this migration will work for you. Moving forward, we’ll deliver a single consumer and developer experience through the Google Assistant. WWGA already works with over 3,500 partners and 30,000 devices, and integrates seamlessly with Assistant Routines. Routines allow anyone to quickly customize how their smart devices work together based on simple triggers—whether you’re leaving home or going to bed.One of the most popular WWN features is to automatically trigger routines based on Home/Away status. Later this year, we'll bring that same functionality to the Google Assistant and provide more device options for you to choose from. For example, you’ll be able to have your smart light bulbs automatically turn off when you leave your home. Routines can be created from the Google Home or Assistant apps, and can be created using the hardware you already own. Plus we’re making lots of improvements to setup and managing Routines to make them even easier to use.We recognize you may want your Nest devices to work with other connected ecosystems. We’re working with Amazon to migrate the Nest skill that lets you control your Nest thermostat and view your Nest camera livestream via Amazon Alexa. Additionally, we’re working with other partners to offer connected experiences that deliver more custom integrations.For these custom integrations, partners will undergo security audits and we’ll control what data is shared and how it can be used. You’ll aso have more control over which devices these partners will see by choosing the specific devices you want to share. For example, you’ll be able to share your outdoor cameras, but not the camera in your nursery, with a security partner.We know we can't build a one-size-fits-all solution, so we're moving quickly to work with our most popular developers to create and support helpful interactions that give you the best of Google Nest. Our goal remains to give you the tools you need to make your home, and those of other Nest users, helpful in the ways that matter most to you.


New features to make audio more accessible on your phone

Smartphones are key to helping all of us get through our days, from getting directions to translating a word. But for people with disabilities, phones have the potential to do even more to connect people to information and help them perform everyday tasks. We want Android to work for all users, no matter their abilities. And on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re taking another step toward this aim with updates to Live Transcribe, coming next month.Available on 1.8 billion Android devices, Live Transcribe helps bridge the connection between the deaf and the hearing via real-time, real-world transcriptions for everyday conversations. With this update, we’re building on our machine learning and speech recognition technology to add new capabilities.First, Live Transcribe will now show you sound events in addition to transcribing speech. You can see, for example, when a dog is barking or when someone is knocking on your door.  Seeing sound events allows you to be more immersed in the non-conversation realm of audio and helps you understand what is happening in the world. This is important to those who may not be able to hear non-speech audio cues such as clapping, laughter, music, applause, or the sound of a speeding vehicle whizzing by.Second, you’ll now be able to copy and save transcripts, stored locally on your device for three days. This is useful not only for those with deafness or hearing loss—it also helps those who might be using real-time transcriptions in other ways, such as those learning a language for the first time or even, secondarily, journalists capturing interviews or students taking lecture notes. We’ve also made the audio visualization indicator bigger, so that users can more easily see the background audio around them.Caption: See sound events, like whistling or a dog barking, in the bottom left corner of the updated Live Transcribe.With billions of active devices powered by Android, we’re humbled by the opportunity to build helpful tools that make the world’s information more accessible in the palm of everyone’s hand. As long as there are barriers for some people, we still have work to do. We’ll continue to release more features to enrich the lives of our accessibility community and the people around them.


Street View cars measure Amsterdam’s air quality

The quality of the air we breathe has a major impact on our health. Even in Amsterdam, a city where bikes make up 36 percent of the traffic, the average life span is cut short by a year as a result of polluted air. Information about air quality at the street level can help pinpoint areas where the quality is poor, which is useful for all types of people—whether you’re a bicyclist on your daily commute, a parent taking your children to a local park, or an urban planner designing new communities.A Street View car in Amsterdam.Project Air ViewBuilding on efforts in London and Copenhagen, Google and the municipality of Amsterdam are now working together to gain insight into the city’s air quality at the street level. Amsterdam already measures air quality at several points around the city. Information from two of our Street View cars in Project Air View will augment the measurements from these fixed locations, to yield a more detailed street-by-street picture of the city’s air quality.To take the measurements, the Street View cars will be equipped with air sensors to measure nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ultra-fine dust and soot (extremely small particles that are hardly ever measured). Scientists from Utrecht University are equipping the air sensors into the vehicles, and working with the municipality and Google to plan the routes for driving and lead the data validation and analysis. Once the data validation and analysis is complete, we’ll share helpful insights with the public, so that everyone—citizens, scientists, authorities and organizations—can make more informed decisions.This research can spread awareness about air pollution and help people take action. For example, if the research shows differences in air quality between certain areas in the city, people could adjust their bike route or choose another time to exercise. Our hope is that small changes like this can help improve overall quality of life. For more information about Project Air View, visit g.co/earth/airquality.


Sharing Hawaiian food and tradition with generations to come

Highway Inn is an Oahu-based restaurant founded by Hawaii-born Japanese-American Seiichi Toguchi. At the start of World War II, Seiichi was taken from his home to an internment camp in California and assigned to work in the mess halls. There, Japanese-American chefs from around the country taught him how to cook, eventually inspiring him to open Highway Inn to share the foods he loved growing up. Seiichi passed the restaurant down to his son Bobby Toguchi, who has since passed it to his daughter, Monica Toguchi Ryan. Their family has been proudly serving authentic Hawaiian food for over 70 years.As the third generation owner, Monica was determined to not just honor her family traditions and legacy, but also to share with younger generations the kinds of food that keep them connected to Hawaiian and local food culture. When her grandfather started the restaurant, he relied on word of mouth to reach new customers. Now, Monica uses Google Ads and their Business Profile on Google to connect with customers, helping them to grow from one location to three across Oahu. She and her family hope to continue preserving the beauty and tradition of Hawaiian food for generations to come.This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we're telling this and other stories, like Kruti Dance Academy from Atlanta, Georgia. They are two of the many Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned small businesses having an impact on their local communities.


The importance of influence in design

Human behavior has always intrigued me—that's the reason I studied psychology as an undergraduate. At the time, I wondered how those learnings could one day apply to life in the “real world.” As it turns out, an understanding of people and human behavior is an invaluable asset when it comes to cultivating influence—especially when it comes to design.In my role as VP of User Experience (UX) Design at Google, I’m constantly tasked with influencing others. I lead a team of designers, researchers, writers and engineers who are behind products like Google’s Shopping, Trips, Payment and Ads. To create great experiences for people, we must first convince people building these products that design is elemental to delivering not just user value, but also business value. Over the years I've seen how the ability to build influence is essential to designing the best experiences.User empathy is a fast track to influenceAs UX professionals (designers, writers, researchers and front-end engineers), it’s our job to fully grasp the needs of people using our products and be the spokesperson for them. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we understand our users without witnessing them actually using our products. Or to believe that our personal experiences reflect those of people everywhere. Yet every time I go out into the real world and spend time with people actually using our products, I come back with an unexpected insight that changes how I initially thought about a problem.In 2017, I took a trip to Jakarta to research the challenges of using smartphones in a region where service is relatively expensive and bandwidth is not readily available. It wasn’t until I was on the ground that I realized how degraded the experience was from what I’d pictured. Similarly, during a recent trip to Tel Aviv, I learned how difficult it is to get funding and grow a business. Developing this kind of understanding, which can only come from experience, helps motivate you to fix a problem from a different angle.Ideally, we’d bring all of our team members into the field to have these first-hand experiences, but that approach doesn’t scale. What does scale is empathy. We can share our personal experiences, research and user stories to build greater understanding. Once we’ve built a foundation of shared understanding, we can have better influence over decisions that affect users.Understanding people's experiences and stories help build better products.Inspire action with compelling storiesResearch can provide the data and anecdotes that help others understand why your design meets a specific need, but how you present that data is equally important.Creating rich stories full of photos and video clips helps expose others to how people use products and the challenges they encounter. On multiple occasions, I’ve been in a room where research clips of people interacting with a product or prototype are shared with executives and partners. Without fail, observing real people use products gets everyone animated and excited. Watching someone fumble through a task creates a sense of urgency to solve a problem that can’t be generated through data.One way to do this is with prototyping software or animated slides that show a product flow or tell a narrative that helps people understand the pain points of a product or the ease of its well-designed experience. An interactive prototype lets people experience the full possibilities. If you’re lucky enough to work with a UX engineer, prototypes are probably already a part of your influence repertoire. There’s nothing better than prototyping and sharing a bold idea and hearing: “We need that! Let’s make it happen!”Listen firstUser experience is highly focused on empathy for users, yet we’re often so focused on people using our products that we don’t take the time to develop empathy for our colleagues. Making sure others feel seen, heard, and understood is a significant step toward influence. Similar to how we can mistakenly make assumptions about our users, we can fall into the same trap with our peers.Too often people equate influence with asserting their perspective. Instead, influence starts with understanding the goals, motivations and frustrations of others.It’s easy to make incorrect conclusions, so instead of rushing to make a point, start out by listening to your colleagues. Showing the courtesy of listening often begets reciprocity, and makes others more receptive to your perspective.Our discipline is founded on exploring human connections and motivations through empathy and listening. Now you can use those tools to build influence, whether you work in UX or not.


Carmen Sandiego is back on Google Earth, gumshoe

This March, we put out the call for super sleuths to help us track down Carmen Sandiego in Google Earth. And we were blown away by the enthusiasm and speed with which people found the reformed VILE operative—who is now an ACME agent—by traveling from city to city around the globe.You not only solved the caper, but also shared stories and memories of playing the original games, watching the shows (both old and new) and sharing the experience with friends, family and kids.Today, we’ve teamed up with Carmen Sandiego once again—this time to help her recover Tutankhamun’s Mask. Le Chevre, a master climber and classmate of Carmen Sandiego at VILE Academy, has stolen the priceless artifact. We’re counting on gumshoes everywhere to help Carmen find him and recover the loot.To get your assignment, look for the special edition Pegman icon in Google Earth for Chrome, Android and iOS. Good luck, detectives!


.App: bringing more people online securely

A year ago, we launched .app, the first open top-level domain (TLD) with built-in security through HSTS preloading. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have registered .app domains, and we want to take a moment to celebrate them.  People are making more websites and apps than ever before. A recent survey we conducted with The Harris Poll found that nearly half (48%) of U.S. respondents plan to create a website in the near future. And a lot of people, especially students, are already building on the web. Over a third (34%) of 16-24 year olds who’ve already created a website did so for a class project. Having a meaningful domain name helps students turn their projects into reality. Take Ludwik Trammer, creator of shrew.app, who said: “The site started as a project for my graduate Educational Technology class at Georgia Tech. Getting the perfect domain gave me the initial push to turn it into the real deal (instead of making a prototype, publishing a scientific paper on it, and forgetting it).”Helping creators launch their sites securelyWith so many new creators, it’s essential that everyone does their part to make the internet safer. That’s why Google Registry designed .app to be secure by default, meaning every website on .app requires a HTTPS connection to ensure a secure connection to the internet.HTTPS helps keep you and your website visitors safe from bad actors, who may exploit connections that aren’t secure by:intercepting or altering the site’s contentmisdirecting trafficspying on open Wi-Fi networksinjecting ad malware or tracking“As a social application, data protection is paramount. As cyber attacks increase, the security benefits a .app domain brings was a key factor for us. We also believe that a .app domain is significantly more descriptive than a .com domain, meaning us Daneh Westropp Founder, pickle.appThere's still work to  be done. One out of two people don’t know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Many major browsers (like Chrome) warn users in the URL bar when content is "not secure," but there’s every website creator still has a shared responsibility to keep their users safe..App is year in, and we’re happy to see so many people using it to build secure websites and connect with the world. You can read more stories from .app owners here and get your own .app name at get.app. If you’re one of the millions of people planning to build a website, we hope you’ll join us in making the internet safer and take the steps to securely launch your website.


Premiering new TV solutions in Display & Video 360

Whether it's their favorite YouTube channel, the latest news or that hot show everyone is talking about, connected TV lets people watch what they want anytime. This creates new opportunities for brands to engage with their audience, while bringing together the reach and familiarity of TV with the precision and measurability of digital video. In the last year, the number of connected TV ad slots available to advertisers using Display & Video 360 has increased 8X, which has helped more advertisers reach their audiences using this channel. In fact, the number of advertisers running connected TV campaigns on Display & Video 360 has increased 137 percent in the past year.To help marketers build on this success, we’re continuing to invest in new TV capabilities for Display & Video 360. First, we’re implementing privacy-forward standards for connected TV that ensure responsible audience management practices by giving users transparency and choice over their ad settings. Second, we’re launching new linear TV capabilities so you can extend your reach to traditional TV viewers by purchasing ads on national broadcast networks and local TV stations. And finally, to help you deliver consistent TV strategies across delivery methods, we’re creating a consolidated TV workflow to buy connected TV together with linear TV.  Putting people first with connected TVIn today's environment, privacy is top of mind for users, advertisers, and content providers—and connected TV is no exception. As people gain more control over what content they watch, they also want to be in control of how their data is used to inform the ads they see. It’s critical that the industry adopts user-first practices to help build a sustainable connected TV advertising ecosystem.This is why we teamed up with the IAB Tech Lab’s OTT Technical Working Group to design shared industry guidelines for creating high-quality and privacy-safe connected TV advertising experiences. These guidelines formalize the Identifier for Advertising (IFA), which allows advertisers to reach audiences and measure their campaigns in a way that gives users more transparency and control than alternatives, such as solutions that use the IP address of a viewer's device.IFA was designed to protect user privacy. It gives users the ability to choose how their data is used. This means they can reset the ID associated with their data or fully opt out of experiences like interest-based advertising. They can also be assured that their choices will remain unchanged if they move their device to a new location.Display & Video 360 now supports the IAB Tech Lab guidelines, allowing marketers to manage frequency, measure reach, and begin developing responsible audience segmentation strategies while protecting user privacy. We’re also adding support for these guidelines in our publisher platform, Google Ad Manager.These guidelines will direct stakeholders down the path of best practices to allow connected TV to grow and evolve as a significant advertising platform. Dennis Buchheim Senior Vice President and GM, IAB Tech LabWe’re seeing momentum across the industry with key players adopting the IAB Tech Lab guidelines. TV and device manufacturers like Roku and measurement vendors such as Nielsen are adopting IFA. Nielsen, for example, has built IFA-based audiences into Digital Ad Ratings to bring greater understanding of reach on mobile and connected TV audiences.Adding linear TV to the pictureConnected TV is growing quickly, but traditional linear TV is still an important way people watch. There are some moments, such as sporting events or the big season finale, that just have to be enjoyed live. And many of us still tune in to watch programs from our favorite ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX local network stations. To help you reach people in those moments and on those channels, Display & Video 360 provides access to buy ad slots on national broadcast and cable networks and thousands of local TV stations. Today, U.S. network affiliates are accessible through a beta integration with WideOrbit. And soon, premium national broadcast and cable channels will be available through our partnership with clypd.To help you easily execute these campaigns and give you more control over your linear TV investments, we’re introducing new buying functionality in Display & Video 360. For example, you can now set up detailed campaign parameters such as geography, daypart, program genre or TV network directly. And throughout the campaign, you can quickly manage budget allocation and optimize reach by adjusting these parameters.Up next: Consolidated TV buyingAt many brands, we’re already seeing stronger collaboration between TV and digital media buying teams to deliver better coordinated strategies across linear and connected TV—and in the future we believe this will be the norm. To help with this shift, we’re consolidating both workflows under a single TV insertion order (IO) in Display & Video 360. This new streamlined buying experience will allow brands and agencies to further simplify the execution of their TV buys by providing insights and setups designed specifically for TV campaigns. We’ll start rolling out this new workflow this fall.Upcoming consolidated TV IO in Display & Video 360With Display & Video 360, you can now expand your digital strategy to reach connected TV audiences in a privacy-safe way. You can also connect with viewers as they sink back on the couch and see what’s on network television thanks to self-service linear buying workflows. Stay tuned as we roll out new features and bring on new partners throughout the year.


Find your balance with new Digital Wellbeing tools

Google I/O is always exciting for me. It’s a great moment when we get to tell the world about a wide range of new products and features that can help everyone do more with technology. Because of how intertwined tech is with every aspect of our lives, how we balance its use with our wellbeing has to be front and center. So, as we did last year, we made time to discuss how our users can find a balance by using technology more intentionally (and that might mean using it less).Last year, we announced our commitment to digital wellbeing, a company-wide effort to help our users balance their technology use in a way that feels right for them. The idea has taken hold. A recent survey we commissioned found that 1 in 3 Americans have taken steps to improve their digital wellbeing in the last year, and more than 80 percent of them said this had a positive impact on their overall sense of wellbeing.It’s still early, but we’re already seeing that some of our initial Digital Wellbeing features have helped people take control of their tech use. For instance, app timers have helped people stick to their goals over 90 percent of the time, according to our internal data from March of this year, and people who use Wind Down had a 27 percent drop in nightly usage on average.Coming to Android QWe know there’s much more we can be doing, which is why we were excited to announce a number of new tools and features at I/O last week. We’re making several improvements to existing features, such as giving you more visibility into the status of your app timers, and allowing Wind Down to be scheduled by day of the week. And, building on the success of app timers, we’re extending its functionality to Chrome on Android, which will let you to set time limits on specific websites. Our devices should help support our intentions throughout the day. Whether it’s work, school or family and friends that we want to focus on, our devices shouldn’t get in the way. Notifications are an important part of keeping you informed, but not all of them are urgent enough to divert your attention. Now you can choose to make some notifications ‘Gentle’. Gentle notifications won’t make noise, vibrate or appear on the lock screen but are always available if you want to browse.And we created Focus mode, which allows you to temporarily pause distracting apps with a single tap from Quick Settings. Finally, because many people want more positive encouragement, we’re adding the ability  to set a screen time goal with helpful nudges to stay on track.New features for familiesFor parents, screen time is often a unique challenge; in fact, according to a recent study commissioned by Google, 67 percent of parents are concerned about the amount of time their kids spend on devices. People with kids tell us they love that Family Link lets them set daily screen time limits, but we know that nothing about parenting is black and white. We announced last week that Family Link will roll out new features that enable parents to fine-tune these boundaries by setting app-specific time limits and awarding bonus screen time directly from their own device. (We hope this will also help provide a little balance to family dynamics.) But tools and features are just part of the solution; for families in particular, communication is key. So on wellbeing.google, we now offer tips and advice from experts, including a conversation guide to help parents talk to their kids about technology use. We believe technology should improve life, not distract from it, so we’ve made a company-wide commitment to prioritize our users’ satisfaction over the amount of time they spend with our products, and our teams are designing with digital wellbeing as a core principle. We’re focused on improving lives—today and in the future—and digital wellbeing is one of the most important ways we’re working to make that happen.


10 lessons learned from Inspiration Sessions at I/O 2019

Google I/O didn’t just have developers in attendance. Rock stars, astronauts and Turing Award winners took the stage for more than a dozen Inspiration Sessions, in which attendees learned about how technology is shaping the future, from music to art to creativity. Here are just a few lessons learned from these talks:The key to creativity is thinking like a child.Academy Award-winning animator Glen Keane created beloved characters like Ariel, The Beast and Pocahontas. He told attendees that no matter your line of work, it’s important to stay in touch with your inner child. “We all had that six-year-old kid that had something to do with who you are today and what you are doing,” he said. “Don’t forget that part of the adventure you had as a child.” Glen Keane does a live drawing of The Beast from “Beauty and the Beast.”If technology is the answer, what is the question?That’s the thesis behind the work of artist and researcher Sougwen Chung, who has programmed robots to collaborate with her to create artwork. She spoke alongside Cedric Kiefer, co-founder and creative lead of the art studio Onformative, and Kenric McDowell, co-leader of the Artist + Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts & Culture. The three talked about the relationship between artists and AI, and whether AI could fully replace artists. “It’s the question of how you actually use technology in your art, in your practice,” Cedric said. “Do you just write a little bit of code and press ‘art, art, art, more art?’ That’s not exactly how it is.”Be audacious, and think bigger. Astronaut Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, leads 100 Year Starship, an initiative to make sure humans can travel to another star in the next century. “When you look at space exploration, the audacity of it makes a difference,” she said. “I don’t think Mars pushes us hard enough.” She was joined in the talk by Sheperd Doeleman, a Harvard astrophysicist who helped construct the first-ever photo of a black hole—an audacious project in itself. Astronaut Mae Jemison.Technology can push you to create new things. Claire Evans, the singer of the band YACHT, incorporated machine learning into the creation of their new album with help from Google’s Magenta, a research project that explores the role of ML in art. She used Magenta to create new melodies based on YACHT’s back catalog. “It forcibly pushed us outside of our comfort zone, and forced us to play differently and think differently about how we work,” she said. She was joined by Googlers Adam Roberts and Jesse Engel, who work on Magenta, as well as a surprise guest, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, who discussed how his band used Magenta for their I/O performance.Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.AI can be used to fight climate change.Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder at DeepMind, is responsible for integrating its AI systems into Google products. He talked about how his team has made the energy from Google’s wind farms 20 percent more valuable, and has reduced energy use for Android phones. “Energy consumption is one of the largest contributors to climate change,” he said. “[We thought,] How could we as a team start to focus significant amounts of our effort on this really important problem?”Space is full of wonder—and mystery, too. Famed theoretical physicist Michio Kaku spoke with inventor and entrepreneur Taylor Wilson about a wide range of topics, from string theory to multiverses to why he’s determined to complete Einstein’s theory of everything. He also weighed in on the recent first image of a black hole: “A black hole is a cosmic roach motel. Everything checks in, nothing checks out. But then the question is, where does all that stuff go?”A feature may be a huge deal, even if you don’t use it.Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of Platforms & Ecosystems, sat down with writer and podcaster Florence Ion to share insights about the latest from Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and Google Play. And he weighed in on one of Android Q’s newest features: Dark Mode. “I will say, I’m personally not a huge Dark Mode person,” Hiroshi admitted. “I’m an outlier. But your feedback was heard.” Different is the new normal.Elise Roy, an inclusive design strategist, struggled to prove she was “normal” after becoming deaf at age 10. Eventually she realized that small design changes can make a huge difference in her life. Something as small as a bright red hearing aid “created this huge shift in my life,” she said. “It allowed me to celebrate my difference and allowed others to join in.” Two Googlers, Michael Brenner and Irene Alvarado, also took the stage to discuss another inclusive project: Euphonia, an effort to help computers understand diverse speech patterns.Elise Roy and an audience member demonstrate the “momentary disabilities” everyone faces from time to time.The most brilliant AI is inspired by how the human brain functions.Geoffrey Hinton, Google Fellow and Turing Award winner, spoke with Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of “Wired,” about why he kept working on neural nets when the rest of the AI community started to back away from the concept in the 90s: “You have two options. You can program it, or you can learn. This had to be the right way to go.” Although he says, “We are neural nets—anything we can do they can do,” he emphasized that he's not trying to recreate the brain, but instead “looking at the brain and saying, this thing works. If we want to make something else that works, let’s look at it for inspiration.”Engineer for lasting innovation.Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at X, talked about the concept of lasting innovation and the role ethics and diversity of perspectives play. “The real issue is whether in the long-term society is happy with the thing that you put into society.” Astro emphasized that lasting innovation holds itself accountable to the communities in which it operates and society at large.


There's an easier way to plan and organize your trips—here's how

Travel planning is complicated. The number of tools and amount of information you need to sift through when deciding where to go, where to stay and what flight to take can be time consuming and overwhelming. That’s why today, we’re simplifying the way we help travelers plan trips with Google across devices.When you’re planning a trip—whether you’re on desktop or mobile—we want to help you find the information you need, fast. Last year, we simplified trip planning by making navigation between Google Flights, Hotels, and Trips easier on smartphones. We’re now rolling this out on desktop as well. You can either go to google.com/travel or search for something like “hotels in Tokyo” or “Vancouver” to find travel information from a variety of sources in one place.As you plan a trip, your research and reservations will be organized for you in Trips. As we continue to evolve Google Trips, we’re making this information more accessible at google.com/travel, and in Google Search and Google Maps. We’re also adding a few new features to make planning and organizing your trips easier.One place for all of your trip detailsLast year, we started adding your trip reservations for things like hotels and flights to a trip timeline for your upcoming trips, when you’re signed into your Google account and you’ve received a confirmation in Gmail. When you go to google.com/travel, you can now make edits directly to your trips timeline, and in a few weeks you’ll be able to manually add new reservations as well.Whether you’re packing your bags or finalizing your travel dates, the weather is an important part of every trip. You’ll now see the weather for any upcoming or potential trips at google.com/travel—so you can make sure you’re prepared, rain or shine.Keep track of research and keep planningIt often takes days or weeks to plan a trip. When you need to pick up planning again, we’ll keep track of your trip research across Google. Recent searches, saved places and flights you’re tracking are added automatically to your trips when you’re signed into your Google Account. Soon, we’ll add viewed things to do and saved and viewed hotels to your trips. When you want to continue planning, all of your research will be waiting for you at google.com/travel. If you don’t want to see private results, you can opt out by adjusting your results and web & app activity settings.When you’re ready to continue researching other parts of your trip, scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination like suggested day plans, popular restaurants around your hotel and events happening during your dates.Continue planning on-the-go When you’re on-the-go or visiting a new place, we’ll do more to highlight things to do, restaurants and more with Google Maps. For instance, last year we made it easier to find the best places to see and things to do when using Google Maps to explore a new place. Now, we’ll also help you get the lay of the land when you’re traveling by pointing out popular neighborhoods nearby and what they’re known for.And in the next few months, your trips—including reservations for things like hotels and restaurants—will be accessible in Google Maps, too.Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device. We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search and google.com/travel—so you can get out and enjoy the world.


Cathy Pearl has learned the art and science of conversation

Conversations can be tough. Whether you’re chit-chatting with a coworker or having an important talk with your partner, it’s easy to misinterpret, say the wrong thing, or accidentally offend someone. Now imagine teaching a computer how to avoid those minefields. That’s even tougher—and Googler Cathy Pearl knows exactly how difficult it is.Cathy has made a career out of teaching computers how to talk to humans. She’s worked in the field of conversation design for decades, and now works in outreach at Google, where she helps spread the word about her field both within and outside of the company. She also served as a judge for this year’s Webby Awards, which is introducing a category for voice user interfaces for the very first time.  (Google ended up winning several awards, too, in categories Cathy didn't judge.)For this installment of The She Word, Cathy tells us about the challenges of teaching computers to talk to humans, and what that’s taught her about her own conversations:Designing conversations is trickier than you think. That’s because human conversations are really complicated.“Basically, conversation design is about teaching computers how to communicate like humans, not the other way around. We all know how to talk from a young age, so now we need to build computers that can understand us where we are, instead of forcing people to speak some foreign computer language.People may not realize how complex it really is. Think about something that seems like a simple yes or no question: What if you asked me, ‘Do you want a cup of coffee?’ Let’s say I replied, ‘Coffee will keep me awake.’ Is that a yes, or a no? Well, if you asked me first thing in the morning and I have a big presentation to write, it’s probably a yes. Ask me right before bed, and it’s probably a no. People say things like this all the time, but it’s hard for computers to understand.”Voice recognition used to seem like the stuff of fiction. It's come a long way.“I learned how to program when I was a kid, and I was really interested in learning to get the computer to talk back to me. I was really into movies like ‘War Games’ and TV shows like ‘Knight Rider’ that had these talking computers. Now, there was no such career at the time really, unless you were a researcher at Bell Labs or something like that. Coming out of grad school, I didn’t know of any jobs I could take in that field.So really it was in 1999 when I saw a job opening for a company and they said, ‘Come work on speech recognition!’ And I said, ‘Well, that stuff doesn’t work, it’s still a science fiction thing.’ But they had a demo line you could call, and it was this fake banking demo where you could move money from checking to savings. It’s all you could do, really, but it worked. I was astounded. I spent eight years at the company learning the ins and outs of building voice user interfaces for phone systems for companies.”When you find yourself at a career crossroads, don't limit your options.“If you do something like IVF, it takes over your whole life. It’s a constant thing. That’s why I quit my job. You can’t plan vacations, you can’t plan work meetings, because you have to go to the doctor’s office. And it’s so disruptive. After nearly 3 years of trying, I had my son. I spent the next three years as a stay-at-home mom.I think what was hardest for me was the point where I thought, I absolutely want to go back to work now, which was earlier than those three years, but I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t know what resources to use to try and figure out what I should do to get back into a great career. I felt very alone in that way.I went to a career counselor, and I just tried to start saying yes to more things. So when somebody asked me to give a talk, even if I didn’t think I was necessarily qualified, I said yes. I said yes to writing a book, which was just a terrifying prospect. It expanded my worldview of what was out there, and it opened a lot of doors to opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I think as women we often undersell ourselves.”Teaching computers how to talk to us can teach us a lot about ourselves.“So much of the time when we communicate, we want to be acknowledged. We don’t want you to try to solve problems. When I’m saying I had this really hard day, I don’t want my friend to say, ‘You know what you should do next time?’ No! I want you to say, ‘That sounds frustrating.’That applies to voice user interfaces. With the Google Assistant, there’s a lot of stuff we can’t do yet. But it’s better to acknowledge the things we can’t do then just say, ‘I don’t understand.’ If someone says, ‘I want to rent a car,’ and we can’t do that, can we say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t rent cars yet?’ That’s more satisfying at a basic, human, primitive level, because at least they understood me.”


The Pixel 3a joins the Android Enterprise Recommended lineup

Android Enterprise Recommended continues to shape how organizations choose devices for their teams. According to a recent HMD smartphone purchase survey, 56 percent of IT decision makers have decided to only choose Android Enterprise Recommended devices for their business. Android Enterprise Recommended helps businesses select devices with confidence from a breadth of options, so they can find a quality device at a price that’s right for the organization.Today, the Pixel 3a joins the Android Enterprise Recommended lineup. Announced at Google I/O last week, the new, more affordable Pixel has enterprise-grade security, with monthly security updates and the Titan M chip. A consistent Google user experience backed by machine learning and artificial intelligence helps your team work productively. Recently, a 2019 Gartner research report that evaluated mobile security determined that the Pixel 3 device family has the strongest performance for built-in security when compared to other mobile devices.The Pixel 3a joins a group of devices in Android Enterprise Recommended that provide businesses with options of enterprise-grade performance and support for zero-touch enrollment at a budget-friendly price. The Nokia 7.1, Moto G7 and Sharp AQUOS Sense are among the many knowledge worker devices within the Android Enterprise Recommended portfolio that run Android 9 Pie, and offer strong productivity power and battery life at a cost below $400.Since launching in 2018, Android Enterprise Recommended now offers devices from over 20 OEMs, with knowledge worker, rugged devices and tablets in our portfolio. We also help companies secure and manage their devices with Android Enterprise Recommended EMM and Managed Service Provider partners. Learn more about the vast selection of devices available from our Android Enterprise Solutions Directory.


Getting started on YouTube just got easier

Every month, more than 2 billion people turn to YouTube for entertainment, inspiration and guidance. Whether they’re researching what to buy or unwinding by watching one of their favorite YouTube creators, they’re constantly discovering information at unplanned and unexpected moments—including new brands and products. More than 90% of viewers say they have discovered new brands or products on YouTube—a massive opportunity for any brand looking to raise awareness.Today at Google Marketing Live, we announced two new solutions that make it easier for marketers to show up and stand out during these key moments: Discovery ads and Bumper Machine.No video? No problem!For a long time, advertising on YouTube meant your brand had to have a video or app ad. We’re excited to announce at GML today that’s no longer the case. Coming soon, Discovery ads are a simple and effective way to tap into the power of YouTube—and you don’t even need a video! Just upload your best images from your social campaign, then we’ll optimize your media mix for maximum performance across Gmail, Discover and the YouTube Home feed.The YouTube Home feed has long been a great place for users to discover their next favorite creator, and it can be a great place for them to discover your brand, too. Over the last three years, watch time from content discovered on the YouTube homepage has grown 10x.Direct-to-consumer brands like TechStyle Fashion Group are leaning into Discovery ads to diversify their growth marketing strategy. TechStyle experimented with its first Discovery ad in November 2018 to increase membership for its athleisure subscription brand, Fabletics. Repurposing their existing image assets, the brand saw up to 25% lower cost-per-lead on average using Discovery ads compared to their ads on other channels, including social and search.    A Discovery ad seen on the YouTube Home feedScale your video librarySince introducing six-second bumper ads in 2016 as a way to help you reach more mobile viewers, we’ve found that they punch far above their weight when it comes to effectiveness. But producing a six-second video requires additional time and resources that not every team has. That’s where Bumper Machine, a tool that generates six-second videos from longer video assets, can help.Bumper Machine relies on machine learning models that are trained to identify interesting, well-structured moments in a longer video, like those that contain product or brand information, human faces, motion or contrast. It organizes these moments and brings them together to generate several different six-second ad variations for you to pick from, all in a matter of minutes. Before saving your new bumper ads, you can adjust them with simple edits.Every brand has different creative needs. For brands or agencies with the resources to build bumper ads from scratch, Bumper Machine can help them get started by visualizing a six-second story. For others, it’s a quick and easy way to grow your asset library, and a path to get started with video ad sequencing.If you don’t have a longer video to use with Bumper Machine, you can work with one of our video production partners listed on YouTube.com/Ads to help you create videos from scratch or edit existing assets, with no minimum spend requirements.Any business, no matter their size or level of creative expertise, can succeed on YouTube. We hope these new tools make it easier for you to tell the stories that drive your business.


Google Marketing Live: Building for the new consumer journey

Today, mobile phones allow people to engage more often, in more ways, and from more places than ever. This means the once linear path from discovery to consideration to purchase has not only evolved, but is always evolving.Consider a woman from a recent study, who spent 73 days and interacted with more than 250 touchpoints (searches, video views, and page views) before purchasing a single pair of jeans. She visited several blogs, browsed large merchant sites, searched for local retailers, and watched product reviews on YouTube. Like many of today’s consumers, she wanted to enjoy her time shopping, engaged with brands that inspired her, and narrowed limitless choices before picking the perfect pair.In a world where we have less time and more options, it’s crucial for brands to anticipate what consumers need in order to stand out. But just because the customer journey is complex doesn’t mean delivering useful experiences has to be. Whether you’re a scrappy entrepreneur or a large company, your marketing goals remains the same: reaching people at the right moments with the right offer.At Google Marketing Live, you’ll hear directly from our ads teams about the latest products designed to help you do just that. We’ll show how ads can be there, be useful, and be responsible—unlocking more opportunities for you to connect with your customers and grow your business. Join us live today at 9am PT (12pm ET): g.co/marketinglive and get a front row seat for our biggest announcements. Get discovered in more placesPeople turn to Google to communicate, find answers and stay entertained. And increasingly, they’re swiping and scrolling through feeds as part of that journey—whether it’s browsing videos in the YouTube home feed, checking timely offers in the Gmail Promotions tab or swiping through Discover to catch up on the latest news. These are opportunities for brands to engage them when it matters.In a recent Google / Ipsos study, we saw that 76 percent of consumers enjoy making unexpected discoveries when shopping. And 85 percent of consumers will take a product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a product: reading reviews, comparing prices or purchasing the product—sometimes all at once!Today, we’re introducing Discovery ads. Rolling out to all advertisers globally later this year, Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services.Rich and relevant creative:Inspire consumers with an open canvas showcasing your brand or products in a swipeable image carousel, rendered natively across each Google property.Results:By combining this incredible reach and creative canvas with Google’s understanding of intent, you can be confident you’re anticipating what your customers want and delivering the results you care about.Unmatched reach:Reach hundreds of millions of people across the YouTube home feed, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and the feed in Discover using a single campaign.“Discovery has created a great opportunity for us to easily drive growth at scale for our brands beyond what we thought was possible with Google," says Daniel Pahl, VP of Media and Acquisition at TechStyle. "It's definitely outperformed my expectations in driving high-value leads and signups. We're now able to inspire a completely new audience to action.”Indeed, high-quality creative can be a great way to showcase your brand and set your products and services apart by highlighting what it’s like to use them. That’s why later this year we’re launching Gallery ads: a new search ads format that brings more of your content to the Search results page. By combining search intent with a more interactive visual format, gallery ads make it easier for you to communicate what your brand has to offer. We’ve found that, on average, ad groups including one or more gallery ad have up to 25 percent more interactions—paid clicks or swipes—at the absolute top of the mobile Search results page.And when it comes to getting ideas and inspiration, hundreds of millions of people enter shopping-related queries on Google each day. According to our data, about 60% of those shopping queries are from users browsing a category or brand - like "Max Mara dress" or "living room decor ideas." So today, we’re bringing Showcase Shopping ads—a highly visual ad format that incorporates rich lifestyle imagery into your Shopping ads—to even more surfaces like Google Images, the feed on Discover, and soon YouTube—places where we know people are looking for inspiration and ideas.The new Google ShoppingThis year we’re unveiling a redesigned Google Shopping experience with new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores. When they’re ready to buy, they can choose to purchase online, in a nearby store, and now directly on Google. For retailers and brands, it brings together ads, local and transactions in one place to help them connect with consumers across their shopping journey.Shoppers will have a personalized homepage on the Shopping tab where they can filter based on features they care about and brands they love, read reviews and even watch videos about the products. For example, if they’re looking for headphones, they can filter for wireless and the brand they’re looking for.The blue shopping cart on the item shows shoppers they can purchase what they want with simple returns and customer support, backed by a Google guarantee. People can buy confidently, knowing Google is there to help if they don’t get what they were expecting, their order is late, or they have issues getting a refund. With this new experience, we’re merging the best of Google Express with Google Shopping.If you’re a Shopping Actions merchant, your products will automatically be part of this new easy purchase experience on Google Shopping, Google.com and the Google Assistant. Later this year, we’ll expand Shopping Actions to other Google surfaces including YouTube and Google Images.Frictionless Mobile ExperiencesFor many of you, your businesses span mobile web and apps, and directing your customer to the right experience is critical to acquiring new customers and building loyalty with existing ones.That’s why, over the next few weeks, we'll enable app deep linking from Google Ads and offer more robust reporting across web and apps. Your app users will be taken directly from your Search, Display and Shopping ads directly to the relevant page in your mobile app, if they have your app already installed. This means your customers will be able to complete their desired action—buy something, book a trip or order food delivery—in a way that’s optimized for the destination that drives the highest value for your brand. This delivers a better experience for your loyal customers while improving insight and measurement for you.Early tests have been promising—on average, deep linked ad experiences drove 2X the conversion rates.Magalu, one of Brazil’s largest retail companies, is seeing the benefits of this first-hand. Magalu recognized that its app was growing in popularity. By enabling deep linking, loyal customers who tapped on a Magalu ad were taken directly to the mobile app they already have installed, resulting in more than 40 percent growth in overall mobile purchases.Tune in to see more!Join us today at 9am PT (12pm ET) for even more announcements, consumer insights and in-depth looks at how to use our latest products. Whether you’re joining us in San Francisco or watching at home on the live stream, we’re grateful and honored to be on this journey with you. See you at Google Marketing Live!See you soon at Google Marketing Live!


Making it easier to shop across Google

Each day, hundreds of millions of people do shopping-related searches on Google. Now, we’re making the places where people come to browse and explore products on Google shoppable. These new shopping experiences let people shop and purchase frictionlessly right where they already turn to for research and inspiration: Search, Google Images, YouTube and a redesigned Google Shopping destination.The new Google Shopping experienceThis year we’re unveiling a redesigned Google Shopping experience with new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores. When they’re ready to buy, they can choose to purchase online, in a nearby store and now directly on Google. For retailers and brands, it brings together ads, local and transactions in one place to help them connect with consumers at the right time.Shoppers will have a personalized homepage on the Shopping tab where they can filter based on features they care about and brands they love, read reviews and even watch videos about the products. For example, if they’re looking for headphones, they can filter for wireless and the brand they’re looking for..The blue shopping cart on the item shows shoppers they can seamlessly purchase what they want with simple returns and customer support, backed by a Google guarantee. So people can buy confidently, knowing Google is there to help if they don’t get what they were expecting, their order is late, or they have issues getting a refund. With this new experience, we’re merging the best of Google Express with Google Shopping.If you’re a Shopping Actions merchant, your products will automatically be part of this new easy purchase experience on Google Shopping, Google.com and the Google Assistant. Later this year, we will also expand Shopping Actions to other Google surfaces including YouTube and Google Images.Get discovered in more placesConsumers’ expectations for useful, swipeable and visual experiences have risen dramatically. Today, shoppable ads on Google Images allows you to highlight multiple products within your sponsored ad. We’re also bringing Showcase Shopping ads—a highly visual ad format that incorporates rich lifestyle imagery—to even more surfaces like Google Images, the feed on Discover, and soon YouTube, places where we know people are looking for inspiration and ideas. On average, we see about 80% of traffic from Showcase Shopping ads to retailer sites are from new visitors just discovering the brands.Drive more shoppers in-storeWe’re also making it easier for shoppers to buy in your stores. Today, we have over 2 billion store offers mapped to physical store locations globally, discoverable by our current local ad formats like local inventory ads. In a recent study we commissioned, we’ve seen that 45% of global shoppers currently buy online, pick-up in-store, which offers them a more flexible way to purchase and receive their items. That’s why we’re making it even easier for you to offer buy-online, pick- up- in-store service through your Shopping ads. Now, all you need are product landing pages on your site that show when pick-up in- store is available, and a local inventory feed in Merchant Center, which indicates which items you have in stock. Additionally, you can indicate which items you can quickly ship to store for in-store pickup.  If you are interested in joining the new buy-online, pick-up-in-store beta experience, please fill in this form.Higher-performing Shopping campaigns for retailers and brand manufacturersSmart Shopping campaigns, announced last year at Google Marketing Live, use machine learning to optimize not only performance based on your goals, but also where your Shopping ads show—on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web. In addition to optimizing for online conversions, Smart Shopping campaigns will soon help you drive more shoppers in-store by allowing you to optimize for store visits and by displaying your local inventory information.Customers have seen great results in the year since Smart Shopping campaigns launched. For example, Magazines.com worked with Rakuten Marketing to drive a 180% increase in revenue with Smart Shopping campaigns over Black Friday. And other customers see success with Smart Shopping campaigns, too: 80% of advertisers who have tried both Standard and Smart Shopping campaigns, now use Smart Shopping campaigns for the majority of their Shopping ad investment in the last year.You’ll just need a product feed, a remarketing list and conversion tracking to launch your first campaign. You can also seamlessly join through an ecomm platform integration, like Shopify, or our new Shopping integration with Magento.Finally, retailers and brand manufacturers have been looking for more ways to partner together in their digital marketing campaigns to reach online shoppers. Shopping campaigns with partnersallow brands to use their own budgets to help promote priority products in retailers’ Shopping campaigns. This helps to drive more visibility, traffic and sales for both the brands and their retail partners.The Estée Lauder Companies and one of their top retailer partners ran this type of Shopping campaign to boost sales of their branded designer fragrances with that retailer—both online and in stores. As a result, click share on Shopping ads for The Estée Lauder Companies’ fragrances at their partner retailer increased by 70% on Google.If you’re interested in joining the Shopping campaigns with partners beta, fill out this form.