Tag Archives: Vice President

Making the web work for major brands

In the 1950s, major brand marketers, like movie studios and consumer goods companies, embraced television, helping spark a multi-billion dollar industry—and the beginning of TV’s golden age.

One reason these brands invested in TV was the emergence of new measurement tools, like TV ratings and market research, that helped show which ads were reaching the right audiences and having a positive impact.

Measurability is already at the heart of digital advertising—every second, businesses rely on insights from products like Google Analytics and Google AdWords to help them grow.

But major brands are interested in things like “brand recall” (such as whether consumers remember the name of your cereal), and “brand favorability” (whether they think positively about it), rather than just clicks and online sales. The metrics that the online advertising industry uses today aren’t always equipped to tell that fuller story. Many brands scramble together metrics like clicks, ad impressions, and numerous tools and measurement solutions, trying to make sense of them and—some time later—acting upon the insights they can glean.

The lack of these actionable, truly useful metrics is a key reason that many major brands have been cautious in embracing digital advertising over the past decade, even as high-quality content and millions of users have moved online.

We think that a new generation of measurement solutions will help brands quantify the benefits of investing online and will help to fund the next generation of great online content and services.

Today at the Ad Age Digital Conference we’re introducing the Brand Activate initiative, a new effort to re-imagine online measurement for brand marketers and—crucially—to help brands turn measurement into action, immediately. We’re working with the industry and supporting the IAB’s Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) coalition on this project.

We believe that the industry’s significant investment in these areas can substantially grow the online advertising pie, help major brands invest for growth, and fund new digital content and services.

Read all the details about this initiative, and the first solutions (Active GRP and Active View) on our Agency blog.

Google+: A few big improvements before the New Year

Today we’re pleased to announce a goodie basket full of Google+ features and functionality for you to unpack and enjoy over the holidays. Some of these were on nearly everyone’s wishlist… and some we hope will be welcome surprises. These features will be rolling out over the next couple of days, and we hope you’ll find them useful this holiday season and beyond.

Pump up (or down) the volume!
Sometimes important posts you wouldn’t want to miss from close friends or family can get lost amongst posts from others who post dozens of times a day. We’re adding fine-grained controls that will enable you to “graphic-equalize” and fine-tune your stream. When viewing the stream for a particular circle, you’ll now see a slider at the top that lets you adjust how posts from that circle should be blended into the main stream. That way you’ll never miss a post from that special someone, and you can tweak these settings to form your own “perfect stream.”

More useful and attractive notifications
One of the most useful and valuable features of the redesigned Google bar is the red notifications indicator. (You could even say it glows!) You know when you have tasty social content to consume, but the notifications themselves have been a little cryptic, often requiring you to navigate to the content itself to understand what happened. We now have easy-to-read “sneak previews” that immediately present what’s new and why you might care. We’ve polished these notifications up and made a few other meaningful improvements too, including the ability to see the +1’s and shares your posts have received since you last checked.

Google+ Notifications

Improvements to Google+ Pages
Google+ Pages have already provided brands and businesses a new means of connecting to and deeply engaging with consumers. In the weeks since launching pages, we’ve been listening to your feedback and we’re pleased to make some of the most oft-requested features available.

  • You can now delegate up to 50 named managers as administrators for a page.
  • A new notification flow will ensure that these managers stay in the loop on all the activity that takes place on a page, giving managers the ability to stay involved in page conversations.
  • We’ll now show an aggregated count of users that have engaged with your page, either by +1’ing it or by adding it to a circle. This way, both you and your page’s visitors can get an at-a-glance summary of who is interacting with your page.

A more beautiful and usable photos experience
Finally, we’re making a bevy of improvements to the Google+ Photos experience, just in time for the holiday photo-sharing season. Viewing a photo in Lightbox has been completely redesigned with improved navigation, enhanced comment legibility and better overall utility. This design makes the photo the hero, letting the content itself shine through. And we’re introducing a completely new photo-tagging experience that’s both fun and fluid, and lets you quickly focus on the people in your photos.

We hope that you enjoy these improvements and continue to provide us feedback. It’s been an incredible year for us on the Google+ team. While this indeed has been a #seasonforshipping, Google+ users know that we believe that shipping is always in season! We’ve been busy making some resolutions for 2012, and we think you’re going to love them.

Take a walk on the sell-side

In June, we announced that we are acquiring Admeld, a New York-based company that helps large publishers (also known as the “sell-side” by people, like me, who live and breathe display advertising) maximize their revenues from online advertising. We’re pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has today cleared this deal. We’ll close the acquisition in the coming days and then start the real work—building improved products and services that help our publisher partners to make more informed decisions across all their ad space, and to grow their revenues.

The opportunity for major online publishers is huge…and growing. People are spending more and more time consuming online content across numerous devices, advertisers are running more online and mobile campaigns to reach them; and ads continue to get more engaging and relevant. This represents an unprecedented moment for publishers. We believe that improved technology and services can help publishers seize it and make online advertising work much better.

For now, it’s business as usual—Admeld’s products will operate separately to Google’s existing solutions (such as DoubleClick for Publishers and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange). But over time, there are opportunities to bring the best of both businesses together in a variety of ways; and to develop entirely new solutions, too.

As we do this, Admeld and Google are guided by some core shared beliefs:

  • We want to give publishers more control over their ad space, and offer more flexible ways to manage and sell it. Publishers’ businesses should influence the technology they use; not the other way around
  • We believe that publishers can make better decisions to maximize their revenues when they have better insights at their fingertips
  • We envisage a much simpler system that enables publishers to manage and sell their ad space—across desktop, video, mobile, tablets and more

The content produced by Google’s and Admeld’s publisher partners is the lifeblood of the Internet. We can’t wait to start building the next generation of tools and services that will help them grow their businesses.

(Cross-posted on the DoubleClick Publisher Blog)

A fall sweep

We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.

Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:

  • Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.
  • In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.
  • Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.
  • Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.
  • The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.

In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.

Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.