(cross-posted on the Google Mobile Ads Blog)

Tablets have quickly emerged as a distinct third digital screen in consumers lives that fill the gap between desktops and smartphones. But there are still many open questions about exactly how consumers are using them. We explored tablet search trends earlier this year, but wanted to dig deeper and answer key questions such as: What are the contrasts between tablet use, laptop use, and smartphone use and how are consumers engaging across these devices? What are the most common activities (playing games, searching, reading, etc.) that tablets are used for? What ads are most relevant and useful based on how people are using the devices?

Tablets are for fun, entertainment, relaxation, while laptops are for work
One of our studies, a diary study that had people record every occasion that they used their tablet over a two-week period, found that most consumers use their tablets for fun, entertainment and relaxation while they use their desktop computer or laptop for work. Tablet devices are personal - 91% of the time that people spend on their tablet devices is for personal rather than work related activities. When a consumer gets a tablet, we’ve found that they quickly migrate many of their entertainment activities from laptops and smartphones to this new device.

Tablet owners are building the device into their daily routine. Our research found that the most frequent tablet activities are checking email, playing games and social networking. We also found that people are doing more activities in shorter bursts on weekdays (e.g. social networking, email) while engaging in longer usage sessions on weekends (e.g. watching videos/TV/movies).

Tablets are multi-tasking devices with at least 42% of activities occurring while doing another task or engaging with another entertainment medium. Of all the activities that people do on tablets, checking email, playing games, social networking and searching are the ones most frequently done in front of the TV. Many consumers also used their tablets to check email while eating, and listen to music while cooking.

The activities shown in the above chart were self-reported by respondents.

Tablets primarily stay home, few travel
But unlike smartphones that go everywhere and laptops that travel between work and home, few consumers take their tablets with them when they leave the house. However, consumers do take their tablets on vacation or work trips where they use them as a laptop replacement and a small number take them on their commute. Interestingly, our recent research found that tablets are for the most part a one-person device, although there are consumers who share their tablet with other family or household members.

Tablets are, however, mobile within the home, with the highest usage taking place on the couch, from the bed and in the kitchen.

The activities and locations shown in the above chart were self-reported by respondents.
Consumers are shopping on tablets
Many consumers do a lot of window shopping on their tablet and our data shows that they are making more and more purchases on their tablet devices. Indeed, tablets figure to be a significant new way for people to be shopping this holiday season. While shopping they are engaging with familiar brands through social media sites, deals discounts, and navigating directly to trusted shopping sites.

We also found that people are using their tablets for activities that they are also doing in the real world, such as searching for something in their local area, shopping (browsing and purchasing), and managing finances.

For many people, websites and apps designed for smartphones just don’t cut it on tablets. Instead consumers are taking advantage of the bigger screen and prefer using fully featured apps and the full desktop sites on their tablet.

We found that some of those activities also extend to additional devices (e.g. smartphone, laptop, etc.). These activities included shopping (both browsing and purchasing), searching for information, managing finances, checking the calendar and checking email.

Consumers don’t view ads differently on tablets, but they do expect more interactivity
Consumers are engaging with useful, relevant and rich ads that take advantage of the touchscreen interface on tablets. Some consumers expect more interactivity from ads on tablets than they do from ads on their desktop computer.

We believe that tablet ownership will continue to rapidly grow in 2012 and that tablet usage may change over time, particularly as smaller devices come on the market. We plan on continuing to conduct research to understand consumers’ uses of their tablet devices and are excited to share these research insights with you.

Posted by: Jenny Gove and John Webb, User Experience Research, Mobile Ads

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and The Google Commerce Blog)

Today, on Cyber Monday—the biggest online shopping day of the year—digi-savvy shoppers will take to the web to get ahead on their holiday shopping. You’ve managed to avoid the Black Friday crowds, but are your online shopping skills up to snuff? Just in the nick of time, here are five tips on how to use Google tools to save time and money this holiday shopping season.

Tip #1. Avoid the lines and parking nightmares—shop from your couch with Google Catalogs
Today we’re announcing a version of Google Catalogs for Android tablets, available for free in Android Market. Now shoppers can browse Google Catalogs on both iOS and Android tablets. With over 125 of your favorite brands and 400 issues across a myriad of categories, Google Catalogs puts all your favorite print catalogs right at your fingertips. You’ll find pages of gift and decorating ideas and get a head start on your holiday shopping list.

Browse Pottery Barn’s Christmas 2011 catalog on Google Catalogs - now available for Android tablets.
Tip #2. Let Google Product Search do your research for you
With so many brands, models and features to choose from, sometimes finding the perfect gift—especially when it comes to electronics and gadgets—can be overwhelming. Google Product Search gives you detailed product information, reviews and price comparisons for all the gifts on your list.

We recently launched a new comparison feature for electronics that lets you quickly see how a particular product stacks up against other similar models and brands. For example, on the Nikon D3100 product page, you can now see—at a glance—feature comparisons between the D3100 and other Nikon models as well as cameras from other brands. Read more about other recent Product Search updates on the Google Commerce blog.

A quick comparison shows the differences in resolution and other camera features.
Tip #3. Bring Google Shopper along as your mobile shopping assistant
Have you ever found yourself standing in a store, trying to decide between, say, two blenders, and wishing you could consult an expert? Google Shopper can help. Wherever you are, this free mobile app for Android and iPhone lets you scan a barcode or search by voice or text to get detailed product information, read reviews and compare prices online and at local stores. You can also use Google Shopper to see if a product is in stock nearby.

Research, share and find products near you with Google Shopper.
Tip #4. Take advantage of holiday savings with Google Offers
Before you hit main street for a shopping extravaganza, check out Google Offers for great deals and save 50% or more on local places to eat, shop and play. Google Offers has teamed up with a number of great retailers this holiday season, making it easy to save while you shop. You can also find and buy great deals from Google Offers with the free Android app.

Tip #5. Simplify your online and offline shopping experience with Google Wallet
Save time and money by shopping with Google Wallet — a smart, virtual wallet that stores your payment cards, offers and more on your phone and online. When you shop with merchants that accept Google Wallet online just use your Google Wallet username and password to complete your purchase—there’s no need to pull out your credit card or enter your shipping address with every transaction. If you’re at the register at stores like American Eagle, Macy’s, Gap, Inc or any of our other merchant partners, take a minute to try the Google Wallet app, available on Nexus S 4G for Sprint, to tap, pay and save.

I hope these tips and Google tools help to make your shopping experience a little easier (and fun!) this Cyber Monday, and throughout the holiday season.

Posted by Stephanie Tilenius, Vice President of Commerce

It’s here! It’s bigger than ever! It’s starting earlier! And as Pete Townshend once said “It’s going mobile”!

What was once a single day event has grown into a 5-day kickoff weekend, running Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday. The Holiday Shopping Season has arrived. Here are some last-minute tips from Google on what to expect and how to maximize sales this week:
  • Your Customer Is Armed With More Tech Tools Than Ever: There’s no shortage of resources for today’s consumer: PC searches at home, tablet shopping at night, smartphones queries on-the-go, QR code scans, online new product video views, social recommendations, Twitter feeds, product reviews from bloggers. And that’s only the beginning! This year customers have access to information whenever, wherever, and however they want it. They’re going to visit your stores and websites loaded with information and looking for a reason to close the deal. Be flexible, honest and responsive to their needs, as they’re armed and ready to buy.
  • Cover All Three Screens This Holiday: Consumers are now shopping across three interactive screens--PC, tablet, smartphone--and they're connected 24/7. Mobile queries now represent over 20% of all shopping searches on Google. While your customers still use PCs as the cornerstone of their online shopping journey, tablets (“couch companions”) and Smartphones (“constant companions”) play an increasingly important role at home and in stores. Create a seamless experience for customers as they cross over these varying platforms on their way to finding you.
  • Embrace Your Customer’s In-Store Mobile Shopping Companion: What was once viewed by many as an ‘annoyance’ must now be embraced. Your customers love their cellphones, and they’re going to use them in your store to compare products, look for promotions, read online reviews, check for more product selections, and yes (gasp) compare prices with your competitors. No getting around it. No avoiding it. So if you’re competing on price, prepare to be asked to match online prices. 4 in 10 smartphone users say they have walked away from an in-store purchase based on information accessed from their phone.
  • Mobile = Local: Over a third of all mobile queries have local intent: “find a store,” “gifts near me,” “restaurants in my zip code,” etc. Mobile consumers are on-the-go and ready to buy--in your store. Make sure you’re serving ads to drive them TO you, whether it’s an in-store promotion or driving directions. Remember “mobile” is more than mCommerce (although that should be huge this weekend too), especially on Smartphones. Maximize your campaigns to drive sales across both your mCommerce site and into your store.
  • Rising terms like “Black Midnight” means Thanksgiving Thursday is now Day One of the 5-Day Weekend Shopping Experience: Expect a lot of online shopping and research to start on Thanksgiving Thursday, as consumers look to take advantage of early online-only specials and research what in-store sales for the next day. Search queries for terms like ‘Thanksgiving Online Deals,’ ‘Thanksgiving Black Friday’ and ‘Black Midnight’ have more than doubled in the past seven days. You may want your search and display campaigns to start on Thursday to take advantage of these early, eager shoppers.
  • Make Sure Your Brand is Top-of-Mind: 70% of holiday shoppers say they are not tied to a particular retailer; 61% are not tied to a particular brand. Have a presence in video shopping sites, gift buying sites, sports sites, holiday sections in lifestyle sites, famliy-oriented sites--wherever your customer spends time online this weekend. Get your brand in front of them.
  • Consumers Are Looking for “Deals and Steals” More Than Last Year: To find the best deals, folks are taking advantage of all online has to offer. Here’s a sample of some search insights we’re seeing this year:
    • Search interest in ‘black friday’ is up 35% year over year, and search interest has increased 12-times from Halloween.
    • Coupons are hot: search interest in ‘black friday coupons’ is up 46% year over year, and search interest in ‘buy one get one free’ is up 30% year over year. Search interest for both ‘printable coupons’ and ‘black friday coupons’ has jumped over 900% from Halloween.
    • Don’t forget about mobile: ‘black friday' mobile searches are 175% higher now than they were a year ago. Based on historical growth rates, Google projects that 15% of total ‘black Friday’ searches will be from mobile devices this year.
Technology is accelerating and changing the holiday shopping experience. Your customers are able to access information about you and your products--and purchase them--anyway, anyhow, and anywhere they choose. Let us know how we can help you be ready for them.

Here’s wishing you and your family a healthy, happy, and bountiful Thanksgiving weekend.

Posted by Dan Schock, The Google Retail Team

With the flurry of new phone models launching, the mobile phone market is heating up again this Holiday shopping season.

This means more choices for people interested in purchasing a smartphone -- and a challenge for retailers, wireless carriers and hardware manufacturers alike. To succeed, companies need to understand how shoppers are most likely to research and make their purchases this year, online and in stores, and the connection between the two channels.

As a digital marketing leader with over 2,200 store locations in the US, Verizon Wireless recognizes the importance of understanding this connection well. Additionally, as Google searches on non-brand terms like “smartphone”, “new phone” and “mobile phone” have increased 10% year over year, the company has noted the growing opportunity to reach customers researching general terms online before purchasing in store.

In an effort to drill down into the offline -- or in-store -- impact of online advertising on non-brand wireless searches like the ones mentioned above, Verizon worked with Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) and Google to measure the in-store impact of search advertising on non-brand terms over the course of four weeks. The results were impressive:
  • Five new phone activations in Verizon owned-and-operated stores for every phone activation online
  • 366% return on non-brand search advertising spend
Understanding the incremental value of digital advertising in delivering store sales will help marketers to fully harness the expanding drive-to-store opportunities across desktop, mobile and tablet. As you prepare for the 2011 holiday season, are you capitalizing on search opportunities to get shoppers into your stores?

Posted by Matthieu Mcauliffe, The Google Channel Ads Team

(Cross-posted on the Inside Adwords Blog)

There’s no debate that the world is going mobile. Mobile web searches have grown five times over the past two years. YouTube mobile now gets more than 400 million views a day, representing 13 percent of our total daily views.

For advertisers, this opens up more opportunities to reach customers. And in some cases, it can amplify existing campaigns. In a recent study conducted with Nielsen research, we found that promotions perform better together when displayed across multiple screens. In fact, brand recall jumps dramatically to 74 percent for people who saw ads across TV, PC, smartphone and tablets, up from 50 percent for those who just saw ads on TV.

Here are a few ways you can extend your mobile reach with YouTube:

YouTube’s Promoted Video ads on mobile
Do you use Promoted Video ads to reach viewers searching for relevant products and potential customers browsing videos on You can also use Promoted Videos to reach viewers on the go. Promoted Videos are featured at the top of the video search results on, YouTube’s mobile platform.

Advertisers pay only when the viewer chooses to watch the video, and all mobile and desktop view counts are summarized into one complete view count on your channel page. Mobile Promoted Video ads are auction-based campaigns that can be managed in your Google AdWords account. All Google AdWords campaigns are opted into “all devices” by default, but creating separate mobile campaigns help optimize your mobile campaigns and performance of your brand channel.

A Promoted Video ad on includes an ad thumbnail, title and channel name; similar to the organic video results.
Promoted Video ads have recently joined YouTube’s family of TrueView ad formats. Soon, your Promoted Video ads will become TrueView in-search ads and TrueView in-display ads. TrueView in-search ads show up in display ad units against search results on YouTube, whereas TrueView in-display ads show up in display ad units against suggested videos on YouTube and across website content on the Google Display Network. These TrueView video ads can be setup and managed in any Google AdWords for video account and purchased on a cost-per-view basis.

YouTube mobile in-stream ads
YouTube mobile in-stream ads are 15-second pre-roll ads that appear before the video begins to play. Similar to your desktop experience, mobile in-stream ads may show before videos produced by YouTube partners. In addition to the Android YouTube app, in-stream ads are also available to viewers accessing from their iPhone.

You can optimize your mobile in-stream ads to reach specific audiences, locations and content. In-stream ads are priced on CPM and can be arranged via ad reservation through your Google sales representative.

Animal Planet used mobile in-stream ads to promote the new season of River Monsters.
YouTube mobile roadblocks
YouTube Mobile roadblocks give brands 100% share of voice on the YouTube home, browse and search pages on According to recent Nielsen data, these roadblocks add 17 percent incremental impressions for advertisers.

adidas used mobile roadblocks to complement their homepage masthead ad. Using multiple mobile tactics in addition to roadblocks, channel views jumped 26x over the span of their “adidas is all in” brand campaign.
Mobile brand channels extend your online presence
Many advertisers use banners, background images and gadgets to customize their YouTube brand channels. Extend your brand presence to mobile users by creating a customized mobile brand channel. Accessed through, mobile channels offer the same high level of customization, including the use of gadgets. You can drive traffic to your YouTube mobile brand channel by running ads on the AdMob network or on
YouTube’s AdBlitz brand channel features custom-designed elements which engage our growing mobile audience.
For more information about YouTube mobile ads, connect with your Google sales representative or visit

Posted by Nicky Crane, Product Manager

(cross-posted on the Inside Adwords Blog)

The busiest shopping days of the holiday season are just around the corner! As you're thinking about ways to get more results from AdWords this season, consider investing in Product Listing Ads, which allow shoppers to see the exact products you offer before they even reach your site, leading to more clicks, higher quality leads, and higher ROI for your search ads. In fact, users are twice as likely to click on Product Listing Ads than on text ads in the same location for shopping queries.

Here are a couple of recent enhancements we’ve made to Product Listing Ads to make them even more effective this season:

More featured products - Product Listing Ads (in the top ad location) can now show up to 5 products at a time, giving users more shopping choices and allowing more advertisers to promote their inventories in all countries with Product Listing Ads.

More traffic - Since launching Product Listing Ads in AdWords to all US advertisers, we’ve seen significant growth with an overall 600% increase in traffic to retailers from Product Listing Ads compared to last year. With the holiday season approaching, we expect even more users shopping and searching for products on Google.

How can you take advantage of this opportunity?
  • Optimize bids and plan for budgets for holiday season - Bid competitively and appropriately for your expected holiday sales. Also, ensure that your budgets aren’t limiting your ability to capture the growing holiday traffic.
  • Feature all of your products - Use the "All Products" product target to ensure you are running Product Listing Ads on all of your inventory.
  • Review Merchant Center data quality errors and suggestions - Check the Data Quality tab in Merchant Center to ensure you are providing us with enough information to help us match your products to more and better customer queries.
  • Use promotional messages to highlight special promotions - Messages such as “Free Shipping,” coupon codes, or “Extended Warranty Special” can help your ad stand out.
Looking for more ways to get the most out of Product Listing Ads? Visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Andrew Truong, Product Marketing Manager, Product Ads

As you may already know, last Monday we announced Google+ Pages for businesses, a collection of tools and products to help clients get closer to customers. We’re offering two awesome opportunities for you to learn more about getting your business on Google+:

Wednesday: Learn with Google Webinar: Getting Your Business on Google+
Wednesday November 16, 2pm ET. Register here.
Join our live webinar hosted by Google+ experts to learn more about how you can bring your company and customers closer together using Google+. Key topics that'll be covered include:
  • Setting up a Google+ Page for your business
  • Best practices and early use cases for using Google+
  • Promoting your Google+ Page
  • Improving the performance of your ads with +1 annotations
Thursday: Help Desk Hangouts
Thursday November 17, 12pm - 3pm ET. Visit our Google+ Your Business page.
Still have questions? Talk face-to-face with a Google+ expert using our group video chat product, Hangouts. Learn technical tips, content strategies, and potential use cases for your business.

Check out how Zen Bikes uses Google Plus in this awesome video!

Posted by David Weisman,  The Google+ Team

At the end of October we revealed the top apparel trends by looking into our “crystal ball”, Google Insights for Search. Today we will be focusing on footwear and accessories, the perfect holiday outfit bonus.

It looks like holiday 2011 is (again) going to be the year of the boot. Across the board, Google searches for [boots] are way up over the same time last year. And when general search volume is consistently high, as it is with a large product category like boots, a strong uptick in searches spells big holiday demand.

Digging into Rising Searches, some top picks are [combat boots] (for girls and guys), [riding boots], and [lace-up boots]. We plugged in these gainers along with a couple top terms to see relative popularity. Searches for [cowboy boots] are headed off the charts already, and searches for [polo boots], last year’s breakout, are also ramping quickly.

Once you’ve scored a pair of boots to give away (or to keep, if you’ve been nice), you’ll need accessories to complete the look. Whether the gifts you’ll be giving are suited for cocktail parties or the snowball fights, rounding off your shopping haul with some well-chosen accessories can help stretch your holiday budget and give you a reputation as a great gift giver.

Searches for [scarves], [beanies] and [earmuffs] are headed up, but “gloves” look like a must-have every year. Shop now while inventory is strong and before the masses start looking.

We hope we have inspired you to dress to impress with our “Insights” this Holiday season.

Happy shopping!

Posted by Benson Dastrup, The Google Retail Team

(cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Quick pop quiz:
  1. Based on search history, consumer demand for pretzels peaks in what month of the year?
  2. How much (in $) does search add to the world’s GDP?
  3. In 2011, what percent of people dreamed and brainstormed about their next vacation?
  4. What percent of the daily queries on have never been seen before?
These are just a few questions that can be answered* on the new Think Insights with Google, our information and resource hub for marketers. The site is fresh out of beta and sporting a playful new look, helpful tools, more studies, the latest trends and exciting videos. We invite you to visit the site, take a look around and see what’s new.

If you only have a few minutes to spare, try playing with our new Real Time Insights Finder tool. With just a few clicks you can spot emerging trends and gain valuable consumer insights, all in real time. For example, the most popular video in common among males 25-34 in Italy and the U.S. is the Official Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game trailer.

Although we’ve made a lot of enhancements to Think Insights based on initial user feedback, we’re always trying to iterate and improve. So please don’t be shy! Join the conversation by adding the Think with Google page on Google+ to one of your circles, or stay tuned for updates by subscribing to our newsletter.

Think Insights is forward-thinking and rooted in data. We hope you’ll use it as a one-stop shop for consumer trends, marketing insights and industry research.

*Answers to pop quiz (they can all be found on Think Insights in less than 60 seconds):
  1. December, Real Time Insights Finder Tool
  2. $540 billion directly to global GDP, The Impact of Internet Technologies: Search Study, Jul 2011
  3. 50%, 5 Stages of Travel Interactive Infographic
  4. 16%, Search Fact & Stat

If Halloween didn’t scare you enough this year, the fact that holiday shopping has already begun is sure to be a hair-raiser. Over half of polled shoppers fresh off of their sugar highs have taken to the Internet to search for [Christmas gifts] this season.*

Additionally, according to Compete’s Holiday Insights™ survey, early gift seekers prefer the online channel and tend to spend more generously.* There are still days to reach early shoppers, as 50% of Holiday purchasing will start by Black Friday.**

Top and rising searches on Google indicate that these industrious shoppers are strategizing shopping plans around [black friday] and upcoming sales.

What are proactive shoppers searching to buy?
Traditional gifts like clothing and tech gadgets are always appreciated, but this year’s predicted new breakout category is jewelry, with 57% of shoppers planning a jewelry purchase.** We see a particular interest in [watches] this month relative to the gems and jewelry category.

How are these gifters shopping?
It is no surprise that consumers are “going mobile” this year. NRF’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey states, “53% of those who own a smartphone will use their device to research products, redeem coupons, use apps to assist in their purchase, and purchase holiday gifts and items”. Tablets will also have a strong presence this year according to’s eHoliday 2011 pre-holiday survey, with 46% of consumers planning to purchase gifts on this device.

Social and deal-centric sites will play an increasing role in Holiday shopping this year. The largest jump will be attributed to social networking at a 8% increase over last year.**

Let’s not underestimate the strong influence various traditional consumer considerations continue to impact shopping choices. Free shipping continues to be a highly compelling selling tool, affecting 32% of surveyed participants’ purchase decisions.***

Graphic by Infographics***

What can I do to target early shoppers?
Retailers that focus on building mobile & tablet friendly presence aligned with existing purchase channels will facilitate the shopping experience and likelihood of a conversion. Additionally, ensure consumer consideration by generating awareness across review site and interest categories. Finally, capture hand-raisers with enticing holiday messaging across both mobile and desktop search campaigns.

The Google Retail Team sends our best this Holiday Season! All we want for Christmas is for your cash register bells to ring loud into the New Year.

Posted by Julie Krueger, The Google Retail Team Big-Box Industry Director

*Compete, Holiday Insights™Survey
**Google/OTX Holiday Intentions Survey
***Infograhic, “How Much Money Will Consumers Spend This Holiday Season?”

(cross-posted from the Google Commerce Blog)

Since our launch in August, we’ve been hard at work to bring more great content to Google Catalogs. Today we're excited to announce that we’ve doubled our collection of catalogs to include more than 100 brands and 300 individual issues from the catalogs you love, like Williams-Sonoma, Sephora and Nordstrom.

Thanks to our ever-growing list of partners, we’ve expanded the app to include six new catalog categories for you to shop. Love gadgets or the great outdoors? Looking for that perfect holiday treat to send to a friend? Well, look no further than our newly launched catalogs and categories:

Google Catalogs lets you create a collage of your favorite items from across many catalogs. You can even share your collages with friends and family - a visual way to show them what’s on your list this holiday season!

We’ve also added a number of great brands to our existing categories, including: Barneys, Tory Burch and Trina Turk (Fashion & Apparel); BeautyBar (Beauty); Blu Dot, FLOR, and Ballard Designs (Home); Hanna Andersson, CWDkids, and Serena & Lily (Kids); and Garnet Hill, Uncommon Goods, and Wine Enthusiast (Gifts).

In the mood to kick off your holiday shopping? Visit the App Store to download the free Google Catalogs app for iPad.

Consumers are using many screens to engage, communicate and transact and it's increasingly important to reach every unique customer in a multi-screen world. Digital technology and devices have changed the relationship between brands and consumers -- and brands are challenged to find the best way to connect and engage with consumers across four screens. Google's invite-only summit, Think Tech 2011: One Connected Experience, explored the ever-evolving marketplace, how to most effectively leverage your digital assets, and how to best connect with today's digital savvy consumers. Enjoy the highlights of the event in this video posted on the Google Think Voices YouTube channel.

Posted by Nina Thatcher, The Google Technology & Retail Team

Missed the Think Mobile webinar on Nov. 2nd? The recording is now available on the Google Business Channel on YouTube.

In this video, Avinash Kaushik shares some best practices mobile marketing strategies, and points out some strategies that you should beware of. He also shares a framework for bringing fast, innovative measurement to your mobile data (including a special downloadable report).

(cross-posted on the Google Commerce Blog)

Last week, we hosted a live webinar for Google Product Search merchants, ‘Keeping your product data fresh using Google’s Content API for Shopping.’ The recorded webinar is now available on YouTube. If you’re looking for a more scalable and flexible way to update your product data on Google Product Search, we encourage you to take a look to learn more about the following topics:
  • The Content API for Shopping
  • Google Shopping data freshness policy
  • Using Feeds vs. using the API
  • Available support for the API
  • Implementing and using the Content API for Shopping

Posted by Danny Hermes, Developer Programs Engineer, Google Commerce Team

(cross-posted from the Google Mobile Ads Blog)

Yesterday we introduced you to the GoMo initiative and today we take a deep dive to share what makes for a good mobile website experience.  

Just because you can see your website on a smartphone doesn’t mean that it’s mobile-friendly!  Think about what your customers are experiencing when they view your site on their mobile devices. Can they easily read what’s on the screen without pinching and zooming? Do you have lots of links, which are hard to click, instead of buttons which make it easier to click the right thing?  Answers to questions like these can help determine if the people visiting your website can easily complete their desired task on the site, such as purchasing something or contacting you. Read on to learn more about how you can make your site mobile-ready. and ABC Family’s mobile sites embody many mobile best practices

1.    Keep it quick. Mobile users are often short on time so it’s important that your site loads fast, content is easy to scan, and key information is easily accessible. Compress images to ensure your site loads quickly. Prioritize site information and features that mobile users want and use most. A look at your website analytics can help you determine content that is most popular with your mobile users.

2.    Simplify navigation. Use a clear hierarchy for navigation that users can click to drill down and avoid using rollovers. Try to have your content fit on the screen but when scrolling is needed, use vertical scrolling. For large sites with lots of information, have a search box prominently available. Clear back and home buttons on each page also help users easily navigate a mobile site.

3.    Be thumb-friendly. People use their fingers to scroll, swipe and select on touchscreen mobile devices. Use large, centered buttons and increase their padding to reduce accidental clicks of the wrong item.

4.    Design for visibility. Content should fit onscreen and text should be readable without users having to pinch and zoom to enlarge.  Making use of negative space, creating contrast between background and text and using color to indicate link/ button priority makes it easier to read text on a mobile phone.

5.    Make it accessible. Ideally your mobile site should work across all mobile devices and handset orientations. Avoid using Flash as that does not display on many smartphones. Adapt your site for both horizontal and vertical orientations.

6.    Make it easy to convert. Make it easy for customers to buy or contact you while on your mobile site by reducing the number of steps to complete a transaction and including click-to-call functionality. Focus on key information that aids conversion – product details, photos, location info. Keep forms short and use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier.

7.    Make it local. Looking for local information is one of the most popular smartphone uses. Include a clickable local business number and your address or store locator on your homepage. Take advantage of the location based capabilities of mobile phones and include maps, directions and prioritized information based on the user’s proximity.

8.    Make it seamless. Users often go back and forth between their mobile phones and their computers. Prominent access to Login, Shopping Cart and Favorites features help users easily retrieve information between devices. Ensure users have a consistent experience by providing the same key product info and features in both desktop and mobile websites.

9.    Use mobile site redirects. A mobile site redirect is code that is added to your regular website that automatically detects if visitors are coming from a mobile device and redirects them to your mobile site.  Also give users the option to go to your full website from your mobile site so they can choose the version that best meets their needs.

10.  Listen, learn and iterate. Your site doesn’t need to be perfect and comprehensive before you launch! It’s more important to launch, test and learn to see what works. Collect user feedback, use website analytics for insights and continue iterating and improving your site.  

To get a detailed set of these best practices, download a copy of the 10 Mobile Site Best Practices. Visit to explore actual mobile site examples of each best practice and use the GoMoMeter to see how your current site is faring on mobile. To learneven more, join us in our webinar “Making Mobile-friendly Websites: Best Practices in Action” on November 10 at 11am PST/2pm EST.  Have additional tips on what makes a good mobile site? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Posted by Dai Pham, Google Mobile Ads Marketing

(cross-posted on the Google Mobile Ads Blog)

HP launched a campaign to build awareness and preference for its ink cartridge products. As part of the digital marketing program, HP took advantage of Google’s mobile rich media capabilities to engage consumers on smartphones and tablets.

The rich media ads featured a short interactive game that HP developed for Android and iOS phones and tablets. Users could drag their fingertips across the screen to guide a net andcapture floating butterflies and score points for coupon savings while learning about the HP supplies value proposition.

As it turned out, HP’s playful mobile experience yielded impressive results. Within seven weeks, HP drove significant engagement with consumers. The campaign, executed with the help of mobile agency Airwave, resulted in:
  • Over 400,000 games played
  • 15% of consumers replaying the game
  • Over 26,000 video views
HP took notice of the mobile engagement rates and are now considering other ways to take advantage of the rich creative palette that mobile can provide. According to Tariq Hassan, VP WW Marketing and Communications at HP, “Our customers are looking to mobile devices for entertainment as well as education. Through this collaboration with Google, we were able to deliver both at the same time, giving our customers valuable information about our products in a fun and engaging way.”

Posted by Kevin Otsuka, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads


Not sure how to most effectively leverage and measure your mobile marketing campaigns?

We just wanted to remind you to tune this week to Google’s Think Mobile webinar, Mobile Advertising: Right Person, Right Time, Right Message - Finally!, led by Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist. Avinash will share tips and best practices for mobile marketing campaigns, new metrics unique to mobile, and how best to measure mobile ads and websites.
  • When: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 9-10:30am PST/ 12-1:30pm EST
  • How: Register here
Well, you’re not alone. While mobile is an incredible new way to distribute content and reach customers on the go, it also presents a unique challenge when it comes to measuring the impact of our mobile efforts (like applications, advertisements or mobile-optimized websites).