Google ranking for content verticals and countries by ad impressions

Every now and then we are constantly reminded that Google controls nearly half of the global online advertising market. So it won’t come as a surprise that it has reams of data to give various insights.
Google today released first of its publication collected from across its display properties, including DoubleClick for publishers, DoubleClick ad exchange and the Google adsense network.
The report gives insights into the top ranking verticals by ad impressions and also some valuable insights into mobile Web and video ad impressions, geographical patterns as well.
Google found in 2011, Arts& Entertainment were the top verticals across AdSense and Ad Exchange, followed by Online Communities and Games. However categories like Shopping, Sports, Pets and Auto&Vehcile sites were among the verticals to experience the fastest year-on-year growth. Interestingly Online Communities saw a double digit decline, as did Business & Industrial and Reference verticals.
As for Web impressions, Google said publishers in all verticals except travel saw double-digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2011. The strongest vertical with mobile usage was Shopping, followed by Food & Drink and People & Society.
Other interesting finding included:-
–Mobile web impression on the Ad Exchange and AdSense platform climbed 250 percent from third to fourth quarter in 2011.
–North America and Western Europe lead the pack in terms of online content, but smaller pockets like Palau, Guinea and Laos are also posting good growth rates in terms of ad impression. Leading the pack in terms of ad impression are United states, followed by China and Japan.

Apple Siri-Featuring John Malkovich

In this latest ad from TBWAMedia, Apple continues to highlight the interplay with a new spot featuring John Malkovich.

However, what this lacks is the seriousness in which the interplay usage comes out.I mean, in one of the feature the actor simply says “Life” and the “machine” spouts a list of axioms for living a good one…including “avoid being fat”, “read a good book every now and then” and “try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations”.

Its a bit surprising that an actor as accomplished as Malkovich, is just reduced to interact with a machine which lacks any humanity. makes me wonder why he signed up? Why would anyone swap a real friend with a jokes from Siri.?

Yahoo gets visual with Web browsing

Google Knowledge Graph

Ever since online search began in the 1990’s, Google’s Knowledge Graph is the latest attempt at bringing in a lot more information, without the user leaving the search page or clicking on a link.

Launched last week in the US, Google Knowledge attempts to provide direct answers to queries like ‘Taj Mahal’ or ‘T20 Cricket’. It’s a big attempt to move away from giving just information to a convincing answer.

The difference is that Knowledge Graph, on the right panel, adds boxes and information full of Wikipedia-like information to the search results.So lets say in the past, a query like Taj Mahal was understood as just two separate words. But Taj Mahal could have much more in depth meaning – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, or it could mean a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey or it can be even an Indian restaurant in the US.

So What’s different?

If most people earlier looked up while searching Taj Mahal, the Knowledge Graph will provide a brief outline of the monument, its location, who built it, when and why and other monuments the searcher might be interested in, say Qutab Minar. While the casino and the restaurant will be provided as links. 

What is interesting is that the graph draws on public sources including Freebase, the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia to provide answers. Besides, the search algorithm decides what information to show based on collective wisdom of other Google users. 

It Google two years, and the final push came in when Google  acquired Freebase, in July 2010, a massive open source database of information about almost anything including books, movies and music. 

So a query ‘Sachin” could mean the cricketer, the yesteryear Bollywood actor or your friend on Facebook. However, the Knowledge Graph, based on history of queries( from other users) will opt for Sachin Tendulkar and provide facts about him including his date and place of birth, the 100 centuries, details about his family and so on without users having to leave the page. 

So why this change?

The big picture would be to create stickiness (people stay longer on the search page), provide more focused advertising and get more people to click on ads. With a $60 billion or so of annual revenue expected to come in 2014 from ads that appear next to search results, this does provide the right path.

Microsoft made a similar attempt, to go beyond the 10 blue links, when it acquired Powerset (a semantic search engine) in 2008. Since then, Microsoft’s Bing has been offering more relevant search results and nibbling at Google’s market share for search. And rival Yahoo claims that it started talking about Knowledge Graph type results about eight months back. 

While Google has got a step closer to giving answers and not just information or links, it has limitations. According to IDC, the search haystack today exceeds 1 zettabyte of information – one followed by 21 zeroes. 

In simple terms, if all the six-billion-plus people in the world posted messages on twitter continuously for 100 years, that’s the information pile, they would create. But Knowledge Graph relies on a very limited data set and is good only for more definitive search of say a celebrity, a movie, a monument, a sports team or a historical event. 

The graph is available in the US only as of now and reviewing it Rafe Needleman, a technology writer, says: “Search for concept like ‘mortgage’ and you get nothing from the Knowledge Graph. Look for news item ‘Facebook IPO’ and there’s nothing in the Knowledge Graph. 

Though, search for a mainstream movie or a celebrity gossip and you will find loads of information cross linking directors, actors and similar shows or films.”Definitely a long way ahead.

Android…is it for you?

Confused if Android is right for you?
Let’s have a look at the android software and why it is gaining popularity.
First of all, its an open source software unlike an iOS, hence
manufacturers can use them without any restrictions and as against one
iPhone, there are hundreds of Android smart phones with multiple
manufacturers ranging from Samsung, HTC and Motorola ( to name a few).
OK…so what does the user have when he uses an Android? Lets dig into this.
Integration with Google Services:- Lets accept it, most of our life
entirely revolves around Google-Gmail,Google Reader,GTalk,Google
Calendar and every one of these services can be tied/synced in with an
Android phone.
Easy navigation on Maps:- Voice direction has been integrated into
Android Maps for almost two years. Apart from this, minute details
like the type of terrain, details like bicycle lanes are also
provided. This is big advantage especially for those who drive a lot.
Widget power:- A widget, a gadget which sits on your home screen and
performs a specific function. With easy navigation, the widget tells
you what weather it is, glace your Gmail, a search toolbar…all this
without opening an app and totally customizable based on the user
requirement.( A screen of my current S2)
Easy integration with other Apps:- easy ability to share with other
apps on android phones. Click a picture; send it to Facebook, Twitter
with as much easiness as possible. Import all your contacts from
Facebook and Google thus bringing an a lot of contacts within your
Text input correction and Swype:-One of the favourite methods of
inputting text, through Swype keyboard, which can be insanely fast.
Unlike an iOS which pops up a bubble Android shows you a row of 
three words you may have meant to type.

Ugly? :-  Compared to a Windows or an iOS Android looks the ugliest.
HTC and maybe Samsung S2 are the ones that look elegant in terms of
design, but iPhone or a Windows phone looks more elegant.

Touch response:- A Windows phone and the iPhone flow much more
smoothly than any Android devices including the new ones. The screen
is more fluid and scrolling up and down is much easier on a Windows
and iPhone.
Google play store:- Though Google has spent lot of money to stock 
its store with movies, books and music, the Play Store still lags behind
in terms of the quality of apps as against iTunes. The openness of the
store also makes users to attack from malware through scruzzy apps.
Support :- Support specifically related to your software can be hard
to come by unlike an Apple or a Windows phone, due to multiple
manufacturers and multiple models.
So,is Android right for you?
Someone who is technically minimal proficient, gets direction through
his/her phone and has the entire life revolving around Google services
like Gmail,Gtalk should go in for an Android.
The longer time you spend with your phone, the better Android OS
becomes. The ability to customize your phone’s layout and easy sharing
of apps and services and full on access to all your Google range of
outfits makes it a smarter choice to go in for Android.
Again, you have to sacrifice the beauty and fluidity of Windows Phone
and iPhone in return for better syncing with your personal life. So,is
it Beauty or Brains?