Google Announces Updates for Google Analytics, Google Home and an Ad Blocker for Chrome
Google has showed a set of small, but relevant, updates this week that will all have impacts, to varying degree, on digital marketing. Every of these changes has wider potential implications – right now, they are small notes, in isolation, but how they play out will be necessary to watch moving forward.
The first is an update to Google Analytics, everyone’s website data tracking tool. Google’s announced a series of refinements which are concentrated making Analytics simpler to use, including a new home page which you will soon see when you log in Jungle Scout review.
As explained by Google:
“The “Home” page in Google Analytics offers an overview of key aspects of your business’ online presence. Here’re a few highlights:
- You can see snippets from a curated set Google Analytics reports, including real time data, with simple & streamlined controls.
- Every snippet is preceded by a helpful question that frames the data, such as “When do your users visit?” / “Where do your users come from?”
- Want to dig deeper? Hover on any data point for more details / drill into the relevant report with the provided link on every
- “Home” is automatically configured based on your setup: For instance, if you have Goals or Ecommerce, you will see the page change accordingly.”
The new presentation features will make it easier to contextualize the data you are seeing, while highlighting relevant selections to help you navigate reports you need. Whole the existing Analytics tools will remain, though some will be accessed differently – it can take a moment of clicking around to find the data you are used to.
Google is also making it easier to find the latest tools & guides with a new Discover tab, which can be located in the left hand navigation bar, above the ‘Admin’ button.
Google says those updates will be rolled out to all users over the next few weeks, so if your Analytics screen suddenly looks a whole different, do not freak out.
On another front, Google is rolling out an update for Google Home which will enable it to identify individual users by the voice, and respond accordingly.
The change will help facilitate contextual usage around the home, while it may help Google stop invasive advertisment, like Burger King’s latest stunt in which they hijacked people’s Google Home devices by asking “OK Google, what’s the Whopper burger?”
If your device is attuned to only certain voices, it will limit the capacity for others to access the network.
The new development is easy to implement – as explained by Google:
“When you connect your account on a Google Home, we ask you to say the phrases “Ok Google” & “Hey Google” 2 times each. The phrases are then analyzed by a neural network, which could detect certain characteristics of a person’s voice. From that point on, when you say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network can compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis so it can understand if it is you speaking or not. This comparison takes place on your device, in a matter of milliseconds.”
Virtual assistant devices are set for major development in the coming years, which will have significant implications for the discovery process & SEO as we know it. More than 20% of mobile search queries are conducted via voice search, which is projected to increase to 50% by 2020, the biggest percentage of voice search users are teens, signaling a behavioral shift.
As those devices become more commonplace, along with Messenger bots & other smart assistant tools, outreach plans will need to evolve in synch. It’s worth noting how such systems increase over time.
The last update from Google is a report that they’re developing their own ad blocker which could operate within Google Chrome.
As explained by The New York Times, Google’s ad blocker could be switched on by default & could be focused on filtering out “certain online ad types deemed to support bad experiences for users as they move around the website”.
“Unacceptable ad kinds would be those defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that released a list of ad standards. According to standards, ad formats like pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound & “prestitial” advertisements with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”
There is a potential conflict – again as noted by NYT, Chrome has a 47.5% share of the web browser market in the US, when their business model is built on ad revenue. If Google’s able to block ads it does not like, that will no doubt lead to questions over the process, if Google stands to benefit from as much.
But at the same time, supporting more motivation for brands to stop with the crappy advertisements could deliver a better user experience. Google is already taken, or announced, other measures on this front, with the coming removal of 30-second, non-skippable pre-roll ads on YouTube & their penalty for intrusive pop-ups.
Ultimately, it is in Google’s interests to provide an optimal user experience, which is seeing them increasingly reach beyond search results alone & website presentation itself. And given that ad blocking is becoming more prominent anyway, this can simply provide them with a means to keep a handle on the situation & keep users from adding in more restrictive, third-party blocking tools.
As noted, all 3 of these updates are small within themselves, but they have wider implications moving forward. It will be interesting to see how Google uses every to hone in its efforts.