Google turned millions of public photos into timelapses showing how Earth changes

This is a brilliant way to use the millions of free public domain images that are just sitting around.

Researchers at the University of Washington and Google created more than 10,000 timelapsevideos using millions of free photos available online.

source: http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/timelapse/

Time-lapse Mining from Internet PhotosRicardo Martin-Brualla1     David Gallup2     Steven M. Seitz1,2
1University of Washington     2Google Inc.
The team analyzed 86 million photos from social sites, including Flickr and Picasa, and grouped them into landmarks. Then they sorted them by date and “warped” individual photos onto one viewpoint, retouched them a little, and created a stop-motion video showing how a particular landmark has changed over time.

The videos were stitched together from completely unrelated photos, taken by different people, but they don’t look all that different from conventional timelapses. They do, however, reveal processes that would be hard to capture with a single camera, such as seeping water affecting a sculpture or waterfall streams emerging and drying up.

Le partage social dope les ventes en ligne

Le partage social dope les ventes en ligne.

Tout est dans le titre ou presque : le partage de contenus sur les réseaux sociaux booste le e-commerce. Selon une étude conduite par AddShoppers, un internaute américain adepte de Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest et tant d’autres dépenseraient en moyenne 8,2% plus qu’un visiteur “non-engagé” sur des plateformes sociales. Inutile de préciser que les chiffres présentés ici diffèrent d’un site à l’autre. Facebook est évidemment le réseau plus efficace du fait de son nombre élevé d’utilisateurs. Le site de Mark Zuckerberg entraine des revenus dans 69,10% des cas, devant Twitter à 12,11% et Pinterest à 7,73%.

Pour faire simple, les acheteurs qui cliquent sur une publication liée à un site de vente en ligne dépensent 126,12 dollars sur une période de trente jours. Les autres acheteurs, qui ne passent pas par les réseaux sociaux, consomment un peu moins ; soit 116,55 dollars sur une même période. Pour cette étude, AddShoppers a analysé les achats d’internautes provenant de mail, de Facebook, de Twitter, de Google+ ou de réseaux sociaux à vocation commerciale comme Polyvore et Wanelo.

Il n’y a rien de magique dans l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux. Pour en arriver à ce genre de résultats, 10 000 sites de e-commerce ont été analysés. En fonction des situations, du marché et surtout de la clientèle, de grosses différences existent. On découvre ainsi qu’un courriel peut générer 12,41 dollars d’achats supplémentaires tandis que Pinterest ne génère que 0,67 dollar. Google+ lui peut rapporter en moyenne 5,62 dollars, là où un tweet a seulement une valeur de 1,03 dollar. Attention, il ne s’agit pas de coter tel ou tel service pour en connaître son poids en terme de revenus créés. La part de Facebook est par exemple évaluée à 0,80 dollar par acte de consommation, seulement voilà, Facebook est le réseau social le plus utilisé. Ce dernier a donc un impact des plus important.

Plus de trafic. Plus de clics. Plus de dépenses.

Dans un premier temps, les réseaux sociaux sont à l’origine d’une augmentation du trafic. Logique ! Viennent ensuite les ventes. Pour bien comprendre les chiffres présentés ici, il est important pour les boutiques et les marques de comprendre ce qu’implique le partage social. Sur Facebook, il est possible de partager de l’information et/ou des produits. Là, un “like” n’équivaut pas à un partage. Ce dernier a un taux de conversion 5,4 fois plus fort. La vente de produits ou de services en ligne ne s’acquiert donc pas si facilement. Les boutons sociaux sont les outils de base pour permettre aux clients de promouvoir à leur tour des produits. L’acheteur devient annonceur et c’est toujours le vendeur qui rafle la mise. Une fois dans un flux Facebook ou Twitter, le contenu partagé gagne en visibilité ce qui le rend logiquement plus attrayant aux yeux des autres internautes, qui peuvent à leur tour le partager via d’autres boutons…

Enfin, le rapport constate que chaque fois qu’un consommateur partage un produit sur Facebook, il en résulte un taux de clics moyen de 1,1. Les autres réseaux sociaux sont en dessous du social network avec : 0,98 clic pour StumbleUpon, 0,97 clic pour Twitter, 0,94 clic pour Wanelo et 0,87 clic pour Pinterest.

42% of Organic Search Visits Now Coming Via Mobile Devices (US)

According to the Digital Marketing Report Q4 2014, a quarterly digital marketing analysis produced by search marketing agency Merkle|RKG, mobile devices are now delivering 42% of the organic search traffic across the three major search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing.

The report also notes that mobile organic traffic grew 54% in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the same time period one year ago.  In addition, more than half (52%) of all visits to social media sites are from mobile devices(smart phones and tablets).

To anyone paying attention to consumer habits these days, this should come as no surprise.  Nor should it be any surprise that you are missing out on a big chunk of traffic for your website if you don’t optimize it for mobile.

Here are some more reasons you need to go mobile with your online marketing presence:

Mobile users are different.  Mobile users want information in quick, digestible bites so your mobile design should match how they will be using your site.  For more law firms, it is essential to provide an easy way to contact you — a click-to-call button that the user needs to merely tap to initiate a phone call.  You want to include essential information only on your mobile site, and keep the design simple.  Good load speed is critical — 57% of mobile users will abandon your site if they have to wait three seconds for it to load, according to research by Strangeloop Networks.

SEO.  Search engines are now penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile, so you could see your search rankings suffer if you don’t have a mobile site that works on iOS and Android platforms (smart phones and tablets).

Lead conversion.  Mobile users are much more inclined to take action than desktop users, so your calls-to-action should be highly conspicuous on your mobile site.  If you are using email marketing for lead conversion, realize that 26% of all email is opened on a mobile phone and 11% is opened on a tablet.

Engagement.  Mobile users accessing a standard website will not engage when they have to pinch or zoom to find your content.  If you provide them with a good mobile experience, they are much more likely to return to your site later on a desktop (Google reports that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal).

Loss to competition.  Google says that 41% of mobile users will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience!

9 most used Mobile Apps are offered by Facebook or Google (Nielsen Tops Apps of 2014 – US)

Tops of 2014: Digital.

From videos to banking to online shopping, digital was top of a lot of marketers’ and consumers’ minds this year. To wrap up 2014, Nielsen looked at some of the top trends in digital including the latest top U.S. smartphone apps and operating systems.

Consumers seemed to place a premium on the Internet’s social space this year, with a big portion of the top smartphone apps centered on connectivity—be it with friends, loved ones or cat videos. In fact, the app with the most year-over-year change was one designed to continue the conversation: Facebook Messenger use has risen 242% since 2013. Facebook held the No. 1 ranking as well with its social network app, which had over 118 million average unique users each month. Google Search came in second with about 90 million average unique users, followed by YouTube with 88 million average unique users.

Smartphone penetration grew from 69% at the start of 2014 to 76% of U.S. mobile subscribers by October 2014, and a majority of subscribers used Android (52%) and iOS (43%) devices to access their apps. Three percent of U.S. smartphone owners used a handset that operated on a windows phone, followed by 2% on a Blackberry.

TOP SMARTPHONE APPS OF 2014

Rank App Avg Unique Users YoY % Change
1 Facebook 118,023,000 15
2 Google Search 90,745,000 14
3 YouTube 88,342,000 26
4 Google Play 84,968,000 11
5 Google Maps 79,034,000 26
6 Gmail 72,405,000 8
7 Facebook Messenger 53,713,000 242
8 Google+ 48,385,000 78
9 Instagram 43,944,000 34
10 Music (iTunes Radio/iCloud) 42,546,000 69
Source: Nielsen. Note: The list is ranked on average unique audience, which is the average of January 2014-October 2014. The year-over-year percent change represents the unique audience of October 2014 compared to the unique audience of October 2013.

METHODOLOGY

Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement (EMM) is an observational, user-centric approach that uses passive metering technology on smartphones to track device an application usage on an opt-in convenience panel. Results are reported out through Nielsen Mobile Netview 3.0. There are approximately 5,000 panelists in the U.S. across both iOS and Android Smartphone devices. This method provides a holistic view of all activity on a smartphone as the behavior is being tracked without interruption.

Data based on Nielsen’s monthly survey of 30,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are weighted to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Smartphone penetration reflects all models with a high-level operating system (including Apple iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry).

Top 3 Mobile Advertising US (2014): Google (37%) Facebook (18%) Twitter (4%)

Publicité mobile : Yahoo ! dépassera Twitter en 2016 aux Etats-Unis.

En 2014, Google trustera aux Etats-Unis plus du tiers (37,2%) des revenus publicitaires sur mobile, devant Facebook (17,62%) et, bien plus loin, Twitter (3,56%), selon une étude réalisée par eMarketer. Derrière un intouchable duo de tête, Yahoo! se positionne à quelques encâblures de Twitter, avec 3,18% des revenus pubs mobiles outre-Atlantique. A l’horizon 2016, Facebook et Twitter devraient perdre un peu de terrain, avec respectivement 33,21% et 14,64% du marché, alors que Yahoo dépasseraient cette fois Twitter (4,19% vs 3,77%).

Toujours selon l’étude eMarketer, LinkedIN devrait enregistrer aux Etats-Unis une croissance de ses revenus pubs mobiles de plus de 800% en 2014 vs 2013 quand Amazon afficherait plus de 600%, Facebook 118,4% et Twitter 111,4%. Google devrait quant à lui se « contenter » de +75,8%. Si en 2015 LinkedIN poursuivra sa progression (+111,3%), Amazon ne serait pas en reste en 2015 et 2016 (+85,1% et +62,6%) quand Facebook et Twitter montreraient un ralentissement dans la progression de ces revenus pubs mobiles.

Gartner Predicts Live Video Broadcasting Will Be the New “Selfie” By 2017

Connected-Home Experiences Will Center on Video and Apps

Video and visual technologies are becoming increasingly important for interacting with customers and each other, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner predicts that by 2017, live video broadcasting will be the new “selfie” and recommends that product managers start creating a “visual” strategy straight away to accommodate this trend.

“The next generation of consumer services and products has one main theme in common and that is video,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. “This means incorporating live video or other real-time technologies into products to engage users in live events and enable more personalized communications, providing better customer support, and offering best-of-breed video and TV experiences to connected homes.”

Over the next four years, Gartner expects a noteworthy shift from static photos to video, with live video becoming as important a medium. This will be a significant development as in 2014 alone, more than a trillion photos will be taken, uploaded and shared daily, and the sharp rise in the popularity of online photos shows no signs of slowing. Although live and user-generated video is still less accessible than static photography, it is also growing in popularity.

Beyond its potential to be a richer medium for self-expression, live video’s use cases surpass what static images and prerecorded video can accomplish. It can be used for remote monitoring (of a baby, or of the security of a company’s premises), remote doctor-patient consultations and remote collaboration (via shared workspaces), and for improved customer service. As live video technology becomes more accessible, it will appear in many contexts, from mobile apps for consumers to customer support services. To benefit, users will need robust bandwidth, devices and cameras, as well as apps and services that capitalize on video’s communicative power.

Gartner made a number of further predictions about the connected home, including:

By 2018, 76 percent of connected-home apps will be accessible from smart TVs.

Smart TVs are fast becoming mass-market products. Gartner’s 2014 consumer survey indicates that almost 25 percent of U.S. households own a smart TV. In Germany, the figure is 32 percent. Gartner forecasts that worldwide, 87 percent of the TVs shipped annually will be smart TVs by 2018. This will result in such devices becoming very common in homes.

Gartner Predicts Live Video Broadcasting Will Be the New

“Despite the typically slow replacement cycle for TV sets, smart TV penetration is growing steadily,” said Fernando Elizalde, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Smart TVs are already central to the provision of connected-home entertainment. These devices can serve as access points for the control and management of other connected home devices. Applications to control and monitor home security cameras, door locks, thermostats and other connected devices are just some of many connected-home applications that could work well through smart TVs.”

Recent industry developments will bring management and control apps to smart TVs. However, the fragmentation of smart TV platforms makes it difficult for connected-home device manufacturers and app developers to focus on this “fourth screen” for access and management apps — except for media and entertainment devices. Nevertheless, as connected devices slowly gain momentum, and as an app presence on multiple screens becomes first a differentiator and then a must-have feature, smart TV apps for connected devices will reach parity with smartphone and tablet apps.

By 2018, connected-home services will cost 50 percent less than they do now.

Price could be a major factor in low adoption rates of connected-home services. Although current pricing plans offered by providers are relatively reasonable, they are additional costs for consumers on already stretched telecommunications budgets.

Providers of connected-home services that charge monthly service fees may struggle to compete with those that do not, such as home energy management providers like Hive in the U.K. and Nest (now owned by Google). Additionally, electronics stores are creating in-store connected-home areas where consumers can get expert advice on creating their own connected-home platforms. In order to offer similar experiences to their customers, service providers would need to invest in both retail space and staff education.

“The connected-home market is showing the usual signs of nascency: low penetration, high interest mainly among technology enthusiasts, and high prices,” said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. “For mass-market adoption, prices need to come down, but lowering prices won’t suffice on its own. The current lack of interest from most sectors of the public also indicates that people do not see the immediate advantage of connected home services. Embracing a strategy that offers in-store expert advice could therefore be the way forward.”

More detailed analysis is available in the Gartner Special Report “Predicts 2015: Connected-Home Experiences Will Center on Video and Apps.” The report is available on Gartner’s website athttp://www.gartner.com/document/2913417.

Rather Than Opt-Out Of Google, German News Publishers Demand 11% Cut Of Revenue

Rather Than Opt-Out Of Google, German News Publishers Demand 11% Cut Of Revenue.

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German news publishers are picking up where the Belgians left off, a now not-so-proud tradition of suing Google for being included in its listings rather than choosing to opt-out. This time, the publishers want an 11% cut of Google’s revenue related to them being listed.

The news comes from Jeff Jarvis, who writes that a group representing about half the major news publishers in Germany have a started an arbitration process demanding that Google pay 11% of revenue related to listing links to and descriptions of their content.

The actual suit (in German) from the VG Media industry group is here, which demands up to 11% of all gross sales worldwide (plus VAT!) of revenue related to its content, as of August 1, 2013.

Beyond What Leistungsschutzrecht Allows?

From Spiegel (again in German, and working off a Google translation), VG Media includes twelve publishers including giant Axel Springer. The story also suggests that the publishers feel they have a right to demand license fees because Google’s use goes beyond a new German copyright law created last year.

That law, referred to as “ancillary copyright” or “Leistungsschutzrecht,” allowed search engines free use of single words or very small text excerpts. Apparently, the VG Media group still feels there’s use happening where payment can be demanded.

The move produced two major absurdities. First, it’s incredibly difficult to even know how much revenue would be generated, if any, by these links.

The Difficulty In Calculating A Publisher’s Cut

Within Google News itself, there are no ads. So as Jarvis writes, “Are the publishers seeking 11% of 0?” But news content does appear outside Google News, within regular Google searches, where ads can be present.

To figure an 11% payment here, the publishers would apparently want to know any time their content appeared with ads on search results pages. Then, if any of those ads produced revenue, they want 11% of that.

It’s a difficult but not impossible task for Google to figure this out. It already tells publishers through Google Webmaster Tools what the visibility of their pages are like. It could clearly tell for a particular publisher if pages are showing in the top results.

More work would be required to tell if a publisher was present where there was an ad click. There’s an even bigger debate on whether a publisher being one of 10 to 30 links that might appear on a page should be given the entire credit for a click and thus 11% of revenue earned by it.

Publishers Aren’t Forced Into Google

All that is likely to get argued in arbitration. But that leads to the second big absurdity. Google isn’t forcing the publishers to be in Google at all.

Let’s do a little history.

Back in 2006, Belgian news publishers sued Google over their inclusion in the Google News, demanding that Google remove them. They never had to sue; there were mechanisms in place where they could opt-out.

After winning the initial suit, Google dropped them as demanded. Then the publications, watching their traffic drop dramatically, scrambled to get back in. When they returned, they made use of the exact opt-out mechanisms (mainly just to block page caching) that were in place before their suit, which they could have used at any time.

The case carried on for six years in total. In the end, it was settled in what’s become common when Google is in disputes with publishers. Google pledges some nebulous collaboration that will support the industry. See also the €60 million “Digital Publishing Innovation Fund” it created for France last year.

With the German papers, they can opt-out of being in Google just as easily as the Belgian papers could have done back in 2006. They even have more granular control, where Google gave assurances to Italian publishers in 2011 that opting out of Google News didn’t mean they’d be dropped from Google entirely. But even before then, to my understanding, it was always the case you could request to be dropped from Google News but still be in Google Search in general.

In short, if the German publishers feel Google is unfairly infringing on their rights without payment, Google has a good argument that they’ve been failing to prevent this using industry-standard practices that every one of those publishers absolutely has to know.

And Some Publishers Work To Increase Their “Free” Visibility

Indeed, Axel Springer’s Bild publication — one of its largest — makes use of Google publisher code to assist its appearance in Google search results:

Elsewhere on the site, there’s code showing that Bild is explicitly telling Google to “follow” links within its site in order to index them, as well as providing news keywords specifically meant to increase the chances of ranking better in Google:

bild seo

This type of thing — along with any evidence that any of these publications are using Google sitemap lists, implementing Google Authorship or making use of Google Webmaster Tools — will go to demonstrating that the publishers aren’t somehow being swept up into Google’s results against their wills.

Rather, they show the publishers are actively trying to leverage Google for free traffic — and after gaining it, demanding that Google also pay them for the privilege.

Google a accordé 16 millions d’euros aux innovations des journaux en 2013 (France) – Challenges

Google a accordé 16 millions d’euros aux innovations des journaux en 2013 – Challenges.

Paris, 15 mai 2014 (AFP) – Google, via son nouveau fonds d’aide à l’innovation numérique dans la presse, a accordé en 2013 quelque 16 millions d’euros à 23 médias français, en tête Le Nouvel Observateur, L’Express, Le Figaro et Le Monde, dotés de près de 2 millions chacun, a annoncé Google jeudi.

A travers ce fonds, créé par Google pour apaiser la presse française qui lui réclamait des droits au titre du référencement, Google a financé l’an dernier 23 projets. Ce fonds, cogéré par les éditeurs de presse et Google, a surtout aidé les projets des quotidiens (11 projets), des sites “pure players” (5) et des news magazines (3).

Le Nouvel Observateur, le mieux loti, a reçu 2 millions d’euros pour créer QuotidienObs, une édition numérique quotidienne. Le groupe Express-Roularta a obtenu 1,97 million pour une plateforme d’analyse de ses données utilisateurs, la clé pour mieux cibler ses offres commerciales. Le Figaro a reçu 1,8 million d’euros pour renforcer son site vidéo Figaro.tv, qui veut monter en puissance jusqu’à plus de 100 vidéos par jour, et Le Monde1,8 million pour une future édition du matin pour mobiles.

Ouest-France s’est vu accorder 1,4 million d’euros pour lancer deux éditions en ligne par jour, La Voix du Nord 840.000 euros pour créer 1.524 portails hyperlocaux payants, La Croix 835.000 euros pour l’analyse de son audience et le site Slate 758.000 euros pour un service d’analyse des conversations numériques.

Viennent ensuite Sud Ouest (700.000 euros pour développer des abonnement multi-supports), Libération (649.000 euros pour une édition numérique du soir et des ebooks à la demande), Le Télégramme (640.000 euros pour créer une offre payante d’informations locales) et Les Echos(588.000 euros pour une application mobile de veille économique pour les entreprises).

Doté de 60 millions sur trois ans, ce fonds, unique au monde, est né d’un accord entre Google et l’Association de la presse d’information politique et générale (AIPG) début 2013.

Les éditeurs français réclamaient à Google des droits sur les bénéfices publicitaires réalisés en référençant leurs titres, et Google menaçait de ne plus les référencer. L’Etat français était intervenu, enjoignant Google de trouver un accord avec la presse française, faute de quoi une loi serait votée.

36% of people still don’t realise that Google Adwords are ads | Econsultancy

36% of people still don’t realise that Google Adwords are ads | Econsultancy.

Last year, we published the results of user tests which found that 41% of users were unaware of the distinctionbetween paid ads and organic listings. 

Well, thanks to UX firm Bunnyfoot, we have an updated version of the test, which finds similar results.

This time, 36% of people tested still do not realise that Google Adwords are ads.

Furthermore, about a quarter of people don’t know that Google had any advertising at all. And this despite the yellow text box proclaiming ‘ads’.

Why this research?

The original research came from Bunnyfoot’s work for a car insurance client who were investigating the effectiveness of Google Adwords.

During the research, the team found that 81% of users clicked on PPC ads rather than organic results.

Further investigation found that 41 of the 100 individuals tested did not know that Adwords were paid-for adverts, instead believing them to be the most authoritative links.

Since that last research Google, as is its prerogative, has changed the way its presents ad listings, possibly as a result of EU anti-trust measures.

This, in theory, should have made it easier for users to tell the difference between ads and organic results, though the issue is muddied by the fact that Google has removed the grey shading behind the ads.

That said, the word ‘ad’ with a bright yellow background is a bit of a clue…

Current PPC ad format:

Old ad format:

So how has this change affected users’ perception of search results pages?

Research methodology

The user testing was carried out in multiple locations across London. 103 participants with arange of internet abilities were tested, all of whom used Google as their primary search engine.

The participants covered a wide range of demographics and were aged between 18 – 65 years[≈ average human life expectancy at birth, 2011 estimate].

An eyetracker was used throughout the sessions in order to record where the participants were looking, and this generated aggregated heatmaps (Bunnyfoot looked at other factors of search result understanding and only report a subset here).

All participants were then asked a series of post-test interview questions to gather further insight as to their understanding of Google’s results pages.

The results:

  • When asked, 36% of users did not realise Google adwords were ads (a small change from 40% in 2012)

  • When asked, 27% of users did not realise that Google had any advertising. 

Note for the stats gurus amongst you: we of course realise that we have used a relatively small sample size (albeit a large one for user testing and eyetracking studies) and whilst the figures above have considerable sampling error it does not detract from their impact and surprise.

Have the changes to Google adwords made any difference?

The research suggests that the changes have made little difference to users’ ability to distinguish between paid and organic results.

Despite what I would assume was a clearer labelling of ads in the new formats, a significant portion of users still aren’t seeing the difference.

If I was a Google sceptic, I would suggest that the big G itself may have carried out similar tests to find the format that would satisfy the EU, yet still attract the most clicks. If clarity was the main factor, why remove the shading?

It also highlights the propensity for web users to miss what might seem obvious to those designing and working on websites.

The fact that 27% of those in the study when questioned did not realise that Google were doing any form of advertising in their results, further supports this, as well as being jaw-droppingly surprising in its own right.

What are the implications of this?

Pay-per-click is a very effective way of advertising your brand and reaching your target audience. It looks like about a third of people unknowingly click on ads and assume that ‘this is the best match’.

For the rest of those ‘in the know’ then the ads and the brands that pay for them still receive prominence, but the user can make an informed choice about whether to click a promoted link or not, depending on the context of the search.

Also, web designers and others ‘in the know’ should be wary of assuming ‘common’ knowledge on behalf of our customers.

According to Bunnyfoot CEO and co-founder Jon Dodd:

As our hundreds of user tests over the last decade have shown, it is very difficult to predict what customers’ knowledge or understanding is. When you do the tests, you are often humbled and surprised with how far off your assumptions are.

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at Econsultancy.