Google has done it yet again – they’ve created an ingenious, super convenient, all powerful app. Say hello to Gboard – Google’s newest iPhone keyboard app (sorry Android users, currently it’s only available on iOS at the moment). Gboard takes all the search capabilities Google offers and compresses them into a neat little package that lives in your phone’s keyboard. Search for images, addresses, GIFs, (even emojis!) right from the little Google icon – it’s literally one tap away.
We’re all familiar with the annoyances of having to switch apps all the time just to accomplish one silly task such as finding the perfect cat GIF to send your best friend. Previously, you would need to exit the texting app, open up Google, search for said GIF, save it, and then go back to the texting app to finally send it. Or what about looking up an address to send to your friend so you can meet up for dinner later? Same story – exit the texting app, open up Google maps, search for the address (and get the wrong one a few times), copy, go back to the texting app, paste, and THEN send. Pain in the butt right? Well, good news – Gboard eliminates all of that nonsense. Now you can find all the cat GIFs & restaurant addresses your little heart desires without ever leaving the texting app.
Simply tap the Google icon (right underneath your camera icon on the left) and enter whatever it is you’re searching for and the results will pop up right in your keyboard underneath the search bar. Think of your keyboard as your new direct portal to Google – convenient, fast, & simple. Think of all the possibilities! Think of all the time you’ll be able to save not having to switch between apps all the time. Plus, Gboard follows you into all of your apps – email, texting, YouTube, etc. It’s never been so easy to search & share information.
On top of all of the magic listed above, Gboard also offers the Swipe function, something iPhone owners previously have been forced to go without. Now you can type out a word in a single swipe instead of having to tap each little letter. But wait, there’s more! You can also search for emojis now instead of swiping right 500 times just to find that stupid little pizza emoji you know your brother loves. Now you can simply search ‘Pizza’ and the pizza emoji will pop up as the first result (to the left of the Predictive suggestions).
There are a few cons to this wonderful new app however. For one, there is no Ok Google built into the app so users who are accustomed to using that feature might not be too pleased. Also, if you’re not a big fan of Predictive Text being on then this app might be more of an annoyance than a blessing to you. Unfortunately Gboard only works with the Predictive Text function on and there is no way to shut it off. And the last one has already been touched on – currently it is only available through iOS which is eliminating a large portion of mobile users.
All you have to do to get this wonderful app is open up the App Store and download it. All of the instructions & details on how to set it up are within the app and it even links you to the correct places within your Settings so you don’t have to spend 10 minutes trying to find the right section. Go download it – you know you want to.
Still curious? Here are a few other articles all about Gboard:
You may not have noticed it, but Google made a major change to the way it displays search results. Google recently removed all pay-per-click ads from the right side of it’s search results pages. After more than ten years of Adwords pay-per-click results taking up both the top 1-3 spots and the entire right column being a long list of ads, this is a significant shift in how Google is going to provide “answers” to search queries.So why did Google remove a major source of revenue on the right column of its search results? The answer is almost certainly a result of testing and monetization. Google thinks it can provide a better user experience, and make more money, by using that space more wisely. But what is going to go there? To learn where Google is going, you have to be fully immersed in the world of all things Google. Luckily for you, that’s pretty much all we do. :)
Over the past few months, the team at Ventura Web Design has noticed that there are many queries that bring up a special box called a Knowledge Panel on the right with relevant info about your search. While the knowledge box itself is not new, how it displays specific information about medical searches is very interesting. Look at the results for “hay fever”:
Even the knowledge box is styled and looks nothing like any other knowledge boxes. Google commissioned illustrations from licensed medical illustrators for use here. The colors and attention-grabbing layout differs greatly from what Google has provided in the past.
This is a major shift in Google’s philosophy. This layout shows the direction Google is heading: to a more display driven layout, rather than its historically text only layout. Remember when Google’s single goal was to get you OFF of their website and on to what you’re seeking? Google is now answering a question without linking away. But more importantly, Google is now in the content creation business. This is a major historic shift for the search leader. Think about that for a moment. Google is using the power of all the data it has access to, that you no longer have access to via Google Analytics, to guide its own decision making on content creation.
From the Google perspective, this new direction improves the user experience by providing “quality” answers even faster than before. Google’s stated mission is to answer the question you have, before you’ve even fully typed the question in to the search box (instant search (link:https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/186645?hl=en).
The knowledge box is a function of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which launched in May 2012. it’s used both by Google itself to improve search relevancy and also to present the knowledge boxes that provide facts about people, places and things alongside regular results. Google reports it has over 3.5 billion facts, including information about 500 million entities, including movies, museums, bodies of water, music, astronomical objects, buildings, sports, medical ailments, and more. Similar to how Google uses a link graph to model how pages are interlinked to and which are relevant for searches, it uses the knowledge graph to determine relationships between entities and report facts about them. If you currently have a knowledge graph card and want that information to change, you need to request a change from Google. Here is the link for more information on changing knowledge graph cards. (link: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6325583?hl=en)
There is currently no mechanism to include yourself or your site as part of the Knowledge Graph. If you run a blog all about movies, there isn’t a way to be listed as a suggested source for information. Tagging information on your landing pages with rich snippets can be helpful in the long run, though it’s no guarantee of inclusion. This is where good SEO efforts can help. Your goal, as a website owner, is to have Google view your site as the leading authority of information on a particular topic. If Google determines that your topic is popular enough, it may create Knowledge Cards and include a link to your site or information in that card.
Having the trust of consumers is very important for online retailers. There are a number of different ways to build trust for your store. Becoming a Google Trusted Store and displaying the Trusted Stores badge on your site goes a long way towards building trust with your potential customers.
Being accepted in the Google Trusted Store program and displaying the badge on your site lets consumers know that their orders are protected by Google for up to $1000, and they know Google will help in resolving any issues they have with your store.
Google doesn’t just let any online retailer display the Trusted Store badge; There are several requirements you will need to meet to earn that badge:
- Currently, the program is only available to US merchants
- The site’s content and customer support must be in English
- Merchants must process 600 orders on a 90-day rolling basis
- 90% of orders must be delivered on-time
- The Merchant must maintain a minimum 4 star rating on Google Trusted Stores customer survey and seller ratings over a 90-day rolling basis
- No more than 1 in 300 protected orders shall be escalated on a 90-day rolling basis
- It shall take on average no more than 4 calendar days for a merchant to resolve any issues
- If the annual payout of refunds paid by Google exceeds $5000 the client’s participation in the program may be suspended or terminated.
If you believe your store qualifies, head over to Google Trusted Stores to sign up for an account. Google will ask you several questions about your business. Once you answer all the questions you are ready to integrate the Google Trusted Store code into your site. Depending on the platform you use this could be relatively easy, both Yahoo! Stores and BigCommerce have built the code into their platforms, or may require more technical knowledge to integrate the code with your site.
Once the Trusted Store code is in place you need to test the code to make sure it is working correctly, Google gives you a special URL to test the code. If the code is working correctly, your store will enter the Trusted Stores qualification period. The qualification period can last anywhere from 30 – 90 days, depending on your order volume. During this time Google will monitor your store and the badge will not appear on your site. After the qualification Google will notify you whether your store passed and was accepted into the program. If it was the badge will automatically appear on the site.