Spoken search results sound good at Google conference.
Google has introduced a natural-sounding female voice to provide search results. Voice search on Android handsets could approach the functionality of iPhones, and many are comparing Google's Voice Assistant with Apple's Siri. However, Siri represents artificial intelligence with a voice front end, capable of interaction or dialog with a user. Google offers voice search based on its Knowledge Graph and search index, updating Google Voice Actions with text-to-speech output.
Search Engine Land
Facebook users find, test and say goodbye to "Find Friends Nearby."
A location-based mobile app, Find Friends Nearby, became available this week -- until it was suddenly pulled. Facebook reported that the feature's introduction was just an engineering test, not an official launch. The app apparently began as Friendshake, a way to connect with people in the vicinity, for example, at an event like a conference. The feature listed anyone nearby who was using the app, whether those people were friends or strangers, which raised some privacy questions.
Microsoft throws down the gauntlet with Surface tablet computers.
With its new Surface line of products, Microsoft has braved the competitive tablet market. According to AFP, one model uses Windows RT software for mobile device chips built on ARM technology, and a larger version runs on Windows 8 Pro. Microsoft avoided specifics on pricing and release dates, but a tablet should launch this fall, most likely in conjunction with Windows 8.
Google Maps gets lost: Apple has a new roadmap for mobile devices.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference showcased a new iOS maps program that is scheduled to replace Google Maps in future iPhones and iPads. Apple has integrated its digital assistant Siri into the new maps program for hands-free navigation. By incorporating Yelp and a listing of 100 million local businesses, Apple could move into the territory of local search and advertising.
In Microsoft Internet Explorer 10, users may opt in to be tracked by ads.
Microsoft says Do Not Track will be the default setting for Internet Explorer version 10, which is now available for preview. Reactions vary widely: Advertisers are concerned about losing the data they use for metrics, while one U.S. Congressman calls it a positive step for privacy. Microsoft's decision surprised trade organizations that are working toward a standard DNT mechanism and support of user preferences.
Google reveals update to Penguin anti-spam algorithm.
On May 26, Google announced an update to the Penguin algorithm, reportedly the first tweak since it launched on April 24. This Twitter announcement was described as a "minor weather report," and it did not specify the changes made. The data refresh to Penguin reportedly will affect less than one-tenth of a percent of searches conducted in English.
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Return on investment is only one way to measure marketing success.
Nowadays, ROI can mean not only "return on investment" but also "return on impression." Return on impression spans both the hard metric of how many people see an ad and the soft metric of how consumers perceive a brand. Marketers can also consider the returns on opportunity, engagement and objectives. The return on engagement has to do with online sharing and it can show when, how and why people relate to a brand.