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GOOGLE DUPLEX: FRESH NEW TECHNOLOGY BY GOOGLE UNDERSTANDS AND INTERACTS WITH CONVERSATION

Relief is on the way for your busy days, or for those who absolutely hate wasting time on the telephone. Imagine scheduling appointments, making reservations at restaurants, and conducting all of the time-stealing tasks throughout the day that keep you on hold without ever picking up the phone or even sitting down to type out a text or email. How is this possible? This ultra convenience is being developed with new technology, called Google Duplex, that is coursing excitement through amazed onlookers and taking the concept of Alexa to a whole new level, and freshly just announced at Google I/O 2018.

Google I/O is an annual conference presented by Google. It is intended mainly for developers, but savvy observers realize that it’s also when Google makes some big product announcements. This year, CEO Sundar Pichai amazed the audience when he demonstrated the innovation of Google Duplex by showing off actual conversations that had the technology make phone calls, schedule an appointment for a hairdresser, and even inserted a personalized, “mmhmm” to the conversation. By the end of the phone call, Google Duplex had successfully scheduled an appointment for a haircut as the ultimate assistant without the hairdresser at the salon realizing she was speaking to AI technology in place of a live person.

Pichai explained how this interactive technology that not only routinely and remotely goes through the steps of a process that has been programmed into a computer chip, but actually picks up on the nuance of the conversation to the point of redirecting its response when the conversation takes unexpected turns. He further demonstrated an example of having Google Duplex call a restaurant to make a reservation, and the person on the other end of the phone presented confusing information. This new technology didn’t miss a beat, even responding with a casual, “Gotcha, yes!”

Keep your eyes and ears out for this advancement in the ultimate assistant to be rolled out for you to use after testing and complex training is complete. Testing for Google Duplex is expected to take place this summer. Listen to the live conversations and learn more about this new technology on Google’s published blog post. Google hopes that it will not only be a virtual assistant that interacts and responds like a real human voice but also for it to be able to automatically and immediately update information on sitemap searches such as holiday hours.

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HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE GOOGLE?

It sounds like a silly question when it seems like anytime you have a question, can’t remember an actor’s name or want to download a song, you turn to good old Google to find the answer for you. But have a second think and answer this – do you use it all the time, for every search, to find everything you are looking for on the wide, wide world on the web?

Now the yes doesn’t come so easily does it? No, I don’t use Google for everything either, not for every single thing because sometimes I feel like I would be better results if I looked somewhere else, in a different way. Depending on the product or service I’m looking for, before turning to Google, I’ll look in the Yellow Pages, or the local directory under the industry I am looking for.

Doing this kind of search I feel as though I get better results because rather than typing ‘graphic designer’ into Google and coming up with results for companies in Australia, companies which are either too big or too small for what I need, or just results which happen to have ‘graphic designer’ as the keywords, in the Yellow Pages I can judge the size of the companies by the size of the ads, and choose one in my area.

So does my search technique have a fatal flaw or do other people have this problem?

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GOOGLE FOLLOWS MICROSOFT’S LEAD BY ANNOUNCING PLANS TO COLLABORATE WITH TWITTER

Just after the news broke that Microsoft would start indexing Twitter updates through their newly launched search engine Bing, Google also revealed that they have plans to follow suit and will also begin delivering status updates from Twitter in the near future.

The real-time Twitter search feature was announced by Microsoft at a web summit in Australia this week. The organisation said they also have plans in the pipeline to start delivering status updates from the other giant in social networking, Facebook.

Microsoft’s Bing is already displaying the Twitter updates. The service brings the user tweets related to a topic typed into a search box taking into account, the author, content, and how many times the tweet has received comments or been re-tweeted. It is not yet known when they will begin delivering the Facebook updates as well.

One of the biggest players from the world of search engines, Google who currently command an estimated 65% of the US market, confirmed that they too have come to an agreement with Twitter and their update service will swing into action in the coming weeks.

Not ones to be left out in the dark, Yahoo! are also believed to be in the process of negotiating a deal with the micro-blogging site Twitter.

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FACEBOOK OVERTAKE GOOGLE TO BECOME THE MOST VISITED SITE OF THE WEEK IN THE US

Facebook knocked Google off the top spot last week to become the most visited site in the US in the last 7 days

Research company Hitwise has revealed that Facebook overtook Google and picked up the accolade of most visited website of the week in the US.

This is the first time Facebook have achieved this feat. According to the research from Hitwise, the week ending March 13th saw Facebook account for 7.07% of the visits during that week in comparison to Google’s 7.03% share.

Facebook, which is now the world’s biggest social networking site, also had other good news to share. Figures revealed recently showed that the amount of visits to Facebook has tripled over the past 12 months, whereas Google has seen a 9% increase.

Since its formation back in 2004, Facebook has enjoyed healthy growth. However the recent surge in visits is likely to be down to some canny moves on behalf of the bosses at Facebook. Now it’s easier than ever for users to access their account, and with the development of mobile phone technology which allows members to use Facebook on the move, the social networking site is reaping the benefits.

Not ones to take defeat lying down, Google have swung into action and have also developed a social networking arm to work in conjunction with their Gmail service. The feature was launched last month and it allows users to upload photos, share comments, and access YouTube videos.

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GOOGLE SET TO SPEND $2 BILLION ON NEW YORK OFFICES

According to recent newspaper reports, Google are in negotiations to buy offices in New York with a price tag just shy of $2 billion.

The search engine giant currently rents office space in the Manhattan office block, however the company is now said to be in talks with the owners to buy the entire office city block covering 2.9 million square feet of office space.

The office building, which is located in the upmarket Chelsea area of the city, also boasts some exclusive neighbours including global sports brand Nike and Web MD.

A collection of organisations currently own the space which Google is attempting to purchase including Taconic Partners, Jamestown, and the New York State Common Retirement.

The 18 storey building is well known within the city of New York having previously been home to the Port Authority. The office block is one of the largest buildings in the whole of the city and even has two addresses as it spans from 8th to 9th avenue on 15th and 16th street.

Google currently rents three floors in the building, but earlier this year they announced plans to expand their Head Quarters in New York.

It’s not known what stage the negotiations for the sale have reached, or whether a definite price has been agreed, although reports suggest the office space will fetch in the region of $2 billion.

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SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO) FOR GOOGLE.. IS IT IMPORTANT?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) for Google is a vital part of any website or web based business if you want it to be successful.

In the past the things you did on site, such as, keyword optimisation, meta tag creation and internal link building were all very important. And whilst they are still a very important piece to Google optimisation they are probably not the biggest piece of the puzzle any more.

Off -site search engine optimisation (off-page seo) is now something you cannot ignore. If you want your site to rank well in Google, Yahoo or Bing search engines you will need to explore this in further detail.

The basic key to off site optimisation is to get credible, quality links back to your site. These links need to be from relevant sites of reasonable quality so no to actually damage your search engine ranking. Links allow Google and other search engines make the assumption that if your site about a said topic is linked to by many sites of similar content then your site must be a good reference for said topic and thus you get a better rank than the guy next to you.

Seems simple enough? But unfortunately it isn’t always easy for a new site to get such good links. It’s a catch 22 situation in some cases. Some sites won’t link to you because of your low Google page rank but in turn you can’t increase your page rank with out those links.

But there are things you can do to help you get these quality links. You can hire a specific Google SEO company who will be able to submit your site to specific directories and key social networking sites (more than just Facebook). They will be able to help you in submitting excellent original written content to article submission sites as well as devising a regular link building plan for your site.

All these things will get you topic relevant links back to your website, increasing your ranking in search engines like Google and ultimately raising your profile and traffic of your website.

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GOOGLE OFFERS CASH REWARDS AS PART OF ITS BUG BOUNTY SCHEME

Google has launched a new programme whereby it will offer cash rewards to anyone who spots potential vulnerabilities in any of its systems.

Known as The Bug Bounty Program, computer whizz kids can earn anything from $500-$3,133 for uncovering a flaw which could potentially lead to the confidentiality or data of its users being compromised in some way. As well as the cash reward, the researcher will also have his or her name included on the Google Credit online page.

The level of pay for seeking out vulnerabilities in Google’s system will be judged by the rewards panel. The upper tier of pay is reserved for those researchers who uncover a highly serious or intricate bug.

The cash reward offer stands for anyone who is able to uncover vulnerabilities on all Google related web pages including YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and Google.com. This is just one way in which the internet giant is striving to ensure the safety of its users.

The programme only pays out to researchers who discover flaws in scripting language or injecting code of a Google webpage.

The scheme does not relate to issues found with Android or Google desktop programs. Google have revealed a list of the bugs which they won’t pay out for uncovering so it’s advisable to check this out before you embark on a spot of bug hunting.

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GOOGLE BARS FACEBOOK FROM ACCESSING GMAIL

Google have thrown a spanner in the works of Facebook’s growth plans by barring the social network from accessing its contacts data on its email service Gmail.

The change has come about as a result of Google’s decision to re-write their terms and conditions. Under their new terms, Google say that anyone who wants to access their API to connect with contacts, must return the favour by sharing their data contacts with Google. However Facebook has a very strict policy on its contact data which doesn’t allow them to share information with any other parties.

When Facebook members first sign up to the social networking site, Facebook offers them the opportunity to search for friends via the contacts in their Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft Live accounts, however as a result of the change in Google’s policy, Facebook will no longer be able to offer this service for Gmail users.

Facebook doesn’t allow it’s users to export any contact information from its site so under Google’s new rules, the social networking site is now excluded from using Gmail to track down contacts. Facebook have recently launched a data download programme, however this only provides contact names, and no actual contact information.

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WELSH BUSINESSES FALLING BEHIND WHEN IT COMES TO WEB EXPOSURE, BUT WEB LEASING OFFERS THE PERFECT SOLUTION

According to recent study by Google, Welsh businesses are falling behind the rest of the UK in terms of their level of web exposure, however there is a solution in the form of a Cardiff based web design company who are poised to pull Welsh companies in line with the rest of the world.

The study, which was reported by the BBC see following link http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11637790 found that a staggering 25% of small to medium sized businesses in Wales have no web presence whatsoever, while just 58% have a high online presence. Given that recent figures suggest that the internet economy contributed £100 billion to UK economy last year, it’s feared that Wales could be missing a very crucial and expensive trick.

However help is at hand in the form of a newly developed web site rental company, Web Leasing Ltd based in Cardiff Bay, South Wales. The company is offering a service unlike any other web site design company which could be the answer to the prayers of businesses who are failing to get up to speed with the demands of online marketing.

Web Leasing does exactly what it says on the tin, they rent websites to businesses. With expertise in Search Engine Optimisation, link building, design and highly optimised content, Web Leasing is able to offer a one-stop shop for companies to obtain a professional and effective website to ensure their business enjoys a highly visible web presence.

Each website is created on a case by case basis and is tailored to the individual clients’ needs. Although the company head quarters are based in Cardiff, Web Leasing is a national company, targeting companies throughout the UK with a team of re-sellers based in their local areas who liaise with the businesses to ensure they receive a website which meets all of their requirements.

As the Google figures showed, companies which don’t have a presence on the web could potentially be missing out on a huge amount of business. As it’s not economically viable for small and medium sized businesses to employ a team of web experts to run their websites, Web Leasing offers companies the opportunity to have a professionally made and run website, without the financial burden.

For more information on the services offers by Web Leasing Ltd, please see the following link http://www.websiteleasing.uk.com/

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YAHOO REVEALS ITS MOST POPULAR SEARCHES OF 2010

The search engine Yahoo has revealed its annual list of the most popular searches made throughout the year of 2010.

While the list is mainly dominated by celebrity names, heading up the poll in the number one spot of subjects searched on Yahoo this year was the BP oil spill on the Gulf Coast.

Last year, Yahoo reported that the death of Michael Jackson was the most searched subject on their search engine knocking US pop star Britney Spears off the top spot after three years. In 2009 Britney dropped to 5th on the Yahoo most searched chart, and dropped further this year to 10th place.

Although Yahoo’s poll is a fairly good indicator of trends within the online world, Google is still the most used search engine in the world and boasts billions of users worldwide, therefore their chart, which is due for release later this month, is likely to better gauge the popularity of people and events who’ve dominated the past 12 months.

Microsoft’s search engine Bing recently revealed their list of popular searches of 2010 which named American reality TV star, Kim Kardashian as its number one, while AOL named Tiger Woods as their most searched subject of the year.

The bulk of subjects trending on this year’s Yahoo search engine results list were celebrity names including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Megan Fox.