Google Launches Product Listing Ads in India

googleYesterday search engine giant Google launched a new ad format ‘Product Listing Ads’ in India. This new ad format will to provide users information like images, price and brands of products, which will help people shop better both online and offline.

Product Listing Ads are search ads that include richer product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Google Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name.
As per an official statement, Product Listing Ads will appear on shopping-related queries on This feature will initially be placed on the right-hand side of the search results page above text ads, and it will be labeled as ‘sponsored’.

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Google Introduces New Design For Gmail, Adds Tabs

googleYesterday Google announced a new design for its popular email service Gmail. Announcing this, the company blog stated,” Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.”

The new inbox, which will be rolled out to users in the coming weeks, will sort mails under five different tabs by default. For desktop users, the new inbox features the ability to group mail into categories which appear as different tabs. Users can simply choose which categories they want. This structure aims to organize the inbox in a way that lets users see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails they want to read when.

Users can easily customize the new inbox – select the tabs they want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.
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In the Gmail for Android 4.0+ and Gmail for iPhone and iPad apps, users will see their Primary mail when they open the app and can easily navigate to the other tabs. Users who aren’t comfortable with the new inbox, have the option to simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of the other favorite inbox types.

The desktop, Android and iOS versions of the new inbox will become available within the next few weeks.

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Google Adds 6 Indic Languages in Gmail On the Feature Phone Browser

googleOn Thursday, Google introduced six new Indic languages- Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu, in Gmail on the feature phone browser. Users can go to the settings in Gmail and choose their preferred language.

Announcing this, the company blog stated,” Indian culture is diverse, with more than 100 languages and thousands of alphabets used every day. Depending on where you are, you might hear anything from Gujarati to Bengali and Tamil to Urdu. If you’re a speaker of these languages and use a feature phone, communicating is about to get a little easier.”


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Google Launches Google Play Books Store In India

google-playGoogle has launched its Google Play Books store for users in India . The store offerings include books from authors such as Amish Tripathi, Devdutt Pattanaik, APJ Abdul Kalam and many international bestsellers.

The Google blog stated,”Books on Google Play is all about choice: we’re offering many titles and many ways to access and read them, so that your library is literally at your fingertips no matter where you are. You can choose from great titles from award-winning and diverse publishing houses at launch, not to mention the international publishers Google works with around the world.”

With Google Play, users will be able to discover, purchase and read books on their android devices, iPhones & iPads – they can purchase books in the Google Play Store and begin reading them instantly in the Google Play Books app. They can also purchase and read books on the Google Play store and read in the web browser of their computer.

“We’re happy to make it even easier for all Indian book lovers to discover and buy whatever they want to read, whether that’s the next bestseller, a new release from their favourite author or a well-loved classic. Whether you’re a bookworm or casual reader, we hope you find something great to read on Google Play,” the blog further stated.

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Around 30% Youtube India Viewers Access Videos On Mobile – Google Study

youtube-logoAccording to a recent online survey conducted by Google, around one-third of YouTube viewers in India access videos on their mobiles and spend over 48 hours a month on the website. The online survey was conducted on more than 2000 Indians.

The study revealed that almost two-thirds of the viewers on YouTube in India are under 35 years of age. The survey also revealed an emerging consumer class on YouTube, which it nicknamed ‘Generation C’ and represents a young, tech savvy group of youngsters.

The study said,”Generation C switches between devices 27 times a day, and Indian users watch nearly 30 percent of their YouTube videos on mobile. Smartphone owners spend one quarter of their YouTube time on mobile, while tablet owners spend about 20 percent.”

According to Google, increase in smartphone penetration in India will also lead to an increase in opportunities for brands to personally reach Gen C.

The study found that more than 70 percent of YouTube’s viewers in India are under the age of 35, while 72 percent have a college degree or higher. The survey also found that more than half of Indian YouTube users share videos on social networks and the same proportion also shares videos from YouTube on email. Around three quarters of the users visit the site mentioned the video.

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Google India Announces Mapathon 2013

google mapsWith an aim to create better maps for India, Google India has announced a mapping competition: Mapathon 2013.

Mapathon 2013 — which starts on February 12 and culminates on March 25, 2013 — is an India-wide   mapping contest open to just about anybody who lives in India. The Google blog stated,” We’re inviting Google Maps users from all over the country to help us create better maps for India by adding knowledge of their neighborhoods through Google Map Maker. And there’s something in it for everyone! The top 1000 mappers in India stand a chance to win Android tablets, smartphones, gift vouchers and Google merchandise.”

Google Map Maker, first conceptualized in India, is an easy-to-use tool that allows users to add more detail to Google Maps through a few simple clicks. Using Google Map Maker, users can select a specific area on Google Maps and add new information based on their own local knowledge or by referencing the satellite imagery on Google Maps.  With just another click, users can save and submit their input — and once the submitted edit has been verified, the new information will be added to Google Maps.

For registrations, users can visit this link.

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Chrome 25 Beta Now Supports Web Speech API

google-chromeRecently Google launched the latest beta version of its Chrome browser (version 25) for the desktop and Android. Among various other updates is the inclusion of the Web Speech API for developers.

With the inclusion of the Web Speech API for developers, users can start enjoying new, interactive experiences with web apps. This new JavaScript API, aims to enable developers to integrate speech recognition into their web apps. Google said,” in the near future you’ll be able to talk apps into doing all sorts of things.”

Besides the Web speech API, Google added many other security and developer-focused features to the beta as well.

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Google Music Introduces Scan And Match feature

google-musicGoogle Music has launched a new ‘scan and match’ feature, that will enable its users to store copies of their songs online. The feature initially  introduced in Europe last month, has now been extended to U.S. users as well.

Google music’s scan and match service compares your local music library with its own database of songs. When it finds a match, Google places its copy of that song in your online library, then it uploads any remaining songs that it can’t match. A lightweight piece of software called Music Manager handles all the syncing. This service cuts uploading time for those who want to save their music libraries online.

Google Music ‘scan and match’ service is quite similar to Apple Inc.’s iTunes Match, which includes online storage for 25,000 songs. Google Inc. allows storage for 20,000 songs and allows users to re-download the songs only at the same quality as they were at previously. Similarly Amazon runs a matching and uploading service called Cloud Player which costs $25 a year for 250,000 songs. Its free version is limited to 250 songs.

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Google India Releases Tech Shopper Report : Stunning Facts On The Buying Behaviour

A pan India offline study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Google India, to understand the influence of internet on technology product purchases, revealed that internet influences behaviour of buyers across all type of cities and towns. The study exhibited that 7 out of 10 of these buyers know the exact brand and model they want to buy with the help of online research before entering the store, with 40% respondents saying they took help of online information for purchase decisions.

The impact of internet on online research for technology products was highest in consumers in tier I and II cities, with 83% respondents saying that they know exactly the brand that they want to buy before they go to the store. This highlights the growing reach of internet, which was perceived to be limited to users in metros.

The report also revealed that internet is now second only to TV to create awareness for tech products for metro and tier I audience. The study was conducted across 12 cities in India covering top four metros, four Tier I cities and four tier II cities to understand the buying behaviour of shoppers for technology and consumer electronic products. 3,677 respondents were interviewed outside 200 multi-brand and single-brand stores across these cities. 46% respondents said they used mobile internet for research and 22% of tier II consumers used mobile as the sole device for accessing internet for research.

Rajan Anandan, VP and managing director, sales and operations, Google India, said, “This study brings to light two important facts – first, internet as a medium has gone mainstream and not only does it help in creating awareness and consideration but it is substantially impacting decisions of final purchases, which was traditionally the role of point of sale and in-store sales people. Secondly, the internet is impacting decisions in tier 2 cities as well and mobiles are emerging as a strong medium.”

The study also looked into the price range of different products for which buyers undertake online research and the report revealed that the research intensity was higher for high value products. In the mobile phones category, the research intensity increased when price exceeded Rs 7,000, for laptops when the price exceeded Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000, and for TVs when the price exceeded Rs 30,000.

The average duration of online research for products in this price range was said to be 2 weeks. The respondents also said that they became aware of new products and brands during their online research process, with over 57% respondents changing their mind about the brand/model they wanted to purchase when they look for information online. While researching online, buyers engaged in looking up prices of the products, followed by surfing product photographs, reading specifications, watching videos, reading product reviews, locating stores (67%) and visiting product comparison sites.

The study also looked into the kind of products that most buyers searched for online and among high value purchases – laptops (54%) emerged as the most searched product category, followed by mobile phones (39%), digital cameras (38%) and televisions (33%). When asked about the reasons to visit the stores to purchase a product, buyers said that they wanted to get the ‘look and feel’ of the product, check if there are any deals available, negotiate for price, get details on guarantee, get more information on the selected model and some installation advice.

In addition to offline research, Google also looked into the search queries for the technology & consumer electronics product category for the duration of last 1 year, to benchmark the offline behaviour with online search trends. On Google search, the overall query volume coming from desktop for tech and consumer electronic products, which is the largest category by volume after travel, was growing at over 31% year on year. The query volumes from mobiles phones for the same category were growing 3 times faster than desktop at 86%. In terms of growth rates of search query volumes by products coming from desktop and mobile phones – tablets were the fastest growing product category, growing at 160% year over year; this was followed by televisions growing at 51% year over year, mobile phones at 41%, laptops at 39% followed by digital cameras at 29% year on year.

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Google Rolls Out New Search Results Page

Google has officially rolled out the new search results page. Initially this change will be visible to users in the U.S. and will be subsequently rolled out  in other languages and regions.

The Google blog stated,”You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page — we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today. We started with tablets last year, got it to mobile phones a few weeks ago, and are now rolling out to the desktop.”

It further added, ” With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.”

In the new design, the bar along the left hand side of your searches is gone. This function is now at the top of your results, along with the also relocated Search Tools. The blog stated, “The same advanced tools you’re used to are still there when you need them. Just click on “Search tools” to filter or drill down on your results.”

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