Google Launches Free SMS Service For Gmail Users In India

Google Inc. is rolling out its ‘free sms’ service for its free email service Gmail and paid email service Google Apps customers in India. This feature enables users to send SMSes to friends phones from chat windows and is now available for India and 51 other countries in Asia, Africa and North America. Users have to add mobile numbers of their contacts in the email address book and they are set.

To avail this service, a user has to click on a contact in the chat panel and click on the ‘down’ arrow next to the Email button. Upon doing so, users can see an option that allows them to send an SMS. They now have to click on this option, type the mobile number of the contact and send. The SMS response received for messages sent via GChat will be stored in a users’ chat history as well.

The service starts with 50 SMS credits for each user, every sent SMS costing one credit. Every reply that a user receives, adds on 5 credits subject to the maximum level being 50 SMS at any given time. However, if a user sends too many messages from web to mobile, without mobile responding, the web user will get blocked from sending SMS messages. Once the SMS credit balance comes down to zero, one credit will be added after 24 hours.

Users also have an option to buy more SMS credits. In order to buy credits, users can send an SMS to their own phone and then reply to that message multiple times. Every time a user sends a reply message, his/her SMS credit is increased by five. Effectively, users buy more messages by paying their phone company for these outgoing messages. The SMSes sent from Gmail chat are delivered to mobile phones while replies from the mobile phone come into the chat window. For the mobile phone user, the reply is charged at local SMS rate as per her/his normal billing plan.

The service currently supports eight cellular operators including Aircel, Idea, Loop Mobile, MTS, Reliance, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Indicom and some circles of Vodafone. BSNL, MTNLBSE -0.17 % and AirtelBSE 0.73 % are not supported yet. Though there’s no official statement from Google on the launch of this service, the service has already gone live in the chat windows of many users.

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Google launches 'Google Wallet For Web Content'

Recently, Google launched a micropayments service called Google Wallet for web content for purchasing online content. Google has launched this prdouct as an experiment to see if web users would be prepared to pay for individual pages of content if the buying process was sufficiently easy.

Businesses that sign up for the experiment will be able to host a Google Wallet banner on their website and sell their content directly to users who already have Google Wallet. And, to make sure that users are not duped into buying something they didn’t want, they are given a free sample of the content before agreeing to buy with a single click.

Although the service is designed for selling online content valued at less than $1, Google emphasizes that it takes refunds seriously and if a user is unhappy with the content they have a 30-minute window in which they can click on the instant refund button; their account is then credited and the content returns to its owner. Otherwise, the content is theirs in perpetuity, or until the website ceases to exist. The service also tracks individual users to make sure they’re not simply using the refund option to consume premium content for free.

Peachpit, Dorling Kindersley (DK) and Oxford University Press are among the first companies to sign up to the Google experiment and with the promise of higher search rankings and higher visibility.

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Ozone Media launches Ozone Smarton – advanced retargeting platform

Ozone Media, a Digital Advertising Network based out of Bangalore, has launched Ozone Smarton, an advanced re-targeting and dynamic banner advertising platform. Through this platform, Ozone Media aims to help e-commerce merchants in smarter acquisition of dropped-off and dormant consumers by assembling dynamic banners in real-time and serving them to a re-targeted audience. Travel is the next vertical Ozone Smarton will be rolled out for, followed by other verticals where online customer acquisition is critical.

Kiran Gopinath, CEO, Ozone Media, said, “At Ozone Media, we are integrating powerful technology in improving efficiencies in campaign delivery and targeting for our customers. Ozone Smarton is a step closer to bringing evolved targeting products to the Indian advertisers.”

Based on the initial results, Ozone Smarton pushed up the conversion rate by three to eight times for the re targeted audience.

Powered by predictive algorithms that determine the optimal product to be shown to the re-targeted users, Ozone Smarton builds intelligence about users who have visited an advertiser’s website and shows them the relevant products in the retargeted dynamic banner ads. It selects the product to be served on dynamic banner in real time, based on its prediction algorithms, to maximize conversion rates and also supports multi-product banners that showcase multiple products that are relevant to the user.

Senthil Govindan, Associate VP, Product & Partnerships at Ozone Media said,”The combination of technology and ad network-related benefits that Ozone Media is now bringing to market is unique in the Indian retargeting scenario. We are in the process of working with our customers to implement algorithms through our customizable Recommendation Engine that will maximize their ability to generate conversions through retargeting. What is even more exciting is that we will soon be able to proactively suggest campaigns that advertisers can run. These campaigns will help them micro-segment their user base and target them accordingly, leading to far better return on ad spend. This collaborative model of working with advertisers is the future of the industry, and Ozone Media is pleased to be in the forefront of this revolution.”

In the last quarter, Ozone Media also launched its Lead Management System that allows advertisers to capture and view leads without having to build their own solution from the ground up. Leads can be mobile-verified through pre-built integration based on an advertiser’s requirements. Mobile verification allows the clients’ call centers to access only verified leads, thus ensuring greater lead to sale conversion rate and improved efficiency of call center personnel.

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Google India launches ‘Let’s talk Mo’

Google India has launched a new initiative called ‘Let’s talk Mo’, to enable businesses get mobile ready. In this period when almost everyone is using their mobile phones to explore the web, it makes sense for businesses to have a website optimized for mobile, sooner than later.

Latest data shows that currently India has an estimated 70 million mobile Internet users and Indian smartphone users spend over 157 minutes daily on the mobile web (89% of them are searching for information*). However, the user-experience is not optimized for the mobile screen as most Indian websites are still designed for the PC experience.

This is where ‘Let’s talk Mo’ comes in !! Through this,Google is giving Indian businesses two options: (1) Create a mobile optimized site for Free (2) Test how user friendly is their existing mobile site. It has also launched a dedicated website that provides all the tools and resources that businesses need to have a presence on the mobile platform.

On the Let’s Talk Mo website, businesses will be able to see how their sites look on a smartphone using the GoMoMeter tool and get personalized recommendations for creating a more user friendly experience. They can also choose from a range of partners who provide a Do It Yourself (DIY) tool to create a mobile site free of cost. The site also provides information on current mobile trends, best practices, case studies and various other resources to help businesses develop a successful mobile presence. Whether a business is an advertiser, agency or a publisher, it has customized guides tailored to their specific requirements.

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Announcing Largest Online Facebook Marketing Conference

I am very excited to announce Social Media Examiner’s newest online summit Facebook Success Summit 2012.   You can get in on the 50%-off sale if you act now.  

This is an online conference designed to help your business quickly implement effective Facebook marketing strategies and tactics so you can gain more exposure, build a more loyal following and grow your business.

And it’s fully online!

Your instructors are the world’s top Facebook marketing experts.  

These include 10 book authors: Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Dave Kerpen (author, Likeable Social Media), Amy Porterfield (co-author, Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies), John Haydon (co-author, Facebook Marketing for Dummies), Brian Carter (author, The Like Economy), Mark Schaefer (author, Return on Influence), Chris Treadaway (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Jesse Stay (author, Facebook Application Development for Dummies), Andrea Vahl (co-author, Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies), Phyllis Khare (co-author, Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies) and experts from Campbell’s Soup, Intel, 24 Hour Fitness and Autodesk–just to mention a few.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

You may be unfamiliar with these online mega conferences.  

These events bring the best of physical conferences (great learning and networking) directly to your computer.  This means no travel and none of the expenses you’d expect with most events.

We spread the live event over four weeks (to accommodate your schedule) and include all session recordings AND transcripts.

And the cool part: These summits are very affordable!

Here’s what Facebook Success Summit 2012 will cover:

* Facebook marketing strategy
* Growing and managing a Facebook following
* Generating leads and selling with Facebook
* Newsfeed optimization, metrics and analytics
* Facebook promotions and advertising
* And much more!

Go here to see all the details.  Remember, you can get in at half price if you register early.

Michael Stelzner shares how Facebook can benefit your business in the below video :



This is more than just an online summit.  It’s also a way for people just like you to come together, share your experiences, get your questions answered and network.

At our summer event, 98 percent of attendees said they’d recommend it to a friend!  If you’ve not experienced these online events, they deliver extremely valuable content at very affordable pricing.

Click here now to learn how you can save 50%.

Here’s to your success!

Sidhaarthaa

P.S. This event does not require any travel.  You simply attend sessions and network with peers from the comfort of your home or office!!

To see how this works, go here.

P.P.S. Get a free sample class from our last summit by clicking here and looking for the yellow box in the sidebar.

 

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Staying up-to-date on Google's Search Changes

Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan recommends some useful resource on how to keep a track on Google’s Search Changes. This is a must for the Online Marketers. Search engines like Google often make changes to their algorithms which can affect the way your company’s website turns up in search results, so its important to keep yourself updated. Have a look at the video.

 

Via: Entrepreneur Magazine

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Google Inc. acquires Wildfire Interactive

In a bid to expand further into the social media space, Google Inc has acquired social agency Wildfire Interactive for about $250 million plus performance incentives.  Wildfire provides software that links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  and other social networks, allowing customers to manage their online brand and presence.  It’s clients include Sony Corp and Amazon.com Inc .

The Google blog stated,”The ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions. People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one). With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.”

The Wildfire blog stated,”We believe that over time the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing. For now, we remain focused on helping brands run and measure their social engagement and ad campaigns across the entire web and across all social services — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more — and to deliver rich and satisfying experiences for their consumers.”

Wildfire was founded in 2008  with a seed grant from Facebook’s fbFund and Gary Vaynerchuk. As a part of the deal, Wildfire co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard will join Google.

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Google partners with NIIT to launch Google Web Academy in India

Google has partnered with NIIT Limited to launch a comprehensive training program named ” Google Web Academy” for young professionals in India. The “Google Web Academy” Program aims to bridge the digital skill gap in the country and help students and professionals capitalize on the emerging job market for the online industry. Under the initiative, NIIT will be Google’s first partner to offer specialized courses through its centres across the country.

Under this alliance, Google will provide NIIT with its world-leading training curricula and certification standards to offer advanced training programs that are specially designed to create a pool of high quality Google qualified professionals and help young professionals to gain useful skills required in the job market for the online space. Initially the program will be offerred in India and subsequently launched in other parts of the emerging world.

Through the Google Web Academy Program, NIIT will offer courses that will include certification programs for online professionals covering topics like search engine marketing, optimizing online presence with web analytics; enhance business productivity with Google products and technologies. Subsequently, the program will also offer technical courses for IT professionals and developers covering topics like building new web and mobile applications using Google technologies, integration across Google products and 3rd party APIs, Web optimization — bandwidth & loading performance, Introduction to cloud computing, including web standards, System integrator — Google Apps for Business, including configuration, deployment and management and Performance tracking & monetization (Google Analytics, SEM).

Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director Google India, said “As the Indian internet market continues to show robust growth, we believe a capacity building program to help young professionals gear up for the opportunity is the need of the hour. Google Web Academy is part of our initiative for emerging Internet economies and we’re very excited to launch this in India first. We’ve been working with NIIT to offer advanced online advertising program and we’re pleased to strengthen our association to offer world-leading training curriculum and certification standards to offer advanced training programs to professionals and students in India.”

Commenting on this launch,  Vijay Thadani, Chief Executive Officer, NIIT Limited said, “At NIIT, we have always taken the lead to address the need for professionally trained manpower for promising sectors, through cutting-edge IT training courses. Perceiving the need for digitally qualified professionals in today’s environment, we are pleased to further extend our association with Google to launch Google Web Academy in India. This pioneering initiative will introduce the latest technology to students and working professionals to help them carve a challenging career path in emerging internet economies.”

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YouTube content partners making six figures a year with Youtube Partner Program

Thousands of  Youtube Partners are making over $100,000 a year, according to Google SVP and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora recently with a call with Gigaom.

Google has been increasingly investing into programming on YouTube. The site unveiled a premium channel initiative late last year that included a reported $100 million in advances both for YouTube stars and traditional media brands who took their assets to YouTube as a result. And earlier Thursday, it announced that it is rewarding some 1,500 YouTube producers for successes with their channels on the site, with 80 of them receiving a golden play button, and everyone getting $500 gift certificates that can be put toward buying video equipment.

Check out the YouTube partners program and also  learn here how to make money and drive traffic with Youtube Partner Program

Via: Gigaom

 

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Infographic: How big is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in the Internet world ?

Did you know how big is the SEO (Search Engine Optimization ) industry on the Internet? Its huge, according to a new infographic by Spanish-based SEO service provider BlueCaribu.

In fact, the following infographic reveals that 3.5 people look up the term “SEO” on Google each second and 9.1 million web users are digging up information on the topic each month.

People are getting their information about search engine optimization (SEO) from a variety of ways. There are 863 million websites worldwide that mention the term “SEO” and 164,000 YouTube videos are indexed with the topic.

India is the top country with a big interest on SEO strategy, followed by Pakistan and the Phillipines.

Via: infographic

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