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Joshua Berg
Worked at G+ SEO/SMO for Brands - REALSMO
Lives in Houston, Texas
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Joshua Berg

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Welcome to Google's Project Jacquard

One of the most interesting new projects announced at #io15 , is Google's R&D of a new wearable technology platform called Jacquard, and this fascinating demo explains the exciting possibilities.

#Jacquard   #TechNews   #Technology  
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Conductive threads in the fabric. Doesn't need to connect to anything.
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An Interview With The Head of Google+

This is probably the most detail I've heard +Bradley Horowitz (head of Streams and Photos), or anyone else at Google talk about the future of Google+, confirming that not only is it not dead, but that we’re actually adapting to how the product is successful in market and doubling-down on that.

Definitely a worthwhile read, with plenty of interesting tidbits. Thanks to +Steven Levy for getting the inside scoop on this. These were some of my favorite questions...

Is it fair to say Google is distancing itself from the original concept of Plus?

It’s fair to say you’re about to see a huge shift in what Plus is becoming. It’s a shift in response to what users are telling us. That’s a very healthy and natural thing. As opposed to sticking to strategies of years ago, we’re actually adapting to how the product is successful in market and doubling-down on that.

Looks like we also have confirmation that the Google+ might be dropping its name ideas have not seriously been considered.

Have you ever thought of dropping the name “Plus”?

I’m not sure what that would accomplish. It hasn’t seriously crossed my mind. I think there are product pivots and refinements to what that product actually is. We have been less than clear about who that product is good for and who that product is for and what it’s good for. I think you’re seeing us crisp that up and actually have a much better articulated value proposition so that that becomes very evident to users: what, when and why to use this product.

This one is interesting, in case you thought Google was no longer valuing G+ in terms of helping to understand user's identity outside of Google+ across its other platforms:

How successful was Google Plus in understanding who was using Google in general?

It’s created a huge amount of value in creating common identity for users. The Google of 10 years ago was many separate, silo-ed identity and sharing systems. I think we have been successful in unifying that experience for users. And anytime you see a name or a face on Google, our team provides the infrastructure. And it is a service that is provided to all of Google, so whether you’re on search or maps or whatever, this team helps power that service.

#GooglePlus   #io15  
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Punks not dead?
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Introducing Google Photos, from  #io15  

Announced earlier today at Google I/O, Google Photos has now become an app of its own, rather than an exclusive part of G+. I certainly agree with one of the reasons given for seperating it out like this, as was explained earlier by Google+, because it can feel kind of uneasy sharing all your personal photos into an app which is also your public social network, putting them just a click away from private to public.

As we continue to focus Google+ on helping you connect with people around the stuff you love, it’s become clear that while social networks are great for sharing images and video clips, they’re not where most people want to store all their private, personal photos and videos.

#GooglePhotos   #GooglePlusUpdate  
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When will the app for iOS be available?
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How to reshare posts to your collections.

Here's a handy tip gif from Google+ today for those that haven't figured this out yet. Sharing posts to your own collections is a great way to categorize relevant content for your followers and there are other uses as well. For example, you could create your own private collections and share posts there as a kind of bookmarking, #PostsToRepost  , #SaveForCaturday  , #TLDR  , etc.

Also, if you're starting up a collection and want to move your own relevant posts into it, better than resharing your posts into the new collection, you can just select the drop down menu from the top Right corner and choose Move post to collection, then choose the collection you want to add them to.
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The squirrel adds it to his collection, thank you +Joshua Berg ;)
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I-Want-to-Buy Moments: How Mobile Has Reshaped the Purchase Journey, from ThinkWithGoogle.

I think today's article from Google is a must read for businesses in sales, so you're not missing out on these critical decision making moments for your brand.

For today's constantly connected consumers, shopping never sleeps. Whether making an everyday purchase or researching a big-ticket item, we reflexively turn to mobile. These I-want-to-buy moments are important for consumers, and they're critical for brands. Are you winning these micro-moments?

Five ways brands can win these micro-moments:

1. Identify your consumers' I-want-to-buy moments.

2. Be there in these moments of need.

3. Deliver relevant messaging.

4. Make it easy for them to make a purchase.

5. Measure every moment that matters.

Before we look to make a purchase, we consult our personal shopping assistants...smartphones. Learn how people approach "I-want-to-buy" moments:

#Marketing   #InternetMarketing   #Ecommerce  
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Exclusive Look At New Google Photos App.

A fascinating look at Google's attractive new photos app, with lots of screen shots. Looks like Autoawesome becomes Assisstant and there's a number of useful new features, such as snap to aspect ratios for common device displays. Hopefully we'll hear more about this from #GoogleIO  later this week. 

Thanks to +Liam Spradlin for covering this story in +Android Police  and h/t +Glenn Gabe.
We've been hearing for a very long time - virtually ever since Vic Gundotra left Google+, with more rumors springing up recently - that Photos would be spl... by Liam Spradlin in Exclusives, Google, Leaks, News
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Thanks for snagging this sneak peek for us +Joshua Berg
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Branding Opportunities in Local Knowledge Panel

If you're not optimizing these resources already, read on. Great insights from +Eli Fennell​.

H/t +Mark Traphagen

#LocalSEO #Branding #BusinessTips
Eli Fennell originally shared to Internet Marketing Blog:
Updated: The Three Branding Opportunities in the Local Knowledge Panel

Google is always testing new ways of organizing and presenting Search results, including Local Knowledge Panel results. Business owners must be aware of these changes, and of the benefits of claiming and optimizing their Google My Business listings.

In the following article, I discuss the three opportunities for business branding in the Local Knowledge Panel, including:

Your Business Logo
Your Map & Search Photos
Your Business Description

I've also updated the article to reflect the removal of Recent Posts on Google+ from Local Knowledge Panel results.  Actively Posting to your Google+ Page might still be valuable in other ways, but is no longer of benefit for Local Knowledge Panel results.

#LocalSEO   #LocalSearch   #Branding  
Your local business is a brand. Maybe you already know that, or maybe you've been thinking of brands as a mighty entity like Apple or Coca Cola. However, whether you're a Small Business of one, a Medium Sized Business of hundreds, or a Mega Corporation with thousands of employees, your company is defined by its brand.In the Internet Era one of the most important places to define your brand is online, and in that online world, one of the most if n...
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Snippets rules. :)
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Google+ Photos Chrome App To Be Expired #io15  

As I mentioned earlier, there's a new Google Photos app and as expected, it will be replacing the former Google+ Photos for Chrome. So just to be clear on that, we have the following announcement that the outgoing Google+ Photos app will be discontinued July 21, 2015.

Thanks to +Google Plus Daily for this post. 

#GooglePhotos   #GooglePlusPhotos   #TechNews  
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Google- at it again!
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Finding Good Content Through Machine Learning

An interesting post the other day on machine learning from +Yonatan Zunger, on how recent advances in image processing technology, coupled with AI is helping to find good content algorithmically which does not have the traditional signals which could have been used to surface this content.

One of the biggest challenges in information retrieval is how to find good content which humans haven't already found.

...and quite often, good material, things people would love, simply goes unnoticed and never builds up the interaction signals which help.
Yonatan Zunger originally shared to Today I Learned::
One of the biggest challenges in information retrieval (the branch of computer science that includes search and content recommendation) is how to find good content which humans haven't already found. To date, the most reliable signals have been other human judgments: for example, PageRank is a measure of how "good" a site is based on links people have made to that site (with the challenge being how to separate "meaningful" and trustworthy links from the rest), and collaborative filtering is based on what other users have chosen (with the challenge being how to find users with similar enough taste to be relevant).

The challenge is that, when new material shows up on the scene, you don't yet have any human interactions -- and quite often, good material, things people would love, simply goes unnoticed and never builds up the interaction signals which help. To detect quality in these things requires understanding the content itself, and the aspects of it which matter to people.

There are several hard aspects to this. One is simply understanding the content at the right granularity: "the color of the top-left pixel" or "the frequency of the word 'whenever'" are too fine-grained to give us a hint about whether people will like something, so we need to be able to group the content into more meaningful structures. For images, that might be "an image of a face in 3/4-profile," a certain color balance or contrast, a perspective or a cropping, and advances in image recognition in the past few years have (finally) made it possible to reliably identify such features. For text, it's much harder: there isn't yet even a clear idea of what features both could be measured about text and determine people's tastes. (How do you measure "intellectually meaty" or "hinting at scandal?")

This paper has used the recent advances in image processing, together with recent advances in AI in general, to get a sense of which pictures people will like. It started by taking several thousand images, and having them rated by humans for quality; that was used as "ground truth." Then, those thousands of images are analyzed into meaningful features, and a neural network is trained to find patterns of image features which predict human taste.

This is what neural networks, and other kinds of "supervised" machine learning systems, do in general: they take as inputs a bunch of signals, and combine them using a large number of parameters -- the "weights" -- to produce predictions of some values that you want to measure. The weights are set by taking a large number of test examples ("golden data" or "ground truth") with known values of both the signals and the test values; weights are chosen ("trained") to maximize the quality of the system's predictions for this data. To make sure that the training doesn't just teach it to recognize those specific examples, the golden data is randomly split into two groups; one is used for training, and then it's tested against the other group to make sure that the predictions with the trained weights are good. If they are, then you have a model which can predict -- given any set of measured signals -- the truth values.

In this case, the signals are these features of the image, measured by a second machine learning system; the quantity being predicted is whether people will like it. Because these are all "content-based signals" -- that is, they're based on the contents of the image, and not on people's responses to it -- the resulting model can be applied to any image. 

The team then applied this model to a set of 9 million images from Flickr with fewer than five "favorites." They tested the quality of its picks by having human raters compare that result set with the set of popular images on Flickr; the result was excellent, with its "hidden gems" scoring statistically the same as the most popular images on the site.

I would expect a lot more work on related techniques over the next few years, and for this to have a significant impact on the way that content recommendation is done. The main upshot will be that more little-known works get the spotlight they deserve -- something critical, as more and more people are creating things of value that they want the world to see. 

h/t +Wayne Radinsky and +Daniel Estrada
Beautiful images are not always popular ones, which is where the CrowdBeauty algorithm can help, say computer scientists.
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Google Bomb Fix & Brand Bias Increased Google Local Pack & One Box Results?

Seems to be significant movement in the local search results lately, as highlighted in the following SEMPost by +Jennifer Slegg.

There were increases in two types of local results.  First is the local pack which saw a jump from about ~10% to ~12%.

Then there is also an increase in the local one pack results as well.

#GoogleUpdate   #SEO   #LocalSEO  
There is a jump in the number of Google local packs being shown in the search results over the past couple of days, according to Mozcast. There were increases in two types of local results.  First is the local pack which saw a jump from about ~10% to ~12%. Then there is also an increase …
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Elphie is a thing now.

It was bound to happen. Bored and intelligent elephants sitting at a zoo watching tourists take selfies all day and it's catching on Internationally. This first one's in Thailand and the later is in the UK. 

I was wondering if the next thing we're going to see is some kind of Pinterphant, Instaphant app, but then it couldn't be more obvious... they'll probably go for the Ello-phant.
Plenty of tourists have snapped a selfie of themselves posing with an elephant during their travels. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has done it.
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Just Amazing
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App Indexing Now in Google's Search Console.

You can now view data about your app in Search, as well as more easily troubleshoot problems and see whether it is being indexed correctly, all from within your Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).

#AppIndexing #SearchConsole
Do you have an indexed app? Now you can see how its content ranks in search and if there are any technical issues.
During the week of the Cannes Film Festival, we're rolling out a red carpet of our own. All app developers and app owners — welcome to Search Console!
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Joshua's Collections
Social & SEO Consultant, Technology Writer

☆ Specializes SEO, Social Media, Internet marketing.
☆ 20+ yrs computer industry, IT & computer science.
☆ Geek interested in all things science & technology.
☆ 10+ yrs realty investor, rehabber, Realtor & mentor.
☆ International business, travel & trade consulting.

Written comprehensively about brands and businesses maximizing online visibility through social media (SMO) and search engine optimization (SEO), and now with a special focus on Google Plus.

Doing business on the Internet for over 20 years & worked extensively with every generation of computers since the first personal computers, the Apple II & IBM PC's.

Specializing in business consulting on Internet marketing, Online Identity Management, Social Media and Search Optimization.

Contact Me for SEO service, site audit, or consulting.

Bragging rights
Results speak louder than words.
Specializes in Google Plus SEO, Social Media & Search Optimization For Businesses
Social media marketing & search engine analyst; Real estate investor & marketing mentor; Tech business writer & speaker; International trade consultant.
  • G+ SEO/SMO for Brands - REALSMO
    Consultant, Writer, 2014
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Great place to take the kids, the staff is friendly and helpful. And the kids naturally have a blast looking at all the cool exhibits and animals. Have taken my kids there many times over the years and they never got bored. Thankfully the lions stay in their pens and the snakes don't get out of their boxes. But if you like to touch animals & don't mind smelly goats, the children's petting zoo is the way to go.
Appeal: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
1 review