Are You Using Google’s New Automated Assistant?

In the Google Analytics Blog on September 2, was an article that site owners shouldn’t miss. If you did, you should go check it out. The post is Explore important insights from your data — automatically.

I have access to a number of Google Analytics accounts, and I can say this about the suggestions shown in this new feature from Google Analytics – they are worth looking at and thinking about. A couple of the accounts I looked at offered 10 suggestions for changes. Some of these suggestions simply point out that some content on the site you are looking at saw increases in traffic recently, pointing out the URLS of that content. Frankly, that is what inspired me to write this post – it seemed to be a topic related to other posts on my site that had been drawing lots of traffic.

If you haven’t been paying much attention to the analytics related to your website, it can be a helpful thing to do. I also recommend spending some time on the Website of Google’s Analytic’s evangelist Avinash Kaushic, reading articles such as The Biggest Mistake Web Analysts Make… And How To Avoid It!

I like how he focuses upon business insights, which is something that most site owners want to see.

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Apple Augmented Reality Improved with Acquisition of Project Tango Collaborator Flyby Media

What does this acquisition of Flyby Media mean for Apple’s Efforts in developing Augmented Reality Devices and Media?

I noticed this headline in the news this morning: Apple patent details visual-based AR navigation, confirms Flyby Media acquisition.

The article tells us that augmented reality can be accomplished by using information from a phone such as image data from a camera, and sensor data from devices such as a gyroscope and an accelerometer, and that information can be augmented by marrying images of reality with computer generated imagery.

I checked out the patent referred to in the article, and it had me wondering what role Flyby Media played in Google’s Project Tango, which we are told that they used in the Apple Insider article.

The patent linked to in that news story is in Apple’s name, but the inventors are originally from Flyby Media. The patent is:

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Google Granted Design Patent on Camera Bracelet

This design patent shows off a camera mounted on a bracelet. It doesn’t tell us anything about the camera beyond showing off the design of the camera. I looked for profiles of the inventors listed on the patent, and I think the ones I found may be the ones involved in the creation of this design (though I can’t be completely certain). There does looks like there is some hardware design involving cameras among the skills in the profiles I found. We will have to keep our eyes open for news of a camera like this potentially made by people building things like the cameras built for off street views of Street Views – It’s possible that this camera could be a way of indexing the world, like street view cameras are, rather than a consumer product.

Among the named inventors is:

1. A Staff Optical Engineer at Google
2. An Engineering Leader and Former Google Principal Engineer now at Uber, who worked on Geographic Maps and indoor maps at Google
3. A System Design/Systems engineer who worked on Street View and Google Art Project
4. A Senior Industrial Designer at Google who has developed a photography app for iPhones named Pic and Click in 2013

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Meeting the Demands of a Faster Mobile-Based Web

Apple has a new patent aimed at accelerating mobile Web pages. We’ve heard that from others elsewhere on the Web, and it’s beginning to look like a trend. Who wants faster web pages on their phones?

Probably everybody.

Apple Accerated Pages

It’s become increasingly obvious to people doing Search Engine Optimization that improving the quality of websites has meant making pages of a site faster and mobile-device friendly as more people started accessing the internet through phones and tablets as their primary connection to the Web.

Both Google and Yahoo helped site owners by releasing tools that could be used to check upon how fast sites were. Google introduced the online tool Pagespeed for Insights, which details steps that a site owner could take to improve the speed of a site. Yahoo published a browser extension called YSlow that runs a site through a number of tests or Heuristics that measure things that could be changed or improved on a site to make it faster.

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Twitter Poll – How Does Google Index Content on the Web?

Google Indexes by Websites, Pages, or URLs

I thought this was an interesting question to ask people because I think it’s often misunderstood. Google treats content found at different URLs as if it is different content, even though it might be the same, such as in the following examples:

http://www.example.com
https://www.example.com
http://example.com
http://example.com/index.htm
http://example.com/Index.htm
http://example.com/default.asp

One of the most interesting papers I’ve come across on this topic is this one (One of the authors joined Google shortly after this was released – Ziv Bar-Yossef):

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How Google May Respond to Reverse Engineering of Spam Detection

The ultimate goal of any spam detection system is to penalize “spammy” content.

~ Reverse engineering circumvention of spam detection algorithms (Linked to below)

Four years ago, I wrote a post about a Google patent titled, The Google Rank-Modifying Spammers Patent. It told us that Google might be keeping an eye out for someone attempting to manipulate search results by spaming pages, and Google may delay responding to someone’s manipulative actions to make them think that whatever actions they were taking didn’t have an impact upon search results. That patent focused upon organic search results, and Google’s Head of Web Spam Matt Cutts responded to my post with a video in which he insisted that just because Google produced a patent on something doesn’t mean that they were going to use it. The video is titled, “What’s the latest SEO misconception that you would like to put to rest? ” Matt’s response is as follows:

I’m not sure how effective the process in that patent was, but there is a now a similar patent from Google that focuses upon rankings of local search SEO results. The patent describes this spam problem in this way:

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The US is Asking for Help Understanding the Impacts of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, by Global Panorama. Some Rights Reserved
Artificial Intelligence, by Global Panorama. Some Rights Reserved

As we approach the celebration of the 4th of July, I thought it might be interesting to share a request for information made to the US Federal Register and a post on the Whitehouse blog. The US government is interested in what Artificial Intelligence might mean to the people of the United States, and how we could learn about it more. To find out, they are asking for comments by July 22, 2016.

Ed Felton, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer wrote the following blog post about what the government would like to learn: How to Prepare for the Future of Artificial Intelligence. He tells us that the reason for the request for public input is to learn from a wide range of people about what we can do to become ready:

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Machine Learning Inside Google

By OSX - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12890983
By OSX – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12890983

Understanding Systems

When I was in high school, one of the required classes I had to take was a shop class. I had been taking mostly what the school called “enriched” courses, or what were mostly academic classes that featured primarily reading, writing, and arithmetic. A shop class had more of a trade focus. I was surprised when the first lesson on the first day of my shop class was a richer academic experience than any of the enriched classes I had taken.

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