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Monthly Archives: December 2015
At Google, user security has always been a top priority. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to promote a more secure web and to provide a better browsing experience for users. Gmail, Google search, and YouTube have had secure connections for some time, and we also started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results last year. Browsing the web should be a private experience between the user and the website, and must not be subject to eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, or data modification. This is why we’ve been strongly promoting HTTPS everywhere.
As a natural continuation of this, today we’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page. When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL if:
- It doesn’t contain insecure dependencies.
- It isn’t blocked from crawling by robots.txt.
- It doesn’t redirect users to or through an insecure HTTP page.
- It doesn’t have a rel=”canonical” link to the HTTP page.
- It doesn’t contain a noindex robots meta tag.
- It doesn’t have on-host outlinks to HTTP URLs.
- The sitemaps lists the HTTPS URL, or doesn’t list the HTTP version of the URL
- The server has a valid TLS certificate.
Although our systems prefer the HTTPS version by default, you can also make this clearer for other search engines by redirecting your HTTP site to your HTTPS version and by implementing the HSTS header on your server.
We’re excited about taking another step forward in making the web more secure. By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks. As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below or in our webmaster help forums.
Posted by Zineb Ait Bahajji, WTA, and the Google Security and Indexing teams
To advertise smart, you have to measure smart. And a key metric for almost any business is conversions, also known as “that moment when users do the thing that you want them to do.”
Many AdWords advertisers are already measuring their website conversions, using either AdWords Conversion Tracking or imported Google Analytics Ecommerce transactions. Measuring actual conversions is ideal, because it allows you to optimize your bids, your ads and your website with a clear goal in mind.
However, hundreds of thousands of small and medium businesses aren’t measuring their website conversions today. Some businesses may not have a way for users to convert on their website and others may not have the time or the technical ability to implement conversion tracking.
The Google Analytics team is committed to helping our users use their data to drive better marketing and advertising performance. So, for businesses that don’t measure conversions in AdWords today, we’ve created an easy-to-use solution: Smart Goals. Smart Goals help you identify the highest-quality visits to your website and optimize for those visits in AdWords.
“Smart Goals helped us drive more engaged visits to our website. It gave us something meaningful to optimize for in AdWords, without having to change any tags on our site. We could tell that optimizing to Smart Goals was working, because we had higher sales than usual across our channels during the testing period.”
- Richard Bissell, President/Owner, Richard Bissell Fine Woodworking, Inc
How Smart Goals Work
To generate Smart Goals, we apply machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data. From this information, we can distill dozens of key factors that correlate with likelihood to convert: things like session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser. We can then apply these key factors to any website. The easiest way to think about Smart Goals is that they reflect your website visits that our model indicates are most likely to lead to conversions.
Step 1: Activate Smart Goals in Google Analytics
To activate Smart Goals in Google Analytics, simply go to the Admin section of your Google Analytics account, click Goals (under the View heading) and select Smart Goals. The highest-quality visits to your website will now be turned into Smart Goals automatically. No additional tagging or customization is required; Smart Goals just work.
To help you see how Smart Goals perform before you activate them, we’ve built a Smart Goals report in the “Conversions” section of Google Analytics. The behavior metrics in this report indicate the engagement level of Smart Goals visits compared to other visits, helping you evaluate Smart Goals before you activate the feature.
|Click image for full-sized version|
Step 2: Import Smart Goals into AdWords
Like any other goal in Google Analytics, Smart Goals can be imported into AdWords to be used as an AdWords conversion. Once you’ve defined a conversion in AdWords, you’re able to optimize for it.
|Click image for full-sized version|
Step 3: Optimizing for Smart Goals in AdWords
One of the benefits of measuring conversions in your Adwords account is the ability to set a target cost per acquisition (CPA) as opposed to just setting a cost per click (CPC). If you aren’t measuring actual conversions today, importing Smart Goals as conversions in Adwords allows you to set a target CPA. In this way, you’re able to optimize your Adwords spend based on the likelihood of conversion as determined by our model.
Smart Goals will be rolling out over the next few weeks. To be eligible for Smart Goals, your Google Analytics property must be linked to your AdWords account(s). Learn how to link your Google Analytics property to your AdWords account(s) in the Analytics Help Center or the AdWords Help Center. Note that your Google Analytics view must receive at least 1,000 clicks from AdWords over a 30-day period to ensure the validity of your data.
Posted by Abishek Sethi (Software Engineer) and Joan Arensman (Product Manager)
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The fourth annual Digital Analytics Association (DAA) San Francisco Symposium is coming up! Join us on Tuesday, December 8th as we host the symposium at Google’s San Francisco office. This year’s event is focused on how all businesses use data to optimize, personalize, and succeed through the holidays.
Our lineup of great speakers includes:
- Jim Sterne, Target Marketing and the DAA
- Kristina Bergman, Ignition Partners
- Adam Singer, Analytics Advocate, Google
- Prolet Miteva, Senior Manager Web Analytics Infrastructure, Autodesk
- Joshua Anderson, Senior Manager Analytics, BlueShield
- Michele Kiss, Senior Partner, Analytics Demystified
- David Meyers, Co-Founder/CEO, AdoptAPet
- and other great speakers
Theme: Optimization, personalization, and how to succeed through the holidays
When: Tuesday, December 8th, 2015. Registration starts at 12:30. Program runs from 1:00 to 5:30, followed by a networking reception.
Where: Google San Francisco, 345 Spear Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
Cost: $25 for DAA members/$75 for non-members
Event website and registration: register here
Space is limited so register early!
San Francisco locals, this Symposium is organized by local DAA members and volunteers. We encourage you to become a member of the DAA and join our local efforts. Become a member and reach out to one of the local chapter leaders, Krista, Charles or Feras.
Posted by Krista Seiden, Google Analytics Advocate