Google Voice Adds Two New Callers Groups for Better Privacy; Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory; Domains Gets Contacts Delegation & Enhanced Shared Directory; Analytics Data Export API Shut Down on July 10th; Getting Started with Analytics

Google Voice helps customize how you to treat callers by giving you the ability to play a custom greeting for your parents or send your chatty neighbor straight to voicemail. Now, starting today, Google adding two new groups of callers for Google Voice users to help user controls people who are NOT in their address […]

Google Voice helps customize how you to treat callers by giving you the ability to play a custom greeting for your parents or send your chatty neighbor straight to voicemail. Now, starting today, Google adding two new groups of callers for Google Voice users to help user controls people who are NOT in their address book.

Those two new groups are specific to Google Voice and can be managed from the group tab.

  • "People in your address book: this allows you to customize the experience of all contacts in your address book. This also works by exclusion. For example, you can set a special greeting just for people in your address book, or screen anyone not in your address book.
  • For anonymous callers: these are callers who do not have a caller ID. They sometimes appear as unknown, or restricted, depending on why the caller's number is not shown. You can use this group to for example screen any call without a caller ID," informs Tom Ford, Software Engineer.

Google Voice adds two new groups of callers

In other Google news,

Google Apps: Google Apps Password Sync, Contacts Delegation and Improved Shared Directory

Google Apps Password Sync that allows Google Apps admins to synchronize their users' passwords from Active Directory to Google Apps as they are changed is now available to domains including Google Apps for Business, Government and Education.

What's new:

  • Sync passwords as they are changed - no need to wait for a scheduled sync
  • Secure - passwords aren't saved anywhere except on your Active Directory and Google Apps, and are transmitted hashed and encrypted
  • Quick to set up - installation takes only a few minutes per server

The following features are now available to domains (Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Government and Education) following the Scheduled Release track:

  • Docs: Research pane which allows you to look up information and search from inside your document
  • Gmail: Quick access to contact details: When searching for an email address, the results will now show you contact details in addition to that person's profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.
  • Gmail: More circle integration and circle search: Users on Google Plus will also now see profile photos of people in their selected circle and circles are now supported in search and filters.
  • Contacts: Contacts delegation allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in their "My Contacts" group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts.

And, the following features are intended for release to these domains on June 5th:

  • Gmail: Graduation of the "Nav bar drag and drop" lab, which allows the user to reorder gadgets inside the gadget pane.

Google also adding a couple of new ways to share contacts: Contacts Delegation and an enhanced shared Directory.

With Contacts Delegation Google Apps users can now delegate their contacts to other people at their organization. "Many of you might already have someone help manage your inbox or schedule with our email and calendar delegation features. Now, you can delegate management of your contacts without granting access to your entire email inbox," posted Amanda Camp, Software Engineer, Google Contacts.

While this feature is great for support staff, it can also be used by anyone who wants to share their contacts with a colleague at their organization.

Improvements to Shared Directory across organization make it a more functional collection of shared contacts for everyone in your domain. "Now, the Directory can display all of the domain's users, all of the domain's shared contacts, or both. As before, individual users may also be selectively hidden from the Directory," Camps adds.

Google Analytics: Migrations to Core Reporting API Begin, Shut down of Data Export API on July 10th - Getting Started with Analytics

Back in December, Google launched the Core Reporting API to replace the Data Export API. Now, the old Data Export API would be shutting down. Starting next week, Google will begin redirecting a portion of Data Export API requests to the Core Reporting API in preparation to shut down the Data Export API on July 10th. "So you'll begin to see Data Feed requests return a Core Reporting API response, and requests for the Account Feed will produce an error," Google posted.

If you do not migrate, your application will experience service outages.

To help developers migrated to new API, Google wrote a new Hello Analytics API tutorial to give you that basic foundation. "The tutorial includes sample code for Java, PHP, Python, and JavaScript. It also walks you through the basic steps of using the Google Analytics API, including registration, authorizing users, retrieving account and profile information, and querying for a report. Once complete you will have a working example that you can customize," posted Analytics API team.

And, to help build applications, Google updated the developer guides for both the Core Reporting API and Management API.

Also, last week Google hosted a Getting Started with Analytics webinar. For those, missed the webinar or want to rewatch, can watch the embedded video below:

Here are some question answered during the webinar - Per Google blog post:

Can I measure if a visitor plays a video, downloads a whitepaper, etc?
Yes, use Event Tracking to learn about visitor actions like video plays, or PDF downloads that don't correspond directly to pageviews. And once you set up an Event it can also be tracked as a Goal. You can assign a value to these Events as a microconversion. Start with a larger objective that has a monetary value, like landing a big client, then map out the smaller steps leading up to that sale. For example, you may discover that for your business, an average of 7 PDF downloads corresponds to 1 sale. The value of a download would then be equal to an average sale divided by 7.

How do I learn if my website drives phone calls & offline conversions?
Many business' customers start researching online, but then pick up the phone and call to complete the sale. Think about what activities a user may do on your website that would motivate them to call. Do they spend time viewing your portfolio, reading testimonials, or checking out prices? Set up Goals to measure these micro-conversion actions that will help you learn which of your sources are providing quality visitors. You can also add unique phone numbers to the landing page or ad that will enable you to identify when a user calls you what marketing source they came from. The GA App Gallery has call-tracking integrations and here is an example of how Google AdWords enables call forwarding and tracking by pay per click campaigns.

Can I track actions that happen on a 3rd party page like email newsletter sign up or checkout?
Since this action happens outside of your website, Google Analytics will not be able to measure it. If you work with a third party vendor check with them to see if they can share with you any tracking information they may have. Be sure to check out the Google Analytics App Gallery to see if there are 3rd party integrations like payment solutions, reporting or email marketing that could work with you to solve this problem.

Why do my visits in Analytics not match with AdWords or my website hosting service?
All of the AdWords reports in Google Analytics import data directly from the AdWords system, and they usually match the data in your AdWords account exactly. But there can be circumstances where the data can differ. For example AdWords clicks do not equal visitors, if a user clicks on your ad twice within thirty minutes without closing his or her browser this is registered by Analytics as one visit to your site, but it equals two AdWords clicks. Also your Analytics profile could be filtered to exclude visits from IP's within your company, but your web hosting service could count those as visits. Here is a great article from our Help Center explaining this in more detail.

What is the best way to tag my marketing campaigns? And can I use a URL shortener?
If you need help creating campaign tags for links in your marketing campaigns (Search Marketing, Display Ads, Email Newsletters) check out the tagging tool in our Help Center. Remember to turn on AdWords Auto-tagging if you are running AdWords campaigns as this will automatically insert the campaign tags for you. Yes, you can use a URL shortener like goo.gl or other services out there to successfully pass your campaign tags through a nice short link.